Pregnancy and you blog

Trying to get pregnant: Ready and waiting

By Julie A. Lamppa, C.N.M., R.N. December 11, 2015

You just went off the pill or got your intrauterine device (IUD) removed. You have been taking folic acid for the last three months. Your checkbook is balanced, you're in a solid relationship, and you have 200 hours of accrued PTO at work. You even had a visit with your health care provider to review your medications and discuss healthy behaviors. You're ready to have a baby.

Sometimes there is a lot of planning that goes into getting pregnant — and sometimes there is none. I have a friend who had six unplanned pregnancies. She would joke that she and her husband would only have to look at each other in a certain way to get pregnant. If your personal goals are for a one-child household, you might view this as a nightmare. If you are struggling with infertility, you probably see this as a gift.

Once you have made the decision to grow your family, it can be so hard to wait. During the coming weeks and months, don't be hard on yourself if you experience surprising emotions. It may be difficult to feel genuine happiness for your coworker as she publicly shares her pregnancy. Before family gatherings, consider practicing a canned response to those who inquire, "When are you going to start a family?" Although innocently asked, this question can feel ruthless when you're trying to get pregnant — and haven't yet succeeded.

Unfortunately, fertility doesn't come with an on/off switch. And there is always that possibility that you are within the estimated 10 to 15 percent of couples who have trouble getting pregnant or getting to a successful delivery. If you are less than 35 without health problems that would affect fertility, give it 12 months. If you're 35 or older, give it six months. But try not to let your mind jump to those conclusions until it's time. In the meantime, be patient and calm. Trust your body and the process. It has proven fruitful for generations.

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Dec. 11, 2015