Friday, December 31, 2010

small victories

well apparently i ovulated within a normal timeframe this month.

and by "apparently" i mean i didn't think i had so i just kept taking my temperature every morning thinking that even on clomid i was going to continue having delayed ovulation.

my post-ovulation temperatures have been in the 98.0+ degree range for the past few months, so when my temperatures hadn't gotten above that point this week, i assumed it meant i hadn't ovulated yet.

{ this month is orange, slowly climbing... }


but lo and behold, when i plugged my weekly temperatures into fertilityfriend, they calculated ovulation on... wait for it...

DAY 16!!!!

that is a week earlier than last month. perhaps that means my luteal phase will also be within a normal range this month.

fingers crossed my lovelies!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

clomid, here i come

you know what i love? pro-active doctors. like mine.

i want to go through the whole appointment here so i don't forget a single detail, haha. i got to the appointment at 3:28pm and they immediately led me to a room, apparently i was the last patient of the day. the doc asked what was going on and i told him i'd been charting and thought i had a short luteal phase. he asked to see my charts. first he took one glance and said "how old are you? these don't look like the cycles of a healthy 25 year old girl!"

then he asked when i'd gotten off the pill and when my periods came. i said august 11, september 12, october 13, november 14, and december 11. he was ecstatic by these dates. i said they were annoying because they were generally 32 days apart, but he was just glad that i was having regularly timed cycles so soon after getting off of birth control. people always say it'll take time for your body to adjust and cycles to figure themselves out but nope, my body jumped right back on the wagon.

then we looked at each chart individually and i gave him the low down on each month. he said that it was really good i came in, because i have delayed ovulation and an inadequate luteal phase. just as i suspected!! he didn't seem to think it was based on stress given that it pretty consistently occurs on day 23. he said we could try progesterone to increase my luteal phase, but since i tried b6 last month and it didn't help, he didn't feel we needed to go that course.

instead he said "what you need is clomid."

i've heard the term "clomid" before. my friend laura has a ttc blog and i've seen the name there. i also saw it in a few forums when i was researching short luteal phases. my doc explained how it works and thinks the clomid could help trick my body into producing the chemicals it needs to sustain a pregnancy. he said they typically start the treatment on day 3 of the cycle and as luck would have it, yesterday was day 3! if they hadn't had an opening yesterday i would've had to wait another month to start treatment. thank science that all worked out.

if i don't get pregnant this month, i will go in again around cycle day 1-3 next month and we'll look at my charts to see how i'm progressing. if nothing happens in 3 or 4 months, i'll have the hsg test and hubby will be tested as well. if after 6 months the clomid hasn't been effective, we'll look into something else. but that's all down the road and right now we're going to focus on being positive this month!

i'm hoping to blog again later this week about one of the possible effects of clomid... TWINS. it's definitely something of interest to me since they run in my family.

later gators!

Monday, December 13, 2010

appt today

*warning: this is going to be an anatomical post*

i got my period on saturday. that means a 4 day luteal phase.

i called my gyno this morning and after telling them about my recent charts and this month's crazy short luteal phase, they actually asked me to come in this afternoon.

i wouldn't normally call after only trying to conceive for 4 months, but every month my luteal phase gets progressively shorter. and there's no way around it- you cannot have a baby with anything anything less than 10 days. it's not physically possible for the fertilized egg to implant.

i already knew i had something called a cervical eversion. all i remember about it is that it has to do with the cells in the lining of my uterus and that it's not normally a big deal, but sometimes can be. they recommended i have surgery to fix it about a year or two ago, but we weren't ever planning to have kids so i passed. now i'm wondering if it has something to do with my short luteal phases. after all, we're talking about a fertilized egg's ability to implant IN the lining of my uterus...

so i'm going to take my charts up to the doctor's office this afternoon and discuss a plan of action. i was surprised that they wanted me to come in so soon, i could've waited a few days, but i suppose that means i'm not overreacting and they really are concerned.

also, we found out that two of our best friends are pregnant... with twins. jealous much?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

mystery solved?

