I’m Trying To Schedule My Pregnancy Around A Tattoo And A Destination Wedding

when to get pregnantThere is a lot that they don’t tell you about pregnancy. And it isn’t just the bizarre body changes that occur during the nine months you’re carrying that hold surprises —just making the decision to try and get pregnant can bring up a whole host of unanticipated questions and concerns.

Like many women, I’ve spent the majority of my life trying not to be pregnant. I’ve been on the pill for nearly half of the time I’ve been alive. As a teenager and into my early 20s, I was always certain about what I’d do if I got unexpectedly knocked up. I grew up with a father who never should have been a father. I sure as hell wasn’t about to be a parent before I was able to.

About a year ago, my husband and I decided that we were ready to stop “trying not to get pregnant.” Then, before I was even able to get as far as changing that sentence around in my head to “trying to get pregnant,” I was pregnant. Eight weeks later, I had a miscarriage and wasn’t pregnant anymore. My miscarriage happened early, and it didn’t feel like an emotional loss to me. But it was painful and scary, and left me unsure about trying to get pregnant again.

It took awhile for my desire to have a baby to outweigh my fear of miscarrying again. I couldn’t tell you exactly when I started to feel ready. But over the past couple of months, trying again has been a subject of frequent conversation between my husband and I. The nature of these conversations has been unexpectedly practical.

The thing is, there’s this destination wedding in Hawaii next January that we’d really like to attend. Of course, we wouldn’t be able to attend if we had a newborn or if I were about to give birth. And I had terrible morning sickness (that lasted all day) during those two months I was pregnant last year. I’m not a great traveler at my best; I don’t imagine it would be much fun to travel while feeling continually nauseous. Come to think of it, my first trip to Hawaii would be a lot less fun without being able to sip on a piña colada. I’m no lush but what tropical trip is complete without one of those?

We started to do the math. Literally, we began counting the months. If I didn’t want to be about-to-burst, we’d need to wait until at least the summer to start trying. If I wanted to be pregnant but not too pregnant, we’d probably want to conceive around September. If I wanted that piña colada, pregnancy would have to be postponed until after the wedding.

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  • http://twitter.com/carinnjade Carinn Jade

    I can relate to this process so much. Especially when you have struggles with fertility or miscarriage. The whole damn thing feels so incredibly out of control that it sends you farther down the rabbit hole chasing something to plan around. I had been trying for 18 months when I had to order a bridesmaid dress for my brother’s wedding. So certain it would happen for me any day now I ordered a dress two sizes bigger guessing I would be 6 months pregnant. Instead I was just wearing a terribly tailored dress and miserable for not yet being knocked up. Luck (or life) would have it that I found out I was pregnant the week after that wedding. You said it — somethings just can’t be scheduled.

    • http://twitter.com/marisasaystweet MarisaSays

      Thanks Carinn. I handle stuff I can’t control badly, and the truth about pregnancy is that you can’t control very much about it. I’d tell you I’ll learn to embrace the lack of control, but that’d be a lie. I’ll just have to worry (and write) my way through the process, as is my way.

      Congrats on the good news!

  • nyssa23

    I try to micro-manage every event in my life so I can certainly relate to needing to step back and go with the flow. Love to you always, and best of luck! <3

    • http://twitter.com/marisasaystweet MarisaSays

      I’ll never be a “go with the flow” girl, and I’m cool with it. I just need to remember that I can’t micro-manage the stuff that is literally outside of my control. I’m working on it. ;)

  • http://twitter.com/edotwoods edotwoods

    Here’s what you do: Plan everything perfectly, have the kid, and then watch how your plan turns into something more closely resembling our war strategy in the middle east. Easy!

    I got pregnant by accident, and am still having trouble believing people do it on purpose? But since you *can* plan, why not? Even if it doesn’t work, having a plan makes me feel better going in, and if I had it to do over, I would have planned… something.

