Dear Rookie Moms, Advice on Getting Pregnant?

Dear Rookie Moms,

I am trying to get pregnant and it’s been a trying process. I am 27 and hubby is 25 and I just thought getting pregnant would be easy as we’re both very healthy. I had a miscarriage in December and am finally up to trying again.

I’ve read the books on fertility awareness and am just hoping you can give me advice!

Thanks a bunch,

About two years ago, I received this letter from a reader who had read a reference I made to the journey of trying to conceive. Although my husband can’t believe I spent the time to respond in depth to total strangers, I just couldn’t help myself. I felt her pain. I had been there, trying to conceive, googling embarrassing things every day of the month in hopes of finding new answers that would get me pregnant.

Since I do not know this woman, I stuck to practical, actionable advice. I’m hoping her girlfriends were giving her the hugs she needed.

If I had planned in advance to share it in this advice column format, I can assure you it would have been way funnier. Maybe even in rhyming couplets.

Here’s what I wrote to her.

Hi A,

You are not alone in your sadness and frustration over pregnancy not working out.

When you are ready to seek treatment, it’s great if you’ve already done some research so that you can be in control.

Here’s what I’d do if I were 27:

Have sex every other day from days 10-20 during your cycle where Day 1 is the first day of your period. Do this for three months. Use an ovulation kit to try to confirm you are ovulating and when. Do this for three more months. (Hopefully you will already be pregnant by this point.) If you are not getting a positive ovulation test by day 20, keep having sex every other day until your period comes. (If it doesn’t come by day 30, then do a preg test of course!)

If you are not yet pregnant, see your doctor and ask for blood work to more officially confirm you are ovulating. If you are not, s/he may recommend Clomid. If you are anxious to do something more than this, you could ask your doctor if s/he will do IUI for you. That is how we conceived our second child on the second round, after about 10 months of trying without help, and three cycles of Clomid without success. (Doctor puts your husband’s sperm right into your uterus with a catheter to increase chance of sperm and egg meeting.)

However, since you got pregnant before, there is a good chance you’ll get pregnant again. I would maybe ask your doctor to measure your progesterone level. People with low progesterone tend to miscarry, but for some reason doctors don’t seem to focus on this. When your next pregnancy starts, if your level is low, you might use progesterone supplements to help support the pregnancy until it’s stable. My doctor felt that low progesterone was why I didn’t get pregnant the first time until I started Clomid. Once I was pregnant, I used the progesterone supplements for about six weeks.

Also, I found the BabyCenter bulletin boards pretty comforting during my trying-to-conceive adventures. It was just nice to know that others were going through the same thing, and found encouragement as the people on the boards would achieve pregnancy.

Best of luck,


Postscript: I recently learned that this reader is the new mother of twin girls. I am thrilled to know that her struggles ended happily. I wish I could bottle this good luck and sell it at Walgreen’s next to the ovulation kits.

Postscript II: Do you have a question for us? Reach us at moms @

Postscript III: Who the hell are we to give advice? About us.

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