On February 8th of this year, I got married! About a week prior, when we had nothing left to stress about for the wedding because at that point, what’s done is done and what’s not done is just not happening, we decided to jump into another stressful, uncharted territory – baby planning.
We were enjoying the accomplishment of completing wedding planning with a few glasses of wine when my then, almost-husband uttered one of the sexiest pick-up lines I’ve heard from him to date: “I’m ready to start trying for a baby”.
At that moment, I totally was not stressed. It was actually one of the most exciting moments of my life – we can start trying for a baby on PURPOSE now?? I was about to officially have a husband, and he and I were both ready to become Mom & Dad. So wild, and so exciting!
According to my period-tracking app, I would be ovulating around our wedding date and through part of our Honeymoon, so what could be more perfect? I was already planning the baby announcement in my head (& on Pinterest, of course), which would without a doubt be a baby onesie with text on the front that read, “Honeymoon Souvenir”. It was going to be perfect.
As soon as we got back from our Honeymoon, I was all-in. I had myself totally convinced that I was pregnant already. After all, we had done what we were supposed to on the days that we were supposed to, so why wouldn’t I be? I was peeing all the time, bloated, exhausted, having night sweats, crazy dreams, sensitive boobs, the whole deal. I started taking pregnancy tests as early as 7dpo (days post ovulation) which almost ZERO pregnancy tests can detect a pregnancy at that point, even the early detection ones, but I did it anyway. Then the day after. And the day after that. I sat there squinting at those negative tests til my brain created a 2nd line. Took pictures of the tests and turned the contrast and saturation levels all the way up so I could see any hint of the 2nd line. All were BFN (big fat negative).
I got my period that Saturday, 2 days earlier than my app had said it was supposed to be here. I think God was doing me a solid and didn’t want to put me through 2 more days of obsessing, stressing, and taking expensive pregnancy tests.
One of my biggest fears, which I think I share with many other girls, is that I’ve spent my whole sexually aware life trying to prevent pregnancy. I am saying sexually aware, instead of sexually active, because when I learned about puberty and sex in elementary school, I didn’t completely understand how the sperm reached the egg. I thought you could maybe get pregnant from swimming in the pool with a boy, or kissing a boy, or basically looking at one – I had no clue. So even before my period even came, I was petrified (side note: somehow, I didn’t officially learn that I had anxiety until I was 27, which is shocking). Anyway, I have an enormous fear of having spent all these years since I’ve been sexually aware, stressing over something that could never have happened in the first place – that ‘something’ being pregnancy.
I know I’m early in the TTC (trying to conceive) club, and that I really don’t have anything to worry about just yet. Aside from a B12 deficiency and a little side combo of anxiety/depression, I’m overall very healthy. I work out, I eat healthy most of the time, I don’t drink that often, and I maintain some pretty fulfilling relationships with my friends, family, and husband. On paper, I don’t have anything to be majorly concerned about just yet- and I’ve only tried 1 cycle to get pregnant so far. Of course, in the back of my mind I think about the ‘silent’ problems I could have that I don’t know about just yet, or maybe my husband has low sperm motility… who knows?! Each day I pray that none of those things come up and that I can get through the day without obsessing over it and fearing the worst. After all, they say that stress isn’t good either. Who are these people who make up the crowd of people who have all sorts of advice, anyway? The answer: a bunch of people on the Internet. That’s right – after all these years, we have been trying to not get pregnant, and now when we want to- how do we even do it? We’ve been scared straight all our lives trying to prevent pregnancy, to know when we are PMS-ing, or what brand and size of tampons to buy, but what about when actually catching that egg before it drops becomes part of our dream?
This journey, though it has just started, has become a huge passion of mine. The lack of education and informative resources that surround baby planning/trying to get pregnant, is pretty crazy. I’m grateful to have an outlet like this one to help others get informed, advocate for the awareness of women’s health, and help other women and men (since it takes 2 to tango ya hear me?!) navigate this process at home, work, and everywhere in between while I learn for myself! I’ll be back here soon with more things I’ve learned and hopefully, eventually, a pregnancy announcement. For now, I’ll get back to my research and my Amazon cart full of ovulation kits, pregnancy tests, and prenatal vitamins. Be back soon!
Feeling excited, confused, stressed-out, and anxious but also empowered – Stephanie