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I started to write my birth story to share and then a terrible accident happened. I was attempting to copy and paste it to my blog when with the flail of a little baby arm the whole thing got deleted. I panicked, forgot how to undo, and ended up losing it forever. Weighted with the knowledge that I would have to rewrite the story I began a short period of procrastination. Today, I realized that my story doesn’t start with the birth of my daughter. My story starts way before that and I need to start at the beginning. I would like to note that there is going to be talk of periods, fertility awareness, and conception in this post and if that makes you uncomfortable in any way I advise you to stop reading.
I always knew I wanted to be a mother. I’ve had a set of children’s names picked out since I was in high school (and I actually picked one of those names for my daughter). After I married my husband, baby fever set in. It grew worse with the birth of the babies born to my family and friends. But it wasn’t the right time.
In January of 2015, I was at a crossroads. Since going on the pill in 2008 to tame my out of control menstrual cycle, I needed to switch pills every year or two. I don’t know why but my cycle would become increasingly worse the longer I stuck with a particular pill until that brand was no longer working at all. After having a period for the whole month of December I decided it was time to get rid of the pill I was on. I stopped taking my pill and made an appointment with a new gynecologist. Of course, I couldn’t get in until June because of insurance.
In February, my husband and I decided I would not go back on the pill but that we might start trying for a baby. My mom had terrible trouble getting pregnant so I worried the same would happen to me. I began tracking my cycle using Fertility Friend, a website & app that helps you chart your cycle. I started checking my basal temperature, cervical mucus, and cervix position every morning. We also made the decision to just do our thing for a few months and see what happens.
I charted through March and then in April we decided to really try to make a baby. I got a stack of ovulation predictor tests and pregnancy tests from the dollar store. There I had an interesting (and embarrassing) scene with the cashier, where she shared loudly with the whole store that “it looks like somebody’s going to have some fun.”
Based on my previous month’s chart I predicted I would ovulate around day 11 or 12 of my cycle. After my period ended we began doing the deed every other day. I also took an ovulation predictor test every other day. On April 24, eight days after my period ended, I got my positive ovulation test. We did our thing and crossed our fingers.
After that I stopped testing and we stopped the regimented baby making schedule. We were in the dreaded two week wait. I decided to pass my time deep cleaning the house. I figured if a baby was on the way I would be grateful and if not then at least my house would be clean.
At around the 9 day mark of my 14 day wait, a strange thing happened. I had a huge clot about the size of a golf ball. I assumed that was probably the mass of cells that would have been my baby if it had implanted. I figured with the way my menstrual cycle acted that I would be starting my period soon. But it never came.
The second week of the wait my husband had to go on a business trip to Atlanta. I hate when he has to go on business and often have trouble sleeping. That week I spent most of my nights awake and most of my days napping. At this point I still was hoping I was pregnant but expecting to find a big fat negative when I tested at the end of the week on Saturday.
I noticed throughout the week that I was having a string of bad luck. I don’t remember all the specifics of the week but I remember a few incidents. The day my husband was coming home, I put my iPad in my night stand drawer and when I took it back out, I noticed the screen was cracked. Then that night, I had decided to make our favorite homemade pizza for supper. I always make us each a personal size pizza instead of one large pizza, so I made my husband’s pizza first. Then, when I took my pizza out of the oven my pizza stone shattered. I had never seen a cooking stone shatter and I was amazed and saddened all at the same time. My husband and I laughed about my terrible luck and thought nothing more of it.
Before bed that night, I was going on about testing on Saturday. It was the weekend of Mother’s Day and I was dying to know if I would be a mother! My husband didn’t understand why it was a big deal to wait 14 days after ovulation. He pointed out since I got dollar store tests that it wouldn’t cost that much to take an extra test. I pondered this long after he fell asleep and I spent a good chunk of the night looking at public fertility charts on Fertility Friend to see when women got their positive.
Friday morning, I woke up before my husband. Normally, he would be at work but he had the day off. I snuck a test into the bathroom and decided to just see if I got anything. The dollar store test has you pee in a cup and use a pipette to drop your urine onto the test. I peed in a “lucky” cup that we had gotten at a local pizza place around St. Patrick’s Day. I fully expected to need to analyze the test with various forms of photo magic to see any kind of line, so it was to my surprise when a second line appeared as soon as the test started.
There was a lot of rejoicing happening very quietly in the bathroom as to not wake my husband. I was jumping and squealing and crying. Then the doubt set in, what if the test was a false positive (while it can happen it is actually a pretty rare occurrence). I decided to guzzle water and take another test.
After three confirmed tests came the problem of how to tell my husband. I wanted to be clever and cute and Pinterest worthy. None of that happened because while I was researching on Pinterest how to tell him, he woke up. I couldn’t hold the secret in so I just said, “Good morning, daddy!” And with his usual tact, my husband responded, “Well that’s that.”
I was amazed to find that we had become pregnant the first month we really tried. I really think it boils down to the charting I did on Fertility Friend. Knowing your body and its cues are the keys to successfully trying for a baby for the average person (someone who does not need fertility assistance from doctors). I highly suggest giving Fertility Friend a try and charting as much as possible before trying for a baby. Combining basal temperature (taken with a basal thermometer like this one) with your cervix position and cervical fluid can help you pinpoint when you are most likely fertile and even when you are ovulating. When you start using ovulation predictor tests, you add another layer of certainty that you are fertile and ovulating.
I hope that my story gives you hope if you are trying or planning to try for a baby. I know that not everyone gets pregnant the first month they try, but I once again attribute that to the charting I did on Fertility Friend. Everyone’s stories are different and I would love to hear yours! Feel free to share them in the comments, through social media, or by contacting me.
I thought I had studied everything about labor and delivery but my own surprised me! Check out A Baby Story Part 2: A Birth Story.