A Few Steps We Took While Trying To Get Pregnant

Okay guys, this post is not for those people who do not want to read about trying to conceive, pregnancy or anything of the sorts. If you’re interested in things like sweaty workouts, giveaways and gift guides, come back tomorrow!


Once I shared our news on the blog, many readers asked for more details around our path to conception. How long did it take? Did we do anything special? Did we use anything special? At first, I was caught off guard by these questions, as many of them are quite personal. But then, I quickly remembered the hours I spent reading other people’s posts about trying to conceive and realize that while this post will be very personal, if it helps some of you, then it is worth it.

I can remember, back in January 2004, during one of our very early dates, talking with Bo into the late hours of the night about our future visions. We both wanted to travel, focus on our careers and eventually, have a family with two children. We both come from families with two children, a boy and a girl, and therefore always envisioned the same for ourselves. As we became more serious and eventually were on the path towards marriage, we continued to talk about our goals and ensure that they still aligned.  As we grew older, we both realized that we wanted to wait to have children. We both had a number of things we wanted to focus on, including our relationship with each other, before adding children to the equation.


Luckily, our parents were supportive of this decision, never pressuring us to have children sooner than we wanted. It was only within the past year that my mom, a neonatal intensive care nurse, reminded me that the longer we waited the more challenges we’d face. When we moved back to New York City after living abroad for two years, we looked only for apartments which could accommodate a larger family. We chose Brooklyn versus Manhattan as we were able to get more space for our money as well as a backyard, something we both craved. The apartment we found, two floors of a brownstone in Carroll Gardens, was perfect for us and would allow us to have not just one child but even two children. However, in our eyes, it was a fixer-upper.  We took on this challenge, deciding that we would focus on reestablishing our careers in New York and making renovations to our apartment until the Spring.

During those first eight months in New York City the only steps we took towards trying to conceieve were as follows:

  • I worked with friends to find an OB-GYN who I could see for my annual exam in advance of becoming pregnant
  • Both Bo and I focused on our health and wellness since we read in multiple places that this could help in trying to conceive.
  • I scheduled my IUD removal for March 29th, exactly five years after I had it put inserted.

Originally, we planned to start trying in April. However, Zika changed these plans as I had a non-refundable girls trip booked for Jamaica during late April. Since the CDC recommended that women have only protected sex for six weeks following travel to Jamaica, Bo and I decided to delay trying to conceive. During that period, we both had annual exams with our general practitioners which included a panel of blood tests to ensure we were healthy. I also had a blood panel during my annual gynecology exam where she checked my estrogen levels and other things.  Luckily we both received I clean bill of health.

Even though we were delaying the process, I continued to do research and begin taking steps to help the process once we started. Beginning in May, I added a few things to my daily routine.

In late July, we took the plunge and decided that we were personally ready to start trying to conceive. We had long conversations, ensuring that we were both ready emotionally in case we were lucky enough to get pregnant in the first month. Then the waiting game began. I was not prepared for this waiting game. After having sex on the recommended “most fertile” days of the month based on my app, I counted down the days until my period was expected to arrive. In August, when my period arrived, I remember crying knowing that we hadn’t conceived. I don’t think Bo nor I were expecting this reaction and neither of us knew how to handle my sudden wave of sadness. Thankfully, we have an amazing support system who lifted us up, supported us and helped us keep in mind how rare it is to conceive in the first few months.  I did more research that month, trying to see if there were other steps we should take.  While a very personal choice, we both decided to give everything a chance. We made the following changes the following month:

  • Reduced alcohol intake to less than once glass a week
  • Started using TTC lubricant which while expensive, came highly recommended from multiple people.
  • Had sex multiple times, not just during that key window.
  • I reduced my exercise routine to primarily yoga, barre, Pilates and lower impact options.

In September, upon getting my period, I once again had a few dark days. I wondered whether at the age of 32, we had waited too long. Once we decided we were ready, we were SO ready to have a family immediately.


When we would spend time with friends and their children, we felt at ease and ready to create the same for ourselves. We suddenly found ourselves whispering when we saw families in coffee shops or cute children’s clothing in the window. We caught ourselves buying travel insurance for trips in case we were to conceive.  When my period ended, I made a crazy request of Bo.

Can we try having sex as many nights as possible? I don’t want to leave anything to chance. 

I know, I know. Scientifically this barely increased our chances but honestly, we had so much fun with it. This forced us to make time for each other, whether in the morning before work or after work. If there was a day when neither of us felt like it, we didn’t force it but we certainly had sex more often than normal.  In fact, we had sex 26 times that month.  It felt crazy and like such a whim but we both figured, why not. I will say, during that month I cursed the price of TTC lubricant more than once.

On October 6th, my period was due to arrive. On October 8th, when it still hadn’t arrived, I decided not to race the RNR Brooklyn Half, instead running it for fun and keeping my heart rate below 140. While I know some women have run half marathons and even marathons while pregnant, I didn’t want to risk anything. I took pregnancy tests on October 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th all of which were negative.  Even though the tests continued to read negative, my mom had her own opinions. My extreme exhaustion, pale color and overall appearance caused her to immediately share that she thought I was pregnant. After laughing and telling her that science was proving her wrong, I finally took one more pregnancy test Monday morning, October 10th.  I took two test, both of which resulted in the brightest, most brilliant blue crosses I’ve ever seen.
positive-pregnancy-test                                                       This is the pregnancy test today, since I forgot to take a picture originally. Oops. 

I remember running down the stairs, screaming and crying to my parents who were finishing their breakfast and getting ready to leave for the airport.

I’m PREGNANT! I’m PREGNANT! You’re going to be grandparents!

