18 Weeks: Ova Ova

After stumbling upon BERF a few weeks ago and reading my conception posts, the owner of Ova Ova contacted me to share her website, which is a fertility tracker much like Fertility Friend. Ova Ova has a modern, fresh look and a more conservative ovulation predictor software than FF, which is good when you’re trying to ensure you “catch” ovulation for both family planning and trying to conceive.

I used Fertility Friend for a few months while trying to conceive and found it easy to use. I loved having the knowledge of my temperatures on a graph. Having the Android app was very important since I was entering data from bed most of the time. Note that I did track more information – but I kept it private because it was intimate! FF did feel old school at times, and it was confusing to figure out why the program was changing my ovulation date or when ovulation would be confirmed. But overall, it worked for me.

You can see my posts about using Fertility Friend here: Cycle 2, Cycle 3, Positively Pregnant.

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There is now an alternative!

Ova Ova can be used for both natural family planning and trying-to-conceive cycles. The Ova Ova software uses temperatures and cervical mucus to pin-point ovulation with a bulls eye.

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The bar colors make it easier to see at a glance when you are most fertile. Green bars on your chart mean you’re potentially fertile, blue bars mean you’re infertile, bulls-eye shows your ovulation day. Once ovulation is confirmed, all but the day of ovulation and the 5 days prior turn blue since these are the only days sex can result in a pregnancy. Here is a link to tons of additional information on charting!

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You can also add in more details like prenatal vitamins, exercise and ovulation predictor kits. It’s great for tracking all-things-womanhood.

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Amanda took my actual Fertility Friend chart and entered the data (minus the CM text for privacy Smile ) Here’s what it looked like:

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Compared to FF, there was a small change in ovulation date (which I’m pretty sure was accurate due to my ovulation predictor and my baby’s conception date based on ultrasound!)

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For those of you interested in details, Amanda included the following explanation on why my ovulation dates were different on the charts. The simple answer is to be more conservation and not assume ovulation has occurred until you can be SURE it has:

Something you may notice that’s different between your Ova Ova chart and your Fertility Friend chart is that your ovulation date was pegged as December 12th (cycle day 27) on the Ova Ova chart instead of cycle day 24 like it was on the FF chart.

Although a combination of temperature and cervical fluid are very accurate methods of identifying your most likely ovulation date, most research shows that the very moment of ovulation could be plus or minus two days in either direction.  At Ova Ova, we’ve made a conscious choice that we’d rather identify your ovulation date once we are 100% sure that it has occurred rather than possibly identifying it early. This is obviously very important if you are going to use this method for birth control, but also for women that are trying to get pregnant.  We definitely don’t want our users to give up on sex too early before ovulation has occurred (you might just be missing prime time if you do), and you may start taking pregnancy tests far too early.

We use the most conservative rules of the symptothermal method before we identify ovulation.  So on your chart, you’ll notice that you were still identifying peak cervical fluid on cycle day 25 (normally cervical fluid dries up before ovulation occurs), also your temperature shift on day 25, 26, and 27 wasn’t as strong as is recognized by the Fertility Awareness Method rules.  Most traditional Fertility Awareness Research suggests that you should look at your highest temperature in the previous 6 (so in your case, 96.6), then draw the coverline .1 degrees higher (97.7), and if three temperatures exceed the coverline (97.7 in your case) and you don’t experience any peak cervical fluid, you can confirm ovulation.  After cycle day 25, your temperature on cycle day 27 (the supposed third day of rise) did not exceed 97.7, so I would be apprehensive about confirming ovulation for you on cycle day 24.  Our method uses an average of all your pre-ovulation temperatures and looks for a shift of .3 degrees above the average.  In an 8,000 woman study this was found the most accurate method of identifying the coverline, although the pre-shift six rules are also considered very conservative.  Fertility Friend gives no explanation, or has any published research about how they came up with 97.6 for the coverline.

Both FF and OO cost a fee for use after a 30-day trial, but it hardly costs much: Ova Ova is $36/year and Fertility Friend is $45/year for a VIP membership (I think – it’s hard to find this info on their site!)

