Tell me your experience w/ FAM while breastfeeding - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-20-2003, 03:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I know from reading threads so far that there is no really good solution to the problem of knowing for sure *when* you are returning to fertility post-partum. But have other of you practiced Fertility Awareness Method exclusively (and effectively, lol!) before the return of their cycles?

I always had very regular cycles pre-pregnancy, 28 days, and it was easy to know when I'd ovulate, by the calendar & cervical mucous. Sometimes I'd check temps.

Our situation is this: My dd is now 19 months, still bfing and still no period. (Not much libido or moisture back either, but that's for other threads...) I can't imagine taking 19+ months of temps and checking mucous when there's no sign I'm fertile... But as we do not feel at all ready to welcome #2, especially dh, we've been using other forms of BC. I've been using a diaphragm but am very irritated by the spermicide. So we've moved to condoms, and experimented w/ brands, but Dh would rather not have sex than have it w/condoms.

I'd rather just be looking out for signs of that first ovulation, but I don't feel confident enough I'd catch it for sure, kwim?

Any thoughts or experiences to share?

thanks, mb

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Old 09-22-2003, 12:50 PM
 
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DD is seven months old. With my first, regular cycles returned at 5 months. I wasn't watching for fertility signs at the time, and was pretty surprised and not too happy when af showed up! They have yet to resume this time around, but I think I ovulated about two weeks ago--felt pain in the ovary area, as I often do at ovulation. But I'm confused, because I didn't seem to have the accompanying eggwhite cervical fluid that I usually have plenty of. I guess that could have something to do with breastfeeding. Then I thought I saw eggwhite about a week later, so I don't know if my body is just gearing up and "trying" to ovulate? I'm not temping, as I'm awake too often towards the morning. I do check my cf pretty frequently, but I don't see any distinguishable pattern. Yesterday I felt that crampy, pre-af feeling, but no bleeding yet. I had that last month, too, without the ovultion-like pain. So basically, I don't know what's going on! We use a condom every time, until my periods resume and we can chart.
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Old 09-22-2003, 01:22 PM
 
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Sorry I can't be of more help...

I have a few thoughts to consider, though.

My DS is only 4.5 months old, so hopefully I am nowhere NEAR fertile. What I am wondering/thinking is that I couldn't be at all fertile if there is almost no moisture to speak of. Before DS, and especially during pregnancy, there was always an abundance, so the difference to me is very clear.

So Boobykinmamma, did the volume of your CF increase in any significant way before AF returned? I just can't imagine being fertile without the CF. Like Butterflymama, I also don't want to take temps (well, I can't really with all of DS' morning nursies. ).

I hope you get some more good responses!


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Old 09-22-2003, 08:31 PM
 
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Jean, I wasn't checking cf when ds was a baby--didn't start using that method until later, so I don't know if the volume increased.
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Old 09-24-2003, 04:26 PM
 
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I've been having uncharacteristically long cycles since I got my period back in July, and have yet to see any real EWCM, or anything past creamy. My temps, long cycle length, and CM tell me I'm not ovulating yet, and considering the fact that we've been VERY un-careful around what would usually be my fertile phase, and am still not pregnant, I'm pretty sure my eggs aren't popping yet.
BUT.....they want to. I still get tender ovaries mid-cycle - I just think that Davey's intense nursing is providing *just* enough hormone to keep the egg from actually blasting off.

If you're not seeing ANY cm at all, It's pretty safe to assume you are still infertile.
Have youread Breastfeeding & Natural Child Spacing yet?
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Old 09-25-2003, 03:48 AM
 
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We are using ecological breastfeeding and NFP only. I didn't temp until recently, but I remained aware of my cervical fluid. When I noticed a change (my BIP was nothing/ tacky) I started charting again. I had about 7 days of fertile quality cervical fluid followed by a full dry up- but no thermal shift. 6 days after my peak day I started my "menses." In quotes because it wasn't a full bleed, it was VERY light. So I suspect it was a warning cycle. I had one day of spotting (very light) about cd 19, followed by lots of ambiguous cervical fluid. Currently cd 26 and I'm baffled as to what's going on. I suspect I may have ovulated, but I haven't had an definative signs yet. I've slept in the past three days, so I have no clue if my temps are still low or not. But we shall see what happens.

Laura, mama to J (15), N (12), E (9) , M (6), and our little caboose, R (3).
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Old 09-25-2003, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for your replies!

I guess that the thing is that I *want* to be using NFP or FAM exclusively but it feels much harder to me without periods. I was so regular before, my cycles went right with the moon, so it was kind of a no-brainer.

And since I now have even *fewer* brain cells than I did before baby & nursing, lol, I don't want to have to think it through so much.

But it sounds like reading an in-depth book, trying to chart, would help. As I mentioned, my periods haven't returned yet (dd is 19 months) but I have noticed changes the past 2-3 months. Tender ovaries, increasing CM, slightly less uncomfortable intercourse. So thinking that we're gearing back up. We still night-nurse & nurse on cue in the day but I now am working 4 half-days a week, so you'd think my body would be responding to that. :

I'd appreciate hearing any other experiences, too.

mamabutterfly

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Old 09-27-2003, 02:47 AM
 
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Well Mamabutterfly !!

