Stupid Ovaries

I hate my body today. I had my stupid non-functioning ovaries. I hate that something as important to me as breastfeeding is stopping me from getting something that I dearly want.

You’ve probably guessed by now that my temperature has not done what I was so hoping it would do. It has risen, but only very slightly, and it’s still a lot lower than it was a week ago when I was wondering if that had meant I’d ovulated.

I wanted to hurl the thermometer out of the window this morning. I’ve been wanting another baby for 13 months now and damn it, it is hard. It’s hard on the heart and the brain and on the bank balance.

I’m off to try and make a Lego Pinata for my son’s birthday party on Sunday, and try not to sob all over my glue gun.

943 days since my last period…. and counting….

The Monday Morning Pee Stick

 It would just super to say that this is a pregnancy test and it’s my BFP, but it’s not. It’s an ovulation test and I can’t make up my made whether it’s a big fat anything.

Are you confused following this blog? because I’m confused as hell trying to work out what’s going on with my body.

You see on the one hand my temperature had appeared to have risen (they fell again this morning but that’s a whole other story) and that would have suggested that maybe I might have ovulated.  But as I’ve said before I’ve seen this a dozen times and I put no stock in it. It’ll take a baby or a period before I believe it.

So while I was looking at my temps and wondering if my ovaries had woken up I was continuing on with my measures to try and wake them up.This meant taking the cocktail of supplements I posted about last week, including the “natural clomid” Soy Isoflavones. The way my chart has gone over the weekend I think it’s unlikely that I have ovulated but this little test above is giving me just a tiny bit of hope that maybe the soy isoflavones have done their job and maybe I’m going to ovulate. It’s probably a good thing that just by coincidence my hubby has this week booked off work.

You know one day I look forward to posting and saying something definitive, these ifs and buts and maybes are a real pain in the ass.

Dare I hope?

Every morning I log on to the Actively Trying board over at Babycentre and I’m met with a glut of “OMG BFP!!!!” posts.

It’s lovely for the ladies posting of course but it’s probably doing my sense of impatience no good at all. Truth is, when my kids go to nap, I spend a few hours trawling various forums and googling every suggestion for ways to increase fertility. I then spend far too much time going back and forth between my chart on Fertility Friend and on the Taking Charge of Your Fertility site willing those dots to suddenly make some sense.

I missed a few days of temperature taking last week while I was going through the whole pound-shop-shit-test adventure, and I could kick myself for it now because sometime during those three days my temperature started to rise.


Fertility Friend is being not especially helpful either.  It will go as far as to tell me I *may* have ovulated some time between CD5 and CD11. I don’t dare believe it though. I have been through this so many times before, including most recently just after I started this blog. I fully expect my temperature to take a nose dive soon and for them to take away even the suggestion that something might have happened. Still, as always, my hopes are up a little. This is a much more convincing temperature rise than I have ever seen on my chart before. I’ve started taking my temperature at night before I go to bed, not to record it because I know it’s largely meaningless, but I have noticed that it is consistently higher than it’s ever been before. My bedtime temperature is hovering around the 37°C mark, which is at least .5 of a degree higher than it’s ever been before. So now I’m obsessing about whether or not it actually means anything.

It’s amazing the things that you will notice when you’re paying attention. Every twinge takes on new significance, but it rarely means anything. I pointed out the similarity to my husband recently when we were fighting the flea battle. We both had multiple phantom flea bites, every weird tickle had us jumping and scratching and checking for fleas. 99% of the time we found absolutely nothing, but just the idea that there were fleas in the house was enough to have us thinking we were being bitten every five minutes (in truth, during the month long battle we both suffered maybe 8 flea bites each).  It’s the same with symptom spotting. I see so many ladies posting about sore boobs and headaches and sensitivity to smells and a dozen other “signs”, about 50% of those do end up being pregnant (so retrospectively they confirm yes! it’s all a pregnancy sign!) the other half end up with their period.

