Tag Archives: ovulation

She Says… I’ve Got the Fever

Nope, not the kind of fever we usually have around this house. (Though, mercifully, we haven’t had much of that at all recently!)

BABY FEVER.

For so long, I felt very strongly that I wasn’t quite ready to rock the boat and have another baby. My time with just Owen has been so special and sweet and intimate. Owen is such a lovely little boy and I haven’t felt ready to share him, or myself, with another baby. I wasn’t ready to split my attention and cause unnecessary chaos and turn my perfect life upside down.

Everyone around me is pregnant. And I mean everyone. Almost all of my friends who have babies Owen’s age are pregnant again. Together. Their bellies are growing and they laugh about how crazy it will be to have kids so close in age and how they will be best friends.

And slowly, ever so slowly, those little thoughts have begun to pop into my mind too. Fleeting, at first. A pang to feel those floppy newborn legs. An image in my mind of how cute Owen would be hugging a little “brudder”. Thinking about how, even if we got pregnant thisverysecond, we’d have 9 months to prepare and Owen would be like a different kid. Nine months ago feels like a lifetime in terms of the developmental milestones Owen has gone through, and I imagine the next 9 months will be the same. He’ll be big enough to help. He’ll be such an awesome big brother.

But then, of course, I hear the other voice in my head shouting, “Wait! Wait!”. Two kids in daycare changes our financial situation quite a bit. Two kids makes traveling (especially solo) that much harder. Two kids means we need to find a babysitter who’s cool with taking care of both at the same time. Two kids means splitting my attention during bedtime routines and cuddling with Owen one-on-one and not having the sole focus or time to have a long conversation filling in the blanks that his sweet toddler brain leaves out. And on and on and on. There’s a lot to think about when considering another baby.

And then, once my mind has gone in a million circles about timing and months and age difference and seasons to be pregnant… it all comes back to one, humbling thought. What a luxury to be able to actually plan when you get pregnant.

Although we’re not “trying” yet, and I really don’t know how quickly we will get pregnant, we are in a completely different situation than when we thought about getting pregnant the first time. And I am thankful for it every day. With Owen, we had our perfect schedule laid out, and then we took a detour when my body had other plans. Now, thanks to pregnancy and birth and, well, most likely just time without birth control, my body seems to have reset. We have no reason to believe that we will have trouble getting pregnant the next time. I’ve been charting cycles and they are shockingly normal with an identifiable ovulation day. No predictor kits. No drugs. No nothin’. Bodies are amazing things, people!

We have a plan for Baby #2. And it involves waiting a bit longer before we start trying. I’m just getting my head in the game.

What do you think is the ideal age difference between siblings? What month would you most like to give birth, if you could choose?

She Says… Thanks, Sorry and Dinner

THANKS.

Thank you all so much for your thoughtful responses to yesterday’s post about postpartum birth control. You gave me some great things to think about.

For those who are interested, I am still on the fence about an IUD because of the things I listed (many of which were confirmed by commenters!). I’m still totally against the pill because of hormones and messing with my body’s natural cycles. It seems like I would be a perfect match for FAM (I’ve read TCOYF twice and temped for several cycles while I was working with a fertility specialist to get pregnant with Owen), except that while that may keep me from actually getting pregnant, it won’t keep me from worrying that I am pregnant because I would constantly be wondering if I messed up. Having unprotected sex for most of the month (the unfertile days) makes sense in theory, but accidents happen. Also, I have a 1 year old who gets me up at odd hours of the night sometimes, and I like to have a few drinks. Both of which messes up the tracking. Also, I don’t necessarily trust my body yet to be reliable enough for this method. So… that leaves me with condoms or a diaphragm. Or abstinence.

The most important lesson I learned from hearing all of your stories is that no matter WHAT option I choose, there is going to be a chance that I get pregnant anyway. Case in point: someone whose husband even got a vasectomy was worried she was pregnant! No method is 100% reliable except abstinence (this message brought to you by my 7th grade health class). But we’re not going there. So one way or another, we’re going to have to roll the dice.