FF has an app that was SUPER helpful for early morning data entry from bed. OO does not have one yet, but it’s in the near future and will be free for members.

Hope this information will be helpful to those of you interested in charting. Ova Ova has a free 30 day trial and Amanda has offered to giveaway free memberships to the first 15 readers to sign up : ) The first 15 people to email amanda@ovaova.com will be the winners.

 

Sharing The News

One would think that my first action after a positive test would be to call Matt, and then my mom. But I wanted time to think and plan how I would share the news. So I went about my day with a secret.

Karen and I went out for a Christmas lunch and I kept the secret inside the whole time!

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Actually the first person I told (after Caitlin) was my grandmother. Her birthday was the next day and I called her on my walk to the gym. I knew telling her would be a bit risky in the event that I was experiencing a chemical pregnancy, and as the phone was ringing, I still didn’t know if I would tell her or not. But the moment turned out to be too perfect when we were discussing her birthday and I asked her how she would like to be a great-grandmother for a birthday present. Of course she was THRILLED! I warned her that it was very early, and she said she would keep that in the back of her mind – and her lips sealed from my mom!

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Telling The Dad-To-Be

I really wasn’t sure how Matt would handle the news. On the one hand, he’s wanted to be a father his whole life and, to put it frankly, he consented 🙂

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But on the other hand, he claims he is just not that fond of babies and wishes we could skip babyhood and move into toddlerhood when they “become fun to watch and play with.” Unlike some of my friends’ spouses who were eager to have a baby, I didn’t think he would jump up and down with excitement. And that made me nervous.

I debated waiting until Christmas to tell him (5 days away), but I wanted to tell some of my friends and thought it was only right to tell him first. So I devised a plan.

Two cycles ago, Matt bought two bottles of an expensive Dogfish 120 IPA. At the time I was in an alcohol-free two week wait and so he decided to save it so we could drink it together.

Matt said:

“If you are not pregnant, we’ll drink it together that night. If you are pregnant, I’ll drink it to celebrate!”

We ended up drinking the first one when I got my period at the end of cycle 2.

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So I knew he would know that if I got out the second Dogfish 120 that it would have that celebratory meaning. Caitlin actually came up with the idea to write “9 Month IPA” on the bottle, which I did, but as I suspected, Matt knew before even reading the label.

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That night, we were putting the finishing touches on dinner. I was SO nervous!! I set up a candid camera on my tripod, hoping he wouldn’t notice because there are always cameras in the kitchen!

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We put food on the table and just before we sat down, I reached into the fridge and as inconspicuously as I could, put the beer in his spot.

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He walked around the table and before he even sat down, noticed it.

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He looked at the beer, and then at me and said:

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My answer was “Yes, read the label!”

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There were several “I can’t believe its” exchanged. I then pulled out the tests, told him about the day’s events.

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The Rest Of The Family

We wanted to continue creative tellings to our families. My mom and I are very close, and we talk on the phone daily. For the past 3 months, I had been sharing my symptoms and cycles with her so we could discuss them. At one point she even joked that she was having sympathetic pregnancy symptoms! But I had told her from day 1 that I wasn’t going to just call her up and say “I’m pregnant!” I wanted to do it in a memorable way.

So of course, the day I got the test, I lied: “Yeah, I just don’t think this is the month. I’m not feeling many symptoms anymore…..The tests are negative….my temperature is dropping….” It was HARD but I thought I did a pretty good job faking her out. And as much as I hated to lie, I knew it was for the best surprise!

The day I eventually did tell her, she actually said earlier on a phone call: “Well sweetsies, it’s probably just not the month. Unless you’re faking us out….” I thought she was on to me!! After we told her though, she said she wasn’t at all.

We had made plans to Skype with my parents on Christmas Eve so we could give them their Christmas present “in person.” Our gift this year was to treat our family to a vacation. I made a little invitation and put it in the mail. I told my mom it was coming and told her she was going to think it was pregnancy related but IT WAS NOT! (And when I told her this, I didn’t know I was pregnant, so it was the truth!) We could hardly wait to share the present with them – and give them our second gift of news too – so we somehow got them all on Skype a day early, December 23.

