Desperate to Conceive - but Full of Stress

Updated on October 26, 2016
J.V. asks from Ellicott City, MD
18 answers

I have a trifecta of stress recently and thought I'd reach out for a little sanity relief. First: I was laid off and have been out of work since July 1st. I have been interviewing and if all goes well should be starting a new job in September, but I have not received any job offers yet. Second: My husband and I started trying to conceive last month. I had my IUD removed in July right before my last period. We diligently had sex at least every other day during the time when I should have been ovulating (such hard work! LOL) and this is the week I should be getting my period. So far no show of my period, but I've had 3 negative preg. tests. I'm semi-regular, not entirely sure of the exact length of my cycle but today is Day 33 and you'd think that I'd get a positive at this time with a test that shows results 6 days early, right!?!? To top it off, I have had extreme insomnia for the last 2 weeks. I have a history of insomnia and was taking Ambien regularly. Too regularly. So I have been weaning myself off. Knowing that I wanted to conceive was my motivation to stop with the ambien. Now I am going crazy because the sleeplessness is getting worse and the stress of job hunting and wanting so desperately to get pregnant are not helping me to relax at night. Exhaustion during the day is making it hard to maintain my usual diet and exercise routine that I need to help with the sleep and to manage my diabetes (T1) so all this is not helping me to keep optimal blood sugar levels which makes me feel even worse physically. At least I have the time at home to deal with this, it would be terrible if my work performance was compromised as well. I feel like a good chunk of this stress would resolve if I were just to have a positive pregnancy test! I never really appreciated what people who had difficulty conceiving went through. We just started, I know intellectually that it can take months (esp since I'm older, 39) but this is just the beginning - how do you make it through without going crazy!???!?!

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So What Happened?

It is amazing what a good vent can do... and to have such honest and supportive feedback has really been helpful. Thanks to you all. I cried through the first few responses (a good release) and then decided to take charge of the stress since it was obviously building to the point of explosion. I spent a wonderful hour in yoga practice and then promptly got my period. So I am not pregnant and it is quite a relief. I also made an appointment for the next day with my sleep doctor (- cognitive behavioral therapist - been seeing him for several months to help get off Ambien). We are working together to handle the stress and putting less importance on stopping the Ambien for now. I see my endocrinologist on Friday and will talk with her about all of this as well. I take levoxyl for hypothyroid, but I've felt like my levels have been off for a while. The job search is ongoing, just like trying to conceive it seems to take longer than you expect at first. My husband and I have discussed finances and we can get by if I don't work, either before or after having a child. But I enjoy working and like the satisfaction of being productive at work. In fact, that is one of the hardest parts of this unemployment period, since I am very routine oriented, not working has completely thrown me out of whack. So my goal now is to establish a daily routine and to redefine what "purpose" I have in my life now that I am not working and not growing a little being inside of me. One major element is to live a healthy life. Crucial for all else to succeed. We do not plan to resume contraception, so I remain fertile (potentially). I believe in respectful transparency and building relationships based on trust so if I get pregnant I will disclose that to my new employer. I certainly hit my low point last week and I have learned a lot from it all. I am praying for all of you that have been TTC that your dreams will come true and thanks you for openly sharing your experiences. Peace.

More Answers



answers from Portland on

I had my IUD removed over 2 years ago and we are still trying diligently. I hate it when people say, "just stop trying", because that is impossible for someone who desperately wants to conceive to do. You have to stop stressing, it isn't good for your body. Work on things you can control - making sure you are healthy, working on getting your sleep under control, enjoy your relationship with your husband, etc. Worrying about things you can't control just stresses your body and doesn't make anything happen. I also read Taking Charge of Your Fertility and started charting my cycles which has helped me understand my cycle more even though no conception yet. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

You have heard and will continue to hear that you need to relax. I will expound. Stress can affect your cycle, delaying your period and/or inhibiting ovulation. Even in the best of circumstances, the statistics are that only 20% of fertilized eggs result in successful implantation and pregnancy.

My husband and I were "trying" for a year. I charted my ovulation (you can get ovulation test strips inexpensive from My husband is in the miltary which made the timing even more difficult for us as he kept getting sent off for training and I was getting more and more frustrated.

As December approached, I looked for a refill for my calendar (in which I was doing all of my charting.) I didn't find one immediately, so I decided to take a break from the charting and just see what happened. We had a wonderful trip to Disney World and the normal stress of the holidays. In January, we had a weekend just my husband and I ... in February, I found out I was pregnant.

One more note: If you are looking for a job (and need a job) finding out you are pregnant will just shift the focus of stress. Yes, you will be happy to be pregnant, but then comes the stress of how you're going to affort the baby if you don't have stable employment by the time you start showing. I'm not saying stop trying, just perhaps prioritize a little differently. Get your health sorted. (And yes, not sleeping is not healthy. You need to get that sorted soon because pregnancy will add to you fatigue but also contribute to insomnia.) Keep looking for work but develop a financial plan in case you don't find permanent employment before you get pregnant.

