The Week That Was Ours

I was on approximately CD27 (13DPO) when I went on holiday – I say approximately, as our app and I are in disagreements as to when I ovulated. I believe I ovulated on CD14 (06/07) due to the positive OPK’s and BBT dip, but the app believes I ovulated on CD16 (08/07). At first the app didn’t believe I ovulated at all due to the fact that my BBT was all over the place during the cycle, however once I edited a few items I got my cover line.
Nevertheless, I ovulated which was a good start. However, we were only able to get the one shot in due to timings but either way, I know it was before ovulation was due. Phew!

The first week of the TWW was easy as I was super busy at work as well as getting over excited for our holiday. The second week was also remarkably easy as I was on holiday! I was stuffing my face as well as entertaining a very active 7 year old – I was keeping myself happily occupied, however I was very aware of the up and coming visit from AF which was bit of a downer, especially on holiday; which is a time I like to go swimming. Nevertheless, I wasn’t going to let myself think about it for a change.
S was also really well behaved, although she did slip in the occasional “how are you feeling” which was answered with a generic “fine”. I didn’t want to think about anything TTC related.

We took our BBT thermometer with us, however we were unable to log anything on our app due to having no wifi – so we couldn’t see what my chart looked like, which was a blessing in disguise as one of the worse things during the TWW is seeing AF arrive in the form of a BBT dip before hand.

So anyway, the due date for AF came and went. I was due around 14DPO (20/07) and 16DPO (22/07) but those dates came and went. No sign of AF! Typical. I was at my most relaxed, having a great time, and AF is late! As and when it does come, it’s going to be a bad one, I thought. I wanted to go swimming and wear my white linen trousers due to the scorching heat, but there was no chance of that happening. I wasn’t taking it too seriously, though, as I’ve been late before.

But it didn’t come… however this did:-

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So as I write this, I’m currently, starting my 6th week of pregnancy (I still can’t believe it). I’ve booked my midwife appointment for 08/08 which will soon be the end of my 7th week. I then have to go back a week later on the 15/08 but I’m not sure what for – but right now, I don’t care.

I’m super nervous, as well as excited, but more nervous than anything. I want to scream the news from the rooftops – but I can’t.

The next 12 weeks cannot come sooner.

K

The Week That Wasn’t Even The TWW

If you follow us on Twitter, you would have seen that last week was one of the most confusing and stressful weeks. It started on CD12 (01/06) when we saw the flashing smiley face of hope. Everything was going to plan, we had 3 donations arranged with D for CD12, CD14, and CD16 which, according to our Fertility App and previous cycles, this was the week I was due to ovulate. Perfect!

The donations came and went, but I still hadn’t received a positive OPK. I’d started to receive 2 faint lines around CD15 and CD16 but not the strong lines I usually get every cycle. Every other sign had appeared; EWCM, Ovulation pains, and a slight dip in my BBT, but no positive OPK. By CD16 I had seen 5 smiley faces by now which was odd to say the least, but no solid smiley face and no positive OPK. Now I was starting to shit myself worry. We had everything planned, this shouldn’t go wrong! But alas, it was.

I burst into tears around CD19 when S looked at my BBT that morning and advised me that I hadn’t ovulated. I was shell shocked, disappointed, and angry. Why was this happening to me – I never “not ovulated”. That was my thing, the one thing I could guarantee. I know I have plenty, if not tons, of Oestrogen running through me, it was the Progesterone that was the problem! Clearly the powers that be did not want me having a baby. It wasn’t fair.

CD20 then came round and just for a laugh I did an ovulation test as I was still having ovulation style pains and I had started to get EWCM again. So after waiting for just over a minute, out of no where, they appeared; my two favourite lines (if you could ever have favourite lines). YES! YES! YES! So that evening, we text D and asked whether he was free – he was – so we dashed over to his and had one last donation. With any luck, CD16’s boys may still be alive, especially if I was forming EWCM again – but I’m hoping this donation will do the trick.

