Long Way to Pregnancy – Start Tracking Your Cycle

Trying to Conceive is not always as easy as 1-2-3.

 

So, you have decided to get pregnant? Congratulations! It can be a long way to pregnancy, but don’t give up hope. A lot of things go into making this decision. I’d say most people’s finances are one of the most important things that are put into consideration. I’m not saying that it does not matter because, of course, it does! However, I can tell you that there would be a lot of people either without kids or who would have had their children way later if they would have waited for that perfect time. I strongly believe that somehow things will oftentimes find to its equilibrium (find its middle point – its balance).

Your husband/partner may not have a well-paid position at this time, but you never know what promotion will cross his path a few years down the road.  It’s those kind of things that can change anytime. Of course, it can also go in the other direction where someone makes a great living and suddenly is being laid off. Let’s not hope this will ever happen to you or your loved one, but life is not always fair (sometimes in a lot of ways..). I know someone who has made a great income for years and “bam” just like that she was laid off to be replaced by a cheaper, fresh out of college girl. All I know is that: save money while you can (so if you are not in that position now..do it later when you can afford it). Things happen…

I don’t want to dwell on the negatives (the truth must be spoken, too though, right?) because I am so excited that you have decided to become pregnant. It is such an exciting feeling and a little scary at the same time. Lots of emotions affected you when you made the decision, but what if it just doesn’t happen as quickly as you thought? I guess there is a good chance that is the reason why you are reading this right now.

You always know in the back of your mind that it is an option, but who really wants this to become a reality? No one! I am fortunate enough to say that the longest we had to wait to get pregnant was about 6 months. At least these were 6 months of “targeted” trying instead of just dropping all birth control and seeing what happens (which we did the entire year before). In this half of a year I have learned a lot about my body and all the extra supplies that can be of great help.

Every Woman and Child is Unique

It was my first pregnancy that took 6 months, the second time around it magically happened right away and with my 3rd baby girl it took a good 4-5 months. As you can see it can vary even for the same woman every time. This is what you will hear a lot when trying to get pregnant, when pregnant and after you give birth – every woman, every pregnancy, and every single baby are completely different. No need to compare and especially not to other women or babies.

Getting Pregnant Takes Patience

Anyways, after only about the first 2 months of trying to conceive I hit a wall that Getting Pregnant takes Patiencecaused me to get so upset whenever my period showed up. I knew from the beginning it may take a while and promised myself not to get too upset, but my hormones were not helpful and I just really wanted this so badly. Once you are ready to get pregnant you really ARE ready! My patience failed at all levels!!! Generally, I am a very patient person, but not when it came to getting pregnant. Boy was it painful and felt like a stab in the heart. I can tell you I was so fed up with listening to people telling me that I can’t stress about it. Let me tell ya – it is much easier said than done. November went by and in the month of December I decided to “screw it”..instead of living like I am pregnant after ovulation (you know..no alcohol, no sushi, etc.) I’ve decided to live like I am not. After all it was time for the holidays and I wanted to enjoy it! By the time I would hold a positive pregnancy test in my hand I would still have enough time to change those things. Some people would highly disagree with me on this one, but I am talking about an occasional drink on the holidays or so and not a constant thing. Just make sure you take your prenatal vitamins with Folic Acid the entire time you are trying to hit the jackpot and even before! Better safe than sorry!

How long have you been trying to get pregnant?

If you have been trying for under 1 year you are still in the so considered “safe zone”. Taking up to a year is considered completely normal. This may not sound like a lot before you are starting to try, but once you start and it doesn’t work soon the year stretches like a piece of gum. If you just stopped all birth control or if you simply aren’t sure about your cycle (some women don’t feel ovulation and such) I would highly suggest to track your cycle for a few months.

I have several friends who were trying to conceive for years and years and it turned out they literally missed the “hot time” constantly. Another one realized she is not ovulating on a regular basis. This is when it is time to get a doctor’s help – EVEN BEFORE THAT FIRST YEAR IS UP! Tracking your cycle (charting) will help you understand your body and cycle much better.