Right before:

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They opened the envelope for the trip and were all excited. Matt and I had discussed what he would say, but the right opportunity had to arise. There was some discussion about which week we would all be able to go, giving Matt his opportunity to say:

“Well, we really need to go in May or June because we’re going to have a baby in August!”

The Skype signal was a bit spotty, but I remember my mom gasping as loud as I’ve ever heard someone gasp. Oh how I wish I had recorded it! Being somewhat the ringleader of the family, mom went into a series of “oh my goshes” and said she absolutely couldn’t believe it followed by the comment that this was the biggest surprise of her life. She hasn’t stopped talking about it since! Mission accomplished!

Dad, Larbs and Matt were all full of smiles – I think they were all in a bit of shock! Larbs reportedly said she would have burst into tears if she hadn’t been on her way to a fancy Christmas party.

We told Karen and Matt’s brother Andrew the same way over Skype on Christmas. This time, while discussing our upcoming trip to Jamaica and the liters of Grey Goose vodka that would be free, Matt’s opportunity came with:

“Well I guess I’ll be drinking for the both of us because Koops is pregnant!”

Two more huge gasps – Karen and Andrew had the exact same reaction! They looked like twins leaning back in their chairs like they were on the downfall of a roller coaster. At the time they were in Alabama visiting Matt’s extended family, so all the extended family was in the room soon enough and people were yelling the news around the house.

Unfortunately we didn’t get to creatively surprise Matt’s dad and his wife Cheryl because Andrew was too excited and broke the news to them before we got to! But they were thrilled as well, and both being medical professionals, gave fun perspectives to how I was feeling.

Sharing my pregnancy with everyone has been my favorite part so far. Having a baby is such a joyful occasion that everyone’s responses are so fun to see! Especially when I shared the news with you all : )

Up next: 4 Weeks: Baby’s First International Trip

The Two Week Wait

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This was my third cycle trying, and my third cycle when I thought I was pregnant. I don’t want to look back in hindsight and say this time “I just knew.” BUT – my symptoms were the strongest I’ve felt yet and they were the most consistent with the symptoms pregnant women had reported. It was the mild cramping that I had that gave me the biggest clue. Instead of wondering if I twinge here or there was a cramp, I was confident something was going on down there. “Yes, I have been having mild cramps for 3 full days.” And in fact, if I wasn’t pregnant I was going to be worried. That’s how obvious the mild cramps were. I couldn’t think of any reason why I would have persistent cramps other than a changing uterus and implantation. Turns out, that’s exactly what they were.

Here were all my symptoms, day by day:

Ovulation Day: EWCM (if you don’t know what that is – Google it!) I’ve never been able to feel ovulation, so this day felt pretty normal for me. Positive OPK in afternoon!

1 DPO: OPK negative again by morning. Nipples and boobs starting to feel a bit sore – worsens throughout the day (not uncommon for me after O)

2 DPO: Boobs VERY sore by evening

3 DPO: Boobs very tender, had a pinching feeling on left side (like a needle) for a few seconds

4 DPO: Feel like a cold is coming on – a bit achy in the lungs and cold-like in the nose. Mild cramps on and off. Boobs much more swollen. Went for a horrible run – had a side stitch the whole time. Pinching cramps in the evening.

5 DPO: Cramps on and off and a sharp throb around lunch time. Felt hot and flushed at the bakery. Lower abdomen feels swollen?

6 DPO: Dreamed I got a positive test!! (The first time that has happened.) Nipples are super tender, boobs sore underneath and continue to swell. Chest is hurting all over – like I did 100 pushups. Felt kind of hung over all morning with mild nausea around 11am. Chest veins looked more pronounced and blue. Backache develops later in the day.

7 DPO: Increase in boob pain, really hungry, some surprisingly sharp cramps in afternoon and evening – stronger pangs almost. Boobs are huge and throbbing! Heavy feeling in uterus. Back/chest pain persists.

8 DPO: Cramps upon waking. Teeth hurt!? Boobs sore and throbbing – worst ever! More blue veins on chest – out to arm? Extra sore from Body Pump for no apparent reason.

