There 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.