The only thing I am anxious about is the fact that we didn’t have any Storks left, so we had to resort to our old ways of a syringe. Although I have no doubt about the boys travelling up there (hell, girls have had babies when the boys promised to “pull out” (yeah, I went to one of those schools)), the Stork is clearly much longer than the syringe and it sits directly on the cervix before shooting the boys up there, where as the syringe isn’t and, annoyingly, we didn’t have any extenders. I made sure gravity played it’s part for a good 30 minutes, so I’m hoping I did everything I could.

The next morning, CD21, two stronger lines appeared, and S notified me that I had had a massive dip in my BBT which is my signature move before ovulation. I had ovulated! YES!!! At least I know I ovulated now, which means my TWW began on CD21.

I still have no idea what the signs around CD14 were about. A few peeps on Twitter advise it could be related to a double release – which put S’s blood pressure through the roof (we haven’t accounted for twins) – but I doubt that was it. Perhaps I was a bit stressed which delayed the egg release but my hormones kept everything else going? Who knows. Either way, I’m happy knowing that I’ve ovulated after a well timed donation.

Let’s hope THIS one works!!!

K

Insem #9

I’m feeling really positive this cycle. I know I shouldn’t but, if I truly am fixed, then there is no reason why it shouldn’t work.

According to the fertility app, and previous cycles, I should ovulate between CD14 (03/06) and CD19 (08/06) so we have arranged for inseminations for CD12 (01/06), CD14 (03/06), and CD16 (05/06),

We’re currently using the advanced ovulation sticks by Clear Blue and, so far, we received two flashing smiley faces on CD12 (01/06) and CD13 (02/06) which means I’m fertile to say the least. Once I receive a solid smiley face, ovulation could happen within 8-24 hours after that, however I expect to actually ovulate around CD16.

On top of this, we’ve decided to finally use our Stork kit that we purchased at the fertility show last year. The reason we haven’t used it in the past is because a) we didn’t want to waste it on cycles we weren’t confident about, or ones that we were only going to get one shot, and b) it looked quite intimidating. Watch this…

Without going into too much detail, it was remarkably easy to use. The male part looks and was a bit fiddly according to D, but once he knew how, it went quite smoothly. Apart from it being a bit stiff – pardon the pun – it didn’t feel science-y at all. I think I expected something quite large and clunky, being the first of it’s kind, but it wasn’t. Even when it came to releasing cap, I expected something to punch me right in the goolies but I hardly felt a thing.

Although we don’t know whether it worked, I would highly recommend getting hold of a Stork kit if you have the chance. As someone who has been on the receiving end of the alternative way to inseminate, using the Stork was less stressful than other attempts. With the stork, you just stick it in (yourself) and go (although I still wanted to let gravity do it’s thing for a few moments – just in case). There was no lying on the bed whilst your partner is armed with a syringe, making sure the goods don’t drip, and that there are no air bubbles in the syringe (You can see how it would soon get stressful). S was happier also, as she had nothing to do with it (she had been worrying that she hadn’t been doing wrong over the past few months – this is nonsense by the way).

So as I said, I’m feeling relatively hopeful. I’m still waiting for the positive OPK. Once I get that, I will know when my TWW can start. If this one doesn’t work, I’m going to want to know why!

K

So Here We Are Again…

The beginning of the year started really well, better than we ever expected, in fact. We found a new donor at the start of the year and they were able to start right away. We haven’t been able to write much as we didn’t want to jinx anything, plus, we wanted to be able to give a thorough update.

Without going into great detail, the insemination went well albeit a bit nerve wracking, but when isn’t it – you desperately want it to work, but I can honestly say that previous inseminations have either been super stressful because the donor’s been late or S and I had been arguing about something petty and insignificant, however this time the process wasn’t stressful at all. Whether this was because we were in a good place by starting a new year and mentally pressing our reset buttons, or the fact that our donor is amazing, I don’t know – I’m going for the latter.