Tracking Your Cycle (Charting)

Let’s talk about successfully tracking your cycle! If you do this early on when trying to get pregnant it will be very beneficial to you. How do you do this you ask? Good question because it is a lot more complex than it seems – that is for sure! You have, of course, in today’s time and age several options. Best would be to combine several or all of the below options.

  1. TEMPERATURE

MANUAL WAY

Your body’s temperature gives you a lot of clues about where you are at in your cycle. For this to work you need to know what a full cycle is usually like. Story made short is that your first half of the cycle (before you ovulate) has generally a slightly (and I mean slightly) lower temperature than your second half (after ovulation). The key is to use a basal thermomter, which measures up to 2 decimal places instead of just one. Only this way will you be able to track the smallest changes in temperature, which is important. Using this method forces you to write down the results to track, which you can do by hand or electronically. Use a specific temperature tracking sheet that allows for you to add all your data manually. Below you can see what a cycle tracking sheet can look like (it’s actually the one I’ve used the last time I got pregnant). There are plenty of apps available that make things a lot easier on you. Simply add your temperature and it will show you after a couple of cycles when you should be most fertile and when you’ve ovulated and so on. Easy-peasy, right?

Charting your cycle

Not only do you keep track of temperature, but also when you got affectionate with your partner, mucus and results of ovulation tests.

 

ELECTRONIC WAY

Instead of a standard basal thermometer you can use a small computer like the Ladycomp that has a thermometer attached and keeps record of everything right inside this genius little computer. Although, a big con to it is it’s price. It is rather high and may not be easily affordable for everyone.

You can also combine the basal thermometer with a specific app – these items are paired. Thermometers like this smart thermometer by Femometer connect directly to your phone (app) and make it very easy for the user. Simply measure your temperature and your data will be transferred into the app and evaluated. Seriously though, it does not get much easier than this! It is also more affordable than other monitors.

  1. TEST STRIPS

Just like pregnancy tests there are tests for ovulation. With a pregnancy stick you test for HCG (Human chorionic gonadotropin, this is the pregnancy hormone) after the “fact” and no matter how faint the line is your pregnancy test is considered positive. It’s a bit different with ovulation tests because they test for LH (Luteinizing hormone – this hormone triggers ovulation) during your mid-cycle. You use these tests before ovulation to determine if you are getting closer to your egg being released. That way you know that it is time for some action steps (if you know what I mean..). The heavier the hormone test line gets the closer you get to your ovulation date. However, a faint line or line not as strong as the test control line means the test is negative. The hormone test line needs to be as strong or stronger than the test control line. This is not a great picture, but it shows what I’m talking about:

Ovulation Test

The picture on the left shows 2 positive ovulation tests. The picture on the right shows a negative test (top) and a positive ovulation test (bottom). Both were taken on the same day. The negative one was done at 2pm and the positive test was done at 10pm. Those few hours within a day can make THE difference!

 

I know these kind of tests can be stressful for women as they sometimes have a hard time figuring out if the line is strong enough or not. Once the line shows a positive your egg is expected to be released (ovulation) within the next 24-48 hours. Have you ever seen the pregnancy tests that show smiley faces when they’re positive? Well, again, they have the same as ovulation tests (see picture above). These tests take the guesswork out of the whole process for you and make it clear as day when it’s time to be extra nice to your partner. *wink-wink* In the beginning it is all so exciting that you want to surely share the news with your hubby, but truth to be told is that it might be better if you don’t tell him. It sometimes stresses them out so much that they feel like they have to “over perform” and have a rough time performing at all.  It can be just as draining on them as it is on the woman. Of course, this is completely up to you and just a recommendation.

