Take our 5 question quiz to find out why you can’t get pregnant. Infertility can be a frustrating process, but there are some easy things you can try to make a change. I also discuss why it took us so long to get pregnant (and the positive results).
Why can’t I get pregnant?
I was having a hard time getting pregnant with my second and third children. The third time it took us over three years. Secondary infertility is not unusual and I want to share the reasons I later saw as to why it happened. All of my tests came back normal — what was the reason for not getting pregnant when everything is normal.
If you rewind to Hilary of 2005 you’d see a frustrated girl. I wanted to be done having kids. I wanted to pop that last one out and call it good.
I wanted a girl, I wanted her fast — and I wanted her totes adorbs (note: I am 100% aware that this sounds really bratty — but I want to be honest with how I felt)
Of course — if you fast forwarded to the Hilary of 2008 (three years later) you’d see me and my husband talking about shutting down the baby train. I am extremely careful when I am trying to conceive. No antibiotics, Tylenol only in emergencies, no ibuprofen. That kind of regulation made me REALLY tired. In case you didn’t know, I’m a labor nurse.
However, the real drain was the uncertainty each month. Could we plan a trip? Should we not plan a trip?
Just seemed like life was always up in the air.
Sidenote: If you’re struggling to get pregnant I can have my 5 tips to getting pregnant sent straight to your inbox (I’m a labor nurse — so in my years of infertility I heard a lot of tips — but I whittled them down to the best for you).
**For a number of reasons, I chose not to use the services of a fertility professional. The average time to get pregnant is 9 months, if you’re past that and desperate to have a baby I would certainly consider that. I just didn’t. Read on to find out this post is about a lot more than just getting pregnant**
Also, I do have an online pregnancy test — it mostly helps you know symptoms to watch for.
Why can’t I get pregnant again quiz
Alright, this isn’t really a quiz, but some basic questions to ask yourself.
Could you lose some weight?
Weight does crazy things to your hormones. Now might be a time to get SUPER healthy — it’s also giving your body a GREAT start for that new baby!
Are you having sex enough?
When you have other kids around, sometimes you just can’t do “the deed” often enough — and just a weekend away isn’t enough. We tried every other day for 2 months with our last one. It worked. 🙂
Have you talk to your doctor?
Be sure to just mention, at a regular check-up even, that you’re trying and not succeeding. Some quick lab work like thyroid and basic hormone panels might find your culprit.
Are you checking to see if you’re ovulating?
I’ve HEARD that the basal body temp is the best way to see if you’re ovulating (it’s what I used). But if you think there’s NO way you’ll remember — maybe try the Eva.
Have you been trying that long to get pregnant?
Average time to get pregnant is 9 months. It may SEEM like, but you might be at the norm!
Complete infertility is never as easy as those 5 questions, but plenty of pregnancies are prevented by thing just like those. Just something to keep in mind.
Having a hard time getting pregnant with a third child: My story
During the fall of 2008, I decided that if we didn’t conceive in the month of July or August we were going to be done.
BTW, you can read the story of my whole pregnancy .
I couldn’t do it anymore. Nine months after that my son would be entering Kindergarten and maybe this was a sign it was time to grow up and get a big girl job.
For years prior to that, I’d prayed to have a baby, and my prayers changed to tell God my plan. I hoped it was OK with him.
In August 2008 we found out we were expecting.
By Thanksgiving we knew it was a girl — and I was thrilled.
Absolutely thrilled. Yes, I was a boy mom and 100% fine with having two boys — but having a girl was SO exciting. I think we checked her gender almost every shift I worked — you know, just in case. 😉 Like I said, you can read the whole story of my pregnancy with her here.
Think PCOS is stopping you from getting pregnant? — check out this PCOS planner to help you conceive!
Tips to getting pregnant again
As an aside, I think I got pregnant by a number of factors
- I took my basal body temp for a few months prior and found out that I am a VERY late ovulator (like day 25). We were aiming wrong.
- We tried to conceive every other day for the last 2 months of “trying”
- I had lost about 20 pounds — and I think that helped a lot as well — I used this type of book.
If you’re not into the basal body temp — you could try something like Ava. Basal Body Temp is a huge pain — so I can see why something like the Ava would be so handy. 🙂
Don’t forget I can have some of my best infertility tips sent straight to your inbox — from a nurse you trust!
If you want to learn more about my infertility journey, as people throw stones in their glass houses at me in the comments you can read it here.
Signs you can’t get pregnant
Honestly, the main sign is trying (frequent un-protected intercourse) for 9 months to a year and not getting pregnant.
It’s easy to think that you can’t get pregnant for one reason or another (I know a lot of people worry about this before they start trying) — but as an L&D nurse, I see PLENTY of people who really shouldn’t have been able to get pregnant, that do.
