Tag Archives: ttc

Today I Will Be Mostly Trying PMA

This is going to be a short and sweet post.

The spotting stopped last night and I haven’t had any more since (YET – trying to balance realism with optimism here).  Today I’m going to try some PMA and instead of working myself into a frenzy over a possible luteal phase defect, I’m just going to accept that when nursing things can get a bit funky (in a messed up sense, not a James Brown sense).

I’ve upped my dose of vitamin b6 and I’m going with watchful waiting. As the great Doris Day once sang “what will be will be,” and my stressing over it will have absolutely no bearing on the outcome.

5DPO and counting….

The Boob & The Blood

Apart from a negative pregnancy test, the last thing a woman who is trying to convince wants to see is blood. Blood is scary, blood is downright alarming, or just plain heartbreaking.

Ordinarily I have no problem with blood. I’ve never been squeamish about it, or needles for that matter.  I think it’s because when I was a kid my dad used to take me along with him when he went to donate blood. I’d watch lots of people getting huge needles stuck in their arms, without a grimace or a whimper, I’d watch large bags fill up with blood, and then at the end of it they gave you tea or juice and some biscuits. Chocolate biscuits if you were very lucky. So needles and blood have always had a good association for me and I take them in my stride.

I’ve never truly understood the people with major blood phobias. A good friend of mine at school was like that. She fainted when she got her rubella, and she threw up and then fainted when she got her first period. I felt truly sorry for her when she had her first child a couple of years ago and discovered she was rhesus negative so had to get all those anti d injections. I think they just put a mattress on the floor every time she walked in.

But I digress….

Blood. Under some circumstances (well probably under most circumstances) it’s not a good thing to see, and especially so when your getting-knocked-up success in large part relies on keeping all of your blood inside you.

I’ve been having some spotting, a little on Sunday (okay, I could put that down to ovulation bleeding), a little bit yesterday and a lot more today. At 4dpo it’s much too early for the fabled implantation bleeding, what is much more likely is that my progesterone levels just aren’t very high. Prolactin is a progesterone antagonist. When a woman is lactating, prolactin has a much greater affinity for it’s binding site than progesterone does, the progesterone is instead cleared from her system in her breastmilk. This is part of the reason why breastfeeding can offer such strong contraceptive protection, and why it can make the luteal phase just a little bit screwed up. Insufficient progesterone causes the lining of the womb to break down too early for implantation to occur.

I might be a tad over dramatic here. I just have to watch and wait and see what happens, while bearing in mind that luteal phase defects are common in lactating women.

I suppose if my period does arrive soon I can at least content myself that my cycle is up and running again

and then start googling natural progesterone cream….

Here’s a sight for sore eyes…

 

I’m taking a cautiously optimistic approach to this chart. The solid cross hairs are a good sign, the temp rise is pretty convincing, more convincing than it’s ever been in the past. Also in the past I’ve only ever got the dotted crosshairs that say “we think maybe you ovulated,” the solid crosshairs say “we’re fairly certain.”

So I *think* I’m in the two week wait (2ww) now. I’ve dropped the evening primrose oil and the agnus castus but I’m continuing on with the folic acid and the vitamin b6. I have no idea what length of a luteal phase to expect (chances are it may be short) so I’m hoping the b6 will help that.

I’ve spent a lot of time over the last couple of days googling supplements or foods that can help with implantation. I love the internet, it’s fabulous for getting all sorts of information and for settling arguments over where you saw a particular actor in the tv show or movie before, and in some ways it’s great for getting information on ttc and fertility, but in other ways it’s a ruddy nightmare. Someone at google or microsoft or wherever needs to develop a bullshit filter.

When it comes to fertility, pregnancy and birth, because no one can (or wants to) experiment on pregnant women (and rightly so) an awful lot  information is based on anecdotal evidence. All “official” sources tread a very traditional, conservative and cautious line, so it means that the main source of information most women have are forums which abound with misinformation, disinformation and old wives tales. It’s hard sorting out the fact from the fiction and the harmless from the downright dangerous.

