TTC - the three haunting letters that was always on the top of my search history for three years. TTC is probably an acronym created by someone who, like myself, was searching the term one too many times, on forums, chatting up strangers...about what? Trying to conceive!
Three years, ten months later... now a 31 year old mother of a beautiful healthy baby girl, I will tell you one thing - for some it comes easy and for others (like myself), there are some very real obstacles. If I could give you five tips as someone who has been there and done that, here is what I would tell you:
1. Relax! Stress is one of pregnancy's worst enemies. Tune out the new mommies with their baby photos all on social media, and the aunties who keep asking "tomar kobe hobe? Boyosh hoye gele kintu shomossha hobe" (when are you having yours? If you wait too long, you'll have complications). The three years when I tried my hardest to get pregnant, it just didn't happen. I was always busy at work. We both worked late hours and thinking about bills, car breaking down, domestic helper requesting to go home and ongoing stress in the back of the head of my fertile window always dampened the mood. The month when I conceived, I wasn't working, I had made some serious transitions in life and I practiced some serious mindfulness in terms of my health and well-being.
2. Rule out any possible medical concerns and get a second opinion if you need to. Finding a good gynaecologist is like trying to find organic food in Dhaka. It's hard and usually the good ones are booked up and some just try to rush you out the door. Hang your body shame in the closet and be very thorough about any physical concerns you might have. I have faced the worst times at the ob-gyn office. I've been picked, prodded, put on fertility pills, gained weight, lost weight and only after some thorough tests I found out I had an autoimmune disease that can cause me to have a "high risk" pregnancy. Way to add more stress. You just never know these days so if you have the means, get a thorough check up done locally or abroad.
3. Be kind to yourself. If you are TTC, then you HAVE to be good to yourself. Yes! Some people have kids without trying and while eating garbage and never taking a single prenatal pill. But honey! That's not us! I dropped 15kg before I got pregnant, stopped alcohol even before that, ate well and simply, was kind to myself. It's like training before a marathon and you have to be in your best shape. I should also add, having this mindset also made pregnancy relatively smooth and delivery very short.
4. Be in sync with your partner. Remember he is a part of this whole process too. You both need to be on the same page about where you are in life. If you are thinking baby and he is thinking about getting a promotion, which means longer work hours and more stress, then maybe it's time to have a talk. By the time we were both ready to have a baby, we knew what we wanted in life and worked hard to achieve at least 60% of it. We knew since I have a possibility of a high risk pregnancy that I would not be able to work and would need his support, both financially and emotionally. Babies are expensive and without having finances in order, help or family close by, the dream of babies can soon turn into a domestic nightmare between spouses. If we didn't have an open dialogue about the various possibilities, we wouldn't have known what to do in cases of emergencies, which family members we could turn to etc. There are always things in life that will be beyond your control but isn't it good to at least plan for the ones that we know may be possibilities? Being connected and creating a space for understanding and love and comfort will be what holds everything together.
5. Tracking your ovulation. When it comes down to it, it's all about the right timing. If you are having a hard time TTC then I would suggest getting an ovulation kit. It will make sure that your fertile window is being fully utilised.
With all that said. There is obviously no fool proof trick to getting pregnant but, every little action and a lot of mindfulness can give a nudge in the right direction.