9 DPO: Boobs huge, what else is new? Hurts to lie on stomach – both boobs and lower abdomen. Shoulders and back still aching. Cramps pronounced midday – no question they are there. Light workout – didn’t feel like pushing it and very thirsty.

10 DPO: POSITIVE TEST!!!!! Lower abdomen feels hard. Feels like yogurt is stuck in my throat. Beans in the crockpot seem unappealing (ha!)

Can you see the lines!? They were squinters! These are slightly photoshopped to increase contrast.

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11 DPO: Feel like the flu – aching back and head. Feels like breakfast is coming back up again. I feel very full in the abdomen. Very thirsty. Uterus hard? Sense of smell increased? More burps than usual. Cramps in afternoon. Clear/pink spotting (leftover from implantation?)

12 DPO: Test line darker! Brown spotting. Headache. Boobs still tender.

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13 DPO: Spotting completely gone – whew! Some uterus movements – like stretching. Feel less hungover but still very tired. At bakery all day working so tired anyways. Some moments of nausea – just tiny waves.

14 DPO: Line really dark! Little waves of nausea, but nothing too obvious. Really tired, but also little sleep due to working at the bakery. Feeling pretty good!

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15-20 DPO: Some cramping, some nausea, boobs and nipples still very sore, irritable at times, sleepy at 9pm every night.

Up next: Sharing The News

Positively Pregnant

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It’s 10 days past ovulation, and I know it’s still early. I lie in bed for a while and tell myself not to get discouraged if the test is negative because most tests are not positive until 13-15 dpo. Finally I get up and unwrap one of my cheap internet strips. I pee in the cup, dip the stick and wait.

Nothing.

And then I went on to have a jar party for breakfast!!

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If you aren’t familiar with the TTC forums, like the ones at Fertility Friend, you’d be surprised about what a huge online world it is. I didn’t participate too much, but I read a lot of forums to absorb as many real life experiences as possible. In the trying-to-conceive world, many women go to every extreme to try to see a faint line on a test 8 days past ovulation. This is too early for 99% of tests to be positive, but they test anyways. Since one women had gotten a positive that early (likely a miscalculated ovulation), it gives hope to the rest and crazy “POAS addicts” are born. I am not claiming to be exempt from this – I definitely got a little crazy at times examining tests in 10 different lights, and yes, even Photoshopping them to see if a line appeared under dark exposure and high contrast.

I had read about debates between first morning urine (FMU) and second morning urine (SMU) on the forums. The women there all had different times of day that they swore by. Some proclaimed that they always got darker lines in the evenings, others got the darkest lines the second time they went to the bathroom – after breakfast. Because some women swear by SMU, I took a second test that morning.

And I saw pink!! A second line. Well, not really a line – more like a smudge. But having stared at tons of tests that were stark white, I recognized something was different.

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[I have to pause here and give a major shout-out to my pregnancy BFF Caitlin. Caitlin was my confidant, and we talked online daily to discuss my symptoms and thoughts on what was going on. Having someone to chat with was so helpful emotionally – in the good times and the confusing ones. Caitlin and I continue to chat daily about pregnancies, and I’m so thankful for our friendship!]

So of course my first reaction when I see a pink smudge is to take a photo and email it to Caitlin!

“Do you see it!?”

She said she could – just a little – but that I should go take an expensive test because these cheap strips are so hard to see and can sometimes produce evaporation lines and false smudges.

So I broke out one of my super expensive FRERs – First Response Early Result. These are the tests that the women in the TTC forums consider to be the golden standard. They are fast and provide clear results. With shaking hands, I took the test expecting more stark white.

BUT – THERE WAS A LINE! A REAL LINE!! Clearly visible!

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This was the point in the day that my breath caught in my throat and I knew: I was pregnant.

And not only that – I was going to have a baby. After multiple squeals – both in my house and in Caitlin’s G-chat window – I couldn’t stop smiling.

