Let me set a disclaimer for what I am about to write about. In no way am I downplaying the significant struggles that come along with having an irregular cycle or the journey of any couple out there who has the challenging task of timing the BD with a shifting (or disappearing) ovulation date. I am just writing about my truth.
Hello, I am queen of the clan and I am a clock work cycle girl. You may have heard of others with this phenomenon...their cycles can be counted upon, they know within a day or two when they ovulate and they are not late...ever. I have gotten some negative feedback during my journey for this..."At least you know when it's coming" and "You get a chance EVERY month". I would like to attempt to explain through my own journey why I believe it is equally as difficult to be a regular infertile as an irregular infertile. Now I can only speak for myself and this is my unique case as I see it.
*Warning: This is definitely TMI*
CD1: 8:30AM Hell hath no fury like my AF. I have cramping that is debilitating and a heavy flow that requires me to set an alarm for three times a night while I sleep so me and DH will not wake up to a mess.
CD2: An only slightly better version of CD1
CD3: The cramping dies away slowly throughout the day and the flow faucet finally starts to slow
CD4: Not cramping anymore...Can finally sleep through a whole night as flow is to a drip
CD5: AF ends completely by noon
CD6: I pee a million times...This is because of the water weight that comes on with all my PMS
CD7: Oh the gas...getting rid of the bloat
CD8: Normal Day
CD9: Normal Day
CD10: Start OPK. I know it won't be positive till CD13 but hey...the routine keeps me sane.
CD11: Sex drive jumps to that of a monkey. DH calls the days that follow this one his monthly Christmas :)
CD12: EWCM...and lots of it, ovulation cramps
CD13: Positive OPK, ovulation cramps
CD14: Negative OPK
1DPO: Normal Day
2DPO: Normal Day
3DPO: Normal Day
4DPO: Cramping...AF Like, enough to require meds, Man do I want a snicker!
5DPO: The above plus slight nausea and some water retention
6DPO: Cramping leaves but Is it hot in here? Everywhere I go I'm hot no matter the season or current weather of the day
7DPO: Cramping returns with a vengeance and brings along a funky attitude for good measure...DH calls the days that follow this his monthly hell
8DPO: Cramping lightens up a bit...attitude gets worse
9DPO: Barely cramping now but ankles are swollen from retaining water
10DPO: No cramping...just feel like yuck. I'm sweaty and tired as soon as I wake up
11DPO: Cramping returns...slight. Start getting some pressure in my nether regions. I am now a walking zombie no matter how much sleep I get.
12DPO: Diarrhea...plus cramping
13DPO: Cramping returns with a vengeance and the funky attitude hits a peak
14DPO/CD1...see above :)
So the above is my cycle from start to finish. I may be different from others in that this is my cycle EXACTLY. I mean, some women may have a day or two variance...this is not my truth. The times above and all symptoms happen exactly as I stated above and have for 48 of my 51 cycles of trying to conceive. That means three variances and one of those times...I was pregnant.
Let me tell you what this means to me..it means as soon as 4DPO hits, I know whether we have succeeded or not. None of that..."it's not over till she shows" or even "I wonder what this symptom means" is true for me. I enjoy symptom spotting with others because there is hope in their symptoms. Every symptom I spot for myself simply confirms that it will be a regular cycle for me. I do not test early any more...I don't wonder if she will show...at 4DPO, I know if she will or not. Now, I would take ANY variance of the above as a sign that I might be pregnant. If even one day changed (no matter what day), if even one symptom was more or less than it has been in the cycles before it...I will buy out the corner store and test till the cows come home. If I am even one hour beyond the 8:30AM start time...watch out CVS. That being said, I have not tested AT ALL in over 2 years.
The point I am trying to make is that yes, it is a huge blessing that I ovulate on my own every month. It is great to be able to plan around AF because...well...she's nothing else if not reliable for me. However, it also means that logically...I can't even imagine I am pregnant most cycles. I get three days to think...maybe it worked? before my monotonous wheel of a cycle crushes my dreams. After that, I am simply going to the next day logging the cycle as it always has been.
You might say but hey...you could be wrong? So many people say their BFP cycle was the exact same as getting their AF...that could be you too right?
My answer to that is...maybe. It took me awhile to get to maybe because what I really want to say is...probably not. I am working on thinking more positive about TTC. I never thought I was negative before, just realistic. You may remember a couple of posts ago when describing how payday and I met and fell in love, I said that I was "coldly logical". This was not a diss...I actually looked at as a positive for most of my life. It just means that I tend to believe the evidence. I never looked at it as diminished hope just...calculated reasoning. So here's my evidence that a BFP cycle for me will more than likely look different than my normal textbook cycle.
#1 The twins---I remember this pregnancy because I was in college and had just been proposed to recently. I had absolutely no cramps or hormonal attitude freak outs leading up to me finding out. I was perfectly and utterly happy and when my PMS symptoms did not show (I was not tracking as closely obviously but a cycle as regular as mine just becomes part of your life and you notice changes)...I thought it was because I was so perfectly happy...the proposal just must have balanced me out.
#2 My angel baby---1DPO through 14DPO...Nothing, zip, zilch, nada. A feeling of balance...it was exactly like 1-3 DPO for two weeks. 16DPO BFP.
#3 All other cycles that I was NOT pregnant were the status quo and exactly the schedule above.
I am taking these three things to mean...I know what it feels like when I am pregnant vs not pregnant.
I said all this to say that, this blog will probably be more about my feelings about TTC than the actual grind of trying to conceive (at least until January '14). I don't test much, I don't really need OPKs and only use them to try and have a routine...just in case something does change. I tend to obsess with my friends in the TTC community because I love to have hope with them. Don't worry, if any of the above AF schedule varies I will be here with my own obsession too...but since the odds are that most cycles it will be the same 'ol same 'ol...I just wanted to let anyone reading know the truth about why my infertility blog may not talk much about actually trying to conceive. Also because, we are all (infertiles) in this together and its hard for all of us. Not getting pregnant is not getting pregnant, not being able to bring a healthy baby home is equally heartbreaking no matter what the physical situation.
Till next post...