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Jumping forward two weeks, I can sadly say that it didn’t work but I feel we were closer than any other TWW… Honestly!

The first week was like any other TWW, nothing particularly special happened, but at around 6DPO I started to feel dull AF-like pains (I don’t get AF pains until the night before she is due, and it’s been like this since the beginning of AF visits). My BBT was also starting to rise at great speed which, in comparison to previous cycles, never happens. Over the next few days, my temperature then remained at a peak (this is called a flat temp reading apparently) and then start to rise again every 2-3 days.

At around 12DPO my temperature was at it’s highest it had ever been since TTC, I was rather gassy (sorry, TMI), I could still find CF which usually dries up a week or so after ovulation, I felt intense ache and pressure down below and I was coming home from work shattered despite not being that active (I’ve also decided not to go to the gym during the TWW). I had agreed to avoid the internet and not symptom watch (which for some reason was easier this cycle!) but when I started to reveal things to S who has the painful task of noting things down for the sake of Fertility Friend so that we can compare cycles, even I was starting to believe. I didn’t want to, but I couldn’t help it.

My BBT plummeted dramatically at 13DPO and AF visited the next day. I was gutted. Why my body plays these vile games, I don’t know. I think what irks me more is the fact I have no answers. Why did I have out-of-the-blue AF pains a week before she was meant to visit? Why did my BBT rise so dramatically and stay there? Why was I so tired? I genuinely didn’t take any notice of my TWW this time which I feel can create symptoms in your head when you’re so desperate for something, but thankfully because I’ve been busy at work and our family household has grown by two boys (**shudders**) for the time being it’s kept me occupied so I don’t believe it was me creating this.

So onwards and upwards, I guess. We’ll be booking in our next try this week with the hope to try once before ovulation and once on or around ovulation day.

K

Are we there yet?

So the two week wait (TWW) was over on the 26th January and my period/Aunt Flo (AF) was due on the 25th January according to the fertility app and is due tomorrow according to my period app (I trust my app more to be honest).

Ask me what I’m thinking right now and I will not be able to tell you in plain english. One half of me (which increases by the day) is excited and is hoping that something has worked, another quarter of me is nervous as hell and the other quarter believes that I’m not pregnant at all.

The reason we’re starting to believe I’m not pregnant follows on from taking about half a dozen tests and none of them showing as positive – simple – and we’re fine about it. We were fully expecting the first try to be unsuccessful as we haven’t read many blogs or experiences whereby after first the AI at home the couple have fallen pregnant. So we were fully expecting a negative, but there was always a little glimmer of hope still inside.

That said, with help from friends on Twitter and several forums, there is a suggestion that I don’t have enough HCG (google it – don’t ask me) running through me yet. Apparently the sticks at home read from 10mIU (again, google it) and apparently it takes a while for the HCG hormone to actually show in urine and women within the TWW only have from 5-50mIU at best if pregnant and apparently it can sometimes take longer than two weeks for implantation. So there is hope still.

Now, before anyone starts; I know – it sounds like I’m clutching at straws. I may very well be, but the things that I’ve felt over this TWW have been strange to say the least. I’ve felt random little pains down below and I’ve (not to mention, S) have suffered from major PMT (something that I don’t usually suffer from at all) and if you think that perhaps it’s all within my head; my BBT (Basal Body Temp) has been going nuts. So something is obviously going on inside. Look!*

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Crazy graph for January.

I have never wanted (and not wanted) to see AF so much – at least if AF visited we could start again and restart the process, but this waiting is worse than knowing that we’re not. It’s awful. If only I could see what my future looked like and see whether we were successful – at least then I wouldn’t be so impatient. I would happily wait if I knew that one day we would have a child, I really would, and at least then I would know that right now is just not our time.

If AF doesn’t visit me this coming week then I will be booking myself into the doctors to have a blood test. If it is still negative then I will want an explanation (as if it’s the doctors fault. Ha!) why AF was late and why my BBT was having a disco on the graph.

