Help! I have NO idea what I'm supposed to be doing. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 05-03-2010, 09:24 PM - Thread Starter
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DF and I are getting married this August. We want very much to start a family right away. We did away with birth control a few months ago. We're so serious about this that I actually have TWO weddings dresses. A fitted, lovely lace, vintage one and an a-line, empire waist, cotton embroidered one. Guess which one was in case I was pregnant at the time of the wedding and which one wasn't?

I need help. I know about basal thermometers, charting, and cervical mucus. I know about them, sure. But I've got to tell you none of it's really making it any farther than "I should be paying attention to this stuff, shouldn't I?"

I'm a highly educated woman, but when it comes to this it's like I'm back in 7th grade algebra. I'm in the weeds, man.

So, what I need - what I desperately need - is for someone to talk to me like I am a small child. What should I and DF be doing? What should I and DF not be doing?

Please help.




. . . Please?
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#2 of 15 Old 05-03-2010, 09:44 PM
 
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No worries, you'll get it all sorted out! Have you found Fertility Friend (FF around here)? It's a site for online charting and most people around here use it. It's super helpful. They have a great charting course ("Charting Basics" under "Education" on the Homepage) that you'll probably find really helpful. Charting makes tons more sense once you actually start doing it. And to do that you basically take your temp every morning at the same time (using a BBT - you can get them at CVS or most drugstores). Then check your CP and CF every day and enter that, too - FF has a good chapter about how to do that and, again, it makes a lot more sense once you start doing it every day. It's pretty cool to see how everything changes, too!

All that said, you can always just DTD every other day from CD 7 to when AF shows up!! That's the old fashioned way, although most of us can't stand to just do that anymore!

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#3 of 15 Old 05-03-2010, 09:44 PM
 
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Get thee to the bookstore and pick up a copy of Toni Weschler's Taking Charge of Your Fertility. For some basic information, you can read through the FAQs on her website.

Fertility Friend is a free online charting software that also offers a series of lessons in charting basics.

Personally, I found the book more useful, but I know many women who have learned everything they need from the websites.

Amy loving DH 5/04, raising DD 2/05 and DS 11/09; missing my mom& my babies 6/07, 12/07; and on the side
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#4 of 15 Old 05-03-2010, 10:15 PM
 
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Agree with pps - even though you can just have plenty of sex, the beauty of charting is that you can find out if and when you are ovulating and find out faster if you are having any issues. The tutorials on FF are a great help and explain everything.

Mom to Hannah, born 2/24/11 at 34 weeks 3 days and currently TTC #2.

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#5 of 15 Old 05-03-2010, 11:00 PM
 
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I agree with everything that's been said... a few other benefits of charting include (but are not limited to)

-knowing if you ovulate on a different day than normal, so AF showing up early/late isnt such a surprise (since you will almost always have the same length of time between ovulation and AF)
-knowing when testing is okay and when it is just too early (saves money if you are as obsessive as I was!)
-being able to spot a few problems if they exist, or the comfort of knowing that you do not have those problems (such as a short luteal phase/time between O and AF... or lack of ovulation altogether)
-knowing what is normal for YOU if it takes a while... because we are all different.

There are a couple of drawbacks as well

-its not foolproof
-it can cause you to obsess more


but to me, personally, the benefits way outweigh the drawbacks.

My biggest suggestion in addition to FF and TCOYF is to stick around these forums there are tons of ladies who have been doing this for months, some for years, who can help you with your questions.

Now for things you should or shouldnt be doing... thats mostly up to you. You SHOULD however already be:
-either watching what you eat to be sure you are getting the right amount of vitamins, or taking a prenatal. This is beneficial to start before getting pregnant.
-during your two week waits its probably best to treat yourself as if you were already pregnant, for example not getting in a hot tub that will raise your body temperature over 102 degrees... your DF should be avoiding the same no matter what time of the cycle it is


A few other tips:
-a couple of glasses of red wine while on your two week wait will never touch your baby (placenta does not start to function until several weeks later) but could possibly aid implantation... its worth thinking about. If nothing else, it will help you relax.
-relax as much as you can. It can really take over your life. For example, Im 21 weeks pregnant tomorrow and still here. THAT is how much it has taken over my life lol.
-do not cut out on exercise unless you are a marathon runner or something extreme such as that. Most exercise, even abdominal, is actually beneficial to conception and pregnancy and should be done for as long into pregnancy as your body can handle.
-do not suddenly decide to detox (for example from heavy metals or a colon cleanse) it is best to wait a couple months after doing so before conceiving because of the toxins it can release


But most importantly:

Understand that for a young, perfectly healthy couple with perfect timing it can take up to a year to conceive and nothing be wrong. It wont usually take that long, but it really can take that long just by constantly not getting lucky.