That said, I have reached the point that I actually think about having and WANTING another baby. I think we want 3 years between Owen and his future brother or sister (and maybe other brothers/sisters beyond that), so we’re not quite there yet. But I have started to imagine what life will be like with two little munchkins, and I kind of like what I’m seeing. When Owen was first born I remember wondering if I would ever have room in my heart for another baby. If I could ever get to the point where I was ready to share him, and myself, with someone else in that way. Little by little, that answer is becoming yes.

Don’t get too excited. Not QUITE yet.

SORRY.

Sorry for not putting a disclaimer on yesterday’s post like “If you don’t want to read about my sex life, STOP READING NOW.” Apparently there are some people (ahem, Owen’s grandparents) who come here to read about what cute thing Owen is doing these days, and yesterday they got slammed with some info they probably wish they’d never read. Ooops. Disclaimer next time. Promise.

DINNER.

You can tell a lot about someone by the blogs they read. My first foray into blog reading was with healthy living blogs. I was working on getting into the best shape of my life, knowing that I was going to try to get pregnant, and I was looking for some inspiration for healthy recipes, workout ideas, etc. When I was trying to conceive (TTC), my blogroll was filled with others trying to conceive. Slowly some of the TTC blogs turned to Mom Blogs, and the demographics of my Google Reader changed again. I expanded into nursery design blogs to get ideas for Owen’s room. Since we bought the house I’ve added even more design blogs. And now I feel like I’ve come full circle and I’ve started adding food blogs back into my repertoire.

I love the inspiration. I see something on a food blog, and whether I save the exact recipe or not, the ideas, the flavors, the pictures are etched into my brain. When I’m at the grocery store I dig into the recesses of my memory. Someone posted a quinoa salad. What did it have in it? What about if I went with beans… I think I’ve seen one with black beans and peppers and mmmm cilantro and maybe some fresh lime juice, yes, I can just wing it from here… And then all of a sudden I have dinner.

So I have an idea. I’m thinking of posting my dinner ideas for those who need a little inspiration. I can’t promise new, original recipes or fancy dancy pictures (because, let’s be honest, I’m doing about the most I can do just to get a single blog post out every day!). But maybe at the end of each post, I can write what we had for dinner last night or something. I’ll link to recipes if I used one.

Would you be into that? Or should I leave the food blogging to the food bloggers?

She Says… Decisions, Decisions

At my 6 week checkup with my OB after Owen was born, I remember her asking me what kind of birth control we were planning on using. Ha! Birth control! I thought at the time. How ironic. I couldn’t even GET pregnant without the help of two doctors, several cycles of monitoring, lots of needle sticks and ultrasounds and drugs, so I wasn’t really worried about an “oops baby”, thankyouverymuch. And shouldn’t someone who struggled with infertility be overjoyed with a freebie, after all of that work?

Besides. I was NOT one of those women chomping at the bit to, uhh, how shall I put this delicately… get back on that horse right away.

So we I put off the decision entirely.

As you know, it took another 10 months for my period to even come back, and in that time we were using the dreaded condom method. You know, umm, most of the time. Bottom line? We were being REALLY stupid since we were/are not ready to have a sibling for Owen yet. But can you blame us? Condoms are a real buzzkill!

But something scary happened at the end of last week. After three relatively normal cycles, I was late. I hadn’t been writing any dates down because I’m trying to be totally laid back and let my body do its thing for now… but I knew I was late. The first day I chalked it up to not counting correctly. The second day I blamed it on stress. The third day my stomach was upset all day thinking about the possibility. I finally mentioned it to Benjamin because I couldn’t think about anything else. Then HE was stressed too. The fourth day we started to have some very serious conversations about the future of our family — and then stopped, because really, that was a bit premature. I did everything I could to “bring on” my period. I wore white pants. I left the house without a tampon. I told myself I would take a pregnancy test on Saturday morning. Then finally, thankfully as soon as I got to work on Friday, it came. Almost a full week late. Hence no blog post on Friday. Too many thoughts to make sense of.