After tears and giant hugs, I realized that I needed to let Bo know. Unable to keep anything a secret, I called him at his work, screaming into the phone. We cried happy tears for a few minutes, letting the reality set in. I called my OB-GYN, assuming we’d be brought in that week for our first visit. Ha, I know, I was so naive. My doctor informed me that she doesn’t see patients until seven week so she looked forward to seeing me on November 1st. During those next few weeks I continued to take workouts very easy, slept a great deal and started to feel the symptoms of pregnancy. But, it wasn’t until that first visit and holding these images in our hands that it all became a reality.


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    • ashleyd December 13, 2016 / 4:24 pm

      Thank you Amanda!!

  1. Katie December 13, 2016 / 4:32 pm

    Ahhhh cryyyyying. SO SO happy for you both!!

  2. Nicole December 13, 2016 / 4:39 pm

    oh my gosh. this post made me so happy!!!! congratulations!!!!!

  3. Kath December 13, 2016 / 5:11 pm

    So happy for you guys!

  4. Laureen December 13, 2016 / 5:29 pm

    Awwww, thanks for sharing and congratulations agains xx

  5. Tiffany December 13, 2016 / 6:45 pm

    So happy for you! Getting pregnant can be such a roller coaster of an adventure. Can’t wait to read about your adventures through pregnancy! Congrats!

  6. Brittany December 13, 2016 / 8:22 pm

    Yay!! Loved reading this post and I’m so excited for you and Bo. Can’t wait to see (and meet) your little nugget. 🙂

  7. Lauren December 13, 2016 / 9:26 pm

    this was probably the most useful post i’ve read on this topic! appreciate you sharing so much and congrats!

  8. Rachel December 13, 2016 / 9:48 pm

    Why didn’t you use an ovulation kit? That really makes the process much easier

  9. Dee Dee Carr December 13, 2016 / 9:56 pm

    Thrilled for you guys!!! Thanks for sharing all of this. Hugs.

  10. Nikki December 13, 2016 / 10:08 pm

    I love hearing different stories. I have a 2 year old son and a month old daughter. My 2 year old was conceived on pretty much the only day possible. We literally just decided we would start trying and bam, it happened right away. With our daughter, the timing was all wrong. We too had a big trip planned in an area where Zika was happening. I was expected to get my period a few days before the trip. It never came but I was still getting negative pregnancy tests 6 days after my missed period so I assumed I wasn’t pregnant. It’s happened before my cycle getting messed up because of exercise so I didn’t think anything of it. It wasn’t until 2 weeks later I felt ever so slightly nauseated so I took a pregnancy test and it was positive. The thing is I was bitten by 2 mosquitoes on that trip. So I called up my doctor and it took about a month just for me to get the Zika test. This was in March/April when all of this was just becoming more known. Guess how long it took them to give me the results? I found out the middle of June. It took about 8 weeks. It was crazy. I didn’t have Zika but to have to worry for weeks is no fun. I have a healthy and Zika free one month old but you would think it would be a bit easier to be tested and get the results than it was!

  11. EmilyD December 14, 2016 / 12:58 am

    Love hearing your story! When I was trying to conceive for the first time a couple years ago I scoured blogs for more info. I never realized how complicated it all was, ha! And like you, when we decided we were ready, we wanted it to happen immediately! Funny how that works.

    I loved reading Baby KERF for monthly updates and to compare how I was feeling, growing, etc. I still find the entire process of pregnancy and birth SO fascinating.

    As a fellow Dawg (’06), I have been following your story for years and are so thrilled for you and Bo! Can’t wait to hear how everything moves along. Congrats 🙂


  12. Margaret December 14, 2016 / 11:19 am

    So beyond thrilled!!!!

    • ashleyd December 16, 2016 / 12:04 am

      Thank you so much Margaret! 🙂

  13. Heather's Looking Glass December 14, 2016 / 11:39 am

    So happy for you! We also got pregnant pretty quickly and I also remember being so sad that first month after nothing had happened, and I was shocked by my emotions as well. I like to say Emma Kate is a little warrior b/c we conceived right before I ran the dopey challenge then flew cross country to run two more races before finally figuring it out. During that time I did lots of pregnancy no no’s like drinking, taking ibuprofin and running a ton, but she came out alright and I’m so thankful! I can’t wait to hear more about your journey!

    • ashleyd December 16, 2016 / 12:04 am

      Isn’t it hilarious how that happens Heather? Thank you for your sweet words. The emotions have been crazy over the past few months and now I’m just happy to relax and enjoy!

  14. Beth December 14, 2016 / 1:10 pm

    thanks for sharing all of these details. it really does help!

    • ashleyd December 16, 2016 / 12:03 am

      I’m so glad Beth! If you have any other questions just let me know!

  15. PatylAstrid December 14, 2016 / 8:07 pm

    Wow! This sure got tears to my eyes (happy tears!!!) especially that I have been having these urges to start a family myself. Congratulations to you!!!

    • ashleyd December 16, 2016 / 12:02 am

      Oh thank you so much for your sweet words!

  16. Sokphal @ Life as a Classroom December 14, 2016 / 8:54 pm

    So happy for you and really enjoyed reading this (even though I am not looking to get pregnant anytime soon, it was interesting!) 🙂

    • ashleyd December 16, 2016 / 12:02 am

      Thank you so much Sokphal, I really appreciate you reading! Hope you’re well!

  17. Maggie December 15, 2016 / 10:49 pm

    So happy for you, and I really loved reading your story. It made me smile. I’m 35 and hoping to start TTC this Spring after my wedding, hoping it all comes together quickly. Thanks for sharing!

    • ashleyd December 16, 2016 / 12:01 am

      Good luck Maggie! I am so glad you enjoyed our story!

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