i think i've solved the mystery of the high temperatures.

if i had taken temperatures prior to starting b6, i could probably be more confident about this, but i believe one of two things might have happened.

scenario #1
from what i've read, b6 increases the progesterone in your system. progesterone is the reason you get elevated temperatures post-O and it's also the reason temperatures stay high during pregnancy. that leads me to believe that taking an additional amount of progesterone will increase your temperature, regardless of whether it's before or after O-day. if this assumption is correct, perhaps i'll O in the next couple of days. this is my chart so far, and i feel the peak on saturday was due solely to taking my temperature 2 hours later than usual.


scenario #2
taking b6 corrected my cycle in a matter of two days and i ovulated on day 16 or 17. i've read a few articles and testimonials about b6 correcting peoples' cycles from like, day 30 ovulation to day 14 ovulation. but they also started taking it on day 1 of their cycle, whereas i started taking it on day 15. this scenario is doubtful, but i suppose it's possible.

so i'm on day 24 and haven't seen a large spike yet, perhaps it'll come today or tomorrow. i hope my luteal phase increases this month. if not, i'll survive.

and i haven't decided what i'm going to do next month... take temperatures knowing that i've introduced a variable (b6), so i can see what its effects are? or stop taking temperatures altogether and cross my fingers? i really suck at the latter, as evidenced this month, lol.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

confuseballs

as you'll remember, i decided not to be fertility obsessed this month and i successfully refrained from googling and fertility friending day and night. i even deleted the mydays app.

well that was all hunky dory, but i knew i wanted to take temperatures a few days before ovulation, just to make sure it was happening.

now if you'll recollect, these were my previous charts.

september - month 2


october - month 3

now this is what i have so far for
november - month 4

and lastly, here is an overlay of the 3 charts

what is weird to me, is that the temperatures this month are what in previous months have been post-ovulation temperatures. i've previously ovulated on days 21 and 23. today is day 22, so this is around the time it should happen. but on day 17 i had a temperature of 97.85, which is even higher than my ovulation day temperature in october and right about my ovulation day temperature for september! maybe the 98.3 spike from yesterday was ovulation? it's hard to say with such high temperatures in the couple of days before.

i wasn't paying attention to how high my temperatures were this week, i remembered having temps ending in .9 in previous months, i didn't piece together that those were 96.9 not 97.9... i was simply trying to establish a baseline so ovulation could be detected when the spike came. now i see that these are well above my usual baseline of 97.3.

anyways, maybe taking b6 increases your basal body temperature? i'm fairly sure the b6 couldn't have affected my ovulation already, i've heard it takes a month or two. so it would seem strange that ovulation would happen 4 days or more before usual, a mere 2 days after i started taking the vitamin!

i'll keep you guys posted on my temperatures over the next few weeks. perhaps these higher temperatures are my new base. perhaps the stars have aligned and i ovulated on a normal freaking day, instead of a week after the average.

damn it, here i am dissecting every little part of my chart! this is exactly what i was trying not to do!! time to watch harry potter and back away from the google. ;-)

Monday, November 29, 2010

luteal phase defect

after realizing that my luteal phase on my last cycle was only 9 days and the cycle before that was 10 days, i was a bit concerned. i did some research on the subject and apparently it is difficult to conceive if your luteal phase is less than 12 days. i knew i had read that it could be an issue in what to expect before you're expecting, but i couldn't recall if it was a make or break kind of thing. turns out it is genuinely a make or break scenario. even if your egg is fertilized, it won't have sufficient time to implant if your luteal phase is so short.

one of the easiest ways to overcome this issue is to take extra vitamin b-6. it's best to take it with additional b-12 in a "b-complex" vitamin. so this weekend i purchased a bottle of b-complex 50, which contains 50mg of b-6 (amongst b-12 and other vitamins). i think it's best to start taking them when aunt flo starts, but i didn't know about b-6 until a few days ago, so i figure there's no harm in starting them now. if i don't see a change with 50mg, i can increase my dosage to 100mg.

