The Cycle Continues

So… we are back to cycle day 6! My period has just come to an end and we are now on countdown to ovulation! Hurrah!

You aren’t really given information about trying to conceive until you delve into the depths when you are actually having difficulty conceiving. So here are my tips if you have decided that you are going to try for a baby and want to save yourself the learning curve, and just some information I have learnt or found helpful.

Start tracking your period. This is something that I have never really done properly! I am terrible with calendars and remembering dates! But it is so important to track your periods! That way you can find out if you have regular/irregular periods and just helps you to be a lot more in tune with your body.

There are so many different tracking apps now that it is super easy to keep on top of! The best I have found to use is an app called FLO. It’s really easy to use and gives you lots of information about periods and trying to conceive. You can select that you are trying for a baby and it will give you tips of things that could help!

This app also then predicts your ovulation. And as I have learned through hours of research online, you can only get pregnant whilst you are ovulating so it is important to identify these dates if you are serious about having a baby. However the app isn’t 100% accurate and only gives you a general prediction.

I used this as my guide for the first 5 months but after not falling pregnant I turned to another practice. Ovulation kits.

So apparently there are 4 phases to a woman’s cycle.

The menstrual phase (Day 1-5) – the uterus sheds its lining.

The follicular phase (Day 1-14) – these are the days during and after your menstrual period leading up to ovulation.

Ovulation phase (Day 15) – when the mature egg is released into the Fallopian tubes.

Luteal phase (Day 15-28) – the egg cell released during ovulation stays in the Fallopian tubes for 24 hours, if this is met with sperm and successfully fertilised then hey presto! Baby!

These ‘days’ obviously vary depending on a woman’s cycle length (which is why it’s so important to get tracking and to understand what your body is up to!)

But it’s not quite as simple as that, even though that doesn’t sound simple in itself!

There is only a 25-30% chance of conceiving in any one cycle.

Your chances of getting pregnant increase dramatically if you have sex on the day of ovulation and the five days running up to it.

It turns out my app was a few days out of sync with my actual ovulation dates and my ovulation kit determined I actually ovulate a few days earlier than my app was saying. So it’s important to correlate an ovulation test against your tracking app! But it definitely does help to do the both to ensure you are giving yourself the best chances!

The ovulation kit I used was the clear blue digital test, it tells you what days to start testing and a little smiley face appears on the screen when you are ovulating! I have read some people say that by the time you see a positive on an ovulation test, you may have already ovulated or it is too late by that point so this is our plan of action.

We are going to have sex every other day leading up to my ovulation date, then also the day of ovulation and the few days just after just to be in the safe side that we have the best chances of conception.

Sperm can last for up to 5 days in the female reproductive tract so by ‘doing the deed’ every other day you are giving yourselves a better chance of conception.

We have also researched that having sex EVERYDAY does not increase your chances of conception as it lowers the sperm count so to have a days break in between gives you a better chance (and also not as draining, as great as sex everyday sounds it gets pretty tiring).

My last tip is to start taking prenatal vitamins ASAP. I have only just started taking them as another ‘maybe this will help’ plan so will be doing a blog about them soon!

Wish me luck!

The Beginning

I still remember my sex education lesson at school. The awkwardness of it all, Being told about your ‘private parts’ by a 40 year old stranger is a really strange way to learn about your body. I remember the weird tension in the room as all my fellow classmates felt uncomfortable in their own skin and most importantly, I remember the fear that was planted into my brain. YOU CAN GET PREGNANT AT ANY TIME! YOU COULD HAVE SEX JUST ONE TIME, JUST ONCE AND BECOME PREGNANT AND HAVE A TINY PERSON TO LOOK AFTER FOREVER!…. ha, what a MASSIVE fucking lie!

Fast forward to 15 years later (with possibly a million pregnancy scares in between) I am 28 years old (practically 30) I am happily married to my husband who happens to also be my best friend and the most perfect partner I could ever ask for. We have been together for coming 9 years now! We own our own home, we have a dog called Hades and have a really happy life together.

We have always been very organised with our lives. Always wanting to do ‘the right thing’ and not rush anything. We decided to buy a house instead of renting, knowing the difficulties we would face trying to save money whilst living in rented accommodation so we stayed living with our parents until we could afford a deposit. We got engaged after being together for 4 years and waited another 2 to tie the knot! Because we wanted to do it ‘properly’…

So, as the tale goes… first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes????

Then comes the conception challenge. Then comes the hoards of questioning friends and family members who ask the innocent question of “so…when are you two gonna have kids?”. The painful comments of “you two next” at every baby shower, christening, baby announcement and basically just about any situation where you may find your self near or around a baby or pregnant person.

This by the way (if you have not been subject to) is not okay. Please don’t ask a person when they are having kids, or if they plan to. The answer isn’t so simple for some people and you have no idea of what difficulties some couples go through, they may never be able to have kids and when you think about that it’s a pretty insensitive question to ask! It’s super hard hearing the next baby announcement when you’ve just failed another month of trying to conceive, The battle you have with yourself knowing you should be able to be happy for someone else who is having a child, but all you can feel is jealousy and resentment. And it’s horrible.

Today I think I broke a little. This is our 6th month of actively trying to make a baby. And today I found out our 6th month of trying has failed, once again.

So here are the things on my mind at this very moment.

  1. Will I ever become pregnant?
  2. Maybe I am pregnant? Some people still have periods as normal all the way through pregnancy (that’s right I have read every single online forum and Doctors online help pages known to man kind.)
  3. Will I be able to contain my anger/sadness to the next person who asks me when I’m going to have a baby?
  4. If I am in fact able to conceive, how long is it going to take because I’m not sure how much longer I can wait.
  5. I could go to a doctors but I already know from research you have to wait a year before seeking medical help.
  6. What if I can’t have kids… ever?

So now I am sat in limbo, awaiting the Red Devil lady to leave me so that I can continue with ‘mission make a baby’ and no this is not the fun part, for those of you who are trying to conceive you will fully understand where I am coming from and for those that don’t, F.Y.I. it is not fun having a structured sex pattern, and you know what sometimes you are just tired or not in the mood but trying for a baby does not care for that, and it does at times feel like a chore.

When you are going through all this in your mind you feel completely alone… I am fully aware that the waiting game may have only just begun. I know There are a lot of other people going through exactly the same thing as me and some have been trying for several years, so I know I could have a ridiculously long journey ahead of me but here are the statistics!

  • Your chances of conceiving each cycle is 25-30% if you are under 35.
  • 30% of couples get pregnant in the first month.
  • 60% of couples get pregnant within 3 months.
  • 80% of couples get pregnant within the first 6 months.
  • 85% of couples get pregnant within the first year.

well I am not one of the 30%, 60% or 80%…here’s hoping I’m one of the 85%!

I plan on using this blog as a sort of diary for my journey and thoughts and maybe even connect with other women who are going through the same thing as me. If you are and you’re reading this, you are not alone.