    Can you really not get a tattoo when you’re preggo? That’s weird. I drank coffee like 15 times while I was pregnant, and Stella only turned out a little weird. Maybe get a second opinion?

    • http://twitter.com/marisasaystweet MarisaSays

      The real plan is: Have the baby, and then call Eva each time I need to figure out what to do with the baby. (And then follow up by texting her a cute baby picture so she won’t change her number.)

    • http://twitter.com/edotwoods edotwoods

      Dude, I will just remind you that I moved across the country at 8 mos preggo, and then again when she was 6 wks. Babies are not as hard as all that! I slept in a dresser drawer and turned out mostly just fine sort of.

    • nyssa23

      Me too! (Dresser drawer, that is)

    • Krista

      I used to work in a tattoo studio. You most definitely cannot get tattooed while pregnant, and any artist worth his salt would not do it. Even a small one can be more pain and mental stress than you planned, and it can send your body into a mild form of shock and induce a miscarriage.

  • http://twitter.com/mariaguido Guerrilla Mom

    I say get your tattoo, have fun at your destination wedding and start trying again after that. Vacations suck when you’re pregnant. Have some fun.

    • Daisy

      I always feel sorry when I see pregnant ladies waddling around Disney World, because I know most of them probably booked the trip a year ago, and then–surprise! Too late to cancel the flight, so they go anyway. Most of them don’t look completely miserable, but I imagine it would be a heck of a lot better without the belly!

    • http://twitter.com/marisasaystweet MarisaSays

      I think I’d postpone the trip. Can’t imagine handling that Florida humidity while pregnant.

    • smismsmash

      Oh God, tell me about it. I booked a non-refundable trip for two to Thailand two weeks before finding out I was pregnant. THAILAND! You ever sat on a 20 hour plane ride three months pregnant? Jesus.

    • PrairieCoast

      Hmm, but everyone’s experience with pregnancy is so different. My friend did Italy at 4 months pregnant. Had to rest a little more often, but really no issues. I camped, hiked, and kayaked throughout my pregnancy, only because I felt great, obviously wouldn’t have if I though I would be miserable. Not looking for a gold star, just saying that not everyone is super uncomfortable during pregnancy.

    • http://twitter.com/marisasaystweet MarisaSays


  • http://Mommyish.com/ Amanda Low

    Tell your friend to move her wedding!!!

    Kidding. But seriously, I enjoyed this piece, and it’s true — some things can’t be scheduled! I think you just have to prioritize. There will always be new things to do, new stresses to tackle, etc. For all you know, your friend could wind up postponing the wedding and you’d feel like an ass for waiting a year. So if you don’t really feel an urgent need to have a baby in your life, don’t rush yourself. But if it’s something that’s very, very important to you right now, I’d say go for it.

    • http://twitter.com/marisasaystweet MarisaSays

      This is EXCELLENT advice, and ultimately the way we’ve decided to approach the situation. Thanks for reading, lovely.

  • EmmaFromÉire

    I say wait til after the wedding. Do whatever the hell you want ntil then, because (and i hate myself for saying this) once you start a family, the opportunities to go nuts dwindle magnificently. Spend a few more months enjoying the household being just you and your husband. Go on a night out at a moment’s notice. See a film late at night. Lie in bed until midday at the weekend. Just do things that become a lot more difficult when you have children in the house!

    • http://twitter.com/marisasaystweet MarisaSays

      Thanks for reading! I’m not sure what we’ll decide, but I appreciate your honesty. You shouldn’t feel badly at all for saying what you did — I feel like it would be much easier for women if we could just admit more often that having a kid is wonderful but also that yes, it does sometimes limit what you can do.

  • Imalia

    I hate you, really, I do. I’d settle for being able to plan which decade I was going to have a baby in (my vote’s for the 90′s or the early 2000′s, we could knock a decade off our TTC calendar that way). Suck it up, Princess, I havem’t had a Pina Colada in nearly 20 years because I COULD BE PREGNANT RIGHT NOW, although I never am.

