Firstly, a public service announcement: If you guys are into fertility stuff and aren't watching Giuliana & Bill on the E! network, you should be. It's nice to see someone who has genuinely struggled to conceive go through the same things us "normal" folks go through, ie. when everyone you know is pregnant/has children. But more importantly I saw a preview for an upcoming episode in which she mentions the very book that Libby, Christina and I are following in an attempt to conceive naturally -- Making Babies. I am really curious to see what she thinks of the book and if she applies its principles in her life. If she wants my unsolicited advice, she probably needs to gain just a little bit of weight.
Anyway! You might recall that last week my doctor told my husband and I that everything is normal so far. Further tests on me might reveal the very issues that have been preventing me from conceiving, and my doctor's recommended that I go see a specialist if I don't get pregnant this cycle.
I, however, have thought about it and decided that I am going to wait until October to submit to further testing. It's only a couple months away and gives me a chance to try to establish some really healthy habits and truly employ the Making Babies recommendations. I chose October because that's my birthday month. I'll be 33, and will probably be more than ready to have more blood drawn, etc., if I haven't managed to conceive naturally by then.
Meanwhile, my cycles have thrown me a couple of curve balls, just when I thought I had them figured out. The last one was longer than expected, and this time I think my cycle has even confused The Machine (my way-too-expensive Clearblue fertility monitor). For a few months I reached peak fertility on Day 17, and ovulated on Day 18 or 19. I assumed this cycle would be exactly the same, believing I'd achieved an actual regular cycle, which was more than welcome after a year of playing Who knows when I might ovulate?! Not to mention: Who knows when I might start my period?!
So The Machine was telling me what it always does on Days 10-13: Low fertility. My toilet paper was telling me a different story -- a lovely tale of fertile cervical mucus. Which was confusing, but had happened before. I expected a reading of perhaps elevated fertility on Day 14, but instead The Machine suddenly bounded straight to the top of the chart and said I had reached my peak fertile day. *ALERT! ALERT!* That's what it always feels like when I see that I've reached my peak fertile day --- drop everything, including your drawers! Get busy!
In any case, I was a bit concerned. How did I not have the estrogen surge that would indicate high fertility before reaching my peak fertile day? And why was my peak fertile day three days before it has been for the last few months? I turned to The Machine's instruction booklet. Which, by the way, was written by idiots. I won't mince words. The Machine is very easy to use, but in reading the instruction booklet you'd think you were being trained to detonate a nuclear missile.
Lo and behold, in the FAQ section, I found this question:
My monitor changed straight from Low to Peak Fertility this cycle. What does this mean?
The booklet (un)helpfully answers:
This may happen occasionally, for example when a rise in estrogen is detected on the same day as your LH surge or if the Monitor does not detect a change in your estrogen before you LG surge. This can happen if you miss a test, or perform a test incorrectly, or if you have a very short cycle following longer cycles.
I did not miss any tests, or perform any tests incorrectly, nor did I have a very short cycle following longer cycles. I guess I just have to be satisfied with the blanket answer that the rise in estrogen was simply not detected until the LH (lutenizing hormone) surge. Which pisses me off because I want to know WHY. Is it possible there is an underlying issue that would cause something like that?
I guess these are the kinds of things that good little girls who let doctors poke and prod them get to find out. So I guess I'll be finding out sometime around October.