Not pregnant yet? No matter how many TTC tricks you know and practice, pregnancy might not happen right away. Relax. Be patient. It can take a while. We found six women willing to share their stories of how they stayed positive when their tests were not.
Got Pregnant In: 2 years
Their Story: After getting married in 2001, Ashley and James began trying to conceive. "When we first started trying, I was obsessive and bought many pregnancy tests even if I knew my period was coming," says Ashley. "We probably spent hundreds of dollars on tests. We viewed making love as work, and it took the pleasure and enjoyment out of it." Eventually they went to a specialist and discovered that James had a low sperm count, so the couple faced the possibility that they may never have children. "I was at the point that I didn't even want to get out of bed some days. I was so depressed," she says.
The Positive: Ashley had a moment of clarity. "I just kept telling myself that when the time was right we would get pregnant," she says. "It's hard, and you often think that there's something wrong with you, and there really wasn't." Much to the couple's surprise, they got pregnant a few months after resigning themselves to the idea of being childless. Daughter Natalie was born in September 2003. They recently received another surprise: twins due in August, conceived without the couple even trying.
Got Pregnant In: 10 months
Their Story: Amy and Lucas planned on getting pregnant within three months of going off birth control. "Every month, around testing time, I would either start my period or get in a hurry and take a pregnancy test before I started. Each month was more discouraging than the last," Amy says. "I remember estimating what my due date would be every time. I tracked my ovulation and temperature on an app I had on my phone."
The Positive: After six months, Amy's ob-gyn started her on the fertility drug Clomid. The Browns decided they deserved a vacation and booked a cruise four months out to celebrate their first anniversary. Amy began her fourth round of Clomid (with an increased dosage) the month of the cruise. Amy had been tired before the cruise, but she and Lucas enjoyed their time and, once home, she took a pregnancy test. She was pregnant! "The challenge of waiting and being patient tested the strength of our marriage, and it made us closer and more grateful for each other and the gift of life," she says. Baby Boy Brown is due July 2011. Looking back, Amy says, it's no wonder she wanted jalapenos on everything she ate on the trip!
Got Pregnant In: 15 months
Their Story: When Melissa and Thomas Murph began trying to have a second child, they assumed it would be as easy as it had been when they'd gotten pregnant with their first baby, daughter Dakota. "We wanted to have another child, timed so they would be three years apart," says Melissa. But every month she got a negative pregnancy test result. "I would cry and pray," she says.
The Positive: The Murphs decided not to seek medical assistance and accepted that they may not have any more children. "I tried to stay positive by telling myself, 'At least I have a baby already. Some couples don't even have one,'" she says. Soon after the couple began to come to terms with what they thought was their pregnancy fate, Melissa noticed she didn't feel well and that her period was late. After having endured 14 negative tests, she assumed she wasn't pregnant. Yet she took one more test and, finally, got a positive result. She took two more tests before she was convinced enough to share the news with Thomas. "We both cried," she says. Baby Cheyenne was born in July 2010.
Got Pregnant In: 17 months
Their Story: Six months into trying, Jen discovered she wasn't ovulating. Her doctor prescribed Clomid but she went six more months without ovulating, and then saw a fertility specialist. Several tests and pills later, still no ovulation. "It was so disheartening and frustrating, and although I tried not to blame myself, it was tough not to feel somewhat responsible that my body wouldn't cooperate," she says. Jen and her husband, Marty, took turns being strong for each other. "I made the decision to let myself cry and to be angry and sad the day of and the day after getting one of my many negative pregnancy results. On the third day, I forced myself to once again start thinking positive and regain all the hope I could muster up," says Jen.
The Positive: Seventeen months into the process, Jen ovulated. "It was Mother's Day morning when I got the blessed smiley face on my ovulation test," she says. "I cried! I was so excited that for the very first time we at least had a chance to get pregnant." Later that month she saw something else she'd been waiting for: a plus sign on the pregnancy test. Marty and Jen welcomed their daughter, Rya, to the family in January 2011. "Weird as it sounds, we are grateful for the trial and hardship we went through trying to get her here," says Jen. "It makes us appreciate even more what an amazing miracle it is to have her with us now."
Got Pregnant In: 5 years
Their Story: Dana and Chris had no luck for a year after Dana went off birth control. Then they started fertility treatments, including Clomid and intrauterine insemination. She took breaks from the treatments, but the couple never stopped trying to conceive or taking pregnancy tests. "The low point came every time one of my sisters, my friend, etc., announced that she was pregnant," says Dana. "During that five-year period, three of my siblings conceived, and my brother's wife actually conceived twice."
The Positive: Dana kept a journal, which she found helpful. "No one could ever make me feel better when we were trying to conceive," she says. "It's an exhausting process and it's very stressful on the relationship." She had tested negative roughly 60 times; then one day a work acquaintance, Heidi, who didn't know Dana's plight, called with a message from God. She said God told her that Dana was going to have a girl. The Hernendezes were on a fertility treatment break, but were still trying, and two weeks later Dana tested positive. This meant Heidi had called two days after conception. Baby Heidi was born in May 2008.
Got Pregnant In: 21 months
Their Story: Sarah and Brian tried and tried to get pregnant. "Month after month, I would get negative tests, which was so frustrating," says Sarah. "I started charting my cycles every month with no luck. I tried cheap ovulation tests with no luck and one month even got a false positive on a pregnancy test, which was so sad."
The Positive: Surely there was an infertility issue to deal with, Sarah thought after 21 months of trying. So she booked an appointment two months out and kept up hope that she'd be able to get in sooner through her office's waiting list. Two weeks before her appointment, she had a strange physical sensation and then received a positive pregnancy test result. "I took about eight more tests before I believed it, and eventually got blood work done at the doctor's to confirm it," she says. "I feel really blessed with how lucky we were, and have always loved the thought that maybe my canceling my appointment allowed another woman in my shoes the opportunity to get bumped up." Her son arrived in May 2011.
Copyright © 2011 Meredith Corporation.