Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ovulation ... ?

Because my life follows Murphy's Law, I became rather ill during what The Machine told me were my most fertile days. We managed to get some good "work" done before I turned into the walking dead, and then I waited for ovulation.

And waited. And waited.

And then my temperature spiked on a morning after I'd slept fitfully. This was three days after my last peak fertile day, according to the fertility monitor. The previous night I'd slept two hours. I can't be sure if the temperature spike can be attributed to illness, or actual ovulation.

The next day the temperature dropped back down to pre-ovulation numbers. In case you're not familiar with how tracking basal temps works: Your temperature is supposed to spike when you ovulate, and then basically stay high for the rest of that cycle. If the temperatures drop back down, that's usually an indication of low progesterone, according to Making Babies. That's something I've suspected for a while.

But I gotta say, I am suspicious of that temperature spike. I don't think it's genuine. Next cycle's temperature chart will be more telling, as long as I don't come down with The Crud again. But honestly, I don't think I ovulated.

MB says the most common anovulatory condition is PCOS, and that 10 percent of women have it. I've never been diagnosed. Post-miscarriage the ultrasound showed only one unruptured cyst, but that's been seven months now. Who knows what my ovaries have been up to since then.

Most women with PCOS have weight issues (yes), hair in unwanted places (hello mustache), and insulin resistance. I've been tested for insulin issues a number of times -- my sister has Type 1 diabetes and I'm overweight, so doctors probably assume I'm a ticking time bomb. But the results have always come back normal.

However, there are actually two faces of PCOS; one that involves insulin resistance, and another that involves hyperandrogenism -- elevated androgen levels result from unruptured cysts. I don't know if I've ever been tested for that, but you can bet I'll be asking for it. 

MB says the best at-home remedies for PCOS are eating well and exercising. Unfortunately, "eating well" for PCOS means something close to the Atkins diet. The disease responds well to it. And the book says, encouragingly, that the majority of women with PCOS can get pregnant naturally. 

So, as usual, I'm basically self-diagnosing. Something else entirely could be causing my temperatures to be off. In any case, I'm still planning to give it one more cycle, and then it's off to the doctor. I'll reluctantly give low-carb eating a shot for the next month and keep trying to knock off the pounds. Diet, exercise, and The Crud helped me lose another few pounds since last week, so I'm on the right track. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I realized the other day that there is soy in my hippie-dippy, outrageously expensive, organic, "made with whole foods" prenatal vitamins.

And then I noticed soy is also an ingredient in what I believed to be a healthy dark chocolate bar I'd purchased.

And you know ... maybe soy is fine in the form of non-GMO soy lechithin, but I still don't want it in anything I'm eating. I just don't. If that makes me a crunchy hippie or a bandwagoner, so be it.

Are you up on the evils of soy? If you're in this (in)fertility game, you probably already know what I'm talking about. And if you don't, this might be worth a read.

In short, soy is an estrogen mimicker. Estrogen is a hormone that already occurs naturally in your body. You don't need or want more of it because it will jack you up. Especially if you're like me and you've got a few pounds to lose -- excess fat already equals excess estrogen. The last thing you want to do is put more of it in your body.

Here's an interesting post about soy from Naturally Knocked Up; I know she won't touch the stuff with a ten foot pole.

Foods soy is in: Tofu, edamame, soy milk. Fermented soy products like tempeh and soy sauce are supposed to have a decreased estrogen-mimicking effect, but I'm not sure I even want to risk it.


So enough preachiness for today. Nothing much is new over here. I lost one more pound. I'm still guzzling raspberry leaf tea. I've been taking my morning temps; they're rather low and flat-lined so far. And I started The Machine back up. It's telling me ovulation is approaching. I'm waiting for it to confirm that it actually happens. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Balls out

I knew I likely hadn't ovulated for at least two months, so starting my period four days early wasn't entirely surprising.

