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#1 of 14 Old 09-01-2011, 12:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, that pretty much sums up my thoughts lately.

 

I am 42....43 in December.  We had our suprise baby 17 months ago.  He was a wonderful surprise....totally unplanned and now we'd like to have another....well, we've BEEN wanting another.  But things aren't going our way.  We had a miscarriage about 5 months ago....since then my  periods have been mostly regular, except one, but only about 21-22 days and I'm sitting here feeling crampy again....  :(

 

I'm 42.....and I was really wanting another baby that wouldn't be much more than about 2 years apart from ds.  I don't know what to think....the ovulation predictor kits dont seem to be helping....they never get the double pink line with one being darker than the other...I get two lines, but never one that's darker......my temperature doesn't seem to have any real pattern for prediction.  We were trying everyday for several months before during and a few days after what we thought was ovulation time but that got to be too much....so now it's every other day.  I'm really sad about this.

 

I just found this part of the forums and was hoping for some kind words of encouragement or suggestions.


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Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
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#2 of 14 Old 09-01-2011, 11:51 AM
 
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Hi OrganicMom,

 

Just want to say that I am so sorry for your loss earlier this year.  That alone is heartbreaking and then TTCing long-term can wear a person out emotionally. 

 

I'm in my 4th PP cycle right now/ TTCing for 8 months and on a big learning curve about ways to lengthen my LP and have healthy O.  The TTC forum has been hugely helpful for me, esp. the Nursing Mamas TTC thread, so encouraging.

 

HTH! pm me anytime. hug2.gif

 

 


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#3 of 14 Old 09-01-2011, 12:12 PM
 
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Hi Organicmom!  I'm so sorry for your loss and how hard it has been TTC. 

 

OPK's are useless for a lot of women... you're not alone.  Personally, I would ditch them if they don't appear to be working for you.  As for temping, it can take some practice and experimentation to get more consistent temps and see your pattern.  I would absolutely encourage you to start trying to chart again.  Even though both my kids have been poor sleepers, waking up sometimes every 90 minutes at night for months on end, I still managed to see a biphasic pattern.  If you'd like some tips or need advice, just post!  You can use www.fertilityfriend.com to share your chart with us so we can help you decipher anything confusing.

 

After my first child, my cycles returned around 8 months pp, but did not regulate and become fertile again until a full year after that.  It really can take a long time when you're nursing.  Some women find that their cycles do not fully regulate until their LO sleeps through the night and/or cuts down on nursing sessions in general.  I have had a few friends that needed to wean fully to get their fertility back two or even three years postpartum.  It can be a tough and very personal decision.  Obviously you did ovulate in order to get pregnant prior to your loss, but it is possible that some of your cycles are more fertile than others.  Charting will help you see what is actually happening with your cycles right now.  Sometimes you might be bleeding without ovulating or you could have a fluctuating luteal phase length.  The latter is quite common while breastfeeding and it is generally agreed that you need at least a 10 day LP to sustain a pregnancy. 

 

Anyway, good luck and let us know if we can be of assistance!


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#4 of 14 Old 09-03-2011, 05:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, my....trying to decipher all this abbreviations is mind boggling.... I figured out TTC relatively easily though.  How does one know if one is really ovulating or just having periods??

 

I started periods probably about when he was about 8 months old?? not really sure.  But he is only nursing at night....once at bedtime, usually once during the night and usually, but not always first thing in the morning.  Maybe I should try to stop???  I hate to do that, but I don't exactly have a lot of time ....that number 42 keeps haunting my brain!

 

I don't understand what you mean by charting?  Keeping track of days?  I do that.  Each cycle since the miscarriage has been 21-22 days except one that was 26 days.  This month I'm on day 23 but I feel cramping so I'm not even going to entertain the thought of buying a pregnancy test....


