I've always been the one to say its possible but I seem to have gotten the cruel punch line of someone's joke. I started trying to check my cervix again (lost my thermometer) about a month ago. I haven't been doing it *all* the time but whenever I check there is always fertile (EW or nearly EW) CM. Every. Single. Time. I haven't had my first PPAF yet (DS is almost 7 months) but I know the more time that goes by, the more likely it is that I won't get a 'warning period' before I ovulate. I know there are a few people who use NFP exclusively for religious or other personal reasons but what exactly *can* you do in a situation like this? Abstinence for weeks/months at a time is seriously not an option and we *really* cannot have another baby right now.
NFP/FAM while breastfeeding,
Are you ok with using barriers until your fertility signs return to a more useful pattern? A condom backed up by a diaphragm with spermicide or backed up by the spermicidal sponge is pretty darn effective and wouldn't interfere with returning to charting as soon as you have something to chart.
You could look into the Marquette method. It isn't perfect but has quite a good success rate postpartum. I used it this time round and once I got further along took my temperature as well. Between the two, I caught my first ovulation. I did not get a peak on the monitor in that first cycle (although most people do) but got a lot of high readings and then saw the temp shift. You could use the monitor in combination with a barrier method like physics girl suggested. For what it is worth, I got my first cycle at 14 months this time round and I think I started temping just before going back to work so likely at about 10 months postpartum since I figured my cycle would likely return once I was back at work and not nursing as often during the day.
Here is info on that method:
I would definitely look into the Marquette Method, though it is possible to chart to prevent during this time. Your post was a reminder to me that I really need to write a wiki on this sometime. About 2/3 of women will ovulate before the return of their first AF, and about 1/2 of those (so 1/3 of all women) will have fertile cycles. The remainder will have inadequate luteal phases that will not sustain a pregnancy. Statistically, about 6% of women get pregnant before their first PP AF if they do nothing to prevent it. This is regardless of when AF comes.
A group of people at Georgetown University found that they could cut that probability down to 3% if you never DTD less than 10 days apart. The 3% is actually statistically calculated for if you DTD exactly every 10 days. Since most couples may not DTD on the first "safe" day every time, the actual efficacy is much higher. I'm not sure how much I would recommend this for somebody who really can't handle getting pregnant again yet, but it was nice for me to keep in mind when things were confusing postpartum, and we weren't DTD that often anyway.
You may also be able to establish a basic infertile pattern. The main body of research has been on external CM only. Note the color, consistency, texture, amount, etc, anything you notice. If it is the same for 14 days, consider that to be you BIP, and consider yourself to be infertile until something changes. My BIP postpartum has been a yellow tinted clear EWCM that is stretchy and clear. This changed a few weeks before I Oed for the first time.
Interesting info JMJ. You are right, you can chart postpartum. For me, I found it difficult as I didn't have a good handle on my cm and read that it can be more difficult to read postpartum which is why I went with Marquette. If you have charted before so have a better handle on the different types of cm you have, it is definitely an option. Best of luck what ever you decide!
Sorry its been so long! I had a 4 day patch of sticky (along with some other ovulation symptoms beforehand) but it went back to Creamy/EW. I went out and got another thermometer and my temps are in my pre-O range again so I'm pretty sure I didn't ovulate. Whatever. We're using condoms at the moment but it looks like he might be going back to Iraq for 7 months. He's been on medical leave for a few months now and I should have seen it coming. Anyway, maybe I'll be able to chart better when he gets back. At least if I have an 'oops' then, DS will nearly be 2 before becoming a big brother. If I still can't, I've been looking into Implanon.