K

*The attached graph is from our FertilityFriend account via www.fertilityfriend.com. I would recommend using the website rather than the app for detailed information regarding your data. It really has been an eye-opener.

Review – Fertility Friend (mobile iOS app)

When we first started the process of having a baby we were advised to record things such as temperature, cervical fluid and OPK tests (Ovulation Tests) as well as other things like mood, appetite and other similar things so that we know a good day to then inseminate.

With this, it was all well and good writing it down in a notepad or on the chart we were provided with that came with the basel body temperature thermometer, but we weren’t seeing what all the data, once together, really meant. So we needed to find something that stored and then analysed the data.

As we both live by our iPhones whether it is communicating via Facebook or Twitter, or doing our food shop or using latest photography app we thought it would be best to find an app suitable to record our fertility journey. I knew something would be out there as I already used a similar app (P Tracker) to record my periods as I have odd cycles, as mentioned previously, and it’s nice to know in advance (especially when booking holidays!) when the decorators are likely to be in.

In no time, we found an app called “Fertility Friend” or “FF Mobile” as it’s called on the app. *Please note that (at the moment) it is only on iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, etc).

Looking at it, it looks very basic and very much like a “Free App” that hasn’t had much effort put into the appearance. However, once we started using it and entering data we found that what the app lacked in looks it made up for in quality as well as how easy it was to use.

The app has two main features. The calendar and the chart.

The Calendar

Exactly what it says on the tin, the calendar marks and predicts up and coming ovulation dates, fertile dates as well as your period – all in nice clear colours.

Clicking on each date brings up the “Profile” for that day which you are to fill in. Details such as temperature and cervical fluid, to how you are feeling and what medication you have taken that day. It looks very scientific.

The Chart.

A little less technical than the calendar, the chart simply marks your temperature in a graph style as well as shows dates in which you are fertile/on your period underneath it. What I like about the chart feature, though, is the fact that once it has enough data collected it will then show you via a red crosshair the EXACT date in which you have ovulated. It does this based on the temperature & OPK information recorded (BBT – 3 consecutive increases, shows that ovulation has taken place and the progesterone is in your blood stream as this raises your temperature. This will drop dramatically once you start your period again as progesterone is needed to allow the fertilized egg implant in the uterus. If fertilization doesn’t occur, your body starts the cycle again . Later on once it has identified ovulation, and providing you have had sex or inseminated in the fertile days leading up to ovulation, it will tell you when to take a pregnancy test this is usually 2 weeks after ovulation.

What we also like about the app is that it links in and uploads to their main website (which we didn’t know existed until our phones crashed and we lost all our data on the app) a tool I find most reassuring as within 3 months we had a lot of data stored which is something I didn’t particularly want to lose. Furthermore, if you then want to download the app onto another device, you simply download the app, log in and it will sync the new device to the current device – very helpful.

The only main issue we have had with the app is that if you update the app by the way of different devices (I, for one, want to update my cervical fluid myself) it has a habit of not saving or overwriting the previous data with blanks. So, if S was to update my temperature on her phone first and then I were to update my phone with my fluid a few hours later, the app has a habit of overwriting the current data with the new data (i.e if I left the temperature blank, it would save blank). It seems to be able to have one main “profile” but it can’t seem to handle the use of it oh several devices. Very annoying. So our advice would be to only use it on one device, and access via this and the website.

So that we don’t finish on a negative, we want to simply say that the app is very good and we would recommend it to anyone trying for a baby. It doesn’t look very pretty and it can’t generally be used on several devices but it really is spot on – even more so than my period tracker (it predicted a later period date than my tracker as it took my temperature into account – very clever). It asks you to track things that you never thought to track which later contributes to the correct date of ovulation.

K & S

*We downloaded and purchased (the upgraded version) this app with our own money. The free app has all the above qualities, the only difference between the free version and the purchased version is that the purchased version has more details prediction details and assistance.