I learned a few very important lessons:
1. We need to figure out a better form of birth control. I can’t take that kind of stress!
2. I have kind of long cycles, so I shouldn’t be counting 28 days like a normal human being. I should start writing this stuff down.
3. It’s ok to not be ready for another baby yet, even if it was excruciatingly hard to conceive Owen.

I am pretty much convinced at this point that my infertility was caused by using birth control pills. I essentially stopped my body from ovulating for a decade, and then expected it to start right back up again as soon as I stopped taking those little pills. Obviously that didn’t go so well. As a result, I’m 100% unwilling to put hormones back into my body again. I refuse to change what is happening naturally. I am so, so thankful that things appear to be in working order again and I will do just about anything to keep them that way. Hence the condom method. But that severely limits the birth control options available to me!

The other option I’m considering is ParaGard (copper IUD that doesn’t contain hormones). Reasons I’m scared about this method?
1. I know someone who has gotten pregnant on an IUD. It’s super unlikely, but scary nonetheless.
2. Insertion can hurt. The pamphlets say that after you’ve had a vaginal delivery, insertion shouldn’t hurt at all, but I’ve heard testimony otherwise.
3. Complications like the device perforating my uterus and requiring a hysterectomy.
4. Feeling it poking me during sex. Or Benjamin feeling it poking HIM during sex. Eww.

It’s time for a little field research. What birth control method did you choose post-partum? How do you feel about that decision?

She Says… Normal Again?

Something exciting happened yesterday.

Side note: If you are a friend or family reading who doesn’t want to know about the inner workings of my body, you probably want to skip this post.

As I was saying, something exciting happened yesterday. It was both expected and unexpected at the same time.

I got my 1st period since January of 2009. And if I ovulated (like a normal person), then I ovulated for the first time since I was, like, 17 (since the birth control that I was on made it so I didn’t ovulate for the decade that I was on it). That’s a LONG time.

I have heard that pregnancy can sort of “reset” your body after struggling with infertility. For the last 10.5 months since Owen was born, my fingers have been crossed that my period would come back. (For those who haven’t been reading long, I went off birth control in January of 2009 and my period never returned, so I had to see a slew of reproductive endocrinologists and take Clomid to force my body to ovulate in order to get pregnant).

Prior to January of 2009 I would’ve killed NOT to have my period (such a pain, no?). But this time, it was the most welcome surprise. Also, about 2 weeks prior I think I remember seeing some other signs that indicated that I was actually ovulating. Go, body!

It’s awesome, awesome news. Maybe the next time we try to make a baby we won’t have to try quite as hard. And I don’t even mind that it happened while I’m at the beach. Perhaps my fertility luck is changing, and I can be a normal babymaking person for the next round.

 

She Says… Google Away

One thing I Googled incessantly (oh, who are we kidding, what didn’t I Google incessantly?!) over the last 9 months of trying to concieve is the earliest pregnancy symptoms and when they show up. Obviously this is a futile search, because every woman’s body is completely different, but somehow it put my mind at ease to read about what other people felt, and imagine that I might be feeling that too. Hey, it never hurts to keep hope alive, right? So here is a list of the earliest pregnancy symptoms I experienced and about when I experienced them (in no particular order):

