This is a true story and it’s a little bit scary for me to share.
We thought we’d have babies easily when we started planning for a family.
We tried for 18 months before we were successful.
Let me start at the very beginning.
Leki and I started dating in September 2007 and got married on November 2011.
We were both 26 years old.
Those 4 years from 2007 to 2011 we discussed all things that young excited couples dream about.
Where we would like to live, buying our first home, holidays, looking forward to events and parties and when we would eventually have children.
We decided to enjoy ourselves as a couple for a few years before having kids… that was the master plan.
So for 5 years we were working away until we started to talk more seriously about kids.
We didn’t feel any pressure from family or compete with friends.
None of that.
We felt like we were in a ‘comfortable’ spot now to start trying.
It was November 2012 and we’d been married for 1 year.
We thought this would be a perfect time for me to stop working and concentrate on the next stage of our lives.
We couldn’t conceive for 18 months.
So after a lot of tough times Emelina finally arrived in March 2015.
When it was time to think about baby no.2 it took 6 months!
Then little Kyneton arrived on January 2018.
Both times it was stressful to think that something might be wrong with me 🙁
So here are the main points I would like to share:
- Basal Body Temperature
- Be Happy
We placed a big emphasis on whether we could afford to have children and maintain a decent lifestyle.
We’re not big spenders but we would like to be comfortable.
Working on our family income and making sure we did our numbers gave us a sense of security.
After a lot of thought we felt the time was right to start trying.
Looking back knowing what I know now, I would have probably started having a family earlier.
We put it off for material things or for the thought that there’s time down the line.
I was wrong.
There is nothing quite like having a family.
Regardless of all the things you may think or hear, once you have your own flesh and blood your world changes.
Basal Body Temperature
You want to know how we finally fell pregnant?
What worked for us was tracking my basal body temperature.
Basically there’s a digital thermometer that can detect small changes in your core (basal) temperature.
Our family Doctor suggested using this device you can keep track of your small temperature changes.
The idea is to track when there’s a spike in your basal temperature which corresponds to the most fertile window of your menstrual cycle.
This is when you ovulate (the ovaries release a new egg).
I keep track of my menstrual cycle using an App which can help me determine when is the best time for some loving 😉
I used the Period Tracker which is free to download on Android or iOS.
So combined with the period app and tracking my basal temperature it gave me the best chance to fall pregnant.
So I had the thermometer next to me on the bedside table and it would be the first thing I do in the morning.
I’d then track the temperature everyday – you can use this table I found online belowAs you track your temperature you can see the trend of the readings and we decided to try on 3-5 days when I was most likely to conceive 😉
I can tell you that in the first 18 months of trying for baby #1 I was so stressed and scared that I might not be able to have kids.
I was in a really dark place because I had stopped working and was mostly at home. My self worth was very low 🙁
I was also thinking about my age and that I’m getting older (approaching 30) and my baby clock was ticking.
Looking back I think I was overthinking things and not looking after myself.
Thinking it would happen for us like a flick of a switch gave us a false sense of security.
I’m not saying I would have continued working while we tried to have a baby but I would have spent that time trying to improve myself.
Instead of feeling sorry for myself, eating poorly and blaming everything and everyone else.
If I had my time again I would have done these 3 things:
1. Start being healthy
Making better food choices, doing things that make me happy and regular exercise would have helped me get on the right path.
I started prioritising my health with Leki when we turned 30 after our daughter finally arrived. We should have done this much earlier!
If we had started getting healthy in our 20s I believe it would have helped our efforts to fall pregnant much quicker!
2. Try for a family earlier
Knowing what we know now we would have started a family earlier. 100%!
3. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself
I’ve been on a real crusade over the last 12 months to reduce my stress. It’s not something that you touch or feel but it’s something that you can measure by how happy you are.
Some stress is necessary to grow into a stronger person but excessive stress can be very unhealthy.
If I had my time again I would encourage that Belinda to do things that make you feel good about yourself.
So there you have it.
18 months is not a long time for some couples who I know have been trying for years and YEARS and I acknowledge that that’s another level of stress that I cannot even comprehend.
All I can say is that I can understand the pressure that you’re under.
I’d be happy to talk with anyone who is struggling with family planning although I’m not a professional it’s more of a shoulder to lean on so we can compare notes!
I am absolutely blessed and appreciate all the good things that come out of tough challenges.
Stay strong Mama!