Nov 10 2010

A Timeline of Tales – TTC After Loss

Welcome to Part II of our TTC After Loss series. For information on Part I please click here to familiarize yourself with the setup.

This week we continue sharing and comparing real answers to popular questions surrounding TTC. Please remember that everyone’s bodies and stories are different. Don’t worry if your personal answers to these questions differ from what is posted. We are posting these simply to shine light on the average numbers and give hope to those who might be struggling with questions.

How long are your cycles?

We asked thirty women how long their cycles (first day of period to beginning of their next period) were and the average was twenty-nine (29) days. Over half of these women have the typical twenty-eight (28) day cycle.

But fear not, sneaked inside these numbers were women with thirty day (30) plus cycle days. Don’t feel like a freak of nature if you have long cycles. Even though us long cyclers might have to wait a little longer, there is nothing wrong with you — your chances of conception are no different than short cyclers.

When do you ovulate?

Given the same thirty women as above, the average day of ovulation is cycle day fifteen (15.)

Of course, this number does not work for everyone. Some women ovulate as early as day eleven (11) and as late as day twenty-two (22.) As mentioned in Part I of our TTC after Loss piece, ovulation kits and fertility monitors can help a lot of women watch for and prepare for their big O (ovulation.)

Stress, sickness, travel and other factors can interrupt ‘regular’ ovulation by a few days, even weeks for some. Frustrating yes, but not unheard of.

When do you start (pregnancy) testing?

I start as early as six Days Past Ovulation (DPO.) I know better, but there is something strangely comforting in peeing on tests for me.” Grieve Out Loud founder – Julie

It’s true, there is something to be said about early testing. A lot of women commented that they start as early as the day after ovulation. Women also commented with “If I have tests in the house, I’m going to use them.”

But seeing negative tests – or Big Fat Negatives (BFN) collect in your waste-bin isn’t exactly easy on the heart. The Two Week Wait (2WW) is what you will hear from your doctors. Fourteen days is waaaayyyy too long for most though.

Some women have reported faint positive tests as early as nine DPO, but the average is 10-14 DPO. Note this is just on average, you might be able to test earlier, or wait longer. It really depends on your average Luteal Phase (LP.) If your LP is normally 12-14 days, test on the last day of your LP.

If you are on Fertility Friend they have an awesome Chart Gallery you can search.

How do you handle your BFN’s?

Disappointing, but I just tried to tell myself that it wasn’t our time yet.” – Holly

This was a very difficult question to ask these families. Finding out all your efforts and hope has failed another month is very hard. You are not a failure. Your partner is not a failure. Be gentle to yourself.

Personally, I have what is called a “Period Party.” Have a few extra glasses of wine, eat handfuls of sushi (and chocolate!) — whatever the case may be. It is sad not to achieve pregnancy, but remember there is always next month!

What if we’re still not pregnant?

TTC after Loss has a way of slowing down the entire universe. Sometimes three or four cycles can feel like three or four years. Keep your hopes high, because the journey is not always smooth.

Some women lose their fertility or even worse, the ability to carry a child after their loss. If after six cycles of perfectly timed intercourse has passed without your Big Fat Positive (BFP) it might be time to consult your doctor. If there is an infertility problem, you might want to check out a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE) and begin fertility treatments. Please note there is a huge difference between not getting pregnant and having infertility problems. Fertility treatments can be a very serious and expensive route to take. Sometimes families try for years and years before seeing a RE. Make sure you are timing intercourse properly before assuming you have an infertility problem.

A good rule of thumb is this, so long as there are no medical reason(s) standing in your way — the way you conceived before will be the way you conceive again. Don’t run to a RE after two months of trying. Let things happen as they will. We know the wait is hard, but we’ve all had to do it. Be strong and positive.

But I just can’t wait! Who can I talk to in more detail about this whole TTC after Loss journey?

You aren’t alone friend, there are plenty of places to help you get through it.

We are currently putting together a Pen-Pal list for parents who are TTC again. You can talk one-on-one with someone who has conceived after loss naturally, through IUI, IVF, FET, and adoption. We also have a group of women who are in the waiting period of TTC, along with actively TTC (me included.) For more information or to get set up with a Pen-Pal .