Now don’t get me wrong – I knew there was a chance (at this point still days before my period was due – about a 50% chance) that the baby “wouldn’t stick,” as they say. But I had no choice but to hope for the best. Getting pregnant for the first time was still a huge leap forward: Matt and I could biologically conceive. While other things could still go wrong, the answer to the “are we able” question was now answered. There was a good chance that the tiny ball of cells inside of me would grow into my first baby, and the thought made me love it already.

Up next: The Two Week Wait

Cycle 3: Knowledge or Luck?

The start of cycle 3 was a bit of mixed emotions. I was confused by my short and long cycles and unpredictable temperatures. I wondered whether or not I was really ovulating. “Try again next month” is much easier said than done when a month is 30 days of waiting. After that long period of waiting in my second cycle, I wondered whether I really should just forget about all the charting and just hope it happened.

“Relax,” as they say. Was I getting too stressed out about it for it to even happen?

But on the other hand, I had only had 2 cycles and I was pretty sure conception across the country wasn’t possible, so I reminded myself it was early and I could continue to track things and relax more at the same time. I continued to take my temperature each morning, and we embarked on an “every other day” adventure.

I also decided there was one more easy-to-access piece of knowledge about my cycles I could invest in: an ovulation predictor kit (OPK). The cheap strips I used last time were too hard to read, so I knew I wanted to pay a bit more to get a digital test. A few friends had told me that they were not successful until they bought an OPK and targeted ovulation more specifically, so I bought one with the mindset of “knowledge is power.” I ended up getting the Clearblue Easy Digital – the one with the :).

I continued taking the OPK tests every morning. The average ovulation day 14 came and went and my test was always an open circle – no smiley face. I started to wonder if I was even going to ovulate at all. But then one morning I popped the test strip out of the digital test and noticed the line was much darker. Looming luteinizing hormone surge?! I decided to test again in the afternoon (I had been using first morning urine) and sure enough, I got a smiley face!!

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The next day, cycle day 25, my temperature went up. Ovulation confirmed by 2 (3 if you count cervical fluid – eww) sources.

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I knew this month that our timing was perfect. Now I just had to wait.

Up next: Positively Pregnant

Cycle 2: Declaration Of Ovulation

We have a bit of a goldilocks story going on here. My first period was long, my first cycle was short. My second period was short (4 days), and my second cycle was L.O.N.G!

This month, cycle 2, I decided I wanted the knowledge of what was going on under my skin. I wanted to know which day I ovulated (and IF I was ovulating) and if my temperature would rise as it had for all the women I had read about when I had thought I was pregnant during cycle 1. So, against everything I said before, I started charting.

Charting turned out to be fun, and I was SO GLAD I had the information. I used Fertility Friend, which is an awesome program that uses computer models to predict ovulation and cycle statistics. I bought a basal thermometer at CVS and started to take my temperature between 6:30 and 7 every morning. My chart was a little erratic, but Fertility Friend told me I ovulated on day 11 – so early! Since my last cycle was short, I figured this made sense.

Note the first dip circled here:

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[I’ll pause here for a moment to say that I was also paying close attention to my cervical fluid – but I’m not going to go into detail on that because it’s gross!! However, I will say that it seemed to be doing what I thought it should do around the fertile time : ) There is lots of information on the internet about the different types of cervical fluid, like this site and this one.]

I also tried some cheap ovulation strips I ordered from Amazon this month, but I ran out before the test ever went positive (another hint I probably ovulated in the mid-twenties). But these tests were also SO hard to read. Some of them looked almost positive to me. I found them very confusing.

About 10 days after that day 11 dip, I started taking tests. 10 days past ovulation (dpo), 11 dpo, 12 dpo – tests were all still negative. Then I went to Foodbuzz, which involved a 4:30 am wake-up call to go to the airport. This threw off my chart a lot with a really low temp, circled here:

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I manually threw out the temp because I woke up so early I figured it was not accurate data.

When I was in San Francisco, in a different time zone, my temps were high. I attributed this variation to the time changes, but I think this is actually when I ovulated – around day 22-25. Too bad I was 3,000 miles away from my husband!

