Raising a Blended Family

Things I didn’t know I didn’t know

on September 11, 2013

This is my chart from this cycle:


It ain’t pretty, inspiring, or particularly logical. The temps are erratic and go up and down like a yoyo. Yesterday I didn’t even HAVE a temp because when I read the thermometer (stupid thermometer) it flashed something at me that was either 97.18 or 97.78 and then it went to its default reading and wouldn’t go back. I have no idea which it was (it was six AM and I was blurry eyed and not awake) and there is a huge difference between the two. Fertility friend is basically saying “maybe you ovulated here, maybe you didn’t.” Convincing.

In short, this chart and this cycle are nothing like my pretty pretty, perfect Clomid cycle that got me pregnant with Pax:


So, I’ve been kind of down.  I want to see a second line on a test (for the record, tested this AM at 10 DPO and BFN. Early days, still in it, yadda yadda yadda, there I said it for you.). I want to see the line connecting the dots turn green. I want to be PREGNANT.

I know there’s nothing that says I’m not yet. I still could be. But my chart is not inspiring, and neither is the spotting I’ve had for a few days now. Just a bit of spotting. Every now and then. Some brown CM here and there.  It has no rhyme or reason to it, and being someone who likes rhyme or reason, this is a source of frustration for me.

Which is why I was very relieved when I finally thought to google postpartum period. And even more when I googled breastfeeding and BBT. If you want, you can google those yourself, but I’m about to sum them up for you:

First, I learned that erratic temperatures are common. Apparently, postpartum means lots of hormones, and lots of hormones mean temperature fluctuations. Go figure. Also apparently, breastfeeding does not help the situation. Not only does it contribute more hormones of its own to the hormone party, it also means that I am up at sporadic times of the night to feed the boy. Which messes with my temp due to the sleep loss, etc.

So, in other words, you have to take my chart above with a grain of salt or hell, maybe the whole damn salt shaker. I’m not sure how helpful the actual temps are, other than for the knowledge that even though the overall pattern is erratic, I never never never get temps as high as a few of those unless they ARE post-ovulatory temps.  This, combined with my smiley face OPK (which I also never get, for reference see June-December 2011 and my anovulatory/whacked-out cycles), convinces me that I did in fact ovulate. Whoohoo!

The second thing I learned is that a shortened luteal phase for the first cycle or two (or more, though please please not more) is also very common. And that pregnancy is still possible with these shortened luteal phases, and breakthrough bleeding is common. In other words: the spotting I am having now may or may not be the beginning of AF, because I may or may not be pregnant. And if I”m NOT pregnant, it is not at all remarkable that I started spotting on CD freaking EIGHT (which, before I knew all this, got me excited that it could be implantation bleeding, because of course AF wasn’t going to show up a whole week early! or not.). But, if I am pregnant, this spotting is also not remarkable.

SO. The bottom line is I’m still in limbo and have had one BFN test.  I could be pregnant or I could not be, but I am very comforted by the fact that in either case, at least my body is acting the way it is acting for a reason. It makes sense now and it’s doing what it can in the face of my postpartum hormone storm. I’ve also read about things I can do to help the situation: I can wait, for one thing. In time, it will become clear if I am preggers or not, and then we can go from there.  If I’m not, I can take vitex and vitamin B6 to address the luteal phase issues, and also continue charting. Over time, my cycles should regulate themselves, it just may take a cycle or two. Comforting, indeed.

For now, we will start with the waiting.


2 responses to “Things I didn’t know I didn’t know

  1. X says:

    FWIW, that chart doesn’t look awful to me at all (and charted almost a year before conceiving K and asked the RE for lots of reassurance for some of my stranger charts). There is a definite temperature shift and while there is not a clear ovulation date, it certainly doesn’t look anovulatory to me. And you’re right about all those other components. Wishing you the best!

  2. SotOhana says:

    It sounds like you’ve found a way to look at it from a logical standpoint, which can be comforting. Still, that doesn’t always help with the emotions. I’m sending you lots of self-care vibes for the rest of this TWW and beyond.

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