Congrats to our winner Shakima!
With my daughter, my husband and I were like; hmm…it would be great to get pregnant and literally nine months later, without even really trying, we got pregnant. With my son, it was a completely different experience. At the time, like many other women, I just assumed that as an early thirties mom, as soon as my husband and I started “trying” to get pregnant, we’d be blessed with another little fetus. Suffice it to say, we spent months trying, very much like Halle Berry’s admission that she kept her negative pregnancy test result sticks in a drawer, I too would hold onto those urine sticks, in the hopes that perhaps that second blue line might magically appear.
I remember feeling a profound cocktail of emotions; sadness, anger, jealousy, bitterness, resentment, and having to come to terms with what I felt were my failure as a woman.
After seven unsuccessful months of my our attempts to conceive the natural way we even tried every position listed in the Kama Sutra, I loaded up on fertile foods, spent hours post coital with my legs resting over my head anything to get those his little swimmers where they needed to go.
Finally, we admitted defeat, and began our long journey into the world of infertility and reproductive medicine.
Being told I was too young to do anything invasive, I was put on the popular fertility drug Clomid and was told by my Dr. to do my best to limit my stress, and desperately stop worrying which of course is the ultimate Catch-22, “How do you keep from being worried about getting pregnant, when the stress of trying and continually failing is making you miserable and even more stressed out?
I spent months sitting with other women in the infertility office, commiserating as we told each other, perfect strangers, our stories in the hopes of finding a kindred spirit in one another. Those countless 5:30 am blood tests, sonograms, hopeful inseminations which my husband and I unluckily endured twice which were slightly uncomfortable for my husband who was forced to empty his specimen into a cup- which we then covered in blankets to jeep it warm and vital- and sped over to the Dr.’s office filled with the hope that this would be the day we’d make a baby.
Suffice it to say- our marriage was faltering under the extreme pressure to conceive- it became my singular mission, and each month when my period came, the reality of having to endure another month’s battery of blood test and trying were often more than I could bear.
My doctor was finally ready to get a little more aggressive; we did a round of injections, tons of sonograms, blood tests, an insemination and on a sunny June morning my home pregnancy test revealed two blue lines and we were ecstatic.
As if we didn’t feel blessed enough, the sonogram revealed two little heartbeats which my Dr. had mentioned is a likelihood with fertility medications and it seemed as though our hearts couldn’t possibly stand any more joy or they might very well burst.
Unfortunately, our journey didn’t end there- we didn’t sail off into the sunset with our twins and older daughter. My husband and I were both ecstatic, shocked and ran through all the emotions that couples mull over when they find out they’re going to deliver twins. Unfortunately at 11 weeks, I miscarried one of the fetuses, but thankfully, I was able to carry the remaining one to term, who has become my little Jackson.
In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week (April 22-29) and after going through the journey to get pregnant and successfully conceiving if I had any words of advice for those who are in the trenches ( and want to try and set themselves up for success) keep reading for my five tried and true tips and a chance to win an OvaCue fertility monitor GIVEAWAY!
#1 Try to relax. I know what you are thinking- How can I be calm when all I can do is worry about the fact that with each passing month that I’m not getting pregnant, I’m getting older and starting to lose hope that I will ever conceive. And here is my answer- every doctor I went to all gave me a similar piece of advice- your stress level has a direct correlation to your ability to regulate your natural hormonal balance. In other words– if you are stressed out your reproductive system will be affected by the stress which might mess with your ovulation cycle. Some ways relaxation techniques that worked for my husband and I when we were trying ( and successfully conceived) we started drinking pregnancy tea TOGETHER. Don’t laugh– we really had tea time where we sat and we drank tea and we just talked without any outside distractions or pressure. To this day- we still have TEA TIME!
#2 Invest in a product like had a product like OvaCue which is specially formulated for couples who are trying to conceive.
What it does: Developed because peeing on an ovulation strip is so pre-iPhone era. The app connects to a hand-held monitor, OvaCue, from www.Fairhavenhealth.
Product Features + Benefits:
· OvaCue Mobile allows you to interpret your trends to pinpoint your fertile window and determine when ovulation occurred.
· Connects to your smart device to make fertility charting quick and easy! Plus, no recurring purchases!
· Works in conjunction with the OvaGraph app so you can chart all your data in one place. Easily share your data with your doctor, moderators in the forums or OvaCue Specialists at Fairhaven Health
Age range: Adult Women who are trying-to-conceive or pinpoint ovulation
Cost: The OvaCue fertility monitor costs $279; The OvaGraph app is FREE in the App Store and Google Play. ANd the best part we are giving one away!
#3 Make sure your man is not wearing too-tighty whities! Yes the rumors are true- it is not just an old wives tale. As soon as we started trying to get pregnant we realized that my husband’s briefs needed to be stashed away. Why? Because the testicles and sperm have to be kept a few degrees cooler than the rest of body to perform optimally ( aka to make sure those swimmers get to where they need to be!) When you push the testicles up into the body, which is what happens when a man wears tight briefs they will get warm. But if a man wears boxer shorts he is allowing his testicles to be a little cooler than the rest of his body. My husband did not wear briefs for the period of nine months that it took us to conceive.
#4 Try to “schedule” your baby-making intercourse to coincide with your ovulation. When we first tried to get pregnant we had sex like bunnies whenever possible. I thought, the more times we “do it” the greater our chances of conceiving- and I never even considered that we needed to “schedule sex”. While I know my husband liked this arrangement- it wasn’t all that helpful when it came to trying to make a baby. And here is why–a woman’s egg is around for only 12 to 24 hours. To increase the likelihood of getting pregnant it best is to schedule sex one to two days before ovulation and again on the day you ovulate so that there is more of a chance that there will be a healthy supply of sperm waiting in the fallopian tube when an egg is released.
#5 When scheduling sex try to make it as fun and spontaneous as possible. Sure the idea of having to have sex on command and perform is ANYTHING but sexy, romantic and spontaneous. And yet- you have to do the deed in order to get the baby- so your mission is to remember why the two of you are in this. You must find the joy and the playfulness in the situation. You must not forget to laugh at yourselves ( my husband always thought I looked like a crazy person after we would have sex and I would lay in bed with my legs over my head for 15 minutes to “help his guys get to their destination”) and yet after a while he would sit with me and tell me jokes as I laid in that position. Remember that you are a team and that it is okay to laugh and cry and even get frustrated- as long as you do it together and never stop communicating and loving one another through it all.
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