We're Pregnant: How we Conceived
Welcome to Intuitive Mama! Grab your favorite tea bag and pop it in your cozy mug. If tea isn’t your thing, pour that steaming cup of coffee - or open a bottle of red. Get comfortable because I’ll be sure to make this reading experience worth every moment. So, sip, read, and relax. You’re in good hands. I’m here to share my unfiltered pregnancy journey with you - whilst living through a pandemic, of course!
Let’s get to know each other. My name is Alyssia, pronounced like “A-lee-sha.” Born and raised in Jamaica Queens, New York, I am proud to be the oldest of four sisters, one being a half-sister. When I was eighteen years-old, my mom and three sisters moved from The Big Apple to Atlanta, Georgia while I attended my first year of college in Staten Island. Since then, I’ve moved a dozen times, but I currently find myself in the best place of all - Long Beach, New York! During the day, I work as a Personal Assistant. Throughout my professional life, I’ve discovered my passion for entrepreneurship. When I am not working toward my goals, I enjoy spending time with my boyfriend of four years, Brian.
We're Pregnant: How we Conceived
I’m stoked to share my pregnancy journey with you - whether you live in the Tri-State area like me or find yourself thousands of miles away, I am so happy you’re here! In this tell-all series, I can say confidently that I’ll be an open book. I’m ready to open up about the highs, lows, and “in-betweens” of pregnancy; I can assure you that we’ll be laughing (and crying) through a screen together, as we celebrate the beauty of motherhood and femininity in a raw and authentic way.
“Making the decision to have a child … is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body.” -Unkown
One day, I just knew that I wanted to start a family with my boyfriend, Brian. Upon making this decision, I thought to myself, “I’m no young girl in my 20’s anymore,” and, in order to conceive and nurture a healthy baby, I knew that the McDonald’s and Wendy’s had to take a backseat. So, I began by examining my lifestyle, specifically, my diet. It was time to make a change. My health journey began by hitting the books and I found my guardian angel, Kimberly Snyder, at a Barnes & Noble bookstore. A renowned speaker and nutritionist, Snyder shares her holistic wellness tips with a grand audience and I found myself falling in love with her principles.
This revelation led me to cut meat and dairy products out of my diet. It is important to note that I had discontinued the use of birth control for years, since, like many women, I did not like its side effects. Also, I began to take prenatal vitamins before pursuing those glorious two lines.
Fast forward to the start of 2020, where I found myself with an unwavering case of baby fever and an overwhelming desire to be a mom. It’s funny - if you had asked me about starting a family before, I would have replied with a swift, “Nooo … we’re good right now!”
Now that my body was right, it was time to get my mind right, so I started my 2020 goals by creating vision boards with photos and writing out some motivating pregnancy affirmations to kickstart our journey.
Immediately before lockdown, Brian and I traveled to Costa Rica for a luxurious island vacation. It was then that I told my boyfriend that I wanted to start trying for a baby. Along with my sunglasses and passport, I brought two ovulation tests with me that were purchased at Dollar Tree (laugh emoji)!
After using the ovulation tests in Costa Rica, I remember feeling disappointed - they were not nearly as effective as I had hoped. Time to wing it, cross our fingers, and pray for the best! Brian and I had intercourse twice on the days I had predicted that I was ovulating. When we arrived home, I decided it was time to get serious - no more fun and games.
We found ourselves in April 2020 and in the midst of chaos. Having just returned from Costa Rica, we had to begin packing up for our move into a new apartment. In addition, the world was in shambles as we battled COVID-19. Luckily, with the new lockdown, Brian and I were able to spend more time at home and settle in quickly. With all this free time on my hands, I was ready to be productive. It was time to visualize my goal, keep my eyes on the prize, and achieve it.
In lockdown, I rediscovered an old book called Taking Charge of Your Fertility and became its most dedicated student. The book blew my mind! I followed its teachings by purchasing a thermometer and starting to chart my menstruation cycles and ovulations days based on my temperature and cervical fluid.
My first charting experience was not exactly perfect, to say the least, but I was confident. “I got this!” I chanted in my mind repeatedly throughout the month of April. I “coached” Brian on the days we had to have intercourse and the plan was in full-swing. In April, my mind was consumed by potential pregnancy announcements and hues of powder pink and baby blue … but not for long. I was soon removed by Cloud 9 with a defeated plunk … not this month.
I was upset. After convincing myself that my change in diet and rigorous rule-following would yield rapid results, I felt disheartened. I then called the customer service line on my fertility app to discuss our failure. I remember the representative’s voice: “Somewhere around 25% of couples will be pregnant at the end of the first month of trying.” Though I fervently wished that we were a part of that 25%, I put the numbers into perspective and regained confidence in my body and its many abilities. In hindsight, I realized that I subconsciously allowed the belief of women being infertile at a certain age to produce fear within me, causing waves of anxiety.
Months went by. May, June, and July flew past us with a dreary, overhanging cloud, accompanied by no signs of pregnancy.
