I am writing part I of this before I feel ready to write part II because… drumroll… I’m not pregnant yet!
I was and am actually hesitant to write this before I am pregnant for a million and one reasons. One reason is because I have told very very few people that I am trying to conceive or that I will be any time soon (I’m really hoping no one in my or my husband’s family reads my blog because I don’t want them to know until it happens). I don’t really want people constantly asking me if I’m pregnant and, probably like any normal person, I don’t want to feel bad if it takes my husband and I forever to conceive. I also feel like, as a fertility awareness educator, I am supposed to be able to tell everyone that I used fertility awareness as birth control for years and then got pregnant immediately after I started trying. Well, that’s a fantasy land load of crap so I want to be honest with you while I’m on my journey.
We started trying in November 2015. That means that, as of right now, we have tried to conceive for 4 cycles and I’m just starting my fifth. Unfortunately, on cycle 4 I did get pregnant and had a chemical pregnancy (meaning a very early miscarriage). Very very big bummer, but I’m happy to know we can get pregnant.
What I’d love to talk about in this installment, is how much I have appreciated having fertility awareness in my toolkit as someone who is trying to conceive. I am trying to imagine not having it and it just seems like it would be the worst. I suppose that is why so many people do start charting their cycles, however loosely, when they start trying to conceive.
Things I am LOVING about using fertility awareness for trying to conceive
I will be the first to admit that I have pretty regular cycles. If a doctor told me to aim for cycle day 14 and just before to try to get pregnant it’d probably work for me. I’m lucky in that way, I know that. But I’ve found that fertility awareness has offered me a lot more than just the opportunity to tell when I am fertile and when I am not, so that’s what I want to talk about.
- We did something stupid and I know it. Overall having knowledge of both male and female fertility has been really helpful. My husband and I moved in October and we moved into an apartment complex that has a hot tub. We took very full advantage of the hot tub up until the beginning of December. Since I try not to be insane-o health conscious crazy person all the time I decided to not worry about the hot tub and just let my husband enjoy it even though I know that hot tubs kill off sperm quickly and easily. After we didn’t get pregnant the first cycle I decided we should back off. I know that hot tubs kill off sperm and know that it takes 60-75 days to mature new sperm, so I was able to not worry as much in subsequent cycles that we didn’t get pregnant. I know it was likely still hot-tub related.
- I have never bought or used a pregnancy test or lutenizing hormone (LH) test strip. You may also know them as OPKs or ovulation predictor kits. I know when and if I ovulated and, through the power of my temperatures, I am also able to know if I am pregnant without taking a pregnancy test. Since I hate single use plastics and it also saves me money to not use them, I’m not using them. It takes a couple more days in general to confirm a pregnancy with temperatures than a pregnancy test, but I’m learning patience.
- I realllllly appreciate knowing exactly when I am fertile. It’s nice because then I also know when I’m not fertile. Why is this nice? Let me count the ways… I don’t have to worry about just getting right up after having sex and getting semen out of me (when I’m fertile I figure I should lay there for 5-10 mins to be nice to the little guys), I don’t need to worry about how I am timing intercourse all cycle since in some situations you don’t want to have sex everyday because of sperm count depletion, if I don’t want to have totally unprotected intercourse I don’t have to my whole cycle (this can take many forms, but some people prefer using withdrawal, oral sex, etc. etc.), I don’t have to feel bad about missing out on days that I know are not fertile, and much more. I am just so happy for this knowledge.
- I know that my hormones are ok. I am glad to know that my hormones are ok. I don’t need to go in for a bunch of tests because I can already see from my charts that my hormones are healthy. This can also work in reverse. If your hormones are not ok your chart will let you know and you will know exactly what to work on.
So, thank you thank you thank you to fertility awareness for (again) blowing me away with everything you have offered me in my life.
I’m curious if you have tried to conceive with or without fertility awareness and what your experience was like? Let me know in the comments.