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#5 of 14 Old 09-03-2011, 06:31 AM
 
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Hi organicmom3, here's some help with the abbreviations from the previous posters:

 

TTC - trying to conceive

PP- postpartum

LP - luteal phase (days between ovulation and when next period starts)

O - ovulation

OPK's - ovulation predictor kits

 

I'm sorry how frustrating TTC #4 has been for you, and I'm sorry about your miscarriage.  Charting means taking your basal body temperature each day and keeping track of CM (cervical mucus) for each day and making a chart.  You would use a basal thermometer (still taken orally, or you can get one to temp vaginally) and take your temp when you wake up each morning (but before you get out of bed).  You would be able to tell what day you ovulated, how long your luteal phase is, etc.  Temps should stay lower before you ovulate, and then rise after ovulation, then go back down when you start your period (the temps would remain up if you get pregnant).  If you go to www.fertilityfriend.com, you can set up an account and it will chart for you.  It's free!  Here is my chart this cycle so you can get a good idea of what your chart can look like (as you can see, day 13, on Aug. 29, is clearly the ovulation day because it's the last day of low temps.  Here's the link to my chart:

 

Fertility Friend also has tons of information on how to start charting if you're a beginner.  Hopefully this helps!

 


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#6 of 14 Old 09-03-2011, 11:55 AM
 
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Sorry about all the abbreviations and acronyms... after a while they just fly off your fingers.  Here's a link to familiarize yourself with them: http://www.mothering.com/community/wiki/abbreviations-and-acronyms

 

As Traci, said, charting is based on basal body temperature and cervical fluid observations.  It is much more precise than using a calendar as when you ovulate can vary drastically and your luteal phase may be varying right now as well.  Again, whether you decide to wean your ds or not is very personal choice.  I would suggest starting to chart and see what you get for a few cycles.  If you are ovulating and have a long enough LP to sustain a pregnancy then it is unlikely that weaning will affect your cycles much and therefore not be necessary for conception.  I got pregnant when my LO was just 14 months and he ended up weaning at 17 months b/c my milk had dried up and nursing was excruciating.  I was relieved, but sad as it felt too young to me as well.

 

So, to get going with charting, check out the information below.  I typed it out for another MDC member a while back.  Hopefully it will help you out as well.

 

Start as soon as you can- the first day of red blood is cycle day 1.  Pick up a copy of Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler at the library (or buy it).  You don't need to read it cover to cover to get started, but it really is an excellent resource.

 

You can pick up a basal body thermometer (BBT) at your local drug store.  Some are better than others.  I prefer ones that take longer than 30 seconds (they seem more accurate to me) and can hold two temperatures in memory (this is especially handy when you wake up, temp, and go back to sleep- you can look at and record the temp later).  The Walgreens thermometer gets generally bad reviews.  BD gets good reviews. 

 

When temping you want to focus on a few things: taking it at the same time each morning (within 30 minutes); taking it after a solid block of sleep (3 hours is usually recommended); and making sure that you don't get out of bed, sit up, drink water, or fall asleep before or while temping.  So basically you just wake up, roll over, temp, and go back to sleep or get up. 

 

Some women are really sensitive to changes in sleep patterns or ambient temperature (like if your room is hot one morning and not the next or you wake up snuggled under a warm blanket and the next are out of the covers).  But other women find that they can see their pattern despite numerous night wakings, not getting a 3 hour block of sleep prior to temping, or environmental changes.  Other things that can affect temp- pretty much the same things that can delay ovulation: travel, stress, diet changes, injury, illness, and strenuous exercise.  To help keep your temps more consistent you can try vaginal temping- it works the same way as oral temping, but some women get better results.  Also, if your wake time varies quite a bit, you can try setting an alarm for a time in the morning when you are likely to get a decent amount of sleep just prior to it... maybe 5 or 6 in the morning?  Just temp and go back to sleep until you need to wake up.