    • http://twitter.com/marisasaystweet MarisaSays

      I’m genuinely sorry that you’ve struggled to conceive for so long. But with all due respect, I do think it’s alright for women to talk about pregnancy/getting pregnant even though some women can’t.

      Further, as I wrote in the piece, my first pregnancy (last summer) ended in a miscarriage. I have no idea yet whether it will be easy for me to conceive again or whether that first time was luck. I don’t know whether I’ll miscarry again and learn that I have trouble carrying to term. I do know that even if I have trouble TTC, I won’t take that out on women who don’t have trouble.

    • chelsea

      Sounds like maybe you could use a Pina Colada…

    • PrairieCoast

      I too am very sorry you have gone through such a painful struggle. I hope you can find the support you need and find healthy ways to deal with your pain.

  • CrushLily

    I suggest waiting until your Hawaii trip and using that as the ‘start trying’ date. Then you are all relaxed and having fun and becomes less about conception sex and more about fun holiday sex. As for the tattoo, well – maybe wait until after a baby and then you can incorporate it? I’m not a tattoo person, but I would consider it if it was my kid’s name or something.

    As someone who planned my kid for the one month break bestween university semesters, I can confirm it can be done. Now I’m trying to work #2 around impending house renovations without the fun holiday sex so its a lot more complicated!

    • http://twitter.com/marisasaystweet MarisaSays

      I’m totally a tattoo person, so if there’s no pregnancy as of my birthday, the tattoo is on. Though I don’t doubt that I’d get a tattoo to celebrate my child at some future point as well!

      Thanks for reading, and for understanding that sometimes it just makes sense to plan. That said, the Hawaii trip is not the same as juggling a pregnancy and studies at a university — kudos to you for managing that. xx

  • heather

    We hear so often from women who get pregnant by surprise and women who have trouble getting pregnant, but a huge amount of women fall in that middle zone.

    My boyfriend and i are still trying NOT to get pregnant, but we would like to have children in the future, and have often discussed when that would be (we are in our mid twenties). Do we want to be married first? If so, how long after getting married would we start trying? How much money should we be making, and saving, before we take the plunge? Would we want to be in a position where we could afford for one of us to be a stay at home parent? Should I lose my extra 20 pounds first? The list goes on!

    Of course we know that we cannot control it when it comes down to it. I could be one of the 2 percent failure rates for the Pill and get pregnant tomorrow, and we would make it work and ultimately be overjoy to be parents. We could try for years and it could never happen (i, too, had an early miscarriage in the past, although in a different relationship, and my boyfriend has never gotten anyone pregnant, but he has always been careful not to, so we have no way of knowing how fertile he is, either).

    Point being, even though the unexpected can, and will, happen, there is nothing wrong with attempting to plan. if there is a big event that you and hubby want to do, and it would be much more difficult with a baby in or out of the womb, then keep up with your birth control method until you both feel that the time is right to stop. something the bf and i keep in mind, though, is that there will always be a reason not to. if we wait until every little thing is perfectly right, then I will be on the Pill until menopause. but it is still okay to at least try to loosely plan… as long as you know you may have to make a new one from time to time!

    • http://twitter.com/marisasaystweet MarisaSays

      Thanks for reading, Heather! Sounds like you and your boyfriend have a similar approach to this as my husband and I. And I agree that we don’t hear as much from women who fall somewhere in between “Oops, I got pregnant without trying to” and “I’ve been TTC for years” even though, at least anecdotally based on the women around me in my life, many women fall in that middle area.