These temperatures might mean something, but they probably don’t.




A Load of Crystal Balls

I’m a scientist and an atheist. I don’t believe in ghosts or faeries or angels. I maybe believe in aliens, but only insofar as it’s an awfully big universe to only have us in it, and I’m with Stephen Hawkin in thinking the further away they are, the better.

I don’t believe in magic or the afterlife BUT I own at least two decks of Tarot cards and I have seen “psychics” on at least 4 different occasions, and I once read a book on cosmic ordering.

See, as much as I don’t believe in this stuff there is a part of me that sort of wishes it was true. If you sat me down and asked me to list my favourite books or movies, I’d give you a long list of fantasy and magical realism titles. I wish there was a bit of magic in the world, I have done ever since I was a child and I sat in my parent’s kitchen feverently praying/wishing that the Millennium Falcon would land in our backyard. Looking back now though I can see how impracticable that wish was, for a start our garden really wasn’t that big.

I suppose it’s a natural human trait to wish that we had insight into things unseen,or that we (or someone interceding for us) had the power to shape our world to our design. It’s natural to want to break the laws of psychics, and logic.

So I’ve gone to see “psychics”, intellectually knowing that they are a bunch of charlatans (albeit misguided and well-intentioned charlatans, along with the downright mercenary) but sort of hoping that maybe they would show me a bit of magic. Mostly it’s just a bit of fun, something to giggle about with my friends and a good excuse to use the phrase “in accordance with the prophecy” in every day conversation. It’s also given me a couple of fab ancedotes to share over the year, including the psychic who said he predicted two pregnancies very close together for me and was I pregnant by any chance already? I had to nod at that one and say “yes, about 9 months gone.”

There are any number of people online offering pregnancy/conception readings. A quick search on ebay will return dozens of people selling fertility spells and talismans. Fertility forums abound with people discussing what Jennyrenny or any number of other “psychics” have predicted for them. I found one particularly interesting thread yesterday where everyone on it had consulted at least four different psychics and got four completely different answers as to when they would conceive and what sex the baby would be.  The law of averages says at least some of them would get it right. I accurately predicted the genders of  about eight babies born into my family around the same time as my son but I had a 50/50 chance of being right, I’m not going to set myself up as a “psychic” because of it. I do however wish I’d gone to Ladbrokes and got odds on it.

The baby psychic thing does make me uncomfortable, about as uncomfortable as mediums offering messages to the bereaved. It sort of moves beyond the realm of having a few drinks and a laugh with your mates about how you’re going to marry a tall, dark, handsome stranger (presumably they’re not a stranger by the time you marry them) and instead hits right to the heart of the deepest desires of very vulnerable people.

Or maybe I’m just annoyed that I ordered my reading a full 24 hours ago and it still hasn’t arrived….

Hey Jealousy

My best friend has started charting and I have to admit I’m a little jealous. I’m jealous because she has predictable cycles and her temperature patterns make sense and when she sees a temperature rise and gets her cross hairs she can be fairly certain that it is because she has ovulated. Her cross hairs are unlikely to disappear after a few days.

I’m not feeling particularly patient today. I’ve had a temperature rise over the last few days but this morning it plummeted. I woke up and took my temperature as usual but when I looked at the clock I realised it was only 4.30 am. I usually take my temperature around 6 am. I went back to sleep, but I dozed more than anything, when I finally roused myself enough to take another reading it was 7.30 am. It’s almost unheard of in this house for us to sleep past 6.30. There is quite a disparity between the two readings, the earlier one was 97.18, plunging off the bottom of my chart, the later reading was 98.04 and a nice little rise like I’d want to see. Of course I know the reading I should use is the lower one. I hate that reading. It messes up my chart entirely. I guess thems is the breaks and I know that even a pretty looking chart won’t make me have ovulated.

I HATE this waiting, I HATE the uncertainty, I HATE that every product out there from fertility monitors to software only really works for people who have a cycle in the first place. I HATE being banished to this little breastfeeding fringe group where no one has any answers and no one can offer any help other than telling me to wean.

