After having three kids within four years, people seem to think that Nate and I are experts in the delicate art of conception. We wanted our kids back-to-back-to-back, having seen the bond that close sibling spacing developed with Nate and his own “Irish twin” brother. But trying to conceive (or “TTC” as it's referred to on numerous forums and online baby boards) can be surprisingly difficult. Even with today's medical technology, pregnancy is surprisingly elusive for many couples.

Struggling after trying many TTC tips

I was pregnant with my second nine months after the first, but the third was a bit more of a challenge. We tried to conceive for over a year, exploring all the TTC tips whispered among friends and shared in pamphlets from doctors. Here are some of the most proven TTC tips for couples who want to get pregnant NOW.

TTC Tips That Work

TTC tips that can help with getting pregnant faster (including things the OBGYN probably won't mention)

Chart ovulation. Let's start with a refresher course in human anatomy: women's bodies release an egg monthly, usually around two weeks after their period starts. The two-or-three day time when the egg is traveling towards the uterus is its chance to meet up with sperm and become fertilized, turning into a baby. To maximize your potential to fertilize the egg during this time, you should keep track of your periods and anticipated ovulation time with a calendar or app such as OvuView. A couple even more advanced TTC tips advise taking note of your temperature and fluids or test with ovulation kits to further pinpoint when your efforts are most likely to succeed.

TTC tips for having a happy, healthy baby

Take vitamins. A good prenatal pill needs to be started long before you're actually pregnant. Make sure you're getting at least 400 mcg of folic acid throughout the TTC process.

Exercise. You're more likely to be at a healthy weight for pregnancy if you exercise – this is one of the TTC tips that can not only help you get pregnant faster, but help pregnancy to be a success. Regular exercise can also shorten your ovulation cycle, increasing your chances of becoming pregnant faster.

Cut out cigarettes. Cigarettes have been shown to decrease female fertility.

Toddler playing with outdoor items

Have him avoid soy. Several studies have shown that soy decreases a man's sperm count, so it can't hurt to cut it out.

Don't stress. It's hard not to get totally wrapped up in the likelihood of getting pregnant (or rather, unlikelihood – as it sometimes feels like the odds are stacked against you with one in six couples currently reporting an inability to get pregnant after 12 months of trying). I found that regular massage sessions helped me calm down, and many women's top TTC tips include suggestions like acupressure or acupuncture for boosting fertility.

Have sex. Oh right, that one important detail. Timing matters, and so does gravity, as the big key lies in getting sperm up to the egg where it can do its job. Ensuring orgasm and tilting the woman's hips upward are always some of the first suggestions for couples who are TTC. A little fertility lubricant and some ovulation test strips can't hurt, either. We've also used the Stork OTC which helps with insemination. There are so many options available over-the-counter nowadays!