still here

Thanks for your comments regarding the charting app, and sorry for vanishing. I tried a few of the free apps, decided that many of them are fancy-but-not-actually-useful, and eventually picked (and bought the full version of) FemCal. Which essentially looks like a direct implementation of what’s described in TCOYF, no bells and whistles, but quite customizable, which I like. Not sure if the prediction of peak days and expected periods works well, but given how erratic my cycles can be, that might be a lot to ask.

Somehow over the last weeks I came to the realization that it is not terrible if I don’t get pregnant this year. Which may be a way of self-protection — chances are low, as are the possibilities of doing treatments (as previously described). Plus, I started to think seriously about my career, not so much in the what-would-happen-if-we-finally-had-a-baby way, either independent of that, or with the fear that neither might work out… (it’s not as bad as it sounds here though. I think.) So with that, I’m not sure what to do with this space — after all, following natural cycles is not too exciting. I have a few things I wanted to write about, but that would need time and thought, and I’ve been really busy with the rest of life. I keep doing my fertility yoga exercises, because I think they’re good for me (in general, the fertility effects remain to be seen), though I’ve pretty much stopped doing any exercise during my period, and my pain has been much better. Not quite gone yet, but much, much better. And yesterday I got another pregnancy announcement, and I was okay. Not excited, but not terribly sad either. So perhaps at least yoga helps me calm down.

And then today, CD7, I was a good girl and did my breast self-exam. And decided to make an appointment, because there might be something that I don’t like… it’s not always noticeable and so I’m not sure if it’s anything at all (and of course I hope it’s nothing), but I’m a bit scared. No bad news, please.

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there probably is an app for that

Thanks all for your kind comments. You ladies are lovely, and I’m not sure what I would do without you. I’ll also write a follow-up on the inversions soonish (whatever that means around these parts at the moment).

It is CD1 again (and as we only had sex a whole week before ovulation, I’m trying not to be too disappointed, although there probably is someone out there getting pregnant from sex loong before O without even trying… anyway), and I’m thinking of using an (iPhone/iPod) app instead of the paper version of charting. Any suggestions? Experiences?

outliers

I started taking my temps on Saturday again — and got some really high values. Sunday again, tough not quite as high. Hmm. Could this mean …? I didn’t want to get my hopes high (no other symptoms and they might simply be outliers after all), but not take a test either. Sometimes denial is the easiest option…
I had considered telling H about it, but decided against as he was still clearly down from the last CD1. Until we went out and I was feeling unwell and he suggested I “might be pregnant”. So I told him about the high temps, and explained cautiously that it was possible (though rare) to be pregnant despite a “period”. But that I really had no idea what all of this meant.
Well, Monday was in-between, and today was definitely in the low, pre-ovulatory range. Besides nausea every now and then (which, for me, could be totally psychosomatic) I don’t have any symptoms. I’m supposed to see my doc on Thursday for a quick U/S, to see if the follicles are growing properly and when to expect ovulation (to see how well it correlates with the data I get from charting). Should she see something else, well, I’d take it — though after today I’m mostly on the ground again.
But this confusion, all these ups and downs, boy, they are exhausting.

yesterday

Yesterday was Mother’s Day here. My mom died some years ago, though, and with no baby in sight, it wasn’t much of a holiday for us. Sigh.

To make the day more interesting, my temperatures decided to take another turn down — was this the dip before ovulation? Or just another data point in a series of erratic measurements*? I’m not sure yet, but, after pain in my lower left abdomen, hoping that it was O.

* normally they make sense, don’t know what’s up this month.

luteal phase defect

My last luteal phase was again only 9 days long. I noted this issue when I first began charting. My ob/gyn gave me progesterone suppositories, but based on this article I also started to take vitamin B6, also because I had read elsewhere that a sign of vit B6 deficiency is that you cannot remember your dreams. (As a scientist, the lack of properly controlled studies and solid data in much of the medical world drives me nuts. But that’s a topic for another day.) Well, I could hardly remember any dream in the morning, so I went shopping and finally found a pharmacy that had a supplement with 50mg+ pills. It didn’t affect my preovulatory phase in the first cycle (luteal phase was long, but with progesterone support). The next cycle, ovulation was on CD11, quite a change from around 20 before, but the eggwhite cervical fluid only appeared afterwards… probably my body was rather confused. I stopped taking B6 sometime thereafter because of oddly tingling feet (possible side effect of high doses, cf. Wikipedia, improved soon after I stopped taking it).

Whether because of the vitamins or not, both my pre-ovulatory and post-ovulatory phases have varied by several days in each cycle. Which made timing sex for conception rather difficult — the “usual” 3-5 day window doesn’t seem to work for us, obviously …

Now as I’m back to the short luteal phase, I have started supplementing again, but much lower doses (20mg). Let’s see if this works.