If you would have asked me in college where I’d be in ten years, I most likely would have said living in the suburbs with my husband and two kids. Fast forward and life looks just a tad different. Unsurprisingly and luckily, 20 year old Corinne was wrong about a lot of things. 😉
Instead of suburbs, I’m still happily living in Brooklyn (with no plans to leave anytime soon) and instead of two kids, we have our Mini Aussie pup Summit and our first little bundle on the way. I wouldn’t change any of it for the world.
Our path to getting here has not been overly complicated yet I still wanted to share in case it could help anyone else. We have to remember that every pregnancy journey is different which is what makes each one so special and unique.
So to start, let’s rewind a bit.
I met Tim just ahead of my 25th birthday. We dated for 4 years before getting engaged and decided to get married on our 5th anniversary. I was 30 at the time and according to 20 year old me already way past my timeline. Tim and I talked about having kids but were never in any rush and really wanted to just enjoy the first few years of married life together. Plus in all honesty we wanted to make sure that adding children to our lives would be the right decision for us.
I always imagined myself as a mom, but it wasn’t until last year when I received a new job offer that we really sat down to discuss our potential future family. We weren’t getting any younger and there would never be a ‘perfect time’ to try so what were we waiting for? After lots of deep discussions (and a little wine), we ultimately decided we couldn’t imagine our life without kids and were ready to give it a go.
As with any new adventure we undertake, I began to research as much as I could and the main topics for pre-pregnancy that I kept coming across were diet, exercise, prenatals and doctor visits. I was already eating healthy and exercising regularly, but I became more conscious of the nutrients in the foods I was eating. I increased good leafy greens like spinach, kept incorporating lean proteins such as salmon and chicken and made sure to be eating pasture-raised eggs with omega-3. I also ordered prenatals (I love Megafoods All Natural Baby and Me) and cut back significantly on caffeine and alcohol.
I scheduled an initial appointment with my doctor to discuss all the rest of the things: coming off birth control, genetic testing, full bloodwork and anything else I needed to know. She very kindly reminded me that at 32 I was already edging closer to geriatric pregnancy territory (or pregnancy where the mother is 35+) and that it could take anywhere from 6 months to two years to conceive.
I had always heard you shouldn’t start trying until you were 6 months off birth control, but apparently that’s just an old wives tale. My doctor did tell me that it’s not a bad idea to let your period normalize for a month or two but that you’re also generally the most fertile in the first few months off the pill… so of course nothing’s ever easy.
As a next step, I decided to move forward with genetic testing. This is very much a personal decision but for that little bit of type A in me, I just needed to cover all my bases. My doctor’s office uses Counsyl which tests to see if you’re a carrier for over 175+ diseases. Since my results came back negative, meaning that I was not a carrier for any, Tim didn’t have to get tested and so onward we went. (If I would have been a carrier, Tim would have gotten tested to see if he was a carrier on any of the same diseases I was, in which case you can then look into alternative ways to conceive to help ensure your future child is not handed that gene.)
In conjunction with getting blood drawn for genetic testing, my doctor also ordered a full panel of bloodwork. Everything luckily came back normal except somewhere along the way I had lost immunity to measles and rubella. Contracting measles when pregnant can be deadly to a fetus, so I needed to get the MMR vaccine. I didn’t realize that the vaccine was a live culture shot, meaning you can’t start trying for a full month after it’s administered. While, this pushed our timeline back a tad, it was necessary to the process.
Since for me personally, I felt I was already getting a little later start and that 6 month to two year possibility was looming over head, I decided to enlist a little technological assistance. Off the recommendation of a friend I started using the Ovia Fertility app which tracks your cycle, telling you the best days for ovulation. To start you enter your cycle length, the first day of your last period and the app does the rest.
Since my cycle can vary by a few days, I decided to also use the Clearblue Ovulation test strips to see if my peak ovulation days matched. They did not. The app was early by one week, but being able to track all of this made month two so much easier. So easy in fact, that we conceived!
I was beyond thrilled and to be honest quite shocked that it happened so quickly for us, but admittedly was also a bit disappointed it didn’t happen in month one. (Setting realistic expectations for myself is something I’m always working on.) It’s also not lost on me how truly lucky we are to have had such a straightforward path to get here. One of the scariest things about deciding to move forward with this process, as with many things in life, are the unknowns. You never know what challenges you might face, until you start trying, but I do believe using the app (having a tracking system in place) and knowing for certain my peak ovulation days made a huge difference for us.
So here we are, at almost 22 weeks with our little lady on the way and I can’t wait to share more with you all about my actual pregnancy so far. Cravings, sleeping (or lack thereof), exercise, dealing with weight gain and just keeping it all together. Look out for future posts where I’ll share more on these topics!