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21 Things I’ve Learned After One Year of TTC

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Well, here we are. We've officially been trying to conceive Baby No. 3 for one year without success. When I began documenting my journey here, I expected to have a new little bundle of joy in my arms by now, or be due to arrive shortly. I'm not going to lie, it's painful. There are days I wonder, What's the point? But I'm not ready to give up yet.

Recently, I met with my ob-gyn. I told her my last cycle was 70 days long, that I've gained a lot of weight throughout the year and that I've had abnormal bleeding. She said it sounded like I wasn't ovulating and prescribed medication to induce my period and ordered blood work to check a variety of hormone levels.

While getting my blood drawn, I felt optimistic about finding a reason why I haven't gotten pregnant yet. My optimism was short-lived. I was relieved when she told me breastfeeding my toddler was not affecting my fertility. However, she doesn't know why I'm having irregular cycles. Everything came back in normal ranges. My OB suggested we continue trying to conceive on our own for a few more months and If we aren't pregnant by the end of this year, then we'll discuss next steps.

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While that should be good news, I wanted to scream and break things. It's like infertility déjà vu. We never knew what was causing my irregular ovulation while we tried to get pregnant the first time either. Didn't my body learn anything after getting pregnant twice before?

It took a few days for me to process everything. But once I made peace with it, I began reflecting on the past year. Here's what I've learned through one year of trying to get pregnant:

1. It's important to keep my medical provider in the loop. I wish it was easier to do, but it would have alleviated some frustrations throughout the process.

2. I have to keep open communication with my husband. We're in this together—it's not my hurdle to face alone.

3. I need to acknowledge the messy emotions of jealousy and happiness and anger when others seemingly get pregnant at the drop of a hat. I don't know what else is going on in their lives, what they are struggling with. Plus, their ability to get pregnant does not take away mine. Their fertility may serve as a reminder of my own struggle, but I have to let those feelings go. Feel them, acknowledge them and move on.

4. I can't try to conceive in secret. I didn't share very much the first time and each unsuccessful cycle was eating me up inside. I've been in a better place emotionally this time because I've surrounded myself with supportive family and friends. There are also private forums and Facebook groups. I even discovered a TTC community on Instagram.

5. I have to let go of mommy guilt. It's OK to want another baby, it doesn't mean I love my children any less.

6. I had to stop denying the struggle. Getting pregnant is not easy for everyone. Actively trying to conceive is hard.

I can't control everything—especially when my fertility is an enigma.

7. It's OK to track everything, even if it seems silly. You never know where a pattern will emerge.

8. It's OK not to track everything. Irregular cycles are the worst and make you want to throw things.

9. It's OK to pull back and take a break. It doesn't mean I've given up.

10. I can share as much or as little about my journey as I am comfortable with, even if that varies at any given time. Today I may feel forthcoming with how it's been going, but next week I may prefer to talk about puppies instead.

11. Secondary infertility can happen to me. I'm still coming to terms with this, but I need to accept it.

12. Struggling to conceive, whether it's your first or third and whether it's been 3 months or 3 years is deeply personal and emotional.

13. I can't control everything—especially when my fertility is an enigma.

14. I love sex, but hate the need to schedule it to time it with ovulation.

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15. I hate ovulation prediction kits.

16. I'm good at peeing on things.

17. Self-doubt loves to join a pity party, but I don't want to give up.

18. I hate how early pregnancy and pre-period symptoms are extremely similar.

19. Pregnancy disappointment doesn't have to consume me. I'm finding ways to unload my heavy emotions.

20. I hate not knowing what to fix or how I can increase my chances.

21. I hate that I can be healthy but still feel broken.

I don't know if I'll beat infertility this time. We did it before, but no matter what, I'm not going to let it beat me.

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