so that is where the quest for a baby stands. i'm really glad i started charting when i did and perhaps by discovering my deficiency early, it can help us get pregnant sooner. i'm going to start checking my temperature again from december 1 - 15. o-day is supposed to be december 6th, but since i've started on b-6 it's possible that it will come early, in which case i need temps a few days before to establish a cover line.

we saw my niece addison this weekend and she is just the cutest. we got in the car and the second our doors closed i said "i want an addison!" hopefully the additional b-6 will be what we need to have baby enginerd next year!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

much better now

alright, well that's over. i had a good little "woe is me" cry this morning over the whole not being pregnant thing.

i have the most amazing husband though... no matter what is on my mind or what is bothering me, he's so good at cheering me up. he doesn't take the typical "oh honey, it'll all be okay" approach (which admittedly, sometimes i DO need) but instead says really funny things to make me laugh. then of course he reminds me that we have two hilarious little fur babies to dote on until we have a human baby. :-)

and there are some positives about not being pregnant yet. for one, i only have about 50 hours of personal time saved for maternity leave so far. i need around 200 hours total, not including what will naturally accrue and short-term disability. if i continue to work about 5 hours of overtime every week i can easily get there. but every month i'm not pregnant is less overtime i'll have to work when i am.

also every month that i'm not pregnant is another month towards another work raise and more financial stability. and another month of saving money. and another month of not changing dirty diapers.

plus i have 3 good months of cycles to work off of. i'm pretty confident in knowing when i'll ovulate now, and when to expect my period. i know that my cycles are 32 days, which i never knew before. so i don't really need to take temperatures or chart symptoms anymore. i'll put a big X on my calendar for the anticipated o-day, take a couple temperatures before and after to confirm that i did indeed ovulate, then let nature take it's course. i'd say i'm going to quit taking temps and such altogether, but i do need the reassurance that i'm ovulating and that can only come with checking my temps.

so i'm going to focus on the positive! i've never been one to dwell on negatives or be depressed about things, i'm the most obnoxiously optimistic person most of my friends have ever come across. i'm not going to give up my bright side mentality for a lack of patience in something going my way. in the words of scarlett o'hara:

after all... tomorrow is another day.

another month

another month has gone by and i'm not pregnant. there will be no christmas announcement, no summer baby. my luteal phase was only 9 days this month, down from 10 last month (i mistakenly calculated 12 days on my own last month, fertility friend has calculated otherwise). that's not a healthy number. that's the number of a potential deficiency.

i'm putting my books away, my bbt thermometer away, i don't have the energy to read into every temperature shift and cramp in my body. i get my hopes up and it doesn't happen. when i bought a pregnancy test yesterday my husband said i'm too invested and i said i just wanted to be prepared. i know it's only been 3 months of trying, but it's been 4 months since we decided to start trying in july. 123 days of having my brain consumed by all things baby.

now i'm tired of hearing people and their first month success stories. they just make me bitter and resentful. i've given up wine, i've given up caffeine, i've significantly lowered my sugar intake. it took us 6 months to get pregnant when we weren't trying 6 years ago, including a month where i was gone in iowa. and in that time i was partying, eating pizza everyday, and living off of no sleep because i was in college. now that i'm being responsible and careful and doing everything by the book, nothing is happening, not even an early chemical pregnancy.

go figure.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

new charting obsession

when i took my temperature this morning, it was 0.4 degrees higher than yesterday, and higher than any other post-o temperature i've recorded. i thought it was odd but also thought i'd read about it somewhere, so i looked it up. if my temperature stays a few tenths of a degree higher over the next few days, it could mean i'm having a triphasic pattern, which is consistent with implantation, or in happier terms, pregnancy. however, this also happens in very rare non-pregnancy cases. and actually, even in pregnant cases it's generally rare. i don't want to read into it too early, but i'll be crossing my fingers for more high temps.

