Planning for Pregnancy
To Maternity… and Beyond! Chelsea Day and her husband have been TTC for a year, and it's been a year of planning... and stalled decisions.
How long we’ve been trying: 302 days
Number of pregnancy tests to date: 29
How many times we’ve had sex: 91
The strategy: Preparation
Trying to plan your life while unsure of whether or not conception will happen is like rehearsing for a play without knowing that you have a stage. It feels like everything is on hold, from home décor decisions to financial commitments and travel. My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for almost a year. That’s almost a year of questioning: Should we buy the five-seater or the van? Should we plan to hike the Grand Canyon, or opt for a more pregnant-friendly resort trip instead? Will the spare guest room become a nursery?
I’ve learned that in terms of capacity, it’s always best to size up whenever possible. Buy the bigger car and the house with that extra space if you can afford it. It’s always good to make room for more people and more love in your life. Whether your life gets filled in the form of a child or a friend, all the spaces in your heart and your home will eventually be brimming. Be prepared.
In terms of travel, I held off making plans for a long time while I hoped that I’d get pregnant. For months and months it didn’t happen, and I realized that I was hinging way too many things on the idea of having a baby. As if ovulation charting and constant questions from friends and family wasn’t enough, we were adding a ton of pressure to this baby-having thing by letting it dictate important life decisions. Mounting waves of grief from the barren pregnancy tests sucked me under harder and harder as I failed to fill my life with fun and joy. The sadness of not having another child should have been met with a hopeful tomorrow. But tomorrow was empty, because I had cleared everything off of my plate as I waited for it to be filled with maternity.
I stopped committing to long-term job contracts, fearing that I’d let clients down if I got pregnant (my last pregnancy was incredibly hard, and I was essentially down for the count for a full nine months). When we started planning for another baby, I thought I should move full-steam-ahead and plan everything around this nonexistent child. Months and months of anguish passed, and each missed chance to have another baby compounded the opportunities I’d willingly given up. I wish I hadn’t done that. I wish I had continued my own path while trying to plan for someone else’s.
Live your life.
Plan the trip, take the job. If you get pregnant, you will figure out a way to rework things around a baby. It will be a natural first step, a preview of something that you’ll be doing for the next 18 years and beyond: figuring out how to balance your own priorities with the needs of someone else who is wholly dependent on you. And trust me–it will all work out.
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