  • Excessive thirst. Right around ovulation time I remember feeling constantly parched. And it never really let up since then. I’ve started downing TWO big Nalgene bottles of water every day at work, where I used to just drink one. And now I’m drinking another few glasses at night and taking one to set on my nightstand if I wake up thirsty in the middle of the night. Wow. I’ve never needed this much water before.
  • Tender ta-tas. I really thought I’d get out of this common pregnancy symptom since I’ve never really had breast pain (waaaay back when I used to get my period, that is). Not to mention the fact that my boobs are relatively… ermmm… small, so I didn’t really think there was much there to cause pain. But boy, was I wrong. My nipples started to feel tingly around 10 days past ovulation (dpo). Not painful, just sort of weird and sensitive. By 14dpo, that tingliness had given way to soreness and itchiness. Like they were bruised and I have bug bites. Since then it’s been a little uncomfortable to sleep since they are so sensitive.
  • Nagging, tense feeling in lower abdomen. This probably started around 11 dpo. It was not exactly a cramping feeling like I used to get with my period (although I didn’t really get bad cramps from my period, at least I have that to thank you for, birth control!), but more of a tugging or localized soreness. Now that I know that I’m pregnant, I know that is my uterus stretching (yes, already, isn’t that amazing?!). I guess prior to getting the positive pregnancy test, one can never be sure if their cramps are period-related or pregnancy-related, but this time I got lucky! I still feel this every once in awhile; it’s one of the only ways I can detect that I’m still pregnant!
  • Insomnia. Yep, some women get fatigued, and others just CAN’T sleep at all. Guess which camp I fell into? I’m generally a very good sleeper. I go to bed early, sleep all the way through the night, and can usually fall right back to sleep if I have to get up to pee or if I’m woken up for some reason. But starting about 9 or 10 dpo, I would wake up every morning at around 3:30am and could not go back to sleep. Not if my life depended on it. Now, I’m not sure if this was a result of being subconsciously anxious about the upcoming pregnancy test, but either way, it was pregnancy-related! The last few nights I have been able to sleep until about 5:30am, so it’s getting better.
  • Increased body temperature. As anyone who charts their temperature knows, your body temperature raises after ovulation, and usually dips back down once you start your period. I had been charting my temps for about 5 months before this past cycle, and in all that time I’ve never seen a distinct rise. I had crazy little peaks and valleys all the time — no rhyme or reason to the erratic pattern. But then this cycle my temp rose steadily following ovulation, higher than ever before. And it kept rising. And it stayed high. And it still hasn’t gone down! So for all you PCOSers like myself who see no method to the madness of your cycles… have faith! If/when you actually ovulate, you WILL see a distinct change. And it’s pretty amazing.
  • Fullness/bloating. This, unfortunately, is a symptom that I have had since I ovulated (for the first time… maybe ever) back in mid-November. When I ovulated, my stomach was totally bloated from the two big ass follicles I pushed through my fallopian tubes. If you were reading back then, you probably remember there were a few days when I had a bit of pain and I even had to unbutton my pants while sitting at my computer in my cubicle. But it didn’t really go away after that… the full feeling continued. Around 8-9 dpo I would feel stuffed after I ate even a few bites of food (which is VERY unlike me :) ). By 14 dpo my stomach was puffed out like I was already pregnant! I feel like I’m “showing” already, even though the baby is no bigger than a poppyseed. Yesterday at the gym, Benjamin said to me, “You’re sticking out your stomach like you’re pregnant.” And I said, “I’m NOT sticking out my stomach. But thanks a lot”. Ha! Bloating sucks. But I must say, I’m pretty psyched about the pseudo baby bump I’ve got going on now that I know it’s “real”!
  • Heightened sense of smell. I read in “What to Expect” that this is nature’s way of making you avoid foods that might be harmful to the developing baby, as most women experience super smells that are offensive or gag-inducing. I think my sniffer has been in overdrive for all smells, though, because I was in sensory heaven cooking all day for Thanksgiving, and I keep smelling freshly baked cookies or cake at random times (that no one else can smell). It’s not so bad to smell cake all the time! But from what I’ve heard, this side-effect can quickly turn against me if/when morning sickness kicks in and all I can smell is gross things.
  • Constipation. Oh, the lovelist topic. Not much to say here, except that I generally have this issue, so it took me awhile to realize this as a symptom of pregnancy. Although I didn’t think it was humanly possible, IT HAS GOTTEN SO MUCH WORSE. ‘Nuff said. Friends and family, aren’t you so glad you know about the blog now?

So, I hope that helps someone out there! Tomorrow I am officially 5 weeks, so most of the heavy duty symptoms (ahem, morning sickness, ahem) haven’t kicked in yet. “What to Expect” tells me I can expect that around week 6 or 7. Something to look forward to, no?

She Says… 10 dpo

Well folks, here we are again. 10 days past ovulation. This time last cycle I was starting to take pregnancy tests (since 10dpo is just about the earliest time you can get a positive on a home pregnancy test). Five straight days of waking up at the butt crack of dawn to test was exhausting and disappointing, to put it mildly. So this time? NO TESTS UNTIL 14dpo… the day of my expected period. Also happens to be the day I go in for my blood pregnancy test. I may even just wait and see what the beta results are… but Benjamin said he really wants that moment of seeing the positive test together, so we’ll probably test that morning.