so moral of the story, while i was googling triphasic information, i came across a website called fertilityfriend.com. i spent almost my entire lunch break filling in the charts! i have been recording everything in the "my days" app on my phone, and it's gone pretty well, but this website does a lot of calculating that the app doesn't do. i can decide if certain temperatures should be "discarded" like i drank 3 glasses of wine the night before, so that's why this temperature is high, it's invalid, or hubby turned the a/c down to 68, so i was freezing cold the night before. then based on the temps it detects ovulation, when your most fertile time was, how many days your follicular and luteal phases were, etc. i had my phone app and a google doc going to calculate this stuff. but turns out i can track it in one place! so these were my first 2 charts. i didn't start taking temps until right before o-time in september and i didn't do it at all during the first month.



i'm really excited to keep using this website (unless of course, i'm pregnant). i love me some calculations and graphs!

Monday, November 8, 2010

fibbing

the hardest thing about trying to conceive is having to lie to people. i'm not a good liar and i have always disliked people who lie, but in the past few months i've had to be that person and i hate it!

why? because hubs and i are so gung-ho on having our potential pregnancy be a surprise to our friends and family. we want people to be floored when we announce it. obviously we're hoping for a christmas announcement to our fam, but if that doesn't work we're thinking we'll throw one of our usual backyard bbq's and tell our close friends then (as opposed to them finding out on facebook or my blog). maybe go down to victoria the weekend before and tell my mom and steph in person.

a couple of people know we are trying. first of all, the 5 people who have the link to this website. selina and laura p, two of my pregnant / trying to be pregnant blog friends; laura, my sister; and crystal and nichole, two of my very closest friends. outside of that, our best couple friends jake and leslie know we're trying because hubs drunkenly started talking about BABY NAMES to them while we were all bbqing a few months ago, hilarious. and my best friends megan, keli, and liz know. oh, and my dad and stepmom.

anyways, that's it, about 10 people total know we're trying. which isn't a lot in my book, considering my immediate family clan (parents, siblings, their spouses, aunts, grandparents) is around 25 people. tack on my close cousins and you're up to 50. then you know, like 500 more facebook friends and 150 more blog friends. so yeah, i don't think 10 is bad. but it's really hard to keep it a secret because i have no filter when it comes to personal topics. possibly the only thing that makes it remotely easy is that we're still in the TRYING phases. i bet it's going to be a zillion times harder when we actually do come out pregnant. it's been hardest to keep this from my family, namely my sisters, brother, and mom. but i also know that if i tell them, they'll likely ask and pressure us all the time.

for instance, my niece was born about a week and a half ago and my mom had her video camera at the hospital. she points the camera AT MY UTERUS (i shit you not, like, half stomach, half personal area, at my uterus) and says "soooo is there a baby in there!?" i said "no, mom, not yet, give it a few years." then of course we get in the car to leave and hubs says "does your mom know we're trying!?" i assured him that i haven't told her. but wow, for someone who simply knows we're thinking about having kids at some point down the line, she is awfully presumptuous! love her to pieces and it really was funny of her, but that's the kind of stuff i'm afraid of, the pressure. i feel like i have enough going on at work and home and trying to get pregnant, that i don't want people asking me every other week if i've conceived yet. and ok, obviously if i start talking about baby stuff those of you who know reserve the right to say "is there a baby yet!?"

and then yesterday, i found myself lying to our friend ruthie. she asked if we were planning to have kids and i said yes, but not until i get my PE (professional engineering license). and just last week on facebook my friend janie made a remark about hubs and i having kiddos. again, i said something like haha thanks, but not for a couple of years!

i don't like lying to people, but then i think it'll be even better and shocking when we get pregnant. on the other hand, this could backfire and people might be think it was an accident. hmm, oh well!

so that's been weighing on my mind since yesterday. i'm a terrible liar because i always feel so guilty, but i don't want to feel more pressured, i want to be relaxed about trying to conceive. and hopefully it'll be worth it in the end, hopefully there is a little somethin somethin growing right now. who knows!?

