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.


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!)


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.


18 Weeks: Must Haves

Building a baby wish list is daunting. The essentials are simple: a place for the baby to sleep, a few sets of clothes, a carseat, diapers.

But what about all the gear that just makes mom and dad’s lives easier?

Boppies, swings, bouncers, gliders, carriers, pack n plays, breast pumps…..what do you really need?


Here is a list of “New Mom Must Haves” from blogs across the internet that friends have shared with me. They have been so helpful to read while creating a registry. Please add your own in the comments – I’m hoping to turn this post into a permanent page!

New Mom Must Haves

Sistas of Strength

Live To Eat Run For Fun

The Splattered Apron

A Cup Of Jo

Viva Catalina

Living Like The Kings

Lucie’s List

A Healthy Slice Of Life

The Shu Box


Rhodey Girl Tests

The Concrete Runner

This Runners Trials

Keeper Of The Home

Daily Garnish

Oh Joy!

(Never Home) Maker

Young House Love

And two awesome Pregtastic podcasts:

Baby Bargains Episode

Baby Carries Episode


18 Weeks: Yoga For Two


Today was my second visit to the prenatal yoga class at my gym! I’ve seen women late into their pregnancies go into prenatal yoga since I joined the gym nearly two years ago, but never did I think I would be one of them!

I was really nervous before my first class. Not about the yoga, since I knew it had to be a bit easier than the power vinyasa I had practiced in the past, but I was nervous about the logistics and the women! I just didn’t know how the first class would go.

When I walked into the room with my 16.5 week belly, a woman, who was clearly way more pregnant than I was, said to me:

“Ha! I thought I was in the wrong yoga class for a minute because you don’t look pregnant at all!”

Welcome to yoga, Kath.

“You don’t look pregnant” is the last thing someone in their early second trimester wants to hear!

Luckily, everyone else was nice, and my friend Amy, who is near term and still rockin’ it, was there too!

I was surprised when we started the class going around the room of about 25 women to each introduce ourselves, our pregnancy week and any issues or joys we had experienced that week. I absolutely LOVED this part of the class and wish we had 2 hours so we could spend even longer on the meet and greet! The instructor, Jen, is also a doula, so she had greats of advice and information to help the mamas with their aches and pains as well.

As we went around the room, I was glad to hear there were 3 other women at 16 weeks or less, so I was not the “youngest” in the room.

After introductions, we began the practice, which was much more of a childbirth class than a traditional yoga class. This is totally fine with me because my #1 goal of the class is not exercise for mind or body but preparation for childbirth. I want to open my hips, squat low and prepare my body in any and every way I can for what’s to come. I think of the class more as a great stretch ending with an awesome 10-minute meditation when you’re supposed to focus on your baby (I think! At least this is what I do!)

My second class was similar to the first, and I found myself counting down the days to it. Initially I thought I would hate an evening class (it’s from 5:30-6:45pm) because it’s during dinner hour and means Matt’s the solo cook, but I sort of like unwinding from my day with yoga. It’s much more fun to look forward to than if I had to run 5 miles in the evening!

During the final meditation tonight, I kept talking to the baby [in my head] and urging him to do some awesome roll or kick, but no dice. Maybe next week!

I skipped last week, so today I shared that I was 18.5 weeks along (and still counting half weeks!) and that I had just started to feel movement. The woman beside me was 19 weeks and her bump was much bigger than mine. I know better than to compare apples to oranges, but I felt like my bump disappeared in that class!

When I got home, I passed by a mirror and noticed that I don’t give it as much credit as it might deserve – it is still there!

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Already excited for next week’s class! If there were two a week, I would be there.

18 Weeks: Paint By Numbers

Nursery updates are my favorite BERF posts to write : ) Those and bumps, of course!


With the closet painting I did on Sunday, the space has a whole new look. Thanks to those of you who suggested we remove the closet door after this happened to the rug:


The closet before was beige and dingy and scuffed up. I love being able to close doors, but you guys were smart to recognize that with a baby in my arms, pushing a curtain aside – or just leaving it open – is more practical.


Luckily we have a few half gallons of paint left from our house re-paint when we moved in, so I used some of the living room paint to coat the walls a seafoam blue.


Luckily this project was in a closet, so I could make mistakes. I am not a great painter at all! I’m way too hasty to stay between the lines. I had no painter’s tape, so I just used masking tape. And an old curtain for a drop cloth. And a skewer to mix the old paint. Crafty!

Also check out my painter’s outfit made up of clothing I never wear. When did this shirt ever fit!?!?


You can still see the lines where I cut in with the brush where the roller wouldn’t quite fit, and there are a few corners with issues, but who is going to see them!?


I absolutely love the result!


I hung those wooden hooks too – no idea if they’ll get used, but it seemed like a good spot for them all tucked away.


We have plans to put either shelves or a tall dresser inside. I popped into Possessions Recycled this week and found this perfect yellow match. It’s smaller and more square than it appears in the photo, and it would fit in there well, I think. The problem is they’re asking $250, but we’re hoping to haggle down.

