Disclaimer: this post is all about sex. If it makes you uncomfortable, I totally understand if you pass on it! But sex is kind of the main event when it comes to TTC, so I don't think it's possible to discuss TTC without bringing it up. In any case, there's the warning!
It was suggested that I blog about how TTC is overrated and the very first thing that came to mind was this picture...
Don't get me wrong...it's not completely unpleasant. But that right here is the most overrated comment about TTC that I've heard. I mean really...
That is what TTC is, friends. Timing, peeing on sticks, examining cervical mucus and then laying around with your legs up in the air (I'm only halfway kidding!). Never mind meds, supplements, shots, and taking your temperature daily.
Yes. Trying is the fun part.
In all seriousness, TTC can put a drain on the romance, which doesn't end up being good for the couple. Even my doctor reminded me that you need to be with your husband because you love him and you want to be--not just because the calendar says that the "baby makin' days" have arrived.
So when you're a long-term TTC couple, how do you keep things fun?
I'll admit, we haven't really reached a point where it feels like a chore. Part of that has to do with the fact that Chris has only recently been really invested in TTC. (It's not that he hasn't been, it just took him a lot longer to realize that we were different.)
I think that the biggest thing for us is to keep things lighthearted and humorous. We joke about things, and Chris has compared me to a character in The Big Lebowski (the lady trying to get pregnant...who I now remember is Julianne Moore!). I try to make sure that I do my OPKs before Chris gets home, or while he's in the shower. I don't make those a big deal, but I don't hide them either. I try to be casual about letting him know that "it's a good day". The point for me is to not put pressure on either one of us. But it hasn't always been like that.
A year ago, I wasn't in this place. I remember having lots of anxiety when it got close to ovulation. I would get really angry and frustrated if it didn't happen. But I wasn't exactly communicating about it with Chris either. It was a learning process for me to figure out how to communicate while not piling on the pressure. It helped a lot when he finally understood that we aren't normal and that we were actually going to have to work at getting pregnant.
Now that we have worked out that communication issue, things have been a lot better. I found that talking about it relieved some of the pressure because we both know what is going on and I don't feel like I have to nag about it.
We also make sure that we spend time together doing things unrelated to TTC. Simple things like running errands, working on projects together, making dinner together, watching our favorite shows and laughing together...all of those help us stay connected on a different level apart from TTC. Basically, it's making sure that TTC isn't the only part of life.
One last thing that has helped us has been to take breaks from actively TTC. If I start feeling anxious or stressed out about things, I take a step back. I do the bare minimum for charting and just go with the flow. Doing things to lessen your stress does not hurt. It took me awhile to understand that because it felt like not actively trying would be a waste of a cycle. But I've learned that you have to give yourself breaks so that you don't get worn down. It's exhausting! It's hard on you emotionally, mentally and even physically! So give yourself a break once in awhile.
To sum it up...humor, communication, connecting outside of TTC and letting us take a break from actively TTC (if needed) are all things that have helped us stay out of the "feels like a chore" rut that many TTC couples fall into. That's not to say that we are perfect, but I'm really happy with where we are. TTC is a rough road and staying connected with your spouse is so important!
How do you stay out of the ruts during TTC or other stressful life events?
EDITED to add the following picture. Chris told me that I reminded him of this one day and it made me laugh!
Julianne Moore as Maude Lebowski
All pictures were found on Pinterest and Google.