It has now been 71 days since I last got my period and went off birth control. That is two and a half cycles. In that time I have, on two separate occasions, thought I was preggo, identifying and overanalyzing “symptoms” that may or may not have really existed (not to mention spending time and money on unneeded pregnancy tests!). The whole process has opened my eyes to the reality that I actually have no idea what’s going on with my body. As a well-educated, intelligent person with a passion for living a healthy life, that bothers me. And it’s a little hard to admit.
My insatiable appetite for Googling has led me to countless discussion boards and websites for women trying to conceive. And the #1 response to almost every single one of these women is: Buy Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler. When my primary care physician mentioned this same book, I felt like I was being hit over the head. Why hadn’t I bought the book yet? I was getting information from all kinds of different sources, but neglecting the one source that hundreds of women endorse (and have for many years… this is not a new book). I think one reason I didn’t want to buy the book is that I didn’t want to admit how much I don’t know. Obviously that is a ridiculous reason, as the ignorance may be costing me valuable time “trying” to conceive.
So I bit the bullet. And bought the book.
I cracked it open last night, highlighter and pen in hand, ready for my first lesson. I could not put it down. I’m only on page 55 and already I have learned a few things reminiscent of fifth grade Health class that I did not know before (!), and am excited to begin putting this knowledge into practice by paying close attention to my own body. Weschler’s entire theory (though I am already quite convinced it is not just a theory… it is undeniable, scientific truth) is predicated on the idea that the commonly held belief that the average woman’s cycle is 28 days is a myth. For me, the bottom line is that even though I haven’t gotten my period in 71 days, that doesn’t necessarily mean I’ve “failed” at two cycles; I could be on a completely different calendar from the average woman. I can’t wait until I have time to read more. (Although I read on the subway on my way home from work everyday, I think I’ll be leaving this book at home… I may be an emancipated woman, but I still don’t feel comfortable reading a fertility book with images of cervical fluid on every other page in public!).
In the meantime, I also called my gynecologist to see when it would be appropriate for me to come back in to see her. She said I should call back and make an appointment in two weeks (a full 3 cycles since I went off birth control with no period), and she’d run some tests. So, the wheels are in motion! I’ll get this thing figured out in no time.