I am a planner. I like schedules and timelines. I can’t often categorize myself as spontaneous. With a decision as big as starting a family, I took every aspect of the idea into extremely careful consideration. You may even be able to say that I possibly over-thought things a bit… When would we start? Would that be the right time in our relationship? What about timing in our careers? All very good questions that every couple should consider, however the list goes on and on with a million little questions I had for ourselves.
I got lucky to find a man who wanted a family just as badly as I always have. So when it came time to have the real talk discussion of having kids, he was totally on board and encouraging that we try as soon possible. We talked for quite a few months, maybe even close to a year, about the timeframe of when we would start trying. Spring of 2017 is when all of the plans came into action. We were to be married in June, and I wanted to wait until after the wedding to get pregnant. Several reasons affected that decision, but one of the biggest ones was that I had to fit in my wedding dress!
Earlier in the year I had my regular annual visit with my gyno, and I told her about our plans to go off birth control and start trying to conceive (ttc). She gave me a few suggestions such as starting a general daily vitamin, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and getting a Genetic Carrier Screening done. The screening was not something I knew about or ever heard women talk about, which is a big reason why I want to share my experience for other women to hopefully see. Since it was a recommendation from my doctor, and it was just a simple blood test, I decided to have the screening done. It tested for 200+ genetic mutations. With no known history of genetic disorders in my family, I had no concerns at all. Surprisingly, my test results came back positive for a fatal disease called Tay-Sachs. My doctor strongly urged my husband (fiancé at the time) be tested as well before we get pregnant. Long story short, he did get tested and his results were negative. This still leaves our children at risk for this disease, however the odds are very small. I was very thankful that my doctor made me aware of the screening and I personally think it is an important step in your preparation to starting a family.
Having been on birth control (bc) for the previous 8 years, it was important to me to allow my body time to regulate, as well as allow me time to learn my natural menstrual cycle without bc controlling the reigns. So I believe it was April 1st of 2017 that I took my last pill. I had been regularly working out and taking a daily vitamin for a few months (Vitafusion Women’s), simply just to try to be that extra bit healthy. About a month prior to the time we would start ttc I started to take an actual prenatal vitamin (Rainbow Light Prenatal One). I had researched the benefits of starting prenatals before pregnancy and decided to go ahead and get started on them: The essential vitamins and minerals are already in place for the baby at the time of conception, they can help severity of certain symptoms, and you’ll ultimately be a healthier incubator for your little one.
My menstrual cycle regulated pretty much right away and remained consistent. The Ovia app was my go-to tool to track my cycles, and to see when I was most fertile. That was an important factor to keep track of so that we could avoid getting pregnant until we were ready to. I was ovulating the few days prior to our wedding day, but we decided to wait one more month so that we could get through all of the wedding and honeymoon commotion. July 2017 was the first and only month we tried for baby #1.