  • PrairieCoast

    I can relate as well. Right now we are planning a family trip to Mexico over Christmas, but we are also thinking we would like to have another baby in 2014. There is a bit of sweet spot to hit. I don’t want to be newly pregnant because of the risk of miscarriage or morning sickness, but also wouldn’t want to be super far along for obvious reasons (I think 7 months would be my cut off). I also don’t want to “waste” several months of not trying in case it does take a while or if we experience a miscarriage. I think it’s totally reasonable to think about these things. With our first we got pregnant right away and ended up being due at Christmas time, which was somewhat inconvenient and now our son has the whole Christmas birthday thing to deal with. I guess in hindsight we should have waited another month to try, but it’s not a huge deal in the end and we’re pretty glad our son is who he is. You’re right to try to let go and not worry about getting the timing perfect. And maybe you’ll be one of the lucky ones who has an easy pregnancy and going to Hawaii pregnant won’t be a big deal. Virgin pina coladas are pretty tasty, right? Good luck!

  • Elyse A. Evans Kircher

    As someone who thought she had the perfect time picked out… (I’m a teacher, but my June birth is now complicating the end-of-year routine) there is no perfect time. There’s always a reason (or excuse) to wait. And heck, you might find the perfect time to conceive, only to not conceive then, or to have someone schedule something, or to be sicker than you thought you’d be, or to be not as sick as you thought you’d be and regret RSVPing no.

    Good luck with it – hang in there, because it will be worth it.

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  • Sara

    My husband and I decided we would start trying after we got married. The baby’s due date was exactly 9 months from the day we got married. We conceived him on our wedding night. I find it amusing considering neither of us are spring chickens. It was too bad the baby waited an extra week to be born, I really loved the preciseness of his due date.

  • http://twitter.com/jlwrench JL Wrench

    I completely understand everything you posted. We waited until we had everything off of our pre-baby list completed. Then it took us 11 months to get pregnant. With twins. A few months ago we started talking about adding a third (or fourth) kid to the mix. We got pregnant the first go-round. You never know, so have no regrets. Go to Hawaii, get your tattoo, and get pregnant when you are ready.

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  • tina

    year ago one of my tubes was blocked, and had insisted that IVF was the only option left for me. I was desperate and terrified due to my relatively advanced age (I was 38 year ago) and the 2 ovarian cysts that were giving me hell, that I would be childless. My husband and I decided we will keep on fighting as I have read many awful stories about the side effects, the low success rates and pain involved with the IVF procedure so we kept looking for a natural alternative. We almost gave up and then I found a testimony of how you help some to get pregnant and emailed you for guidance . You were so supportive and kind that I immediately ordered your spell and along with my husband who had poor sperm motility(an issue that your spell addressed as well). After two months of trying I got pregnant with my first baby boy. With one blocked tube and 2 ovarian cysts, I think this is nothing short of a miracle! Thank you for everything, viewer on this forum that want to know more about dr emua you can email him at dremuahelphome@outlook.com

  • Allie Winters

    with a heart filled with joy and testimonies i want to say a very big thanks to the great Dr. Charles, my life, my dream, my hope and my future was at the edge of falling apart i got married to my lovely and caring husband 8 years back and we were living happily as couples, we do have sex two times a week sometimes three time but i never conceived, then my heart was burdened and filled with worries so my husband suggest we visit a specialist in the clinic to know the actual problem why i could not get pregnant, when we got there after much test was carried out the doctor said that my husband have a low sperm count and i also have a Fibroid problem that we both can’t have our own kids, when we got home from the clinic my husband was so sad about the result and very heart broken about the result at the clinic, so i told a friend the kind of problem i was facing so she said i should not worry about it, that she will help get through my problems and she gave me DR. CHARLES contact drcharlesbabyhome@gmail.com and i contacted him immediately, he told me that i should not worry that he is going to help me and i believed in him so much because my friend has told me much about him that he was the one who help her to bring back her husband when her husband abandoned her and the kids. so DR, CHARLES gave me some instruction and other things i should do and i obeyed him very well, to cut the story short at the end of the month i went for check up in the clinic and the doctor confirm that i am two weeks pregnant, i and my husband were very happy and grateful to DR. CHARLES for his help towards our family and today i am a happy mother of three kids two boys and a baby girl all thanks goes to the great DR. CHARLES Contact him today with his email: drcharlesbabyhome@gmail.com i am 100% sure that he will meet your heart desire.