Spoiler alert: it takes more than a boy winking at you in order to get pregnant. Isn’t that what adults want lusty and impressionable teenagers to believe? Sure; I hope my daughter buys it when she comes of age. In all seriousness, though, for decades I was led to believe (by television, by adults – you know, the usual role models) that pregnancy was basically a certainty when it came to unprotected sex. Imagine my surprise at learning the hard way just how difficult it can really be when you want to get pregnant. After years of preparing ourselves financially (we had been mentally ready for ages), my husband and I decided we were finally in a good position to start trying.
How exciting! Naturally, we shared the big news with our friends and family. We figured that, because it was so easy to get pregnant, now that we were actually trying it would happen on the first try. So why not blab about it now? Oh, how very wrong we were. We planned everything. We decided to start trying on our upcoming trip to Ireland. After all, we were celebrating our second wedding anniversary. I swapped out my birth control for prenatal vitamins. We talked baby names. I joined message boards and online pregnancy groups for other women who were trying to conceive. What an exciting time!
After a few months with no success, we both began to wonder. We bought ovulation kits and stocked up on pregnancy tests. We mapped temperatures and periods. We ate food said to help with fertility. Nothing was working.
As the months dragged by with no results, we did research. We were stunned. With so many obstacles and booby traps (no pun intended), it’s a miracle anyone ever becomes pregnant! What an insanely complex process!
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the only lesson we learned. After about six months, I was really regretting have told so many people we were trying. There were many well-meaning friends who, every time we saw them, asked whether we were pregnant yet. When you’ve been trying for as long as we had with no results, these questions (while meant with love and concern) were another reminder that we just weren’t there. My heart sank more and more with each “negative” I read. I would’ve given anything to see that second line on just one pregnancy test.
Some time after we returned from Ireland, it occurred to me that this was something I should have been praying about. I grew up in church and have always had strong faith in God, but over the years had inadvertently let Him simmer on the back burner. Talk about a “duh!” moment. Finally, I turned to God and began to pray.
Once I had let Him back in, a newfound peace had washed over me. Babies still consumed my mind, but I was less stressed and felt happier than I had in years. I felt the pressure begin to lessen the more I turned to Him in prayer. My husband and I were both more relaxed. We stopped buying ovulation kits and started having fun again.
Prayer was what helped me to relax, but not everyone shares the same beliefs. If you’re struggling to conceive, find whatever it is that helps you clear your mind. Go on a date with your spouse, try yoga or meditation or take up kickboxing to release that pent up frustration. Ditch the ovulation kits and just get back to basics.
Months later, I sat in church and listened to a sermon about a barren woman. She had tried on her own before visiting Jesus for help. He placed his hands on her and told her to go home and that she would be pregnant. I felt like a neon sign was hanging above my head and decided I could take a hint. Okay, I thought. I get it.
I closed my eyes and prayed. I prayed harder than I’ve ever prayed before. So hard, in fact, that it actually felt as if my heart had opened up to receive God’s help. It’s difficult to describe, but finally, I let go. I asked God to take this burden from me and said I was placing it in His hands. I prayed that he would bless me with a child. When I finished my prayer, I heard a voice from somewhere inside. It said, “Go home. Try again.”
Stay with me on this. I opened one eye and glanced around wondering if anyone else had heard it. No one had.
I listened to that voice and tried again that night. A few weeks later, I fell to my knees at sight of a bold, second line on my pregnancy test. It was positive! We traced my conception date back to that Sunday. God had blessed me with this miracle and had literally answered my prayers. It was almost exactly one year from the day we began trying.
Throughout my pregnancy, I continued praying. (Wouldn’t you?) More than anything, I thanked God for this blessing. I prayed for a safe and smooth pregnancy. I had one. I prayed that the delivery would be safe, uncomplicated, fast, and as painless as possible (as long as I was asking for things, I might as well ask for it all, right?). After only four hours in the hospital (and only an hour and a half of pushing), I gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby girl. I had prayed that she would be sweet, funny, smart, good-natured, and kind. At only 15 months old, she’s already all of these things.
The point is, my struggle to get pregnant taught me some important lessons. For one, it’s wise not to tell the world until you’re actually pregnant (all the added pressure mounts up and only makes it harder). For another, finding ways to relax and reduce your stress level will go a long way to helping you find success. However, the most important lesson I’ve learned is that God is always there, always listening. He’s ready to offer a helping hand and to bless you with so much; you just have to ask.
And if you don’t believe me, how about this? I continued to pray that God would bless us again when we were ready for more children. It only took one month this time and now we’re expecting our second child next March. Surprise!
Did you have trouble conceiving? What worked for you? I’d love to hear your stories!Editor’s Note: At Tampa Bay Moms Blog, we recognize that faith is a very personal decision and the story shared by Katie reflects her deep, personal beliefs.