The following occurred during May, June, and July:
I bickered with my boyfriend about committing to our goal, and I soon discovered that our monthly coaching sessions did not go as smoothly as I had hoped. For some months, I wanted to have sex for four or five continuous days, but, based on his sex drive, the desirable quota was not achievable. It was a new change - Brian and I simply were not used to having sex so often.
We changed sex positions monthly if we were unsuccessful the month prior. For example, we tried doggy style in the month of May and I suggested that, in June, we try cowgirl.
I would lay or put my feet up against the wall after post-intercourse for ten to fifteen minutes to give the sperm time to travel.
After researching natural conception methods, I employed meditations and yoga into my daily routine. I even tried listening to subliminal messages and sounds while sleeping.
Yes, I was obsessed with achieving our pregnancy goal. In fact, my obsession soon became too intense, as I found myself muting women on Instagram that posted Bumpdates, newborn pictures, or, frankly, any baby-related content. I knew my obsession started to become unhealthy when I so desperately wished to become the women I saw on my screen. To combat my nerves, I chose to implement fun activities into my daily life, and I slowly began to change my mindset. Any time I saw a pregnant woman, I would thank God and send my love and positive energy their way. I became increasingly confident that my time would soon arrive. I also practiced patience. For example, instead of huffing and puffing while standing in a long line, I filled my mind with peace, in an effort to show God that I was patient to welcome a miracle into my life. By practicing patience and adopting these positive lifestyle changes, I soon realized that I was too attached to the outcome. It was time to trust, let go, and have faith in us and our bodies. I knew that my desire was on its way and those little lifestyle changes made all the difference.
“If I am thinking correctly," said Pooh, “a new baby is probably, undoubtedly the grandest gift that could ever be.”
It is now August, and, if you’ve been counting, our fifth month of trying to conceive.
A week prior, we had a beach day with a few friends. As the day came to a close, I confessed to our friend (a new mom) that we had been trying for the last few months. I will never forget her advice: “Alyssia, you should have sex two to three days prior to your ovulation day. That way, enough sperm will be in your system before the egg is released.” I clung to her every word and could hardly relate to share her advice with Brian. Before receiving this advice, we would have sex on the days that my cervical fluid resembled a lube-like consistency and when I received a positive ovulation test (see charts attached). This month, we decided not to wait for the classic ovulation indicators. In reference to the below chart, Brian and I only had two intercourse days during August, the first day being two days prior to my predicted ovulation date. The second day was my ovulation day itself. After ovulation day, I remember wanting to give it a few more days for a security cushion, but it did not work out. In that time, I also researched Ayurveda, an ancient Indian medical science, that suggests missionary as a primary position for conception, so we chose missionary for the month of August.
A week after, Brian and I traveled to Lake George. On the car ride up, I vividly remember telling Brian: “If I don’t get pregnant this month, I’m ordering an at-home sperm test and making an appointment with the gynecologist.” I was worried - and I knew that, if we were unsuccessful again, it was time to seek outside tools to conceive.
Our time in Lake George was exactly what we needed. The seven-couple trip allowed us to return home feeling fresh, rejuvenated, and ready to soak up the late August sun on our favorite place: the water.
On Tuesday, the 25th of August, I celebrated my day off by treating myself to an early lunch with a friend. We indulged in sushi and some delicious Lycée martinis. Yum! Post-lunch, I felt exhausted and disappointed in myself for having a midday martini, when I knew it was against my better judgment. I remember laughing about my silliness with Brian, and how badly I needed my blanket and a pillow upon returning home.
By the next day, I was still engulfed by fatigue. Thursday and Friday passed, and I was not feeling my energetic self.
On Saturday, August 30th, I slept in until one in the afternoon. How unlike me! That day, I had a hair appointment booked for 3:00 PM, so I filled my stomach and drank some tea to energize myself before the appointment. As I headed out, I told Brian, “You know, something just doesn't feel right.” Any guesses? I returned home from my hair appointment with a Dollar Tree pregnancy test in one hand and baby dust in the other.
Entering the bathroom, I forced myself to take a few deep breaths. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. Upon taking the test, I noticed it started to record a positive result. My hands shook and my heart thumped. I did not recall getting a result so fast! Immediately, I thrust the test into Brian’s hand and he was … skeptical, to say the least. When I told him it was a Dollar Tree test, he insisted we take a trip to the pharmacy and I purchased a new test the next day.
On Sunday, August 31st, I went to CVS and made one of the most memorable purchases of my life: a Clearblue pregnancy test. I took it, and, upon viewing its positive result in the display window, a thousand emotions flooded through my body. Shocked, nervous, happy, confused. I’d like to note that my reaction was not how I envisioned it, perhaps because I visualized myself reacting to those two lines thousands of times in the past. But, this time, it was not in my head, but my hand, womb, and heart.
Well, the rest is history! Thank you for reading the story of our conception and the hope, laughter, fear, frustration, and victory that comprised it. Thank you to our friends and family who love and support us. Brian and I are counting down the days until we meet our baby. I’d love to hear your story, so feel free to comment below to shape our raw, real, and authentic community of moms. Sending baby dust and positive affirmations your way!