Sunday, August 16, 2009

New Cycle, New Toys

Another month down. As we begin Cycle #5, we've added a few things to try to help our chances of conceiving. Behold, our new toys:

I've started charting my Basal Body Temperature and we're using a Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor. I set the alarm for 5am each morning to check my temperature. Last month, I was checking it at 7am, but it's recommended that you check your temp after three consecutive hours of sleep. Well, since I share a bed with a notorious leg-twitcher and three dogs, I was often getting woken up around 5-6am. I didn't want this to throw off my temps by taking them at different times each day so that's why I started setting the alarm so early each morning.

I have been using an Ovulite Saliva Ovulation Predictor Test the past few months and it has consistently shown a ferning pattern that would indicate that I was ovulating, but since it doesn't actually measure any hormone levels, I wanted to use some other methods to confirm. Charting your basal body temperature is a great way to confirm ovulation, as temps are low before ovulation and then shift upward afterwards. However, so far, my temperatures have been all over the place and don't seem to be following any clear pattern. I haven't ovulated yet this month (I'm only on Cycle Day 8), but here's what my chart looks like:

You really can't determine anything from one chart, but if I have a few months of temps that look like this, a trip to the doctor might be in order. Who knows, maybe I'll still see a clear shift later this month, but with temps that are up and down like a roller coaster, I'm not feeling too positive about it. We'll see...

After seeing how wacky my temps were most of Cycle #4, I decided to go ahead and buy the fertility monitor. I figured that since this is a device that actually measures my hormone shift, it would given me the most accurate indication of ovulation. Plus, the fact that I'm combining it with charting my BBT and still using the Ovulite, I figured that I was set. Well, The CBEFM asks for tests starting with day #6 of your cycle. I did one on Friday and immediately got a high reading, followed by highs on Saturday and today. WTF? In past cycles, from what I can tell, I haven't ovulated until between Cycle Day #16-#22. So, I may have 10-16 high days before I hit a Peak day? Seems crazy. The instructions for the monitor warn that it uses the first month to "learn" your cycle, so I'm not sure I can trust what it says just yet. I guess that while it's registering as high, it may just not understand what's high for me. Maybe next month (if we don't get pregnant this month!) will be clearer.

In other news, I've already moved into a "nesting" phase... As we know that there are things we will need for a baby, I've been trying to pick things up where I can, so that we don't have to buy a bunch of stuff when we find out we're pregnant. My aunt Kathy recently moved to TX and gave us some GREAT things including this adorable changing table:

It's perfect for storing all of my fabric-- the room that will eventually be the nursery is my sewing room for now. And while we won't need it for quite a while, it makes me happy that it's there. It's a reminder of good things to (eventually) come.

We had another addition to the room this week. A co-worker of mine gave us her glider that she used when her girls were little. (Thanks Gracie!) It's green gingham now (so cute!) but we'll probably have it recovered by the time we need to use it. I've wanted a rocker/glider that looks like an armchair (I like them better than the wooden framed ones) and this one is perfect:

So, I've been sewing tons of fun baby stuff (for everyone else), we have fabulous new baby furniture, and high tech gear to help us conceive, but no baby on the way. I'm feeling kind of...stuck. 5 Cycles is long enough to start getting frustrated, but not long enough to indicate that there are any problems. It's likely that we're both fine and that we'll get pregnant in the next seven months (odds are in our favor) but that just seems like an eternity when we're ready for it now. So, I'm reading and making and sewing and gathering... doing everything I can to help me feel like I'm not just waiting.

The gadgets and the furniture are not just a distraction-- they help me feel proactive. Sure, we may not be pregnant yet, but I'll have a super comfy chair to nurse in when the time comes and for now, I have a great place to sit and read. I may not have a baby whose diaper needs to be changed, but I have a great place to store fabric and sewing supplies. And I may not have hit a peak on the fertility monitor yet, but using it helps me learn more about my body, which is always a good thing.

Kathy, before she moved, gave me a magnet that has been passed down through several women in my family as they were waiting for their babies. It said: "Between the wish and the thing, life lies waiting." I'm trying to keep that in mind these days as we prepare for what, hopefully, is to come.