This morning I woke up to a lower temp than I was hoping for, so who knows, maybe that’s a sign that this month isn’t it for us. However, I woke up several times last night, and ended up taking my temp at 4am, two hours before my normal time… so those results are probably not reliable at all. I got a 98.0 at 4am, and then 98.8 at 6am. Confusing. My nipples have been tingly and a little tender on and off for the last few days, which could be a good sign. I never get sore boobs, not even way back when I used to get my period. So who knows.

I’m restricting myself from Google, which means I might have to restrict myself from the computer as a whole :)  But, lucky for me, Benjamin and I have a TON to do this weekend to prepare for Turkey Day next week. Today: acupuncture, yoga, dog walks, cleaning the bathrooms, making my checklists and grocery lists. Tomorrow: deep cleaning the whole house and giving the dog a bath. Here we go!

She Says… Getting Warmer

This morning I recorded my highest temp yet!

And it was at 5am, which is an hour before I normally take it (I woke up to pee). The last few nights I’ve been waking up and haven’t been able to get back to sleep very easily. This is very unlike me! Usually if I wake up to go to the bathroom, or because I heard a noise or something, I’ll go right back to sleep. Maybe since I’m consciously trying to be so zen this cycle, my unconscious is working overtime at being anxious about being pregnant?! Not sure about that one.

Although this is the first cycle I am seeing any sort of trend in my normally erratic temps, I am happy to see that things are looking relatively “normal”, with a detectable ovulation day and higher post-ovulation temps. Now if I can just be one of those lucky people who gets a third tier of temps to indicate pregnancy… I’d be totally psyched. That’s right, I said psyched :)

THANK GOODNESS FOR THANKSGIVING! Benjamin and I are hosting some of his family for the big meal next week. That gives me plenty to work on while this last week of waiting crawls by. Do you have any special Thanksgiving recipes or traditions?

She Says… One Step Forward

Wow, that first week of the two week wait went by REALLY quickly. I have been so busy! Even though I’m still thinking about being pregnant almost every second of every day, I have a much more zen mindset this cycle. Less Googling, more dreaming; less stressing, more accepting. I’m doing several new things to help prepare my body for possible pregnancy, and I’m feeling optimistic, but not letting my hopes get too high yet.

Some good things have been going on:

  • My temps have stayed elevated since ovulation (though not skyrocketing)
  • I’ve been chilling out on the cardio and just doing lots of walking
  • I’ve felt lots of twinges and muscle tensing and stuff going on in my lower abdomen — things are definitely happening!
  • No bleeding! This time last cycle (7 dpo) I had my bleeding incident, which, looking back on it, was most likely a partial period as a result of my partial ovulation. Since it was so early and so small, I mistook it for implantation bleeding. But no bleeding this time (yet), which is a great sign!

And the really good news I just got — my progesterone test this morning showed a level of 25.5! A perfectly healthy number! Anything above 10 is considered “good” and confirmation that ovulation occurred, but 25 shows that my body is capable of sustaining a pregnancy on its own without more drugs or supplements. Seeing as last month my progesterone level was .22 (yes, less than one!), a 25.5 is a HUGE improvement.

So… I’m feeling good! I’m off to a midday yoga class (ah, the joys of working from home once in awhile) to meditate on the implantation I hope is happening in there RIGHT NOW :) One more week until the very important blood test!

She Says… More Needles!

Before our “let’s make a baby” story turned into an, “OMG we’re having trouble making a baby” story, I was quite a scaredy cat when it came to needles. Growing up I had a tendency to, uhh, pass out when I had blood taken at my yearly physical. My mom would have to hold me on her lap… even when I was well past the age where that was acceptable and/or comfortable. Either that or they’d lay me down on a gurney to take my blood. Fun, eh? I always close my eyes when I see people getting blood drawn or shots on tv (which is most episodes of Grey Anatomy!). It’s not the blood, it’s the needles that really get me.