That same couple only has a 20-30% chance of conception any given well-timed cycle. Many are lucky enough to be that 30% their first shot.

It took my DF and myself 7 cycles to finally conceive... and there was nothing wrong with us.

Tonight I talked to a woman who took 3 cycles with her first and 6 with her second... and there was nothing wrong with either of that couple either. Some of us just unfortunately take much longer to get lucky than others... so if it takes a few tries even after you are doing all this, do NOT get down on yourself, its no ones fault but fate.

Artist, photographer, stay-at-home-mom and Marine wife. Mom to 4; a boy and three little girls.
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#6 of 15 Old 05-04-2010, 12:12 AM
 
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Awesome advice, Mae!

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#7 of 15 Old 05-04-2010, 01:12 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaerynPearl View Post
A few other tips:
-a couple of glasses of red wine while on your two week wait will never touch your baby (placenta does not start to function until several weeks later) but could possibly aid implantation... its worth thinking about. If nothing else, it will help you relax.
I've never heard this before and am interested to know more. Do you have any links to articles regarding this topic? TIA!

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#8 of 15 Old 05-04-2010, 01:16 AM
 
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I've never heard this before and am interested to know more. Do you have any links to articles regarding this topic? TIA!
Just posting this to remind myself to grab and link to these studies tomorrow (am on my iPod now which makes this hard to do)

as for it never touching the baby this is fairly well known. My doctoer reassured me of that after telling her I drank alot before finding out I was pregnant with dd... Her response was that it never touched the baby but I couldn't drink like that anymore or it might. This time I told her I had a few glasses of wine (white, but still) at 6dpo and she agreed with the stuff I read that it may have helped my body along with implantation but most definitely never touched the baby.

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#9 of 15 Old 05-04-2010, 01:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice everyone. FF is awesome, although in my dazed, sleep-deprived state it's taking me way longer than it should to get through certain things.

I've been quietly freaking out over this for quite some time. For one thing, I may have left a few key details out. I have lupus, fibromyalgia, endometriosis (I had several adhesions removed endoscopically about a year ago), and many, many other health issues.

Before we chucked the birth control, I saw my gynecologist and everything seems to be fine on the endo scale. I've been taking prenatal vitamins for years, as I read somewhere that they were pretty much the best option for a woman no matter the state of her womb. I used to take the Rainbow Light one-a-day, but switched about six months ago to New Chapter.

I also saw my rheumatologist and told her that I wanted to have a child and asked her what medications I should stop taking, what could be switched to something different, and what was okay to continue with. When (should?) I eventually become pregnant she wants to see me as frequently as my midwife would (I've always envisioned a home birth and she's perfectly fine with that if my health is okay near the end of the (hypothetical) pregnancy).

So, I have done some things but it's been basically since December and nada. Nearly six months have come and gone. At this point, DF and I both are beginning to get discouraged. At first it was all fun and games - literally. I don't want sex to become something we dread or feel we have to do, but time is my enemy. I've always wanted a large family, as does DF, and with my illnesses I need to get started before it's too late.

I will admit that I someone who occasionally (read: all the time) worries over things that don't really need to be fretted over. It's just - I want to have a baby, already! Like, yesterday. Or at least sometime in 2011. Let's get this ball rolling, you know what I mean?
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#10 of 15 Old 05-04-2010, 11:02 AM
 
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If you don't mind me asking you some personal questions:

Are your cycles regular?

How long are they?

Are you noticing any particular fertility signs? (Do you get eggwhite cm for a couple of days during the month? Ovulation pains? Increased libido?)

Are you or your partner aware of things that might potentially be harmful for fertility? (Him being exposed to a lot of heat, excess caffeine for either of you, lubricants that aren't sperm-friendly, etc.)

Even with everything going right, as Mae said above, it can take a while. I would definitely look into TCOYF, I was able to borrow a copy from the library. There is also a TCOYF website, as well as fertility friend and some other free charting websites.

If you don't want to chart, another thing you could do is to try and figure out your fertile time using the above symptoms and ovulation predictor kits (OPK's, sold in your local grocery store, Dollar Store, or online) and time intercourse for then. They become positive anywhere from about 1-3 days before you ovulate. So you pee on an OPK every day starting a few days after your period and when you get a positive, you BD every day for the next several days.

However, I think charting is really, really helpful to understand what is going on with your body.

Good luck!
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#11 of 15 Old 05-05-2010, 12:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Lousli View Post
If you don't mind me asking you some personal questions:

Are your cycles regular?

How long are they?

Are you noticing any particular fertility signs? (Do you get eggwhite cm for a couple of days during the month? Ovulation pains? Increased libido?)

