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Applying Myself. You Know, Sort Of.

Applying Myself. You Know, Sort Of.

So, officially I still don’t know that I’m not pregnant right now. But because the monstrous, hormonal, beneath-the-skin cystic acne that took root on my cheekbone a few days ago seems to be getting even bigger as the week progresses, and because my experience regarding the appearance of similar zits at like junctures in months past has coincided with a lack of a pregnancy in me, I am operating as though I am not, at present, as they say in overly precious novels, with child.

[I included that part because I am certain that everyone is sitting at home with bated breath waiting to hear the nuances of my two-week-wait statistical hoodoo voodoo analysis. You are very welcome.]

But, after the hand-writing melancholia of the other day, I decided that, as usual, I’ve been behaving like an idiot. Because I’ve been clinging to this idea that it was so easy to get pregnant before so obviously there’s no reason for me to actually put any kind of effort into tracking anything or paying attention to when the best times are to try to get pregnant. For a year, I’ve been relying on this haphazard, “let’s just see what happens” approach as being the final word so that I don’t have to make a decision, but now Mini’s old enough for me to miss having a baby and even if I’m not sure that I’m ready (or will ever be) to pursue formal medical intervention to help me get pregnant (though, again, I never say never about pretty much anything these days), I certainly could at least do what Kerry told me I should be doing a year ago, and try to get on top of the temperature charting/ovulation crap.

Enter the target thermometer.

There must be a bit on this somewhere, incidentally, but when did Target’s in-house brand get renamed “up and up”? Because . . . oh, so many places to go with this. Where to start? Natural family planning . . . on the up and up! Fertility monitoring . . don’t worry, it’s on the up and up! Paternity testing — no, really, it’s on the up and up? What is that about? Why on earth? Why would you name a store brand “up and up”?

I digress.

This is all a roundabout way of saying, OK, I give up, universe. I’m tracking the goddamn basal temperatures, OK? I woke up at 5:00 am and took my temperature and wrote it down this morning. I did not move beforehand. I was absolutely still. I wrote it down in my stupid notebook. I will do the same tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day, and the next, until there is some kind of difference that suggests ovulation, and then we will know that it is the optimal time to get busy to the baby-making.

I’ll leave the rest of the panic until after all of the chart crap is done. That’s the way I’m going to handle it from here on out.

Comments (35)

  1. Oct 7, 2010

    there’s a pretty good free iphone/ipod touch tracking app too.

  2. Oct 7, 2010

    If you’re using the notebook to be ironically retro or something, okay.

    Otherwise, you need a computer. Otherwise you can’t see the patterns and stuff that you’ll need to. Fertilityfriend.com is great (although probably there are a million apps for this by now).

    The control freak in you is probably going to enjoy this. Analyzing the data is sort of fun.

  3. Oct 7, 2010

    Ahh, the sex gulag. Many blessings and hopes for a conclusion that doesn’t involve Siberia. Or angry communists. Or starvation.

  4. Oct 7, 2010

    Are you referring to iPeriod? Because I believe I have that. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to handle that at 5:00 am in the dark without moving very much, so I set up the notebook system.

  5. Oct 7, 2010

    I thought you just had to see a tiny change in the stupid temperatures! God damnit! How complicated is this going to be? I didn’t realize there would be math.

  6. Oct 7, 2010

    Oh if I actually get pregnant, it’s likely to involve ALL of those things, that’s the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!

  7. Oct 7, 2010

    There’s only math if you use a notebook. If you use a computer, you just plug in the data every morning, and the computer does the work for you.

  8. Oct 7, 2010

    Actually, you can use the notebook to write the number down so you don’t forget (because 5am makes you forget).

    Then, later, when you’re up and the Diet Coke kicks in, you enter the numbers.

    Otherwise, they have thermometers that remember the last reading. That’s the easiest…take your temp, then eventually get up, check the number, and enter it. No writing involved.

