I recently learned that TTC is an acronym for people who are trying to get pregnant or what it stands for: trying to conceive. I was initiated into this club when I shared the news that Charlie and I were trying to get pregnant and my friend suggested that I join a TTC facebook group. This is a place were people discuss their journey, share their successes, and help support each other in their failures and tribulations. Contributors share info, ask questions, and seemingly obsess over getting pregnant or not getting pregnant. As soon as I joined I knew that I would need to keep a bit of a distance from this sort of thing, because to me it seems to foster the need to obsess, compare, and stress rather than to learn and share. While some people may be able to approach this knowledge constructively, my anxious brain is not a responsible citizen and would likely use the info to freak out rather than to learn. So I say to myself, it’s a responsible choice to stay away for now, I can’t really be trusted.
But also because the acronyms are just insane. Here are a few to start with. Can you guess what these acronyms mean in the context of having a baby: AF, CM, BFP, LMP, LP, POAS? That would be:
- Aunt Flow
- Cervical Music
- Big Fat Pregancy
- Last Menstrual Period
- Luteal Phase
- Pee on a stick
I think part of what throws me about these acronyms is that they range from the technical and shall -we- say-scientific to the the slang-laden and definitely not scientific. Another thing about acronyms is that they tend to exclude certain people from communities. I don’t think this is intentional or mean-spirited, it’s just a fact that people who know more about a subject than others probably feel more at home in these communities than those who are catching up on the jargon. But for me, joining the group and then feeling like I needed to translate half the posts to English definitely solidified my decision to try and stay away for now.
All that to say, Charlie and I decided very recently that we would start trying to have a baby. I was ecstatic to sit on the couch with my partner make this decision together. All I want is to be a mother. It’s been my number one dream for at least a good part of a decade, so this should be huge, exciting, earth shattering, etc. And it was, for like a week.
Then I went to the doctor to have my birth control method removed. During that visit she encouraged me to prevent pregnancy until I get my first regular period, which she expected to happen in 1-2 months. I’m thinking, wait a second, I have been using a secure method to prevent this from happening for 10 years, and now when I want to it happen, when I finally should be able to let it happen, I need to reach for a condom? Are you Fucking kidding me doc?
When I shared the exciting change in plans with a few friends they were encouraging. Several told me I should start “temping”, which essentially is a method women use to track their temperature so that they know when they are ovulating. Others recommended apps to track temperatures, as well as days you are on your period, and other data pertinent to getting knocked up. A girlfriend shared with my a list of foods to eat. And the whole time I am thinking Didn’t people get pregnant from the beginning of time without this shit? Can I just have sex several times a week without any data and expect this to happen?
And during the time when I was getting advice my brain started flooding itself with worries. I remembered I used to get Ovarian cysts when I was not on birth control, and wondered how that would effect fertility. My age (34) kept coming to mind; what if I am too old and my eggs have dried up? What about that one friend who had a hard time? What if I am fertile but he is not? What if I never get my period again? What if I dreamed of being a mother for so long, but it’s not naturally possible for me?
So I went from pure excitement, a sense of the new, unknown, and exciting and a sense of collaboration and connection to my partner to basically panicked in a matter of a month. And honestly when I think about it, I don’t know why I expected this to be different. I have a pretty well known anxiety problem combined with a tendency towards depression and one of the key ways this manifests itself is for me to have racing thoughts in which I try to game out all the possible outcomes and prepare myself for the worst so I can at least be prepared for major disappointment.
I keep thinking to myself: Give yourself permission to enjoy this process without feeling the need to control it. It has been hardly any time at all, why are you so worried already? Your body is adjusting, be rational and give it time. This will happen for you if and when it is supposed to, and the best thing you can do is be patient and wait for it. Stress is not good for conception, so all this wasted brainpower is actually not helpful, but rather harmful to the situation.
But every week that goes by and I am not either bleeding or testing positive for pregnancy (it’s literally been 4 weeks since my IUD was removed**), I am thinking something is wrong with me. Last week after our weekly run, I told my running friend: Yea, I was really excited for the first week, and now I have come to conclusion that I definitely won’t be able to have a baby. In other words I am doomed. That’s D-O-O-M-E-D if you wondered, and it’s a really serious condition. And then I laughed at myself, because having irrational anxiety wouldn’t be all it’s cracked up to be if I couldn’t step outside of myself and laugh at the complete absurdity of it all from one time to another.
So no BFP yet guys. I have POAS and it said so far there is just one viable life in my body that I need to worry about in my body, and it is my own. I am not ready to start temping or to put my CM description in any apps yet, and I will be staying away from TTC internet discussions for as long as possible because I don’t need a source for new things to panic about daily. I will definitely be trying to chronicle the insanity that is born out of my rampant anxiety because TTC and pregnancy seem latent with hilarious stories for people who like to self deprecate their anxiety issues, and if nothing else I might as well use this exciting time in my life to glean some more material for my future comedy acts.
So yea, we are working on getting pregnant, and I am working on laughing at myself for the irrational anxieties I have about this process. That’s really it, please be assured no acronyms will be needed for future posts, just a sense of humor and I willingness to stick with me during my ramblings.
** This is a very short period of time guys!