SO, if you’re worried you won’t be able to get pregnant, just get in there and practice. 🙂
The reasons (in hindsight) I didn’t get pregnant as early as I wanted:
Ok — back to the why I think I didn’t get pregnant…. (and why I believe God held her off)
And how now — as she turns 8 this week, I am realizing there were SO many reasons God held her off.
1. I had a horrible pregnancy.
I had glucose intolerance (which would have, likely, been full-blown gestational diabetes if I hadn’t lost that extra 20 pounds), kidney stones and my pelvis split. I really could NOT have done it if I had a little person I had to carry around. I had older kids who could actually pitch in and help. It was huge.
2. I did better with long-spaced babies.
Each one had a lot of one on one time, and I didn’t have a lot of “everyone home” time — I get overwhelmed really easily by that (it also took a year to get pregnant with #2). I always THOUGHT I wanted them closer together, but I really think this was WAY better for me.
3. I really needed to WANT that last one.
Instead of a “let’s get this over with” mentality — I had a “please send me a baby” mentality. She was my roughest baby and by seeing her as a blessing, I think it helped me get through that part better.
4. She helped me adjust to our big move.
When we moved to Arizona I had the benefit of a little one at home. It’s a lot easier to make friends when you’re going to playgroup and getting together with other moms for playdates. Made the transition a lot easier.
5. Princess P has a bosom friend here in Arizona.
They’ve known each other since they can remember and I swear they are truly the perfect pairing. Whenever she’s here there’s no drama (which is NOT true with other kids) — and even though they are best friends they’ve each been able to branch out and make friends at school (but still had each other). It’s truly the perfect friendship.
6. I stayed home longer.
In August of 2008 I was starting to look at full-time work (I have always worked part-time as a nurse). Our house was so expensive, if we ever wanted to improve it, I would have to work more. When we got pregnant with her, that search stopped and I stayed home for another 5 years. Just long enough for me to amp this blog up in early 2014.
In reality, without P I’m not sure the blog would be what it is today.
7. She is truly the cherry on top.
I sometimes look at her and wonder what my life would be like without her. She is my mini me — but with a whole lot more sweetness and caring. She is the unicorns and rainbows in the house of teen boys. She has truly made ALL the difference. Especially for me. She brought something into my life that I really needed. I cherish that more because it almost wasn’t.
While this seems like a pretty self-serving post about how perfect my life is — I really wanted to write this post to people who struggle with infertility.
Yes, your story might not turn out like mine with rainbows and unicorns at the end.
But it is your story. It’s written the way it is for a reason.
At some point, you’ll look back and realize why things were the way they were.
And it’s truly up to us to make it all work when we feel like we’re just standing around and waiting.
I can’t tell you how many childless couples have helped us during our lives. They have come through in ways that others couldn’t. Now that I see them with their own kids I revel in how life is long, and how things change day by day.
If you’re struggling right now. Try to find the good. Serve more, love more — make a difference with those. Everyone struggles. It just comes in numberless shapes and forms.
The beauty truly is being able to help others while you struggle. Because the struggle won’t last forever.
I have a couple of other posts you might like:
Not getting pregnant when everyone else is
I have an email that has my top 5 tips for getting pregnant — sent straight to your inbox!
Candace Cox says
It took us four years and two miscarriages to have our dd. I remember some people saying that at least I knew I could get pregnant! I think the struggle is hard no matter the journey.
Hilary Erickson says
Agreed. We all need to be more thoughtful.
Hi Hilary, I love your hair your blog your story. I am struggling, grieving so hard. No words left and timed out. Judged by many too -who know nothing of my issues. Keep writing and helping it is really important .
Hilary Erickson says
Awh, thank you so much! Be strog on your own — don’t worry about the others.
Unfortunately, many people are going through infertility because of real medical issues that can’t be solved by the list above. Infertility can be caused by many different things, and it’s important to seek medical advice and find a doctor who knows what he/she is doing. None of the “reasons” listed above would’ve helped me when we were going through infertility and lost two angels along the way. In fact, it’s a little painful to read #3. I wanted my babies with all my heart, but that wasn’t enough. I praise God for the doctor I had who walked with us through everything, provided medical intervention, and helped us have our baby girl, who was born in February 2016.
Hilary Erickson says
This post wasn’t actually about infertility, mostly enduring it and how I saw the why’s many year later. I 100% stand behind couples who use medical interventions. I just didn’t think it was the right path for us.
Dr Patrick Quinn says
Hey, I m going through tough time as well. Many comments are being heard many times regarding my infertility. But I am strong and hoping for having kids and a wonderful life. Still, its tough time I go through, it’s really hard. This blog is really helpful for me and is extremely informative.. Thanks for sharing this post.
Hilary Erickson says
I’m glad it’s helpful!
Tomiko Birckbichler says
As a Nurse Midwife and entrepreneur, I’ve witnessed the different challenges mothers face when it comes to pregnancy and raising children. I really appreciate how your blog post captures that! Thanks again for what you do.