So, I’m sitting at work during a call weekend about to embark on my first cycle of what I am calling “full-on charting.” Meaning, I am going to be doing a multitude of tests/observations in attempt to determine the following:
The above picture represents the question that has been hanging in the back of my mind for the past seven years or so since I was unfortunate to have the experience of finding out I was indeed expecting, only to lose the pregnancy. Can I get pregnant and can I STAY pregnant? Although I admit to still occasionally having “what-ifs” running through my mind (i.e. what would it be like to be a mother of a child in first grade?), I am thankful for the time in many ways. First, the time has given me a chance to grieve and reflect. Second, I have been able to, frankly, grow up a bit. Although I wasn’t a teenager, at 21, I was still fairly young. I feel better equipped emotionally at this point in my life, and I have the resources and the wherewithal to establish a better support system for myself. I also have the maturity to realize that an unhealthy relationship is not worth trying to maintain for the sake of a child, born or unborn. Finally, I have been able to research what may have gone wrong so I can prevent myself from having this experience again (another post perhaps?).
Which brings me to the collage of items pictured below:
Oh my God right?!? Who’d have thought that it took this much equipment to do something that people have been doing for thousands of years? Here’s a rundown of my current conception kit:
First Response FSH test kit: Tests for an accurate level of follicle stimulating hormone. FSH is what your ovaries ask the brain for when they need a little help ripening eggs. The less amount of FSH your ovaries need, the higher your ovarian reserve is and the more likely your chances of achieving pregnancy are. You use the test just like a pregnancy test on cycle day 3. It’s little ambiguous because it is read similar to a standard pregnancy test. You look for lines and how dark they are. Hint: one dark line is good, two dark lines, not so good. After the $2 off coupon available on the website, it’ll run you about $20. If you need actual numbers, which you will eventually, you have to get them run at a lab, but it gives you a good idea of what you are working with. For me, the peace of mind is worth it.
Clear blue ovulation predictor kit (OPK): This is the white box that controls my life. See previous post for a full description :).
Clear Blue test strips: The white box is very particular and has high end taste. Amazon is my best friend at this point.
Clear Blue digital pregnancy tests: Came as part of the “Clear Blue Fertility Starter Package” I bought on Amazon. They are expensive though, so I’m saving them for when I know for sure what they are going to say. (Yeah, I know :).
And finally, I recently bought this (TMI ALERT):
Yes, you can buy them online. I got mine here. But why in the hell would you want to, you ask? If you’re trying to conceive (TTC), getting to know your cervix is very essential. I was totally against it because it CREEPED ME THE F*CK OUT! I thought I’d stick with the OPKs and labs until I learned how much the lab draws can cost and how they only tell you half of the story. Your cervix changes a lot throughout your cycle and the hole in the center (the os) also dilates during times when you ovulate, then closes up again when your fertile window has closed. By getting to know what these changes look like, you can get an idea of when you will be ready for action. It can also give you an indication of when you are pregnant. For in-depth details on this and how you can examine yourself, you can go www.beautifulcervix.com. If you would like info on how to determine what size you need, I'd be happy to tell you. I don't mind at all; the woman who said having babies makes your pride go down the toilet was SPOT ON.
That's all I have in my bag of tricks....for now. Here's to a blissfully short work week!