Babies.

I don’t know about you, but for me, the news that my body and brain wanted to have kids came as a little surprise. It wasn’t a whack-you-over-the-head “I definitely want to start trying for babies NOW” moment, it was more of an incremental can’t-imagine-my-life-without-having-kids moment… you know the one?

Having the conversation with my husband… we were like two giggly children, the notion felt so overwhelming and yet – exciting I guess! I should clarify here that we are currently on the “actively not not trying” wagon. We are respectfully at the beginning of this journey, and I felt compelled to write this post because I’m only just starting to realise how bloody overwhelming all the information out there is. It has also suddenly shifted from the panic of a condom breaking/the pill not working scenario to feeling that a five-day baby-making window in a month is not enough of a chance.

Another groundbreaking realisation for me was the week my period came late. I never knew the signs of possible early pregnancy could be so misleading and confusing. For that week I felt as thought I couldn’t trust the cues my body was giving me, and any information online only continued to expound the confusion rather than relieve it.

The journey to pregnancy is a powerfully personal one, both physically and emotionally. In all the fervent reading I did in that “could-be” week, I thought I’d compile some things I’ve embraced after the mixture of disappointment/mild relief I felt post period-arrival:

  • Now is the perfect time, if you are planning on having children in the next few months, to make a visit to your GP for a pre-conception check up. It’s not as scary as it sounds; they will test your blood for all your vitamin/mineral levels, discuss with you your vaccination history and give you any boosters you require, sometimes offer an STI check, and make sure you’re up to date with your pap smears.
  • There is very mixed evidence on whether taking a pre-natal vitamin is helpful or not (and oh my goodness, they can be expensive!). From everything I’ve read, the main two vitamins that are important to have enough of is folic acid and iodine. Begin these now, before you conceive, and continue to take these into your pregnancy. Folic acid has proven results in reducing the risk of your baby having spina bifida/neural defects and iodine is important for the baby’s brain, visual motor skills and hearing development. If you need a recommendation, I’ve started taking Blackmore’s “I-Folic” which is a tiny tablet with only these two vitamins in it. I was finding the multivitamins such as Elevit were making me feel nauseous!
  • Start making the lifestyle changes toward being the pregnant women you “want to be”. You know the one. The type of women who eats healthily, who exercises regularly, who drinks water and doesn’t sip too much coffee. Make these changes now – they are essentially habits – and 1) it’s going to put your body into a MUCH better position to conceive and 2) it’s not going be such a shock when you do become pregnant
  • If you haven’t already, track your period using a period app tracker. I use “Clue” – a free app (perhaps from the UK?!). I’ve been doing this ever since I came off the pill and have found it an invaluable way to keep track of mood changes, of changes/consistencies in my cycle, and it really helped when I was going to the doctor to answer questions!

Re-framing my disappointment into these ideas has helped me move forward and feel SO much more positive. Turns out, it was the push I needed.

Stay positive x

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