I wish you luck in all your endeavors.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

First take a deep breath and slow down!! First, worry about what you can directly control first, namely diet and exercise. Once you get your diet and thus diabetes under control, your sleep should improve. Physical activity usually helps with sleep in most cases. Then work on the job situation. You say you are expecting to start a new job in September, so keep looking, but wait until you get a yes or no on the job you are hoping for. Once you have all those things straight, THEN work on the pregnancy. The only people I ever met who got pregnant at the drop of a hat were usually folks who didn't want to get pregnant in the first place! I was 35 when I started trying and it took 7 months after years of being on the pill, and I had a stress free, super fun time trying! Enjoy the process, and the result will most likely come!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

A lot of others have responded with exellent advice. I especially agree that getting your health and job situation straightened out should be priority one and two. IN th meantime, I would suggest you check out
It is an excellent resouce for women trying to conceive. I am 41. I have beenTTC since May and have not yet succeeded and that is without Diabetes, insomnia or job searching. Our bodies are complicated and timing is everything. I'm sure things will work out.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Take a baby aspirin. My reproductive endocrinologist recommended that. Also, is there a possibility you have PCOS? If you have type II diabetes there is a good chance you may not be ovulating correctly. Personally, if I was 39, I wouldn't wait too long to talk to a doctor to see what your options are. Sometimes taking Glucophage can help regulate your ovulation and help with the diabetes. With that being said, you have to, have to, stop stressing about this. Believe me. I stressed like it was my job! and it didn't help. Try to enjoy the journey. Maybe get a journal and write down your feelings when you can't sleep. You write to your new baby! Envision yourself getting pregnant. Stay positive. Have you tried sleepytime tea? A bath with lavender oil to help you sleep? The other thing that might help is an antidepressant. If you cannot get your mind to shut off at night, your serotonin levels may be out of whack. Getting that under control can help with getting pregnant. Good luck and God bless. Let go and Let God!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Holy cannoli, J.! Relax! You've been trying "diligently" for O. month....that's not long at all. I had my son at 39 and had a normal, healthy, effortless pregnancy.
You've got time.
You've got a lot going on right now.
I would focus first on your health.
Talk to your dr. about the Ambien use. AND the insomnia.
I think a good chunk of your stress would resolve with a few good nights sleep!
Best of luck to you!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

You really need to work on your stress. I'm no doctor, but I find to fall asleep, I have some nice meditative music I like to listen to. It's very soothing. Meditate, do yoga. Both help a lot. Plus, talk to your OBGYN. I would think you would need a few months after removing the IUD to be able to get pregnant. I may be wrong. But I do know, the stress is definitely not helping.



answers from Houston on

Have you ever had your thyroid checked?

My mom and I have had insomnia as a hypothyroid symptom, and the risk of thyroid disease is higher with type one diabetes.

Once I started on thyroid meds I started sleeping better, and became a regular "fertile Myrtle".

Good luck!



answers from Topeka on

If it were me i'd get a job first & make sure I have some paychecks coming in if your not planning on being a sahm.Second really your desperate did that happen over nite you were on BC had it removed & expect to become pregnant just like that.You can't possibly expect that to happen but maybe you do after reading your post.I have hard times sleeping to try switching to Benadryl or generic form it does help and can be used during pregnancy.Not all pregnancy test work it depends on the HCG levels.I had my 1st and received a + right away my second had to test twice my 3rd had to test at least 5 times till I gave up & went to the DR.
I'm sorry that your feeling this way but getting pregnant right now is that really a good choice for you don't know you don't know what your life is really like but just reading what you have written maybe some time off would be a start getting those interviews landing a job position paychecks making sure your taking care of youself(diabetes) then getting pregnant makes sense to me.Good Luck...



answers from Washington DC on

This may be a simple answer, but give it time. If you've only been trying for a couple months, that's not long at all. Try not to worry about it and just let it happen. Maybe it's for the best that it's taking some time - you can be sure to get a new job before worrying about supporting the addition to your family. Hang in there.


answers from Sioux City on

Ok, if your cycle isn't regular there is one way to know if you are getting close to ovulation. If this is TMI I apologize. All women who are fertile secrete cervical mucus. The best mucus for TTC is very clear and very stretchy. Each time you use the restroom and wipe, check the tissue for cervical mucus. It should begin to appear a couple of days before you ovulate. The first mucus is not clear and doesn't stretch very far. Fertile mucus stretches over an inch as is very clear.

It does sound like your hormones are slightly out of wack. You might concider seeing a doctor trained in Naprotechnology. He would better be able to see what hormones are causing issues and work to get them corrected. Insomnia and an irregular cycle are two symtoms that would lead me to believe you hormones may need some supplimenting.

