Friday, December 18, 2015

Infertility Update November and December

Hi everyone! I know my updates have been few and far between these past few months, and that is mostly because we don't have a ton of new things happening in the baby making department these days. I can only type so many posts about my ups and downs with infertility, and I don't want to bore you guys with that over and over. I'm sure by now you get the picture.

We are still tracking my cycle using Natural Family Planning methods. Now that we have tracked 2 cycles (we are tracking my 3rd currently), it is time to meet with our doctor again. This doctor is not an RE (reproductive endocrinologist) AKA he is not an infertility doctor. He is a family/OB doctor, but he is so passionate about natural family planning, and he has encouraged us to give this method a try. We are planning to meet with him towards the end of the month and see what he has to say about what we've tracked so far.

I don't want to go into a ton of detail on what how this method works, because if there's anyone who's reading and may want to give this a try, I want them to go to a professional and learn ALL of the details that go along with it, as every. single. detail. is important to use NFP successfully.  So that being said, I'll just briefly summarize. (Side note: If anyone is interested in trying NFP in lieu of birth control, or for any other reason, contact me! )

There are several types of Natural Family Planning Methods. We are using the Creighton Model, and this is basically where I track my cycle daily and write down what I see. My fertile and non-fertile days are measured by mucus and lack thereof. Yep, you read that one correctly... kinda wierd, but super interesting so far. Depending on the amount, color, consistency of mucus, and where I'm at in my cycle, that information together can be a good indicator as to whether or not I am ovulating, and you all know what needs to happen from there, so I won't go into detail about the rest! :)  So here's what we've found so far by tracking my cycles:

The past 3 months, I have had 30-35ish day cycles. THIS. IS. AWESOME!!!!! These are pretty normal length cycles, so for me to have 3 in a row is awesome! Previously I was having 38-40ish day cycles, which is pretty long, and they were inconsistent in length from month to month. The inconsistency is the main issue, because it's hard to predict ovulation if you really don't know if this month's cycle will be 28 or 45 days long.

 Here's what we've learned from our new doctor that we didn't necessarily know before: Its not actually a bad thing to have a really long cycle. A woman's cycle is split into 4 'phases'. I'm not a doctor and I don't know all the scientific lingo.... and I'm not going to try to, but I'll do my best to explain what I know: There are 4 phases to a woman's cycle, and here's what happens in each phase: 1. Period 2. Dry days 3. Ovulation 4. Dry days. The number of days for parts 1 and 2 of the cycle can vary, and that isn't necessarily a problem. What IS important is that ovulation and the days after are between 9 and 17 days. For most women, this part of the cycle usually stays within this range, and if it doesn't, there's probably an issue of some sort.

So by tracking my cycle/mucus in detail, we can figure out the timing of phases 3 and 4, and from there I can have a really good idea of when I'm ovulating (if I am ovulating), and when I will start my period. We're almost 3 months in so far, and not pregnant yet, but I'm not getting too down just yet, because I'm learning a lot, and I have a feeling that even if not now, this information will be really useful someday!

So for now we are going to keep tracking, and see what our doctor says at the end of the month. He will take a look at our charts and try to figure out if the thinks I am actually ovulating or not, and we'll go from there. Based on what I've seen so far on my charts, I'm wondering if I really am ovulating or not? I'm curious to see what the doctor thinks. If he thinks I'm not, hopefully he will have some ideas as to how we can make my body ovulate without a ton of fertility drugs and procedures. We are still really enjoying me not taking a ton of hormones every month, giving shots, etc. Not to say we won't ever do that again, but for now, we are thankful for life to be getting back to normal.

We have still not completely taken the idea of IVF off the table, but we do want to give NFP a fair chance before moving on. If NFP doesn't work after an undecided amount of time, we will look into IVF again, but for now, we're learning a lot, an aren't giving up! We would just really love to get pregnant naturally and not have to do anymore fertility treatments. This is our current prayer request. We also would really like for everyone to pray for peace and understanding. I have gotten to the point where I don't pray and ask God for a baby as much as I used to. Not because I've given up- trust me, I haven't, but because I am trying so hard to trust that God has a plan for us, and his plan is best. If he thinks we don't need to get pregnant right now, then he must have a better time in mind. I'm trying to have peace with that, although it's a daily struggle. So that's where we currently stand in our infertility journey.

I am hoping to write another update after our doctor's appointment at the end of the month. Once we meet with him, we will have a better idea of what our game plan is for 2016!

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