Before I start, you should know what type of person I am. When it comes to decisions, I follow a 3-step approach:
- Research whatever thing I want to do
- Create a plan on how to achieve whatever thing I want to do, plus a couple of backup plans
- Go do whatever thing I want to do, using plan(s) created in step 2
I've pretty much run my entire life following this 3-step system. I used it when applying to colleges, picking a major, applying to grad school, finding jobs, finding places to live, etc. This system was in constant rotation when I was wedding planning, because there are so many things to do and so many plans to make. This system isn't just big life decisions - I've used it for small things too. But my point is that I tend to be the type of person who decisions to do something, and then I go do it, after doing my due diligence. Normally I'm fully in control of the things I want to do, and my only obstacle to success is myself.
Aight, now that yall know that about me, I can get to the point of this post, which is this: trying to have a baby is hard. Much harder than I thought it would be.
Wanting to have a baby is new for me. I spent years declaring that I would remain childfree. All that went out the window when I met LM. I fell in love and my ovaries started going crazy. I've spent most of the first year of our marriage asking him for a baby. After a lot of looking at each and asking the other "are you sure you're ready?", we decided we were ready to start trying to make a baby person.
Remember how I'm a researcher and a planner? I took that same attitude into making a baby. I am nothing if not consistent. I started my research with Expecting Better by Emily Oster. I loved this book and I learned so much. Dr. Oster is an economist, and after her own pregnancy, she wrote a book which dives into the science behind all those pregnancy rules, like don't drink coffee. I'm all about data, being a scientist at heart, and I love reading journal articles (I know, I'm weird). Expecting Better strikes the right balance of scientific information, and straight-forward explanation, which makes it accessible for everyone. And it covers every aspect of pregnancy, from conception to birth. After reading the book, I also took a look at some of the studies cited in the book...mostly cause I love journal articles but I also like to read the data for myself and come to my own conclusions.
After reading the book, I went to the Internet for more info. I found a couple of FB groups for plus size women who were pregnant or trying to conceive. I read reviews of fertility apps, and I decided to start using Glow. BTW, there are a TON of apps out there for fertility tracking. They are work the same general way - each day you log your basal body temperature, weight, cervical mucus/cervix position, ovulation prediction kit results, symptoms, etc. The apps then use this info to help you figure out when you'll ovulate, and thus your fertile period, aka the best time to have lots of baby-making sex. I dived into tracking my info on Glow, and reading the forums to pick up tips.
Alright, I did the research, and I was armed with way more information than one person needs. From all that research, I came up with what I thought was a solid plan: use Glow to track my info; use an ovulation prediction kit to figure out the best time to make a baby; make said baby with LM; get pregnant and have a cute baby bump and really cute pregnancy photos. Easy, right?
Yeah....no. It has not been easy. At all. My first clue was with the ovulation kit I got. My first month, I used the little strips, and I was unprepared for how hard it is to read those damn things! Those were a total bust. It's also not fun to wake up in the morning and try to move as little as possible, so that you can take your basal body temperature before you get out of bed. I refused to check my cervical mucus - there are some things that I don't want to know about myself. I was pretty good about tracking, and I liked seeing my fertile window and the likelihood of pregnancy by date. But all that information brought with it a feeling of pressure that we were unprepared for. It felt like "today is THE DAY to get pregnant, so if you don't have great sex tonight, you won't have a baby!" That does not get you or your husband in the mood, trust me. The baby-making was feeling a bit like a chore, instead of fun and loving. But we powered through (heh) and I spent the days after ovulation hoping that we'd made a baby.
The first couple of months where I wasn't pregnant, it was a bit disappointing, but we fell back on excuses for why it didn't work - we really didn't try or we didn't know for sure when I ovulated. It got harder when I tracked, and used the digital ovulation kit, and we still weren't pregnant. Remember my plan? This wasn't part of the plan! I was supposed to use all the tools and then get pregnant, right?
For the first time in my life, my research and planning has not gotten me the result I desired. Granted, it hasn't been very long, but this is the first thing that I've ever wanted, that I really have no control over. It's an uncomfortable spot for me to be in. I've always just made up my mind to do something, and then just went out and done it. As my mother says, I have no patience, but I'm seeing that making a baby requires a lot of patience. You go through all the work, and you try to make a baby with your husband, and then you wait a few weeks to see if it actually worked. If it doesn't, you try it all over again. Rinse and repeat.
I'm not used to this. I'm used to going out and getting what I want and making it happen. I'm a go-getter! I make things happen! Except this. As much as I would love to control it, I can't. So I have to be content with doing as much as I can do and having faith that the Universe will bring us what we desire, a baby. Instead of focusing so much on all the tracking and whatnot, I'm going to take my mother's advice and try to relax and enjoy it all. I'm also working on the one thing I can control - my health. This is a perfect opportunity to work on my eating habits, be more active, and bring my weight down.
And of course, we'll keep having fun trying...wish us luck!