I HATE that I’ve eaten a lot of chocolate lately and gained 8lbs in 15 weeks.

I wish I had some progress to report. I feel like I’m constantly moaning or saying oh I think something might be happening but ultimately end up being wrong.

I wish I had a chart like my friend’s.

In Conclusion

There was one test left in the packet so I did it this morning, not because I think I am pregnant or anything of the like but I just wanted to see if I would get a second line again, and I did. I looked over the packaging and couldn’t find CE marks or Kite Marks so they truly are the biggest pile of rubbish.

There wasn’t even a hint of asparagus about my morning wee so I conclude it’s not that. I feel sorry for anyone who has bought these tests that doesn’t have my obsessive streak. I was sceptical from the start. I think it would have been much harder if I had taken it as a genuine BFP.

But it’s all behind me now and I’m moving onwards.

I’ve decided to give soy isoflavones a go. I picked up a pack of them yesterday. The idea if that they trick your body into thinking that your oestrogen is low and so stimulates the hormones involved in ovulation. They’ve been called “natural clomid”, and like clomid, you take them for just 5 days. You are supposed to do this at the beginning of your cycle. As I am in the interesting position of not having a cycle it’s hard for me to judge when to take them so (in true scientific fashion) I decided bugger it and took my first dose last night. Yesterday I took 80mg, today and tomorrow I will take 120mg and then 160mg on Wednesday and Thursday.

My vitamin regime is getting more complicated. Currently I’m taking

  • 50mg of vitamin b6 to balance hormones and promote a proper length luteal phase
  • 1000mg of evening primrose oil to promote production and increase quality of cervical mucus (Gwads I hate that term, cervical fluid is really no better. Gross).
  • 400µg of Folic acid – an important DNA precursor and important for preventing neural tube defects
  • 800mg of agnus castus – not pictured because I ran out.
  • and the soy isoflavones regime described above

I’ve had to drop my reflexology sessions in the meantime though because my therapist friend fell and broke her wrist last weekend.

I’ll admit I am a bit dubious about using the soy isoflavones because I don’t think that I know enough about them and I have found zero information appropriate to women in my particular situation but I’m figuring that I’ll take them for these 5 days, see what happens and if nothing does I’ll wait until my period finally shows to try them again.

Can’t hurt to try, I hope.

The Great Asparagus Caper

I found myself on ebay last night bidding on a Clearblue Fertility Monitor even though they aren’t really suitable for someone in my situation. In the end I didn’t win the auction, I was outbid with about five seconds to go which is probably a good thing because I really don’t need anything more to obsess over.

I said back at the start of this that I wanted to be relaxed and I’ll admit I have failed. Maybe if I had a cycle to work with it would be easier to relax, it’s the not knowing that’s turning me into a crazy person. Will I ovulate soon? If so when?

When your charting you can’t help but let this stuff take over your life. It’s the first thing you think about in the morning, the last thing at night and it pops into your head every time you go for a bathroom break. Some days I feel very positive, other days I feel I despair. I have been trying to shake the deflated feeling that descended on Friday after I got those test results and it hasn’t been easy.

But I thought it might be fun to work out if the asparagus really was the culprit during last week’s pregnancy test madness.

I picked up yet another pack of those tests today and a bunch of asparagus.

Now the first photo is a little ropey, the test had dried out before I managed to find batteries for the camera but it looked much the same when wet.

So – Pic 1. Test Taken Before Consuming Asparagus

Pic 2. Test Taken After Consuming Asparagus 

Both have lines, both would be convincing enough to make people on forums say “I think I see a line” (and if that’s your bag there’s a whole website where you can do just that). BUT I have to conclude that the pre-asparagus pic looks a little more pregnant than the post asparagus one. The mystery has not been solved, and I bought the last pack in the shop, so perhaps it never will…

I’ll admit, the headline is misleading.