10 Things to Know When You're Trying to Get Pregnant

5 years ago

So you're trying to get pregnant, eh? I'm happy to kick off THE REST OF YOUR LIFE by offering unwanted advice! You're so welcome!

Credit Image: Barsen on Flickr

It's Harder Than You Thought

According to an Italian study, female fertility peaks before 27, and by "peaking," they mean "50% chance at conception at any given time." So yes, cruel irony, if you've been trying really hard NOT to get pregnant for years, now you're going to have to try TO get pregnant, if you're over the age of about 25. This is not intended to be depressing information -- plenty of people get pregnant every day over the age of 25 -- but merely a hat-tip to "Hey, don't freak out if it doesn't happen right away." Give it twelve months if you're under 35 before you think about it too much, six months if you're over 35.

You Have to Have All the Sex

When my husband and I were trying to get pregnant, we had sex every other day the month we conceived. This might sound awesome to some of you, but it did not feel awesome to try to get horned up after a long day at work when neither of us were in the mood. There will be many days when you don't want to have sex, but if you're serious about getting pregnant, you might want to invest in some lube. This is a numbers game, ladies. Fortunately, 2012 was the Year of Erotica in publishing, so there are plenty of hot romance novels in any given bookstore to help you out!

People Will Want to Know About Your Sex

If you tell people you are trying to get pregnant, they will ask shockingly blunt questions about your sex life. Note who asks the most, because that will be the same person who will tell you your baby needs a hat when it's 85 degrees outside. Proceed with caution. Pick a few close friends who don't normally pry where you don't want them to and tell them, but don't feel the need to tell the world until you've got a bun in the oven for reals. Unless you like talking about sex with the checkout girl, and if so, by all means go crazy!

Be Aware of the Power of Your Words

You may have a Facebook friend who is struggling with infertility and doesn't want to hear about your prenatal vitamins. This is not meant to muzzle you. However, there are a few hot-button things in life, and infertility is one of them. Just be sensitive about what you're saying. I learned this from experience -- and I was not sensitive and only learned later that I had hurt people with my posts. I'm all about letting you learn from my mistakes!

If You've Been on The Pill, Ignore That Cervical Mucus Stuff

Every article I've read on trying to get pregnant says some stuff about basal body temperature and cervical mucus. If you've been on The Pill for years, you may or may not have even seen cervical mucus in a while and your body hasn't been acting Normal Female since you started taking it. It will probably take a few months of the new normal before you're able to read your body's signs. When I was on The Pill, my periods were lighter and like clockwork. Now after having been off it for years, I'm often shocked by the force of my Woman Body, what with its unexpected sexuality, cervical mucus and mind-blowing cramps.

You Can Ovulate More Than Once a Month

The Canadians figured this out more than ten years ago, so you may already know this, but that business about once-a-month ovulation may or may not be true for you. Once you figure out your cervical mucus, you will know this. I actually cramp up a little when I'm ovulating, too -- another thing I didn't realize for the fourteen years I was on hormone-based birth control. Yet another reason to have All the Sex All the Time.

There Might Be Days When You Become Convinced You Could Forget You Have a Baby

Stress dreams involving leaving a baby on the hood of a car permeated my pre-pregnancy and my pregnancy. I suppose there might be an extreme case of forgetting to pick up a baby from daycare or forgetting a sleeping baby is in your car, but your world will be so totally and completely rocked by the baby there is no way you will forget you had one in the first place. Please do not worry about that. And it's not a sign you don't want the baby -- it's like that dream where you registered for a class and then forgot to go all semester and now it's finals week -- everyone has it. At least, I think everyone does. I hope. Um.

Your Friends Don't Need Daily Updates

One of the hardest parts of becoming a parent is realizing no one is going to care as much as you and hopefully your partner do about your baby, including the making of said baby. It may be completely consuming your every thought, but it shouldn't be every thing that comes out of your mouth or your friends will get bored and might, unfortunately, tell you that.

Prenatal Vitamins Aren't Magic Beauty Enhancers

The people who tell you prenatal vitamins will turn your normally frizzy mop hair into a Pantene commercial will tell you pregnancy makes you glow. The truth about pregnancy is totally another post, though.

It's Probably Fine to Keep Drinking

Even though this study says drinking even moderately makes your fertility go down, I say enjoy your freedom. There are going to be a whole lot of things you're not supposed to do while you're pregnant, and the minute that little line appears on the pregger test, you're not going to be able to even breathe without worrying you're hurting the baby. LIVE LIFE LARGE NOW. Plus, it'll help with All the Sex.

So, what did I miss? It's been almost TEN YEARS since I tried to get pregnant, holy wow.


Rita Arens authors Surrender, Dorothy and is the editor of the award-winning parenting anthology Sleep is for the Weak. She is the senior editor for BlogHer.com.

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