I'm only on my third month of tracking my basal body temperature, but it's been long enough to show me something is completely whack.
I think pictures will speak better than I can to illustrate what's going on here, so please take a look at these three cycles I tracked and tell me if they even look like they're from the same person.
Temperature charting makes trying to conceive rather frustrating. Because on one hand, I've got The Machine, which is basically shouting at me: YOU'RE FERTILE! HAVE SEX NOW! I SAW THE RIGHT HORMONES SO YOU REALLY ARE GONNA OVULATE, YUP!
And so I do. And then I see ovulation occurring on the chart, which is great. And then the next day the temperature drops and from there on out starts doing its customary boomeranging.
So again, I ain't pregnant. I say this with 98 percent certainty. I don't feel pregnant (although I know, I know, I'm only five days post-ovulation) and my chart is saying "not gonna happen this cycle, sweetheart."
Which is why I've decided that after this cycle, when the certainty of non-pregnancy has reared its ugly Red Head once again, I am stashing The Machine and the thermometer and the charts and all that other crap in a cupboard somewhere and I'm going to ignore it for one cycle. I'll continue supplements, but that's it.
Otherwise, my brain is going to break. Or my heart. Or both.
I've been advised a couple of things, by multiple people.
The first is to relax, which I know all of us who are trying to conceive hate to hear. Relax and it will happen! Look: I am so relaxed that in order for me to be more relaxed, I would need to take tranquilizers and sit in the back yard with a pitcher of margaritas. I work from home, doing stuff I love, I have the best husband in the world, etc. But I get the gist of what they're saying -- they're saying Stop being so hard on yourself. Stop worrying about this for five minutes and think about something else. So I'm gonna. For one cycle.
The second piece of advice I've received is: Go to the doctor. So, look. Eventually I will go to the doctor. But seeing as how I have a deep mistrust of doctors and I suspect that my cycles will start to even out once I lose more weight (7 pounds and counting!), I just don't want to yet. I still have this hope that this will all happen naturally and I won't have to deal with medication or needles or any of that. That may not be the case, but I need to spend the time to find out on my own. Additionally, my insurance is changing so right now's not a good time to be going to the doctor or getting pregnant, anyway.
So I'm really looking forward to my Cycle of Freedom. I'm not going to check for cervical mucus. I'm going to have sex when I want to, not when that infernal Machine tells me to. I'm not going to take my temperature and obsess over spikes and dips. Instead, I'm going to let Jillian Michaels beat the shit out of me during the 30-Day Shred. I'm going to resume my 5K training. I'm going to keep eating fruit and vegetables as though they were absolutely the most wonderful things I'd ever tasted pleasegodineedacheeseburger.
And at the end of that cycle, I'll pull out my stash of fertility helpers and start peeing on sticks again and taking my temperature every morning and checking my mucus and maybe, oh, maybe, my body will behave.