I forgot how much I hate charting. I hate when my alarm goes off in the morning and I feel like I’m going to pee my pants but I can’t get out of bed until my thermometer beeps to tell me it’s finished recording my temperature. I hate when I drink too much water during the day so I worry that my pee is too diluted for the OPK to detect anything. Or when I don’t have to pee at all and then I worry that I’m going to miss my surge. (And, why does all this stuff somehow always relate back to peeing??)
Before we started trying to conceive Littleman back in 2009, I went to see my family doctor for advice. Once we were ready for kids, I wanted to be prepared and make sure that we maximized our chances of conceiving. She told me to just relax and enjoy it. She told me not to make it too clinical. But really, what did she know? She was all of 15 years old! (OK, maybe she was 20…25 max.) Being the planner and worrier that I am, I decided to do some research on my own, just to make sure I had all the information I needed.
I had read about charting but, in the beginning, aside from marking down when each period started, I didn’t bother tracking anything else. My cycles were a bit wacky after going off the pill but I still figured that unprotected sex would lead to pregnancy. That’s what they teach you when you’re a teenager, right?
After six months (and a lot of reading about fertility) I decided to start tracking things more seriously. I bought myself a basal thermometer and started tracking my cervical mucus (which, coincidentally, is not something I ever imagined thinking about let alone writing about!) Of course, this was all back in the dark ages (i.e. before I owned an iPhone) so I would print out a hard copy of a fertility chart and mark it up by hand.
Three years later, when we started trying for #2, I already knew what to do. By this point, I had my Fertility Friend app all ready to go. I started tracking my cycles as soon as my period returned after stopping breastfeeding, just so that we’d be ready. I ordered a new stash of OPKs online so that I could start testing.
When I got pregnant with #2 in December 2012 after eight months (ironically, I got pregnant during the one month that I didn’t chart my cycle) I felt so relieved that I could officially stop all this charting nonsense. We didn’t plan on having more than two kids, so this should have been when I could ditch all the TTC equipment for good.
As it turns out, things don’t always go as planned (much to the dismay of my plan-aholic self) so here we are again. Back to taking my temperature in the morning. Back to peeing on command. And back to waiting for an iPhone app to add a stupid line to my chart, proving that I ovulated.
In the past few weeks, I was finally starting to feel a bit better about what happened to me. I was having some good days and I think it was because I knew that there was nothing I could do about my situation. But now that we’ve got the “all clear” to start trying and the time is upon us to “get busy,” I’m starting to feel sad again. I guess all of this stuff is just a reminder of how much we want another baby and how excited we were that we were going to have one. I know (and fully expect) that this may take a while so the fact that we are starting over again – pretty much exactly where we were a year ago – feels shitty.