Back at home, around cycle day 28, my period was “late.” Of course I only had one cycle to go off of and a funky temperature chart confusing me even more. Fertility Friend didn’t know I was in a different time zone, and it recalled its original declaration of ovulation and plopped it smack in the middle of my trip.

I still thought there was a chance we had conceived some other week and since my period was late – and again, I was having crazy PMS symptoms, I continued to take tests. But finally at about 17 dpo from my original day 11 ovulation date, I gave up and waited for my period. Sure enough it came – on cycle day 37.

I’m still not sure which day I ovulated, but I do think it was while I was in San Francisco, so it’s no surprise we didn’t conceive. I waited for my period to end and another cycle to begin. I had stopped drinking full-size servings of alcohol after ovulation, so it had been quite a while since I’d had a big mug of beer. I celebrated my period week with alcohol every night!

Up next: Cycle 3: Knowledge or Luck?

Cycle 1: Short, Sweet, Surprise

For the past three years, I used the Mirena IUD as my form of birth control. I absolutely loved the experience (except for the 5 seconds of horrible pain when they put it in). I had no break-through bleeding, no symptoms, no periods whatsoever and felt very normal all three years. And the fact that it cost me $25 once as a co-payment was the best part. Not only was it long-term and super effective, it was cheap. I will definitely look into getting one again when the time comes to choose birth control post-partum. Previously I had been on birth control pills and the Nuva Ring for a total of 10 years of birth control.

My maternity insurance (which cost us an extra $71/month) kicked in on August 1, and I scheduled the appointment to have my IUD taken out on September 14. We weren’t really in a hurry because life was still busy and we were in the process of buying our house.

September 14 arrived and it felt like such a big day!

Even though I knew it would likely take a while to conceive, I felt that the moment they removed it I was a new woman. The feeling of womanhood increased 10 fold when the next day I got my first heavy period in a really long time. When I was younger, I almost enjoyed getting my period. It made me feel connected to womankind.

So when it arrived for the first time in 3 years, I was happy. And I got to try out my newly purchased Diva Cup for the first time! [Caitlin wrote a post on menstrual cups! Read the comments if you’re curious.]

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[Source Healthy Tipping Point]

I found it a bit difficult to use (and a bit messy!) BUT, I loved it right away. I loved how inexpensive and reusable it was compared to tampons and pads. My first period started the day after my IUD was removed and lasted a full 7 days with about the same personality that it had when I was in high school.

My first cycle lasted a predictable 27 days. I wasn’t sure if I had ovulated, but since my period came back right away (even if it was a withdrawal hormone period), I assumed I was.

That first cycle, I was actually convinced I was already pregnant! It had been years since I had experienced a normal PMS. Back in the day, I used to get breast tenderness, some bloating and some moodiness. What I experienced in early October was much stronger than I remember! Sites like Two Week Wait only convinced me further that I was pregnant, as I shared many of the same symptoms as women who were, like backaches and a little nausea. I even felt faint once! Since I didn’t get pregnant that month, I have no idea why I had such strange symptoms. Going off the IUD? Psychological pregnancy? I was visiting my grandmother in Baltimore and wonder if my mom and I had shared a cold because I found out later she had similar symptoms – perhaps I was just sick.

When I got home from Baltimore, I started taking pregnancy tests – cheap strips I bought from Amazon – but they were all negative. I started to read about conception and learned a semester’s worth of female anatomy and menstrual cycle material in one morning. I was tracking symptoms very loosely on a Android app called My Days. It predicts ovulation (for a typical cycle) and lets you input notes each day. As I learned more about cervical fluid and other fertility signs, I started jotting down notes and symptoms there.

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One morning – cycle day 27 – I got up and prepared to take a pregnancy test and found…my period. For a moment, I didn’t believe it. Was it implantation bleeding? How could this be when I had so many symptoms!? Turns out, I was definitely not pregnant. And very naïve. I was surprised, but also not surprised at all. Why on earth would I think it would happen so fast!?

Next post: Cycle 2: Declaration Of Ovulation

Welcome To Baby KERF!

I cannot express how excited I am to be writing this post. It’s something I’ve dreamed about for years! Today I am officially 13 weeks along. If this is your first visit, you can read my announcement posts on my food blog, Kath Eats Real Food, here: Connecting The Dots and Itty Bitty Details.