  1. MUCUS

Yeah, I know..this is not the most pleasant topic (therefore, I will skip the pictures), but it is essential to know! During ovulation you will experience vaginal discharge that can start out as white and creamy (too much information? ..oh well, it is what it is..) and will eventually clear up and get more liquid (kind of like egg white). The closer you get to your egg being released the clearer and more liquid/jelly like your mucus will get. This is good because it will serve as a better transportation medium for your man’s little swimmers. When it’s too thick and such it will keep those little sperms from getting through to your uterus. When it is like egg white and it can be stretched far between your fingers or toilet paper it is called “spinning”. This is the best condition it can be to allow fertilization of the egg. Pay attention to your mucus as it changes and is a sign of ovulation in the near future. It should also help you to not have to use lubricants as they are not beneficial for sperm to get through. However, there is a kind of lubricant made by Preseed that is specifically made for it.

  1. OVULATION PAIN

This pain is not something every woman experiences, but some do. Some never feel it and once they had a baby they suddenly have it. Pregnancy resets your system every time and you never know how things will be afterwards. It will most likely be completely different. I went from mega crampy and painful 6-7 day long periods and stinging ovulation pain before my first pregnancy to no pain, 3 day long periods and no ovulation pain afterwards. Amazing right? I think so!

Anyways, the pain I remember having was an intensely sharp pain in my uterus area. It was not the same strength every cycle, but at times it was so intense that I had a hard time sitting down. Once the egg was released the pain disappeared and I knew it had happened (what a relief it was!!!). Some women have it just before ovulation and others during ovulation or both and it disappears once the egg is being released.

Which of these methods is best?

If you can combine at least the temperature method with one other way, but ideally all 3 (or 4 if you experience the ovulation pain) you can quite accurately predict your ovulation date and/or if you actually ovulated for sure. The only way to really know for sure is the temperature method, which lets you know afterwards if your egg was truly released. Find out the details about the temperature method by downloading this helpful sheet right here!

YOU ARE ALREADY TAKING ADVANTAGE OF YOUR CYCLE, BUT IT IS STILL NOT WORKING?

First, let me ask you – does your cycle seem regular? Do you seem to ovulate regularly (within a +/- 7 days of the same day every cycle) and have a period about once a month? Is the first half of your cycle less than 25 days long? Is the time after ovulation at least 10 days long (up until the first day of your period)?

If you were able to answer YES to all of these questions – great! If you answered one of them with NO you may need to talk to your OB/GYN rather sooner than later. Too long first halves of a cycle and too short second halves of a cycle can refer to a hormonal imbalance. Your body may simply need some help to keep everything in check. If you don’t seem to ovulate and therefore, don’t have regular periods (or long breaks in between), it can be another sign of a hormonal imbalance. Your egg may just need a small push to pop over the edge to be released. HOWEVER, before anything major will be done to your body it is essential for your partner to get checked first.

There are only limited options if your partner’s sperm count and quality are not ideal, but at least you’ll know what to work with. If everything seems to be fine and dandy in that department it might be on you. There are several procedures that can be done to help your body get ready to fertilize your egg or sometimes just help the egg to be released properly. In either case your OB/GYN should be involved and guide you all along the way until it all works out!

Seriously though, have the guy get checked first because it is not an invasive procedure. Unlike some of the ones they do on women!!! I know that a lot of guys feel ashamed and are afraid their manlyhood will be put in doubt. BUT for the love of a child – it is worth it! It is usually the woman who drops the sample off at the lab anyways. So, they just need to get over themselves. Ha!

If everything is getting too intense and stressful for either or both of you just take a break and enjoy yourself as a couple. Take a quick trip to enjoy each other and focus on other things. Who knows, you may be so relaxed there that you will end up bringing a little surprise home with you. 😉

Cheers to you and your partner for making one of the greatest decisions of your lives! Sending good vibes to you for holding that positive test in your hands soon! I wish you nothing more than to experience the double line / plus sign (or smiley face) on a test because every woman who has the desire to have a baby should get the chance to experience the intense love of having a child.

Now, download the sheet right down there and don’t forget to sign up for my besties list below! Get articles like this one, so you won’t ever miss out. YOU will be one of the first to know what’s new on MomGlitter.com

 

Temperature Charting Button

Give tracking your cycle a shot if you aren’t already. This could be the missing piece that could make your dream a reality! Best of luck my dear and keep positive thoughts!

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