I am in the SAME boat as you as far as not seeing the return of AF yet. DS is 21 mo(still nursing OD and at night) and I am having the same symptoms as you. I was almost positive that I o'd about 3 weeks ago but now nothing. I am having mild cramping though on and off over the last 5 days and I am starting to freak out. I feel foolish taking a test because I think I'm over reacting due to the fact that it's been so long. AAHHHH! I have SO enjoyed being without AF for so long but now I'm to the point where I sorta want to know what's going on.KWIM?

I had a noticable presence of cm for the first time pp.I have a huge libido too which ...let me tell ya-wasn't there before but now no AF and I'm slimy again and still "in the mood" too AND I have slight cramping.What is going on!!! I'm super thirsty too but I think that's just from little guy having some extra nanas lately.

Sorry to hijack the post by blabbing but I have been looking everywhere for a post like this.I'm hoping to find some help here myself too.

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Old 09-27-2003, 03:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, Milkymommi, are you thinking you might be pg? Keep us posted on that one...

I guess it's frustrated b/c we are pretty clear it is better not to conceive again now. Dh feels very strongly about this, and is coming out of a bout with depression; I need to respect his feelings in this. So even though I really would prefer natural child spacing methods only, it feels like I need to be more "careful. And co-sleeping and nightwaking, make it hard to temp & do FAM.

I don't know what I wanted to hear. I guess it is hard to be totally certain ovulation is coming in time. Guess we're stuck with the condoms for now. sigh.

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Old 10-05-2003, 02:42 AM
 
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mamabutterfly, I think we're in the same boat.

DD is almost 15 months, no AF, and I just checked my CM for the first time today. What little there was of it, was watery. I really really don't want to get pregnant until at *least* late December, due to a work commitment. I know the chances are slim b/c of no period, and a huge lack of opportunity (nothing like living with your mother and having a toddler, eh? lol). BUT, it's so important to me that I not get PG that I need some more reassurance.

I, too, was hoping to avoid the condoms b/c I would rather not have sex than use them, for the most part. I hate them. But it looks as though there is no definitive answer for us lactating mamas.

Funny, right now I'm worried about *getting* PG, and I'll bet you by February, I'll be worried about how long I'm gonna have to *wait* to get PG!

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Old 10-05-2003, 04:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Milkymommi
I had a noticable presence of cm for the first time pp.I have a huge libido too which ...let me tell ya-wasn't there before but now no AF and I'm slimy again and still "in the mood" too AND I have slight cramping.What is going on!!! I'm super thirsty too but I think that's just from little guy having some extra nanas lately.
If I may butt in... It sounds like (if what you're describing is happening now, ie, slimy again, "in the mood", cramping, and your lil one upping his nursing... It sounds like your body is gearing up again to ovulate! If you get the "wheeeeee!" sensation when you wipe, you are probably fertile, and should ABSTAIN if you are hoping to avoid a pregnancy. JMO. :-)

Laura, mama to J (15), N (12), E (9) , M (6), and our little caboose, R (3).
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Old 10-12-2003, 03:24 PM
 
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My DD is only 6 months old, and AF has yet to return. I keep looking for her, but still no real sign of fertility. I try to just check my CF every day, and if it's the least bit fertile, then we either abstain or pull out (DH refuses to use a condom :P). I hope I will be able to tell when I've o'd. I try to take my temp every few days just to see where it is at. I think I remember reading in TCOYF that spermies only live a few hours in unfertile fluids?

Really, if you *don't* want another baby, I would get on the pill (as much as I HATE to suggest that). When your cycles return, then go back to NFP or FAM. DH and I are very open to the possibility of a baby, and will probably start trying some time after the first of the year - April or so?
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Old 10-12-2003, 05:04 PM
 
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mamabutterfly - I am in about the same exact boat are you are too! My dd will be 18 months this month - with no return of AF. I have beening having patches of wetness and slight cramping for about the past 4-6 months. This month (actually last week) I was literly dripping in ewcf (sorry if tmi) with one day of strong cramping on the left side only - I am thinking that I may have finally ov'ed. We will see.

We are also non condom/spermacid users - and also NOT READY for another baby (either of us). Needless to say I can probably count on my two hands how many times we have had sex since DD was born for this reason :

Anyway - since my big ewcf spotting I have been charting my cf only (can't seem to temp) and since I have always had regular cycles, I won't be suprised to get AF here in about a week and a half - and to be honest I will welcome her return. Now that we are getting more regular sleep and my ppd is a distant memory I am ready to jump back into the sack with dH on a more regular basis, without the fear of conception.....

If all goes well - we will consider TTC in a few more months or so - so hopefully all this won't matter anymore. I can't tell you how many pgcy tests I have taken in the past 12 months just because i am so parinoid LOL!



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