  9. Cervical mucous/fluid (CM) is a better indicator of if you are going ovulate (O), you’ll see changes that lead up to when O is about to happen & as it happens. Basal Body Temperature (BBT) will give a better after ovulation check (versus before when you get the usage of the prime fertile mucous) & tracking this can help you cross check (with CM), also see if you are having elevated temps for more than 18 days (which indicates pregnancy after ovulation). If you use both you’ll have cross reference data, you can also use additional data to cross check (like a fertility monitor).

    And I’m pretty sure I’ve managed to give more info than anyone wanted (eww…mucous).

    *btw–I use NFP, if you need any info sources to help figure things out.

  10. Oct 7, 2010

    OK, I can handle that. I still thought we were looking for a very slight change in temperatures and that was it. But I guess I’ll be learning quick.

  11. You can also print off pre-made charts & just mark your temps & other fertility info directly on those. Then you can see your temperature shift as you plot it & cross check with your CM to see when you O.

    Here’s a few charts that you can print off:

    Fertility Friend is the same idea but in a computer program.

  12. Oct 7, 2010

    and also? if you flip it, the target up & up logo reads — and points — down and down (dn & dn).

  13. Oct 7, 2010

    Making babies is some complicated hard work it appears. Whatever happened to candlelight and wine?

  14. Oct 7, 2010

    I just posted a picture of The Unnecessary that is Up & Up.

    Good luck with the basal.

  15. Oct 7, 2010

    Might I give a hearty thumbs-up for the Clear Blue Easy Fertility Monitor? Same concept, but saves all that charting bullshit. After two years of infertility, a thyroid adjustment and some diet changes, that bad boy helped create the small person watching Yo Gabba Gabba in my house right now.

  16. Oct 7, 2010

    I did some of those ovulation prediction kits once but they were . . . inconclusive. That’s why I didn’t bother with trying that route again. Does the Clear Blue function in the same way? And “thyroid adjustment” and “diet changes”? FUCK. I already did that stuff.

  17. Oct 7, 2010

    The ovulation kits were shit for me. Did nothing. This is a … well, a small machine, basically. It’s not cheap — at least $100 — but it’s more effective.

    Try wheatgrass juice. My friend Kate (you know Kate!) did some weird book called The Fertile Soul, I think, but she and another friend of hers swore by it. Her friend Stacie sat in my kitchen telling me all about how crazy diet changes reversed her infertility.

    I know I’m sounding like some loony shaman. I’m sorry.

  18. Oct 7, 2010

    Oooh, you’re right. And that is weird.

  19. Oct 7, 2010

    Well, for one thing, Michelle, I’m an alcoholic. And for another, we’ve tried the “throw caution to the wind and let’s just see what happens” method for a year now with no luck. So that’s why we’re now going to use a more scientific method.

  20. Oct 7, 2010

    Well, fertility is kind of a shaman thing. It’s all hippie dippy crazy stuff anyway, I wouldn’t be surprised if wheatgrass did help with it, to be honest. Probably standing on one foot and praying to the earth Mother would as well.

  21. I second the Clear Blue Easy Fertility Monitor. I use it as part of my protocol w/ the Marquette Method (I started after my 3rd w/ NFP, spaced & planned the 4th w/ it & spacing/avoiding for last 19 months). The Monitor works way better than the sticks, it also stores your data. I’ve never had luck w/ the opk sticks alone, great luck w/ the monitor & tracking CM.

    And another second to looking at diet & vitamin changes. Diet is a key part of fertility. A few small changes can make a great difference in how feel too.

  22. Oct 7, 2010

    Another vote for the Clearblue (the expensive one, not the sticks). It goes along with the charting. I did some hippy-dippy supplements too, but you probably don’t need them unless you take alarming quantities of allergy meds like I do.

    It’s a delicate balance to find what stuff will be enough to get the job done without feeling like this process has taken over your life. Being a control freak helps, though, and being a person who likes to analyze helps even more. You get all these tools and you make a game out of it.

  23. Oct 7, 2010

    I’m glad to see this little project is moving right along. Cheers.

  24. Oct 7, 2010

    Now the only this is to prevent yourself becoming obsessive about it.

    Fuck, who am I kidding? Baby making is HARD and of course you’re going to get obsessive.

