I’ve been learning quite a lot about how babies are made over the last several months. Since my close friend was starting to try for a baby about a year and a half ago and one of our other good friends is a neo-natal nurse, I got the benefit of a lot of knowledge.
I learned that as a woman, I can track my own fertility using temperature and other fertility signs in my body. I always thought the “rhythm method” was useless (my grandmother had five children while using the rhythm method for birth control and her sister had seven). It turns out that there is a closely related method that is more reliable. Particularly if you’re trying to get babies rather than prevent them!
It’s amazing how much I have learned about my body. I didn’t know, for example, that there are only a few days per month that a woman can get pregnant. I didn’t know that you can use your body temperature to find out when and if you are ovulating. Even if I were on birth control or not wanting kids right now, I would totally still measure these things because of how much I learn about myself and my body. It’s super nice to know exactly when your period is supposed to arrive too!
My nurse friend lent me this book and I loved it. I highly recommend it. This is everything you could ever want to know about your fertility (as a woman).
I’ve also been using an app on my Droid called MyFertilityCharts (FertilityFriend.com is another popular choice)
The app lets me put in my temperature each morning and it creates a chart, shading in the days it predicts I am fertile and showing when it thinks I have ovulated (with the paid version). You don’t really need the shading. You can learn to read your charts from the book and know that you’ve ovulated. It turns out that after ovulation, the internal body temperature rises a degree or so and stays elevated until the period arrives (or stays elevated past then because you are pregnant). When you can see this shift in your temperature over a few cycles, it gives you a really good idea of when to have sex if you want to get pregnant.
I’m discovering that getting a baby is not as simple as I once imagined it would be. From the moment we decided to start trying for children, my body has been behaving very erratically and I’m not sure I’ve even been ovulating the last two cycles! It’s frustrating that at this point we have a 0% chance of getting pregnant and not much we can do about it. Just either wait for my body to get back in gear or seek out intervention.
Considering the timing, I have to wonder if my body or my subconscious is holding back for some reason. Perhaps it is not quite the right time, as I had thought it was.
I’m going to give it a little more time to straighten itself out before I go to see a midwife to talk about what might be going on. I also went to see a friend who does acupuncture in the hopes that it could help relieve some of my stress and anxiety (which can definitely throw off your body’s cycles).It’s really strange because my periods have always come very regularly. I haven’t been on birth control pills in years so there’s no wonkiness of getting off them. I’ve been entirely like clock work right up until we decided to start trying! Now my temperatures are all over the place (mostly low or only rise for a day and then plummet back down. Three sustained days of elevated temperature suggests ovulation) and I go two months without a period.
I have the baby fever bad and patience is not one of my virtues! But this is not the sort of thing one can rush. It’s frustrating to not have control but this is a reminder that we have much less control than we like to think we have.
Brad has suggested and I’m considering looking into herbal remedies to jump start my ovulation again. But a lot of people thought the stress around the wedding might be affecting me so I’m going to give that a little more time to subside.
Given that I’m a religious person, I am praying for a child. I’m praying in the sense of asking the Gods to prepare me for this change in my life. I hope that it is within the scope of my karma/sanskara to be a mother. I’m also going to be performing the Hindu ritual of conception (see below) because I think that might be a way to queue my body and my psyche that the time is right.
And I’m making myself crazy by watching I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant and listing all the symptoms I have in common with those women.
- Unexplained weight gain? I have that!
- Nausea and heartburn when I never used to have any? Check!
- Tired, achy, and crabby? Oh, definitely.
Clearly I could have a baby at any second. Never mind that I had a blood test to confirm I wasn’t pregnant and that my temperature has remained far too low. Darn it, OffBeat Families, stop encouraging my hysterical pregnancy!
In Hinduism there are some life rituals, 16 major ones, called Samskars. It happens that one of these rituals is to be performed for a married couple to aid in conception (and to aid in bringing a good soul into the family). It is called garbhadhana and there’s a post today at the premium White Hindu blog about how to perform this ritual duty.