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Things You Wish You’d Known Before Trying To Conceive

“Creating a baby isn’t all about wham, bam, thank you ma’am, we’re having a baby in eight months.”

If you are among those who couldn’t hit the jackpot after a few months of doing the horizontal dance, you probably wish you had known these before getting it on. Tash Chan shares.

Let’s face it. Trying to conceive, for some, is akin to a walk in a park, or rather, a romp in the bed. Unfortunately for many others, it isn’t quite as easy as it sounds. In general, around 30 couples will conceive within a month, 60 within six months and 85 within a year. The remainder will take longer and some may need help.

I for one, tried various stances before getting lucky and can now look back and grin at how obsessed, or to put it nicely, determined, we can get at reproducing. If you’re now a proud mother, you’ll be able to relate to this. If you are trying to conceive, rest assured that doing the following may not exactly qualify as sane behaviour, but I’ll wager my baby diaper budget that you’ll do it all the same! You’d surely wish you knew that:

It doesn’t happen overnight

Creating a baby isn’t all about wham, bam, thank you ma’am, we’re having a baby in eight months. No siree! We tend to believe that planting a foetus in the womb revolves around having intercourse, failing to realise that there are other contributing factors to conceiving such as:

  • Your age, lifestyle and diet
  • Whether you are overweight/underweight
  • Poor reproductive health, which may include irregular periods
  • Frequency of intercourse

The American Society of Reproductive Medicine reported that smoking not only affects sperm quality, but also prolongs the time it takes for female smokers to get pregnant.

If you’re generally healthy and are above 35 years old or have been trying for a baby for about a year, you should see your gynaecologist. The same goes if you have always had irregular menstrual cycles as there could be a possibility of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which may make conceiving more difficult.

You’d be doing things you never thought you would

If you are like any average person out there, you would have probably lived a major part of your life believing that working hard yields results. This probably means that you had tried many tips to achieve the next goal in your life – having a baby.

Some people keep track of their ovulation period by using a body basal thermometer and ovulation kits. I personally had been quite obsessed with waking up at 7am sharp everyday to take my waking temperature. While this method proved to be quite accurate as it pinpointed my ovulation time accurately, it became quite tedious after a few months, sending the alarms ringing with every spike and drop of my temperature chart. I gave up after a while after realising that it added more stress to the whole baby-making process.

When your period is due, you’ll probably spend the whole day hoping and wishing that your period won’t come, and you’ll run to the bathroom at least five to six times a day, not to pee, but to check your undies chanting “please tell me it isn’t here”.

That the two-week wait after ovulation would be the longest two weeks ever, and you’d end up imagining that every twinge, twitch and ache that your body may be having is a pregnancy symptom. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as being in tune with your body has its advantages. I knew about my pregnancy almost immediately after feeling extreme tiredness and sleepiness. This led me to take better care of myself and choose what I ate carefully.

That apart from whispering sweet-nothings into your loved one’s ear, putting your legs up upon the wall after intercourse becomes a normal part of bonding with your spouse. You probably didn’t see this coming, but many couples believe that it helped them conceive as gravity helps to keep semen in the vagina and subsequently up to the womb.

That scheduling sex around ovulation time, or having too much sex (just in case!) can actually tire you out. While studies have shown that having frequent intercourse does increase the chances of conception, scheduling sex for a certain date and time may not necessarily be a good idea. Not only does it make intercourse a bore, but to include “have sex” on your to-do list may unduly add stress to you and your partner.

It may turn out to be an emotional journey

For couples who have been trying to conceive for some time, the baby-making journey may turn emotional. Nothing comes close to the desire of cradling your own offspring. You may realise that:

Somehow, you will see pregnant women or babies all around you a lot more often, like everywhere!

And that you will look at these pregnant bellies with envy, and later on at home, stand in front of a mirror and imagine yourself with a bump under your dress, and for once in your life, wish you didn’t have that washboard flat tummy.

That when you hear the news of a colleague, friend or relative who has gotten pregnant, you feel happy for them but at the same time, feel as if it’s never going to be your turn. It is normal to feel this way, but be patient and have faith. That particular couple who has just gotten pregnant may have very well gone through the same thing as you have, albeit without your knowledge.

That you will find your biggest pillar of support to be your spouse. Only your husband or wife would understand your frustrations in trying to conceive. If your wife is upset after another unsuccessful month of trying, soothe her in your own way, be it a hug and comforting words, or simply a meal outside. Ladies, don’t forget that men too, may find this a trying time. Don’t make assumptions about what he or she is feeling and make time for each other to share your thoughts.

Easier said than done, my best tip is to relax, have faith and enjoy the journey. Make love, not have sex. Celebrate and embrace just the “two of us” because before you know it (and once you stop trying too hard), lady luck comes visiting and you’ll be too busy changing diapers to even think about getting busy in bed!

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