Even after my "birth control detox," my period never regulated, and every cycle was different, ranging from 20 to 40 days. The ovulation kits didn’t work for me–in addition to being annoying to use, they gave me inaccurate results (which I learned once I saw a doctor).

My husband and I began trying to conceive in early 2016, after a 6-month birth control “detox.” I knew that once we were officially in TTC mode, I’d need to know exactly when to expect my period so that I could accurately time ovulation. The first few months of trying were filled with excitement and anxiety. I understood that, on average, it can take couples 6-12 months before they successfully conceive. At the same time, it’s difficult not to grow impatient after several months of trying without results. I couldn’t help but feel helpless and sad every time I got my period.

Even after my “birth control detox,” my period never regulated, and every cycle was different, ranging from 20 to 40 days. The ovulation kits didn’t work for me–in addition to being annoying to use, they gave me inaccurate results (which I learned once I saw a doctor). Several frustrating months later, we decided to see a fertility doctor so that I could monitor my cycles and get more accurate ovulation timing. And it worked! The second month of monitoring proved successful, and I’m now almost 9 months pregnant!

Looking back on our journey, I feel extremely lucky that: (1) I wasn’t facing any serious diagnosed issues affecting my fertility, and (2) I decided to seek help when I did and that I had access to exactly the type of help I needed. I know that everyone’s journey is so different, and that people have way more traumatic experiences than I did. My experience taught me, first and foremost, to be empathetic to others’ journeys. You never know what someone is going through, so it’s important to be supportive in the ways that count. The support of my husband, family, and close friends made me feel better throughout the process. Sharing the day-to-day details with them made me feel less alone during this time. Every month, I had multiple people checking in on me at every step (“Did you get the blinking smiley face yet? Did you take the test yet?”). While some might find this intrusive, I liked knowing that I had the support of my loved ones during this tedious, tiring process.