 

Next, cervical fluid (CF) is something you can observe throughout the day- whenever you feel it, whenever you see it (while wiping, on your panties), etc.  Here is my general guide to CF:

 

Dry: you'll feel dry all day and there is nothing on your panties

Sticky: you'll generally feel dry and there will be a bit of staining- usually yellow- on your panties.  It might be a bit crumbly or clumpy.

Creamy: generally you'll feel a little wet, lotiony in texture, could be slippery when you wipe, often it will stand up on your panties

Wet: you'll feel wet and your panties will likely be wet- maybe even soak through (I rarely get this)

Eggwhite: you might actually feel it slipping out of you throughout the day and it might fall out of you while using the bathroom, stretchy- it may stretch from you to the TP for several inches- and usually clear or yellow tinted, often quite profuse

 

Temp and CF are the two basic fertility signs you need to chart.  There are other signs you can record like cervical position (CP), but it's not necessary unless your temps and CF are not showing a clear pattern.

 

So what you're going to see is a group of low temps from the start of AF, which is cycle day 1 (CD 1) until the day after ovulation (O) when you should see a spike in temp or steady climb to a higher group of temps.  The days between O and AF are called your luteal phase (LP).  Generally it is said that you need at least 10 days to sustain a pregnancy.  The average length is 12-14 days.  Your LP will not vary much- usually just by one or two days cycle to cycle.  But your O day could vary considerably.  So when you see O on your chart you can then predict when AF should show based on your average LP length.  If you go 3 days past your longest LP length then that is an excellent sign of pregnancy.  If you get 18 high temps after O that is 99% accurate- just like an HPT.

 

Likewise your CF will go from dry just after AF to sticky, to creamy, to EW as O approaches.  You may or may not go through all the different types of CF prior to O or you could skip from dry to creamy or dry to EW.  You might have many days of creamy and one or two of EW or you might have 3 or 4 days of EW with hardly any creamy.  It all depends on the woman and that particular cycle.  But after O you will dry up.  It could be instantaneous- like the day of the spike you're dry.  Or it could decrease slower- EW to creamy to stick to dry.  But usually you will dry up within a few days and then may or may not experience a few more days of creamy or even wet/EW later in your LP, just prior to AF.

 

Anyway, that should get you started!  Post if you have questions and use www.fertilityfriend.com to share your chart!  Good luck!


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#7 of 14 Old 09-03-2011, 12:02 PM
 
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FertilityFriend's charting course (http://www.fertilityfriend.com/courses/) is very helpful, has daily lessons, and is free.  You might find it helpful to get the information in daily doses to get a better grasp of what your body does throughout your cycle.  Hope this helps. :)


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#8 of 14 Old 09-03-2011, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone.  I will check out all of the above sources over the next few days....

 

DH and I had a short discussion today on whether to stop breastfeeding. He is not encourageing it as he said I got pregnant ( with the baby we miscarried) while breastfeeding so I should be able to again.....  I guess.  But I will read more.

 

I love getting all the tips from everyone though and really appreciate you taking out time for me and my questions.  Thanks for the warm thoughts!

 


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#9 of 14 Old 09-06-2011, 03:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is just bizzare....day 28 of a normally 22 day cycle....I'm afraid to take a test because I figure it will just be negative and I'll be all depressed again. I have NO pregnancy symptoms whatsoever....but each day I get ONE of my normal PMS symptoms...only for it to go away and nothing happens.....this has been going on for a week now.  Weird.  I don't really expect a response here...I think I'm just venting and telling myself it's okay not to rush out and test.....  But it's irrittating to because now that I really want to start charting on the website given to me on here and got an actual Basal thermometer, I feel like my cycles are so off that it may be impossible to chart anything truly informative....


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#10 of 14 Old 09-06-2011, 07:10 PM
 
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organicmom- Re: your comment:

Quote:
I feel like my cycles are so off that it may be impossible to chart anything truly informative....

I am no expert, but my understanding is that there are a few benefits to charting during irregular cycles.