Other great sites include Glow in the Woods’ ttc | pregnancy | birth after loss board and Faces of Loss’ Forum.


Don’t give up hope folks. TTC after Loss can be a lonely, stressful, mind-altering journey. It does not have to be though. Let us help you get through the rough patches and share the good times with you.

Next we will be moving onto the well-awaited Pregnancy after Loss! Learn more about how long it takes to achieve pregnancy after loss, the emotions surrounding the BFP, when it is time to share the news, preparing for birth after loss and much much more!

Oct 24 2010

Tips from Within – TTC after Loss

A few weeks ago we created a Trying to Conceive (TTC) and Pregnancy after Loss Questionnaire. Over twenty-five wonderful women in the babyloss community participated in this questionnaire, giving us their heart-felt tips, tricks, truths and more. Over the course of several weeks we will be sharing some of the popular questions and answers in hopes to help you on your journey.

Whether you are in a waiting period, thinking about trying again, pregnant, or about to experience birth after loss please join in!

(Note: We are not medical experts. Please follow the advice of your medical professional.)

When did you first realize you wanted to try again?

I knew from the moment I held my daughter in my arms that I had to try again. I didn’t know when we’d actually be ready to do it, but I knew I had to have the experience of giving birth and holding my baby in my arms again.”- Grieve Out Loud co-founder, Heather M.

Nearly all twenty-five participants answered this question the same: As soon as possible. Very soon. Right away. Immediately. One mother knew she wanted to try again very soon while she was still carrying her daughter.

Point is, if you are having intense feelings of a new pregnancy — you aren’t alone. We all feel it.

How long did you wait to try again?

I heard to wait three months, six months and nine months. We waited seven and very glad we did… gave myself time to grieve Cara.” – Laura

We don’t have a clear answer to this, but on average the census is three months. It’s very important to listen to your doctors as we are not medical experts. On a personal note, my doctor advised us to wait three cycles which did not add up to three months.

Allow your mind, body and soul to heal. Emotions run wild after any type of loss, we urge you to be gentle on yourself and not make trying again become a race against others.

How did you discuss trying again with your partner?

Keep the lines of communication open. You need to talk to each other about your feelings. Be there for your spouse. ” – Sara

Whether it is brought up in a casual conversation or by your doctor, deciding to try again must be a mutual agreement. One cannot be rushed into anything, especially TTC. While men might keep their pain hidden, that does not mean they are not grieving. Make sure you are both ready and able to make the next step together.

What is sex like now?

Come to bed, I’m ovulating. – Lindsay

Lets be honest here, TTC sucks. But TTC after loss sucks even more. It’s hard to let loose and be spontaneous when we only have a 12-24 hour fertile window to act on. Plus, what’s sexy about egg-white cervical fluid? And forget all the questions floating around your head. Will this be it? How many more times do we have to do this? Just try to shut your brain up, get busy and remember you’re burning calories too!

Some suggest going on a vacation or rent a hotel room for a night or two. Some suggest just letting go, and it will happen. You just have to do what is right for you, even if it involves a margarita or three.

Are you using anything to help you conceive?

If someone told me to eat dirt every Tuesday of the month to get pregnant I would have.” – Grieve Out Loud founder, Julie

Move over old-fashioned way, we’ve entered the digital age! There are lots of ways to take control of your fertility. A friend of mine sent me her copy of Taking Charge of Your Fertility and it literally changed my life. Once you understand how your body works, timing intercourse can become a lot easier on you both.

Charting is a very easy and integral part of TTC. Buy yourself a basal body thermometer and become best friends with Fertility Friend. It is amazing to watch your cycles play out before your eyes.

Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPKs) were also mentioned by some. You can pick these up nearly anywhere and are generally a little pricey, but if you shop online you can find some really great deals (some including pregnancy tests as well.)

Other women mention the need for medication or vitamins such as clomid, metformin, progesterone and soy isoflavones. Of course, women dealing with In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) et cetera have their own list of meds to follow.


Next we will be exploring the time-line of how long it took these participants to conceive, the emotions involved in negative tests, early weeks of pregnancy achievement, and much more!