I’m on a mission: a mission to figure out my cycle and when the heck I’m ovulating. I really wish it was more obvious to me. Prior to having kids, I had a relatively regular cycle. After college, I recall it getting whacky. While I know normal cycles can range from 28 days to 40 days, mine started to stretch out longer. At one point, I went four months without a period.
When we began trying for our son, my postpartum period had finally been regular for three months in a row. While it’s back, it’s not very predictable yet. When you don’t know when to expect your period, it’s hard to know if you are “late.” And when the length of your cycle varies a lot, it’s difficult to pin down a fertile window. It was irregular when we finally conceived my daughter, so I know it is possible. It’s just tricky.
It could take too long to become an expert. Time I feel like I don’t have.
To help me with my fertility detective work, I started by investigating ovulation signs. I’ve been turning to Google to help me find lots and lots of articles and blog posts all about how to tell if you’re ovulating. I keep reading them, even though they all say essentially the same thing. I keep hoping one will reveal a secret tip I haven’t heard of yet.
No such luck. I’ve heard them all before, but I haven’t done them all.
In my trusty app, I’m not just tracking menstruation and intercourse; now I’m tracking cervical mucus and ovulation predictor kit results. Yes, it’s about as fun as it sounds. Not only am I getting hands-on in my search for ovulation clues, I’ve had to look up information so I know what the heck I’m doing. I’m not even sure I know the difference in what I’m finding yet, despite finding plenty of descriptions and pictures. Some people also track the position of their cervix. I haven’t been, but one day I was freaked out when I suddenly felt it in a place I never felt it before!
Unfortunately, it takes time to figure out a pattern. Yay for getting to know my body, but I wish it wasn’t so cryptic. I honestly felt like my data made no sense this month. It could take too long to become an expert. Time I feel like I don’t have.
Meanwhile, a friend who announced her pregnancy passed on a bunch of ovulation prediction tests to me. I never used one before. In fact, I just threw out a kit I found in our medicine cabinet because it expired in 2009. I bought it when we were trying for our daughter, but my cycles made it so hard to figure out when I should start testing. I was so overwhelmed that I never opened the box.
I read the directions on the kits I received and used their chart to determine when I needed to begin testing. I decided to base it off the length of my last cycle. Who knows how accurate that is, but it gave me a starting point. I peed in a cup 10 days in a row, but never tested positive for a hormone surge indicating ovulation was near. We continued to have sex regularly throughout the month regardless of test results and self-examinations. Hopefully we hit the target window anyway, but we’ll have to wait a little longer to find out.