For example roughly half the posts I came across suggested eating pineapple core or drinking pineapple juice to help implantation, the other half said it causes miscarriages. I’m inclined to think that if pineapple does do anything it probably has to be consumed in vast amounts to make any difference (I seem to recall reading that pineapple can bring on labour, but you’d need to eat around 8 of them for them to have any effect – again I don’t know if that is utter bullshit or not). Then there’s people self-medicating with baby aspirin (I’ll admit it’s efficacy is proven and well-understood) or any number of other supplements like natural progesterone cream, agnus castus or soy (I’m guilty of the last two). I could of course have a conversation with my doctor about this but I doubt she’s even heard of them, let alone knows anything much about their actions. I swear by using evening primrose oil to soften the cervix before labour but I’d never discuss it with the uber conservative midwives in my area (there was one in particular I was discussing the position of my baby with before my last homebirth, I told her the baby was left occipito anterior – which was written in my notes by my doctor – and she asked if it meant the baby was breach *face palm*).

Pretty much every site has a disclaimer but it still leaves desperate women in the position of taking potential dangerous substances because of a lack of clear information. For example in the last day alone I’ve read posts from one women with PCOS who is taking huge doses of soy isoflavones and another who was getting their soy from a vitamin complex for menopausal women  (and therefore about 8 times the RDA of vitamin A – a teratogenic substance linked to all sorts of birth defects). Scary stuff.

So back to my plan – 50mg of vitamin B, my recommended dosage of folic acid, lots of fruit, lots of vegetables, lots of fibre, a bit of gentle exercise and switching to caffeine free tea.

And maybe I might have a wee glass of red wine.

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.

TTC makes babies – also craziness

I went to my doctor yesterday and had a chat about everything that has been going on the last few days. It was an odd experience. It was the same doctor that I saw last time but a totally different experience. She asked me when I had my last period and I told her “December…. 2008.” She seemed very surprised and asked why that was, so I explained about the intervening pregnancy and the 21 months of breastfeeding that followed. I thought she knew that, I mean we had a chat about it all last time I was there. She then told me I’d have to wean my youngest if I was pregnant because I couldn’t tandem feed, though at my last appointment she had asked me if I’d thought about tandem feeding. Odd.

Anyway she agreed to do a beta HCG blood test and I am now patiently waiting for the results.

I am not holding out much hope. I did more tests this morning and they are negative. This time it was a tesco test (I believe they are 25 mIu) and then a First Response (which I believe are 40 mIu). Both negative. I’d take photos but my son threw my camera across the kitchen yesterday and it’s quite possibly beyond repair. Anyway, I’m not sure that taking a photo would help as I’d only spend 20 minutes zooming in and inverting the colours and giving myself line eyes. I expect that the beta hcg test is going to be negative. Of course I hope that it isn’t, but I suspect that it will be.

The teeny part of me that is still hopeful has been inventing all sorts of fantasies where it turns out that I am pregnant. It’s shouting at me and waving it’s arms and saying “you’ve been feeling sick!” (have I? it could be entirely psychosomatic), “you’ve been very congested! and even had a nose bleed, that never happens!” (true progesterone can constrict or is it dilate??? the blood vessels in the nasal passages making you feel all stuffed up) “you’ve had cramping!” (maybe I just need more fibre?) “you’ve been so tired lately!” (well of course I’ve been tired. I’ve been cleaning every nook and cranny of my house every day for almost 4 weeks now, and caring for 2 toddlers, a 9 year old and occasionally a 7 year old nephew, and that’s not even counting the mental exhaustion from taking tests, staring at tests, googling things about tests, posting on forums about tests and emailing my best friend photos of tests).

The final thing my irrational brain is throwing up is “what if the pound shop tests were super, super sensitive? like 6 mIU, and even then if it’d doubled you’d only have 12 mIU, or if they were 10 mIu, it would only have doubled to 20 and still be below the 25 mIU of all those other tests you bought….”

Craziness.

I still think it was the asparagus you know.

I actually googled “can asparagus cause a false positive?”

I found some forums where people said “yes! yes! it can!”

I will report back later on the beta hcg results but in the meantime my scientific mind is just dying to know. I’m going to buy some more asparagus and some more of those pound shop tests and see what happens.

A girl needs a hobby!