Friday, November 5, 2010

victory

apparently all i had to do was rant about O-day for it to finally come. temperature spike this morning = victory!

now to patiently wait the next two weeks to see if we successfully conceived this month... crossing my fingers!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

cray-cray cycles

possibly my favorite thing about trying to conceive is the tracking cycles part. well, honestly i can think of one particular thing that i enjoy a bit more... but anywho! you don't need to hear about all that. the point is, i loved tracking until now. it is officially driving me crazy because there aren't any dang patterns!!

i do oddly enjoy taking my temperature, recording this data, recording that data, paying attention to my body like i never actually took the time to understand before. this would probably be considered a chore to some people, but i adore organization and planning so i'm all over it.

moral of the story though, my cycles are kind of bat shit. i've heard it takes a month or two for your hormones to figure themselves out and get back into a regime but on month 3 mine is as odd as ever.

month 1 - 32 days
16 day follicular phase
16 day luteal phase

month 2 - 31 days
19 day follicular phase
12 day luteal phase

month 3 - ??
22+ day follicular phase
?? luteal phase

i don't know that i trust the first month because that estimate is based on ovulation prediction kits, which i have come to not trust. i've never had a line that was as dark as the test line, which is frustrating. the second month i took my temperature and did the opk testing both. that time i didn't get a dark line any time near my actual O-day. i had a medium line the week prior, which doesn't make sense. if i trusted only the opk tests, i would seriously think i've never ovulated a day in the past 3 months, but my basal temps have told me otherwise.

now i'm in month 3 and solely depending on temperatures and other body symptoms. day 21 and no temperature increase. c'mon O-day! i'm ready for a baby! i also know that O-day can be late based on stress and i've had my fair share of stress at work lately. actually that's kind of an interesting point. apparently your period is never late, your O-day is late causing your period to be late. you are supposed to consistently have the same length luteal phase post-ovulation. so if mine was 12 days last month, it should be 12 days this month. meaning this month's cycle will end up being at least 34 days long on top of the 22 day follicular phase i'm still in... whoever said 28 was the average is surely lying. maybe if you're on birth control, but that's about it!

ok, end rant. i've been a little frustrated that O-day was supposed to be somewhere between october 28th and november 1st based on my previous cycles, but here we are november 4th without so much as a 0.1 degree temperature change, let alone 0.4-0.6. le sigh!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

christmas

so this is going to sound incredibly pathetic, but my goal since august has been to be pregnant by october. and i should probably ovulate (TMI, sorry!!) this week, so the race is on! i really really really want to announce our pregnancy on christmas day with our family around. i have been really persistent with getting my family and even some of hubby's family at our house for christmas eve. i know it's a lot of pressure on my uterus (ha!), but we are trying ultra hard to be pregnant this month so we can have a special announcement. it's so rare that all of my family is in one place, and it'd be even more special if it was in our home while celebrating family. i think i would hypothetically be 10 weeks along at the time and i'd feel comfortable announcing then.

obviously it's totally possible that won't happen and i can definitely accept that. but i think it would be great if it did and i'm going to be optimistic! the way my mind works these days is...

"if i get pregnant in august, out baby will be due in may."
"if i get pregnant in september, our baby will be due in june."
"if i get pregnant in october, our baby will be due in july."

i love july birthdays, my dad's birthday is at the end of the month. for some reason i generally dislike march, august, or early september birthdays. is that weird!? i feel like august and early september get passed up easily because it's when school starts. no idea what's with my aversion to march birthdays. i want our child's birthday to be on a day everyone will remember and not while they're scrambling for school supplies or christmas presents, etc.

so wish us luck this week!! it's month three, so maybe we'll be in that 59-68% group with a christmas eve announcement. one can hope!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

stats

if you know me at all, you know i'm a planner. although my husband is incredibly spontaneous and tries to bring out that side of me, i am obsessed with numbers and knowing things. i just have to know EVERYTHING at ALL times. or at least be prepared based on whatever tiny detail i can find. and i will scrounge my little heart out to find out everything i can on a subject. megs and i have concluded that we share an addictive personality.

