Trying to Try to Conceive – By Kristine Brite McCormick


I ran a congenital heart defects nonprofit working with pregnant women and women trying to conceive so I feel well versed in the things I need to do before even trying to conceive. I guess you could say I’m trying to try to conceive. That is I’m getting my mind and body ready. I approached Grieve Out Loud and asked if I could write about it here so that I can hopefully help others in the same position and meet other moms that are TTTC (Trying to Try to Conceive, of course). As a baby loss mother, I know full well that sometimes things go wrong. Things don’t always just work out. The scary statistics and stories you read about really do happen.

But, I also know that babies live. I know I can only do my best for my next child. I know that my first daughter’s heart defect was probably not my fault, but that doesn’t mean I should research and do as much as I can to get my body in to shape before getting ready for our next child.

Most of the things I’m getting in order before trying again have to do with risk factors for congenital heart defects. I’m basing these on studies and current research. If you know of anything that a woman should do before having another baby, please chime in with comments.

Preparing Physically

I’m overweight. This is a risk factor for not only CHD, but other birth defects. Personally, I’m just going to set a goal of losing 30 or 40 pounds so that I feel better and cut my risk. I think it’s important to be gentle and set realistic weight goals. So, yep, I’m losing weight just to get fat again (with a preggo belly).

Getting in shape is something I plan on doing. I want to feel my best while pregnant. I’ve suffered from Postpartum Depression (even more fun when there is no baby) and know that I’m at a higher risk for prenatal depression. Setting up an exercise routine now should help.I’m taking folic acid. Studies suggest you take folic acid all the time while trying to conceive. Some studies say to take folic acid only for about three months before getting pregnant.

I stopped drinking caffeinated beverages to prepare. Caffeine zaps your body of iron so it’s recommended to stop before getting pregnant. If you can’t stop, start weaning yourself. Many doctors will let their patients drink a limited amount of caffeine while pregnant.

I’m going to the doctor for a check up and for tests. This one is self explainable.

Preparing My Life

My husband and I are going to make sure we have an emergency fund and are relatively secure financially. Again, we’re not going to go overboard. We’ve set gentle and realistic goals.

I plan on interviewing midwives, doulas and doctors before starting to try. I know I’m going to need a provider I really know and trust.

Preparing Mentally

This is by far the hardest. Like many of my fellow baby loss mothers, I have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and am absolutely terrified something will happen again. I’m not even sure how to work through this at this point, but I know I’m going to seek help and talk about it.

I’m reminding myself that sometimes, they live. That I can do this. I’m finding my support system and reminding myself to be extra gentle.

What have I missed? How are you trying to try to conceive?

Kristine Brite McCormick blogs about her road to a second child at She’s preparing to try to conceive her second child in Fall 2011.

5 Responses to “TTTC”

  • Lisa Says:

    Wishing you all the best in your journey. You are an amazing mother.

  • Tweets that mention Pregnancy and Infant Loss Pen-Pal & Support Network -- Says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Claire Louise Lloyd, Kristine XoXo. Kristine XoXo said: My guest post about trying to try to conceive after loss. [...]

  • Holly Says:

    Good post on preparation and I think you hit a lot. I can’t really think of anything else to add right now.

  • Lisa Says:

    Hi Kristine! I saw a similar post on your new blog and I noticed that you mentioned getting your heart checked. Don’t forget to get Ben’s heart checked, too. Some heart defects are more prevalent in males. Good luck!

  • Jenn Says:

    Good luck in your journey. We are just now trying again. I have never thought about the mental preparation, but I totally understand about the Post-Tramatic Stress Disorder because that’s what I worry about too – going through it all over again. If there is a local MEND chapter near you, that is a great group to discuss things with. I don’t think I would have made it as well as I have without them.

Leave a Reply