I found it really hard to word the title for this seeing as really, conceiving a baby is such a personal thing and no two couples are alike, therefore I don't wish to mislead people or come across as preaching at all. So, as a disclaimer, I have to say I am most definitely not an expert in all things conception and baby making and am literally just working off of my own experience. That is, after all, the only thing I have to go on, and if my experience can help in just some little way, then that is a big deal and goes to show it was worth me writing this post. I am not saying 'do this and you will get pregnant' or 'if you don't do this, kiss your dream of baby goodbye!'..... all I am doing is sharing and hopefully, encouraging someone out there to keep going and perhaps feel comforted in the knowledge that they are not the only one's going through the anxiety and expectation month after month. So, lets get started:
1. Relax and Enjoy yourself.
Nature dictates that making a baby should be a pleasurable experience. For some, the mention of sex is enough to make them recoil in embarrassment and huff off in a blushing rush, but really, if you can bear to look at it upon reflection, it is a beautiful thing that can have the most amazing result. As much as you want to crack on and get that baby made, don't forget to enjoy yourself and relax, without putting any pressure and expectations on yourself. Just go with the flow. I guess what I'm saying is, take time to enjoy the whole recipe before you put that bun in the oven. TMI warning, but we managed to conceive whilst away on holiday and I swear it was because we were relaxed and enjoying ourselves.
2. Putting your legs up in the air afterwards does not work.
I am giggling to myself as I write this! I remember thinking that this trick would help things along and in all honesty, it didn't at all. If anything, it gave me a head rush and took away any romance in the room. It was completely pointless, and only worthwhile in a comedic sense, due to it making me look like an upturned woodlouse. Not flattering or sexy in the slightest!
I can't tell you how helpful I found this app. I am terrible at keeping track of things in my head, and am always relying upon calendars and schedules and lists to keep my life in order. So, when trying to conceive a baby, it makes sense that you keep a general idea of where your menstrual cycle is at. Some women mark it in the diary with a variety of symbols and post it stickers but I found this app to be so helpful. It lets you document when your period starts, how long it goes on for and then, according to the input, pinpoints a likely time that you shall ovulate as well as showing your most fertile days either side. It is, of course, based on no guarantees and can't be taken as gospel, but it just helped me keep an efficient record of things, which is extremely beneficial in the long run. It also helps you keep track of your emotions during the month too, which can be interesting to see how your mood is dictated by your cycle as well. Although, I will warn you that mis use of this app can result in making the next tip that bit more impossible....
4. Try not to obsess.
This is possibly the one thing I found the hardest to avoid doing. Once you make that decision to try becoming a parent, it is SO difficult to not allow things to become consumed by it. You end up googling everything you can, symptom spotting and buying a pregnancy test 2 days before your period is due because apparently they can pick up conception before even your body knows it has happened! Not to mention the availability of ovulation sticks, temperature charts and countless forums to read of women in exactly the same boat, it is so easy to go crazy with the expectations. If I had a pound for every time I googled 'so many DPO symptoms' into the search engine, I would be able to buy a Mulberry handbag.... a real one! I felt like time dragged and I felt so lost in it all. And that was because I was obsessed.
5. Try not to compare.
Women are forever comparing each other to each other. Whether it be height, weight, teeth, hair, clothes, make up... whatever.... you name it, we compare it. Well, the same goes for the progress our wombs make. When trying for a baby, we constantly ask how long it took others to conceive and our sense of well being hangs upon the response. Those who say 'We fell first time we tried' say so with joyous pride and you instantly want to pelt them with pampers nappies. Same goes for anyone under the 6 month mark. Anyone between 6 - 18 months are met with silence and a 'I can handle waiting that long if I have to' attitude and then 2 years + fills all with complete horror and the mind boggles with images of IVF and adoption papers. All completely natural thought processes but completely unhelpful and pointless. Best thing to do? Don't ask anyone. Focus on yourself and your journey. That is the only one that matters. And if people just announce how long it took them..... you have my permission to hit them, with rocks, pampers nappies or just your bare fists if you want.... regardless of their total.
6. Don't tell anyone about your decision.
'A still tongue keeps a wise head'
Again, this is something I failed at, and my Nan would have shaken her head in dismay at me if she were still alive. Not only did I fail, I wrote the book on how to announce the news to everyone. If I could of had a megaphone I would have bellowed 'WE ARE TRYING FOR A BABY!!!' into it for all to hear. Lots of factors influenced this. Excitement was the main one.... after all.... its a BABY you're considering! People announce when they are buying a new sofa or upgrading their phone yet you can't share when you are trying to make a baby??!! Purrleaasssse!!
But. Of course. There is a reason one should swallow all the excitement and keep quiet. Mostly, in order to avoid the pressure of expectation. As soon as the news is shared with someone, any time that you see them after that is begun with the sentence 'Well....???!'. You find yourself in a pressure cooker of your own creation, and that can have devastating results. Tell close friends and family if you have to squeal, but if I go round a second time, I shall not be telling one soul. Oh! Apart from Paulibear of course :)
7. Positions don't matter. At all.
Without getting too graphic, the way in which you make a baby has no bearing on how successful you will be in the slightest. Of course, I'm referring to positions here, not the general biology.... there is only one avenue to go down in that sense, if you know what I mean... ahem. But, I remember reading so many things about 'optimum positioning' that I just had to address this. It makes NO DIFFERENCE. At all. Zilch, nada, none. As long as the sperm gets to the egg (sorry, I am trying to be as pc as possible!) then all is good. Hang from the chandelier if you want to, it really won't matter.
8. Keep hope and faith in your ultimate goal.
It's hard when you are struggling to achieve a goal and you get to the point where you feel you aren't getting anywhere and wonder if you will ever have success. Whilst I hate it when people preach to 'Keep a positive mental attitude', I would say don't ever give up. If you want something and I mean you WANT it so bad you can taste it, then you will get there. Stay hopeful, keep faith in yourself and your strength both mentally and physically, and remember that even in the worst case scenario of not being able to conceive yourself naturally, there will still be options that will help you get there in the end. So many different paths can be taken on the road to Destination Baby, but regardless, the destination always stays the same.