on not being pregnant and the pill

I should have known not to get my hopes up when I thought I was pregnant in New York. It was only our second month of trying (and our first month was when I stopped taking the pill mid-cycle when Baby Fever hit), but it was still so hard.

See, with Lily, we went off the pill for three months before trying (and used other methods to not get pregnant) as we'd been encouraged to do that so the pill wouldn't still be in my system when we were trying. Partly because there was concern it could be bad for the baby if we did conceive asap and partly because it wouldn't reflect authentic "trying" since it could make it harder to conceive. Not sure how legit all of these concerns were, but we took the advice, and then conceived the 1st month we were trying (after the 3 months using other methods).

Between Lily and Oli I never went back on the pill. Probably obvious since I was pregnant with him when she was 4 months old. It's hard to know exactly how long it took to conceive him because my period postpartum was really light and I wasn't actually even sure I'd had a period yet (could have just been spotting, I figured). My best guess is that it took 1-2 months to conceive him.

In both cases, it was basically immediate, making the second month of trying for baby #3 challenging. I know most women try for many months, even years (!) before conceiving, and I dread the thought of seeming insensitive to them, but I can't deny that my heart hurt last month. To make matters worse, I had a lot of "symptoms" that made me think I was pregnant (oh how annoying it is that period and pregnancy symptoms are basically THE SAME), so when I got my period I was grieving big time. But God and Brad are both so good and gentle to me, and both lead me to joy and hope soon there after. Brad and I even watched Friends With Kids (crude but really fresh and interesting take on the classic prego-rom-com) that night and I wasn't overly sad even though I was watching people get pregnant. Good sign.

Which brings me to this month. The pill has now been out of my system for the recommended 3 months and it's our third month of trying for our third baby. I've done my best to chill out about expectations, and since this time I really have no phantom pregnancy symptoms, I'm assuming I'm not pregnant. We'll see.

One thing is for sure - I'm not positive the pill is to blame for the added challenge this time around, but I do wish I didn't go back on it between Oli and baby #3. I was so fearful (hello, idols!) of getting pregnant that I assumed I needed to take it, but after talking to a lot of friends who use non-hormonal contraception, I'm wishing I went that route.

Has anyone had a similar experience?


  1. Hey Em.
    I am not sure the pill is to blame. We went off the pill halfway through my cycle and got pregnant right away!!

    But I can understand your frustration. We would love to get pregnant but Levi is 8 months old and I still haven't gotten my period back. I am still nursing him and I think that's why (but I am not willing to give that up either).

    So here's hoping that you get pregnant soon!! Can't wait to hear.... and hopefully we won't be far behind!

    1. You're also super young = highly fertile, but I hear you - I'm not assuming the pill is to blame, but I have heard from many health care professionals that it can make conceiving more difficult

  2. Not going to lie Em, you have totally made me want to try for a third myself. And we swore we'd wait 2 years!

  3. Oh Em, I totally understand that feeling of hope when you get those symptoms to make you think you are pregnant and then you aren't. The feeling of sadness and grief are so real. I can relate in that for my first 2 pregnancies we got pregnant right away, no problem, first month of trying = pregnant. Then after my miscarriage though, it was not so easy and I had a lot of those "pregnancy" symptoms with my cycle all messed up! It is hard. It took 3 or 4 months.

    But at the same time, I can say a part of me is really glad it took longer to get pregnant this time around. Looking back I can see how God used it to humble me, work in my heart and expectations, but also use the experience to be more sensitive and understanding to others who have a really hard time to conceive.Finally, I personally understood how hard each month of hoping and then disappointment could feel like and I am glad I can be there now in a more deep and personal way for friends going through that.

    As for the pill, not sure how much I believe the concerns now. The hormones they use now are such small amounts, its not like it used to be. I never went back after Hannah, but it also took over a year for me to get my period and that was with barely breastfeeding at all! My sister was on the pill for 6 years (because of horrible periods and then being married for protection) and she was warned it would take her system a long time to get it all out and get pregnant and then bam that first month she was expecting (and had a very healthy girl)! I think for each person its different in how sensitive we are to the hormones and there are always so many other factors, not to mention God's planning and how He works in us through each process.

    Definitely praying for you guys as you go through this part of your journey together!

    1. Thanks for the empathy Rachel! You are so sweet and that is one of your gifts, I know it!

      I should clarify, I'm not blaming the pill or assuming it's to blame outright, I'm merely considering that it's playing a part in this taking an extra month or two (*here's hoping no more than that!). One reason I'm thinking it could be is that I'm personally highly effected by the pill, even though I always took the one with the lowest hormone dosage. I always experienced major symptoms upon starting and stopping the pill and it always took my body a good amount of time to adjust