A little less than two years ago, I got into trouble for keeping a secret from my family,and the order in which I told family members said secret. First of all, I did it in part to protect my own emotions, as well as the privacy of my relationship. I did not keep this secret out of malice or ill-will to any of my family members. Trust me, I wanted to shout it out to everyone I knew. But I couldn't, and I am sorry to my family whom I hurt.
The secret that I'm talking about is the early stages of my pregnancy with Jonah. I've since learned that the internet seems to be the most fair way to reach everyone at the same time. I've also learned that it does no good to keep things secret that are already floating around on the internet. A few close family members already know, and so before this cascades into another "you should have told us sooner" charade, I want to tell everyone, all of my readers, family members, and dearest cyber friends: Daryl and I will be having our second child this May. We are being cautiously excited at the moment, because my history of early miscarriage always looms in the back of my mind when I see two pink lines on a stick.Unlike Jonah, this was a planned pregnancy. We want our children to be very close in age. We've been trying to concieve long enough that we had given up for this cycle, and I was planning on talking to my doctor about seeing a specialist within the next three cycles. They always say that it happens right when you throw the towel in!
Here I would like to add a disclaimer, because I know several friends and family members read this blog that may not be comfortable reading the details of our journey to get pregnant. Keep in mind that this is a blog mainly for mothers and natural parenting techniques. Since that includes natural methods of conception and contraception, I decided to share these details as another aspect of our natural lifestyle. So if you are not interested in my meunstral cycle, read no furthur!
Most doctors will ask the woman when her last period was, and assume that conception happened fourteen days after that (cycle day 14- the date deamed "typical" to ovulate, by doctors.) However, because I used fertility charting as a tool to know what my body was doing on any given day of my cycle, I know for a fact that I did not ovulate on the 14th day of my cycle. I ovulated on the 23rd day. I often ovulate later in my cycle, something that I wish I had known before I had labor induced with Jonah. If you go by my last period, as a tradditional doctor most likely would, then I'd be two weeks earlier in my pregnancy than what they say I should be. So when I reach what by their calculation is 41 weeks, I would only in reality be 39 weeks. This is important because, as we found out with Jonah, as the 40 week mark looms closer, the doctor seems more eager to induce labor.
You might ask how I know so certainly that I ovulated so late. Since Jonah was born, I became very interested in knowing what was going on inside of my body. Since being a teenager, my cycle has always been whacky. I knew already in my early stages of puberty that my body was doing something different from what seemed to be "normal." My body ticked to it's own clock, so to speak. Throughout my adult life, I had several issues related to fertility. I had begun to see doctors about it, and I was first diagnosed with something called endometriosis. But the doctors weren't really satisfied with that, and recommended that I get further testing for PCOS. I never did, and in fact I stopped seeing these doctors almost immediately after because of some very dramatic situations in my life.
So you see, my fertility and anything related to it has always been a mystery to me. A confusing laberynth. I wanted to sort it all out after Jonah was born, so I started charting. What did I chart? Different fertility signs, that when you put them altogether, you can tell exactly where in your cycle you are at for that day.
The most prominant fertility sign that I chart is my basal body temperature. I used a simple basal thermometer that we got from Target, and took my temperature every morning before getting out of bed. This would tell me in hindsight when I ovulated, because before ovulating my temperature would be around 96.4, but after ovulating it would be 97.8ish or even above 98. This wouldn't help predict anything, but it does help you to understand what has been happening in your body.
The most important thing that I charted is cervical mucous. The consistency of it can tell you what your body is ABOUT to do, because it changes in preparation of ovulation. It is cervical mucous that makes a woman's body liveable for sperm, so without the correct consistency, the sperm will die before they even reach the egg. By the time I ovulated this cyle, I had given up with my temperature. But because of changes in my cervical mucous, I knew the day that I was going to ovulate. I took my temperature over the next week, and the steady rise confirmed. Two weeks later I knew to take a test, because two weeks is how long it takes between my ovulating and when my period should start. (this is called the luteal phase for anyone taking notes.)
The third and in my opinion, the most optional, fertility sign that I would chart is the cervical position.
If your interested in learning more about how to understand your cycle by fertility charting, I highly reccomend the book "Taking Charge of your Fertility." You could also ask questions and discuss fertility charting at the JustMommies fertility charting board.