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It sure would brighten up the space! Another surprise – with the blue and white, I now love the green walls. I’m going to tone down the yellow and gray theme a little bit (it was never going to be 100% anyways) and just keep the colors calm and fresh.


For the curtain, Matt picked up a tension rod at Lowes and we hung a curtain we had in our old master bedroom [= recycling!] I love white flowing curtains. [And also sort of prefer the closet open instead of closed now!] Cost of the closet project: about $10 for the curtain rod and a roller brush.


Sure works great with the rug – and the room feels bigger too!


Now we just need a crib….and it’s ON THE WAY! Remember the Baby Mod crib I tried to buy 3 times with failure? I just happened to check again and it was in stock…purchased….and I got an email that it has shipped. Crossing my fingers!


I also found this dresser while browsing used furniture and quite like it. But I’m afraid it’s too short to be a changing table. I believe my current plan – IKEA Hemnes – is much taller. This would save a hundred though! And funky modern is always more fun.

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And I’m ending on a high note – thanks to Caitlin for sending me this super exciting gift!!!!!!! Baby has a place to lounge : )


Previous 18 Week Posts

I Got Kicked


4 weeks

5 weeks

6 weeks

7 weeks

8 weeks

9 weeks

10 weeks

11 weeks

12 weeks

13 weeks

14 weeks

15 weeks

16 weeks

17 weeks

18 Weeks: I Got Kicked!


Exciting things happened this weekend!

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I ate two kinds of chocolate dessert, and then I got kicked! It was so exciting! It started a wave-like feeling in the front of my stomach. Right up near the top of my uterus. I’m guessing that was the baby rolling around. And then I felt a little bump outwards. It actually felt just like you’d expect a baby kick to feel. It happened about 3 times – and when I rested my hand there, I could feel it on the outside too! I tried to get Matt to feel it, but he reported only feeling my heartbeat on his fingertips. My heartbeat IS really strong there. I’ve felt a few more of these bump-outs this morning too. I hope they stick around!!

The top of my uterus is now just at/above my belly button. I took this photo so you could see what I do when I lie in bed in the mornings to assess the state of things. If you drew a line down from my fingers, you’d see where my stomach wall used to go. That big bump is hard and muscular in there (although it has a thin layer of pleasure smoosh on top).

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I can actually put my hands all the way around my uterus, and when I lie down it’s even more pronounced. It’s amazing how big it is! Short torso to thank for it being so big relative to my stomach in general.

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18 weeks (14)

Can’t do much sucking in these days! Mostly just the top part of my ribs go in and my bump stays totally put.

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12 weeks –> 18 weeks

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People are starting to make comments like: “You’re looking so pregnant now!” Now I realize many of you who are or have lived through the third trimester will chuckle to that, but I think my friends and family just mean relative to before!

I have to say though, as much as I am excited to really look pregnant, I don’t really like having my stomach hang out….yet. Having it tucked in most of my life, either by its general lack of protrusion or by the band of my pants, is what I am used to. Even though it’s out with a purpose now, I don’t really like having it be too free to the world – like when I wore a dress yesterday and there was just a thin, thin layer of fabric between my stomach and the world. Right now, I like layering maternity pants panel + tank top + shirt. I know some people say in a few months you won’t want anything touching it, but for now, the more layers the better. It just feels more supportive to me.


I’m feeling pretty good overall. I’ve actually had a few cravings to run this week! Energy is good. Eating is normal.

Here’s a short list of foods I once craved but no longer care about:

    • Bagels + cream cheese
    • Caesar salads
    • Creamy sauces of any kind
    • Steak/lots of meat
    • Animal crackers
    • Bleu cheese (I’ll eat it – pasteurized of course – but the thought of it grosses me out)
    • Feeling too full

But still on the <3 list:

    • Cheese
    • Ice cream
    • Popsicles
    • Cereal + milk
    • All fruit

Foods I hated in the first tri that are back in moderation:

    • Beans
    • Veggies + salads (90% back)
    • Hummus
    • Sardines

I don’t know if I have ever had acid reflux before (lucky me) but I might be experiencing the start of it. I wouldn’t say that my esophagus is burning or that it feels like acid is coming up, but I’ve noticed that it seems food sits pretty high up in my stomach these days. I can’t really write about this without being totally gross, but sometimes when I burp….it’s not just air! This is definitely a new thing for me, and I’m guessing it’s related to my stomach space getting a little more cramped. I also seem to get full a little more quickly than before.

I’ve also noticed a lot more nose-related blood volume symptoms. Gross ones slightly less severe than a nosebleed. I think it’s so weird and almost funny whenever I experience a symptom I have heard about. Like I’ve just been waiting for it to happen and then it does!

Lastly, thanks to everyone who has said I’m glowing! I don’t really think I look any different, but there seems to be a consensus in the comments that I am, and I have to say it’s a sweet compliment to any pregnant woman : )



4 weeks

5 weeks

6 weeks

7 weeks

8 weeks

9 weeks

10 weeks

11 weeks

12 weeks

13 weeks

14 weeks

15 weeks

16 weeks

17 weeks