Good luck!



answers from Washington DC on

it's hard to hear just relax and easier said than done, but that's probably what you need, esp. since you are diabetic.
1. It usually takes a couple of months to get pregnant
2. the stress itself can be delaying your period
3. You may be pregnant and it's not showing on the pregnancy test yet -- sometimes it takes awhile to show.
4. I am sure you will get a job, but that always takes months as well.



answers from New York on

hello everyone, i am here to share my story on how conceived my baby. i have been married to my husband for years without no baby. i had problems with my in-laws about this, even my husband started to have new affairs aside our marriage. it was a very terrible thing to bear. i cried all the time , i became a laughing stock among my friends,i was now seen as always unhappy. after many infertility treatment and there is no way. i took it as i was born barren and i accepted every challenge that comes my way. i was even ready to pack out of my marital home and stay on my own because my husband was not given me any attention that i needed from him. i decided to focus on my job and try to live happy on my own.on this faithful day, i decided to check the net for updates on healthy living and i came across a story of a woman who native iya basira helped to conceive a baby. i decided to put a try because this has been my greatest problem in life. iya basira made a spiritual native medicine for me and within 5 days i conceive of my daughter, today i am a proud mom. words will not be enough to explained what iya basira did for me. pregnancy medicine for me and i am a happy mother,i know there is someone in same condition and you feel there is no way. i urge you to contact iyabasira, this is the contact email [email protected]


answers from Washington DC on


Hello! I feel your pain. However, I can speak from experience - your body will NOT allow you to conceive when it's in a state of stress - no matter how much you want something your body will feel the stress and not let things happen.

We tried for 3.5 years to get pregnant - chlomid, tracking cycles, etc. - nothing worked until we finally gave up and started having sex again for fun!!! With no regard to the "timing" - it had become a chore, a job really - kinda like the movie with Kevin Bacon - can't remember the name of it - but it was sooo true.

Talk with your OB/GYN about your family plan. He/She should know of all of your issues and help you relax and have making baby fun!!!

Get yourself into a regular schedule with your day - SLOWLY cut out caffeine (Coke, Pepsi, Coffee, Diet drink products, etc.) this will help with you insomnia. The other thing that will work is write your stress out in a book and no TV Or computer 30 minutes prior to bed time. If you can't sleep, go to a quiet room and write in a lower-light setting - then go back to bed.

Things will work out. Just don't FORCE it. HAVE FUN and STOP TRYING - that's what we did and it made all the difference in the world. When we found out I was pregnant - i thought I had the flu!


answers from Washington DC on

your body is sending you clear signals. give it a listen. conceiving while under severe stress isn't good for you or the baby.
get a job, get healthy, get pregnant.
you can reverse the first two if you like.



answers from Minneapolis on

RELAX! Whoa! I can relate to multiple stress sources- my stresses are different but there is a lot now. NO matter how much you stress about any of this- it will not change the results so let it go and just let it happen. What I have learned in my years- pregnancy is totally out of your control. What you can control is your diet, your caffeine intake(do not drink coffee), and take prenatals when trying to conceive. I have had two miscarriages and two births, and am pregnant with number three. This third one was unplanned- and so all that stressing I did over the first four positive tests- was for nothing. There is nothing like the feeling of finding out your pregnant when you are not stressed about that at all! Unfortunately in your case, there will always be a little stress until you get a positive pregnancy test! good luck!



answers from Norfolk on

i'm only 30 so my clock isn't ticking away or anything but i still have trouble conceiving myself because of my length of cycles being far apaart and always different. i have insulan resistance also. what i find helps me is knowing that if it is meant to be it will be. also not thinking about it helps. if i accidentally get my mind on it thats ok but i dont dwell on it. we have been trying 14 months now and every cycle it's another hopeful let down. for me i hate not knowing when to try. get ovulation predictor kits and/or take your temp every morning before moving as soon as you wake up. chart everything and soon you will see if you are ovulating and if so when. this will help you get pregnant and if anything help with the guesswork on when to test for pregnancy and such. and lastly but most importantly pray. not for a baby but that you can find comfort and peice with whatever happens and that you can know within you whats best for your body through this time in your life.
good luck!
ps one thing to remember is you just got off the iud so your cycles may be out of wack for about 3 months i think is the norm. some take a year to get back to normal. just something to remember.


answers from Washington DC on

Also started trying at 39 ... suggest you have a family planning session with your current GYN. After no more than 6 months of trying on your own, you need to see a reproductive endocrinologist. We had a miscarriage early, followed by multiple IUIs and a failed IVF. It is the HARDEST thing I've ever done. If you have to go the IUI / IVF route, you will need to make that the priority and find ways to eliminate / reduce your stress. I even took a week off work before the IVF transfer to put myself in a "stress free bubble". No blackberry, no email ... TTC is enough stress all on its own. I feel for you and understand more than you can imagine where you're coming from. We're not willing to put ourselves through the IVF wringer again (I was a wreck for weeks after it failed), so we're on to Foster-to-Adopt. Good luck and don't put too much worry on yourself. There's a great site at that has LOTS of resources for more information. Mel's book Navigating the Land of IF is also a great resource.

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