Anyway, when I didn’t get my period after going off the pill, that seemed to open the floodgates to more and more bloodwork that needed to be done. When I went to get my first big blood draw at Boston IVF they warned me they were going to take 12 vials of blood. I felt that old lightheaded feeling come over me again and decided to let them know I should probably lay down during the blood draw. Since then, though, I’ve been going once every few weeks for various bloodwork — pregnancy test here, progesterone test there, hormone test just for fun, etc. And each time I get a little bit more used to it.

That was a long intro to let you know what a big decision it was for me to willingly subject myself to needles in the form of acupuncture. I have read countless websites singing the praises of acupuncture for fertility, but I just couldn’t bring myself to try it. Paying money to have someone stick needles in you? Not for me, thanks. Since I have taken up yoga, though, I have become a bit more openminded about the possibilities of holistic treatments, and I decided to give it a go. Also, since I may have just ovulated for the first time ever, and may actually be carrying an egg around inside my uterus right about now, I figured now would be a great time to increase blood flow to the uterus and generally balance my body.

I found an acupuncture place near my house and made an initial consultation appointment last Friday. I told her my story, about my PCOS diagnosis and where I was in my cycle currently, and she asked me lots of questions. She felt that I may be misdiagnosed, as she believes PCOS to be sort of a blanket diagnosis, and quite often, in her experience, the condition can be reversed with chinese herbs and acupuncture. Given my young age, she suggested that I consider stopping fertility treatments for a few months and giving those things a try. (Note: I’m not going to do this, as I’m very anxious to conceive and the Clomid seems to be working well for me, but I valued her suggestion and her expertise). However, she was not pushy and said she’d be happy to treat me with acupuncture no matter if I decide to continue with traditional fertility treatments or not. She also said that some of my other symptoms (being cold most of the time, cold/numb hands and feet, constipation, etc.) were indicative of what they call a “blood deficiency” in Chinese medicine. It’s common in women and vegetarians (I am mostly vegetarian) and those who exercise a lot (which I did prior to TTC). Anyway, she recommended some dietary changes as well as acupuncture twice a week for the next three months.

Then came the needles! What they say is true… it really wasn’t bad! I sat in a big recliner and she stuck needles in my feet, hands, forehead and ears. Then she handed me a call button to ring if I needed her, but said she’d pretty much leave me alone for the next 45 minutes or so. All I had to was relax. I found it a little hard to relax thinking about the needles sticking out of me (maybe a blindfold would’ve helped?!), but I did after awhile and it was fine. At about 45 minutes I rang my bell and she took the needles out.

My first follow-up appointment is today. I think I’ll be a lot less nervous and hopefully can relax more this time. I imagine it takes practice.

Have you tried acupuncture or other holistic wellness treatments for fertility? Would you?

He Says… Sexy Time!

feet

Today Kate told me that she is PUPO (Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise).  I think this is a really silly acronym, and kind of funny that somebody came up with it, but yes, I guess she is PUPO.  So we have to wait a week and a half now to see if all of our hard work paid off.

Ok, so baby making isn’t exactly hard work, but we definitely had a sort of funny night on Thursday when we knew the time was right…for everything but our libidos.  Kate’s OPK was positive on Wednesday which meant that Tuesday-Thursday were the prime days for “having relations”.  Wednesday we had a “nice” evening, but we agreed that we should cover all our bases on Thursday too.  But I had worked a really long day on a shoot and didn’t get home until 10pm and had another early shoot the next day.  Without getting too specific, let’s just say this was one of the first times in my life that when presented with the option of having sex that I really was not interested (and Kate, I love you, you know it was not you).  I made this perfectly clear, but was not trying to back out of my responsibilities.  I just wanted my case known.  Kate was pretty much in the same boat, but was a little more adamant that we had a job to do.  I think she found it quite funny that I was in such an abnormal state; I doubt I have EVER turned down sex.

Fortunately, as a guy, this small speed bump of not wanting sex was quickly overcome and we took care of our business and all was good.

And for all those discussing the possibility of twins because of her giant pair of follicles… you are scaring me!