    Good luck and I hope you’re pregnant soon! (even if pregnant is the absolute worst state of being, the kid at the end is pretty awesome)

  25. Oct 7, 2010

    Only *thing. God, types galore today.

  26. Oct 7, 2010

    Might a person wish you . . .babydust?


    But good luck all the same! And who knows, this pregnancy could be totally easy.

  27. Oct 8, 2010

    More than 10 years ago..MAN I remember this.

    Use a chart. You can now print good ones off of the internet, back then I think I created one in Excel that mirrored the chart I found in Toni Wexler’s book, “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” (which I highly recommend, by the way, for TTC and more).

    I had “fertility issues” in my first marriage. After it ended and I married my my kids’ dad, I thought maybe, just for the heck of it, I’d start charting again. My first chart was impossible for me to understand because all I’d ever had were failed cycles. It took me to the end of the cycle to realize what I was seeing. She’ll turn nine next week.

  28. Kader
    Oct 8, 2010

    Yes–The Fertile Soul is the book. I didn’t do everything in the book, because it was too new agey for me. But I thought the dietary stuff was really helpful.
    I also got some DVDs and CDs of Qi Gong exercises. Of course, I don’t really know what did the trick, but I think those were really useful for me in terms of my frame of mind. I did them first thing in the morning, and I felt the calmest and most centered I’ve ever felt. Oh, and I was wasn’t drinking caffeine, so that might have helped as well. Y’know, maybe.
    I also used fertilityfriend.com. It did the charting for me and also asked for other indicators, like mucous. I was also seeing an acupuncturist at the time, so she could also log in to see my charts. That was a nice bonus.
    Anyway, Godspeed, my friend!

  29. Oct 8, 2010

    Good luck!

  30. Oct 8, 2010

    Good luck and all that, but since I have no useful information to share about ovulation prediction (my body laughs at predictable cycles them pushes fertility’s face in the mud while stealing her lunch money) but I do have a hilarious Up and Up anecdote!

    My friend is a manager there and noticed how they have all the cute little phrases on the Up and Up brand items. “Bright White” for bleach, “Cushy Tushy” for baby wipes, you get the idea. The only item in the whole store he can find without such a catch phrase: pregnancy tests. I guess not even Target can make that fiasco cool…thank goodness there are not Up and Up brand condoms…I would NEVER recover !:)

    And that is the end of useless, but hopefully mood improving, tale.

  31. Oct 8, 2010

    Target brand stuff is awesome.

  32. Oct 8, 2010

    I *would* second the Toni Weschler book, the Fertile Soul and fertilityfriend (I TTC’d back in the pre-app era), but I failed at all of it, so what the fuck do I know? Living your life in two-week increments is grueling. One bit of advice I wished I had listened to is: It’s a marathon, not a sprint, so try not to OCD out too much, too soon. Of course, the last person I gave that advice to got pregnant on the first try, so, again, my knowledge on this subject is suspect at best.

  33. Oct 8, 2010

    Wait, I do have something of utility to add: Stay the hell away from babycenter, even if you think there’s possibly some helpful soul in some forum at 2 a.m. who might have the answer to a question.

  34. Oct 8, 2010

    The only caveat I will say about Toni Weschler’s “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” is that it is far too prescriptive when it comes to infertility. According to my symptoms cross-checked with the book (things like premenstrual spotting, etc. etc.), I never should have been able to conceive. When I mentioned a few of these symptoms to my doctor (a hippy new-age Vermonter-type), she was flabbergasted and said that a lot of the things Weschler talks about are common and not troublesome, so everyone should stop freaking the eff out.

    (The static nature of the luteal phase is a myth, for example, as is premenstrual spotting, and I can’t remember what else, but it pisses me off, I’ll tell you that.)

  35. Oct 10, 2010

    i have not tried the basal temp method, so i can’t speak about how well it works, but for me, using the ovulation test strips worked well. you pee in a cup and dip it in, just like a clinical preg test. it tells you if you are ovulating or not. i can tell you the exact day i got pregnant. if you order them online in bulk they are cheap. try Babyhopes.com

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