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I decided to start a new blog rather than post about pregnancy on KERF for a few reasons.

1) The thought of designing and running a new blog sounded fun! New categories, fresh colors, different vibe. I wanted to do it all over again. And frankly I knew more about starting a new blog than I did about figuring out how to create a second RSS feed within KERF! A new blog just seemed to be the simplest solution.

2) I want to keep the KERF brand devoted to food. You don’t really want to read about oatmeal and placentas on the same page, do you? This way those who are interested in the details of pregnancy and beyond have a place to read and the food will go uninterrupted 🙂

Baby KERF will be informally known as BERF. No, it’s not a beautiful word, but it’s pretty cool that we have one exciting BERFday to look forward to! And hopefully the baby will eat real food too – B.E.R.F.

This blog is a journal and is first and foremost written for me as a digital keepsake of my experiences during these 10 months and the years that follow. I decided to make it public because I have made so many virtual friends through KERF and want to share as much of this experience with family and friends as possible. I love reading about other women’s experiences, so I’m hoping mine will be helpful too. When I reach a new milestone, I like to go back and read my friends’ pregnancy blogs to see what they were up to at this time! Even though I read them the first time they were published, it’s been so fun and helpful to have them archived for when I really needed to read them now that I am pregnant.

I don’t have any specific goals when it comes to posting frequency, post topics or what I will and won’t share. I plan to just go with the flow. I ask that if you don’t like the intimacy of the blog, please just step away. It’s going to be personal, but I have an open personality and will share what I’m comfortable sharing. All opinions are welcome, but comments that are disrespectful, rude or mean spirited will be removed. Please respect me, my family and those who choose to come here.

Over the next few weeks I’m going to be publishing everything that has happened – from going off birth control to conception (woo hoo!) through the current week. Feel free to skim the details – like I said, this is a personal journal more than anything else : ) Some days will be 2 posts, other days just one, and once I catch up I will post when I have something to say – perhaps everyday, perhaps every two. This blog is all fun!

The Months Before

Matt and I have always talked about “when we have kids,” so the question was when do we begin? We began to talk about having kids after moving to Charlottesville in July 2010. (And I admit, it was mostly me starting the conversations!) For a while it was “we’ll start trying after we move to Virginia” and then it became “after the bakery opens” and then “after we buy a house and get settled.” Luckily those things all happened by late 2011, right around the time when my maternity insurance kicked in. There was a 6 month waiting period, and since I knew trying was on our radar, I went ahead and added the maternity package to my health insurance winter 2011 so it would be ready in the fall – just in case we were ready.

I kept reminding Matt that it takes 9 months before you actually have the baby, and it could take us a year or more to get pregnant, so we should start trying sooner rather than later. At 28 going on 29, I could feel the clock ticking juuuuust a little. Especially since we had no idea how long conception would take. If I took 3 years, and we want 2 kids, then we better get started sooner rather than later.

I wrote this post on March 4 – right after going to my OBGYN and adding maternity insurance:

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In hindsight, it was kind of dumb for me to write that. Because all these people were on the lookout starting in the fall! I wish I hadn’t written it, but I also wanted to be upfront – because I didn’t know how morning sickness would go! I also told about half the blog world later that year at the Healthy Living Summit and BlogHer. I guess I was just excited to start trying!

By the time my insurance kicked in in August, I felt ready. The bakery was open and doing well, and I’d found a nice groove between my various jobs. I checked in with Matt, and while he wasn’t like “YEAH! Let’s have a baby!” he agreed the timing seemed right given that we weren’t getting any younger. I scheduled an appointment to have my Mirena IUD taken out in mid-September.

If you asked me back then if I had any strategies in mind, I would have told you that we were just going to let nature take its course and see what happened. I thought that taking temperatures, ovulation predictor kits and all that jazz took the fun out of it and didn’t want to get into that unless I wasn’t pregnant in a year. I should have known better that a laissez-faire attitude is not how my brain works!

Coming next: Cycle 1: Short, Sweet, Surprise