- Charting will give you the best idea of when you are ovulating so you can time things right, even if you have irregular cycles (I got this from TCOYF- someone please correct if I am misinformed!).

- If you are about to start AF, your temperature will usually drop beforehand so you have a heads-up.

- If you chart for a number of cycles, no matter how irregular, you will find out how many days your body goes between ovulating and menstruation (luteal phase). Someone please correct me if I'm wrong- I understand that the luteal phase (LF) is consistent month to month and different for each woman. So if you can figure out when you ovulate, you can have a good idea of when AF will start.

- If your temperature is consistently high for more than 16 days, you are most likely pregnant- this helps keep from wasting money on pregnancy tests.

 

So I think the chart can be informative :)

 

Also of interest: a friend of mine works for this org: http://ccli.org/

It's dedicated to teaching Catholic families about this method of working with your fertility to either get pregnant or avoid pregnancy, so it has a Christian slant, and it's couples teaching to other couples. So they're communicating some of this crazy information overload in a personal, meaningful way. Worth checking into.


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#11 of 14 Old 09-06-2011, 07:54 PM
 
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Sounds like you probably O'd late this cycle and your LP may also be lengthening.  The latter would be a really good sign of your returning fertility.  And this is exactly another reason that charting comes in handy... telling you what is happening with your cycle when it doesn't follow your normal pattern.   If you had happened to chart this cycle, you would know if you had O'd late and therefore knew to expect AF to arrive late or you would have a very good indication of pregnancy without even having to test!  But since you haven't started charting again yet, you'll either need to wait it out or go ahead and let yourself test, knowing that it could be too early still for an accurate result if you get a BFN.   I'm with you though, I'd probably wait it out.  Good luck and keep us posted!!


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#12 of 14 Old 09-10-2011, 07:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Can one of you help me with a couple questions here?
I signed up for the fertility website that was posted above....charting and got myself a basal thermometer.... what's your opinion on what's more important...charting the temperature at the SAME time each mornig or being sure I've laid there for the suggested 3 hours???  My ds still gets up sometimes during the night and I myslef do not always sleep so well.  So the chances of me having been in bed for 3 hours before morning rising are quite slim.....but I do get up at approximately the same time each day give or take a half hour.

second question.....I think I'm understanding that you don't record the beginning of your period unless it's totally red....not the day or days that the discharge is more brown? Is that correct?  I've always counted the first discharge, brown or red as the first day before this.....


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#13 of 14 Old 09-10-2011, 08:54 AM
 
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I'm sure other mamas here will have more specific insight. Howerver, IMO, I would think taking it at the same time would be important and then you can always note when your sleep is disturbed (you can even add it to the "specifics" when you chart so you just check the box--woke up 2x in night--i.e.)

 

It is my understanding that the brown is spotting and the first day of red flow is the beginning of your period. 

 

HTH!

 

 


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#14 of 14 Old 09-10-2011, 11:15 AM
 
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I have always found that the TIME of day is much more important than how much sleep I have gotten prior to temping.  My kids were not great sleepers and I was often waking every 90 minutes at night.  I still got biphasic patterns by temping around the same time each day.  Note: FF allows you to enter a default temp taking time, if you end up temping at a different time than usual, be sure to change this time and it will mark your temp as "disturbed" (an open circle) so that you know that it might be a bit off when looking at your chart.  The same will happen if you mark "sleep deprived" as a symptom for that day.

 

If you are often waking at drastically different time, then a lot of women find it best to set an alarm for a consistent time, temping, and going back to sleep.  You can also try vaginal temping for increased consistency.

 

Spotting, whether red, pink or brown, is marked as part of your luteal phase.  Full red flow is the first day of the next cycle.  Spotting prior to AF is often a sign of low progesterone and those days cannot be counted as part of your fertile luteal phase.  Most sources agree that you need at a 10 day luteal phase (with no spotting) to sustain a pregnancy.


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