so given my addictive personality, it should come as no shock that statistics like "most healthy couples will conceive within 4 or 5 months" make me crazy. seriously, does most mean 51%? or 74%? and does the most lean more towards 4 months or 5? are these stats based on 24 year old gals or anyone ranging 18 to 40? do these numbers include women who are just plain infertile? i am a scientist, peeps. i know all about control groups and variables. i need to know how these play into your "most healthy couples will conceive 4 or 5 months" business.

today i finally found statistics that i like. thank you babycenter.com

of all couples trying to conceive, here's about how long it takes:
  • 30 percent get pregnant the first cycle (about one month)
  • 59 percent get pregnant within three cycles (about three months)
  • 80 percent get pregnant within six cycles (about six months)
  • 85 percent get pregnant within 12 cycles (about one year)
  • 91 percent get pregnant within 36 cycles (about three years)
  • 93 to 95 percent get pregnant within 48 cycles (about four years)
and better yet, they even give you stats on how your chances increase when you're as much of a planner as i am!


in one study, the pregnancy rates of couples who timed intercourse with ovulation were faster than typically seen among couples trying to conceive:
  • 38 percent were pregnant after one cycle
  • 68 percent were pregnant after three cycles
  • 81 percent were pregnant after six cycles
  • 92 percent were pregnant after 12 cycles
we know we're not in that 30-38% because it didn't happen on our first try. i'm crossing my fingers we're in the 59-68%! we won't know for a few weeks, but i have my hopes. i'm definitely not freaking out about fertility at this point, i just like having those numbers in my pocket to ponder on. and happily ponder i shall. :-)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

how it began

right now this blog is on fully private settings... i think! i've only invited my sister laura to read it because she's one of the very few people who know my husband and i are trying to get pregnant.

after watching suzanne's diary for nicholas this morning, i decided i want to document my potential journey to motherhood. right now it's in the "potential" stages because we're not pregnant yet!

so today marks 78 days since i've been off of birth control. aka 2 months and 16 days. that means that we are on our third month of trying to conceive. right now we are focusing on having fun with getting pregnant although i'd be lying if i didn't admit the excel-obsessive soul within me wasn't getting her way too! i've been charting through an app on my phone as well as a google doc. i won't go into the nitty gritty details of temperature taking, peeing on sticks, seducing my hubs at opportune times and reading books about how to get pregnant. but i'm doing it with hopes that planning will give us the best possible chance of getting pregnant!

so how did this little journey start? well. i always thought i'd have kids. but when i was 18, i had an abortion. my husband and i had only been together 6 months when we found out i was pregnant and i terminated the pregnancy because i was in college and not yet ready to be a mom. since that event, i realized that i had priorities in life and a kid simply wasn't on that list. i wanted a big beautiful house, a great (paying) job, my dream wedding, tons of vacations, and all the other things gals in their 20's pine for. hubby and i saw so many relationships seemingly ruined by pregnancy. obviously we were outsiders giving our perspective, but it just seemed like so many people were going through financial hardships and bickering all the time, it wasn't what we wanted to sign up for.

and then one fateful night in july, we were laying in bed and my husband tapped my arm.

hubby: jill? are you awake?
me: yeah, sure, what's up, love?
hubby: i want a baby.
me: what!?!?
hubby: i want a kid.

and that's how it began. at first i was a little baffled and thought that surely it was a phase. but the more we talked about it, the more i opened up to the idea of having a little bambino. hubby insisted that he wanted a baby right away and i insisted that we wait to start trying to conceive until summer 2011. i wanted to have my professional engineering license before having a child. i thought my bosses wouldn't be supportive of me having a kid so early in my career. when i told my husband that, he said "it feels like your firm is deciding when we'll have a family." so really, how fair is that!? it's not. we're both emotionally ready for a baby. we're both financially(-ish) ready for a baby. (because really, who's ever totally prepared?) so why the heck not have a baby!?

and that's where we're at right now. ready to have a baby. ready to get pregnant. and this little blog will hopefully document our journey to hopefully getting pregnant and following the pregnancy itself. wish us luck!