What was surprising was that instead of wallowing, loading up on chocolate, and uncorking the closest bottle of wine, I enthusiastically drafted my Plan of Attack for this cycle. I touched on it in the previous post, and boy howdy, it is in action.

New pee sticks for the fertility monitor have been ordered and are en route. My thermometer and the Making Babies book are bedside. I've just guzzled my second enormous mug of raspberry leaf tea today, and my innards are buzzing with vitamin B12. I've taken to walking around the neighborhood twice a day, and now my neighbors just peer at me quizzically while they water their lawns. I've lost five pounds over the last several weeks; not huge, but I'll take it. Fruits and veggies are my friends and I've managed to mostly avoid gluten and sugar (excepting a couple of transgressions on Mother's Day, but who can blame me?). This week I started a dairy detox.

Basically, I'm not fucking around here.

And as I mentioned previously, I'm giving it until July before I put my fertility issues in the hands of a specialist. If I need to go back to a doctor, I'm not jacking around with my regular OB anymore.

But if the universe is willing, I think I can make this happen on my own. I got a surge of hope, and I'm clinging to it like a life raft.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Love Letter

Dear Baby-Longing Mama, 

I've been thinking about you, soul sister. 

It's May and almost Mother's Day and it feels like everywhere you go someone is holding a swaddled newborn in their arms. 

I know you would rather pretend it doesn't matter, but it's OK to let your heart break a little. It's OK to let yourself feel the brokenness of wanting something you're not sure you'll ever have. 

Nobody wants to dwell in what is difficult, but you can say this is hard. You can take a moment to sit in the sadness and the anger and not get stuck. 

The thing itself ~ the not having what you want ~ it doesn't define you. There's not a woman on earth whose life has turned out exactly as she imagined. 

While I don't know precisely what will happen, I really think everything is going to work out. I have to believe this suffering is making way for something beautiful. 

It's just hard to see it right now from our point of view. 

All my love,

PS: Nothing new in my neck of the woods.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Through a series of observations, like:

1. Ovulation tests
2. Monitoring of cervical mucus
3. Observance of non-pregnant status

... I have determined I am not ovulating.

I've also diagnosed myself with Lotsa Fatitude with Extreme Estrogen, which I believe is causing my anovulation. Making Babies says fat releases lots of estrogen. If there's too much fat on your body, you might as well be taking a birth control pill.

I've given myself til July to rectify the issue. If it's not solved by then, I'll be seeing a doctor again.

Plans are:

1. Walking 5 miles a day
2. Drinking buttloads of raspberry leaf tea
3. Taking buttloads of B vitamins, among other supplements
4. Abdominal massage, as recommended by Making Babies
5. Dust off The Machine (my very fancy ovulation predictor)
6. Track basal temps

I've quit coffee and am slowly cutting out "acidic" foods. I've removed gluten, sugar (although I've flubbed here and there) and most starches from my diet. Next up is dairy, then alcohol (*sob*).

So, two months. We'll see what happens. It's frustrating, and I'm getting anxious, and I don't want to be anxious.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Due Date

My due date was on Sunday, April 22.

For some reason, there was a plethora of births this month, and more to come. I guess everybody was getting busy in August.

It was floating there on the bottom of my consciousness for the first couple weeks of the month, and then it felt like I was a nail and it was hammering me into the ground and I did, of course, have my own special little breakdown on and off for several days.

I don't want to self-indulge. I don't want to express my want for a baby; it's obvious. I don't want to cheapen anyone else's experience or my own. 

I just want to acknowledge the coulda-been-baby that would've been keeping me up all night, this week, if everything had gone as planned.

And I want to acknowledge the women in my life who have miscarried. I had no idea what you'd been through. If I'd known, I'd have shown more compassion and poured more wine. There's so little importance placed on miscarriages in our culture, for some reason. And perhaps even some kind of shame attached to it. I don't want to examine why, I just want to say: I get it now.