Are you or your partner aware of things that might potentially be harmful for fertility? (Him being exposed to a lot of heat, excess caffeine for either of you, lubricants that aren't sperm-friendly, etc.)
I don't mind at all. That's what I came here for, after all. So . . .

1-2) Yes. Ever since my first period. Twenty-eight days, like clockwork.

3) Yes to the eggwhite cm (tons) and yes to the ovulation pains (tons). They're often times worse than period cramping. Increased libido, who knows. What can I say? My fiancée is really, really cute. Is that the over-share line?

4) No, to him being exposed to lots of heat. Yes, sadly, to excess caffeine on both of our parts - we both work really long hours. And an 'I don't know,' to the lubricant thing. I have absolutely no idea what that means. Like I said before, I'm small child when it comes to this stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lousli View Post
Even with everything going right, as Mae said above, it can take a while. I would definitely look into TCOYF, I was able to borrow a copy from the library. There is also a TCOYF website, as well as fertility friend and some other free charting websites.
I went out and bought a copy today! I moved to the top of the rotation as well. Bel Canto will just have to wait.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lousli View Post
If you don't want to chart, another thing you could do is to try and figure out your fertile time using the above symptoms and ovulation predictor kits (OPK's, sold in your local grocery store, Dollar Store, or online) and time intercourse for then. They become positive anywhere from about 1-3 days before you ovulate. So you pee on an OPK every day starting a few days after your period and when you get a positive, you BD every day for the next several days.

However, I think charting is really, really helpful to understand what is going on with your body.

Good luck!
I'm still trying to figure out the whole charting thing, but I'm getting there. I made it through Advanced Calculus in college - I can make it through this. (That's basically my motto in life.)

I was looking at ovulation predictor kits at the drugstore earlier today and was wondering what the pros and cons are towards investing in a monitor and using test strips for it versus using single-use tests? We do hope to have more than one child so perhaps getting a monitor is a cost-effective measure in this respect? Or is there something wrong with them that I don't know about?

Thanks ever so much. I was recommended to this site by a friend of mine and should have visited long before I did. This place is awesome.
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#12 of 15 Old 05-05-2010, 12:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Sorry for the double post - I forgot to ask what pregnancy test seems to be the best. So I went searching around through the forum. I came up the the First Response Early Result? Is that right?

I've think I've mainly been using Clear Blue Easy, although it's not like I've sworn my allegiance to them or anything. Are the First Response really that much better? Or does it not really matter at all?
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#13 of 15 Old 05-05-2010, 10:35 AM
 
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Sorry for the double post - I forgot to ask what pregnancy test seems to be the best. So I went searching around through the forum. I came up the the First Response Early Result? Is that right?

I've think I've mainly been using Clear Blue Easy, although it's not like I've sworn my allegiance to them or anything. Are the First Response really that much better? Or does it not really matter at all?
yes first response... clear blue easy have been giving lines to non-pregnant ladies (less than other blue dye tests, but still it happens)

I highly suggest staying away from blue dye because of their tendency for false positives. If you want a thread to read that will really anger you http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1206310 is full of testimonials of just SOME of the women who have come through here very much not pregnant at the time with blue lines on their tests

Artist, photographer, stay-at-home-mom and Marine wife. Mom to 4; a boy and three little girls.
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#14 of 15 Old 05-05-2010, 10:41 AM
 
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Most lubricants actually harm sperm. There's only one on the market designed to be sperm friendly, which is Pre-Seed.

I wouldn't invest yet in the ovulation monitor if you have such obvious signs. There are several places online where you can buy ovulation tests for around a dollar each or less. If you live near a dollar store, and that's easy for you, you could stock up on both ovulation tests and pregnancy tests there. Otherwise try someplace online like savontests or babyhopes. I got 30 of each for less than $30.

In general, for early pregnancy tests you want one that has a lot of sensitivity but is not prone to evaporation lines. And no blue dye tests, they are horrible for evap lines! It really kind of depends on your patience level. If you can wait to take a test until the day your period is due or the day after, it honestly doesn't matter too much what kind of test you get (as long as it is pink) because almost any one is going to show you a positive if you're pregnant once you're 14 or 15 DPO (days past ovulation.)

If you like to test early and multiple times a day, you'll want the cheap tests, and then a lot of people confirm if they get a line or a questionable line by using a more expensive test like the FRER or a digital.
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#15 of 15 Old 05-05-2010, 12:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MaerynPearl View Post
I highly suggest staying away from blue dye because of their tendency for false positives.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lousli View Post
Most lubricants actually harm sperm. There's only one on the market designed to be sperm friendly, which is Pre-Seed.

I wouldn't invest yet in the ovulation monitor if you have such obvious signs.
No to blue dye pregnancy tests, yes to Pre-Seed. (horrible name), and check to holding off on the ovulation monitor.

Thank you so much!
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