Archive for the ‘charting’ Category


My cat stepped on my ovary, and other medical oddities…

February 4, 2010

So, have any of you experienced post-ovulatory pain in the general area of your ovaries?

I am quite certain I ovulated last Saturday-ish (positive OPK on Friday, followed by a temperature shift on Sunday). This was right in line with the predictions made at my otherwise useless RE visit earlier that week. At that appointment, the doctor did an ultrasound (my first! but ah me, it was a little depressing because in the movies it is always to look at a BABY, not a dysfunctional womb). He said my uterus thickness and follicle (on my left side?) indicated I would ovulate in about four days. All signs would indicate that I did in fact do that, on day 18. I had a slight pain on my lower left side day of ovulation.

So, now the weird thing is that after all this and after a significant temperature shift, I had twinge-y pains on my left side for a couple of days. Then a break, and now twinge-y pains on both sides. Not a sharp pain. Kind of sore …?? I think it is in the general area of my ovaries — it’s basically in the area where my legs and abdomen form a right angle when I sit. And to add another quirky element to this story: it didn’t hurt at all last night, then when my cat walked across my lap he stepped on that area on the left side and it hurt, like he was hitting a soft spot.  w-e-i-r-d

Today I have twinge-y/sore pains on both sides.

Anyone experienced this? Any idea what it could be? First I thought maybe my ovary was sore (snuh?) from it’s big job of ovulating — which, might I remind you, Ms. Ovary, is what you are supposed to do every month. It’s your job. But I don’t get the pain on both sides — days after ovulation. Am I imagining it? Could it be cysts? Can you have a temperature shift and all the signs of ovulation, but never actually do it?

I should perhaps also note that given my bloodwork, etc., no one has ever considered me a PCOS case.



Coming to you live from 36k feet

November 20, 2009

I am currently hovering right over the center of the country, at 36,000 feet, traveling 475 miles an hour!

We are on a plane headed to my husband’s grandpa’s funeral in Pasadena.

It costs $8 to watch a movie, but the plane has free wi-fi, oddly enough. So here I am, blogging from up,up, up above … passing over Kansas City now. (We’ll be back there next weekend for Thanksgiving.)

I am starting to chart Creighton. I went to the introductory session last week and intended to start my chart when I started a new cycle on Sunday (I know you are supposed to start immediately, but I knew I was a few days from a new cycle (or pregnancy hahaha), so I just opted to wait). I had not actually read the book and started the chart until tonight. On the plane. With some poor woman I have never met before sitting beside me. Hello, welcome to the plane! Would you like to learn a little more about your cervical mucus?

I strategically covered the pages as I was reading. And when I got out the chart and started putting my red stickers on it, I figured she would just think one of two things: 1) This woman next to me must be an elementary school teacher. 2) Hey look, a Creighton chart, just like I have. How funny to do it on a plane!

Anywhim, I do have a point. Or rather, a question. The book has detailed descriptions of cervical mucus, of course, but I saw no standardized description of what defines “heavy,” “moderate” and “light” for menstrual flow. I will be able to ask my instructor in the follow-up sessions, of course, but I am just curious now. Do you know of standards for what counts as “heavy” or “moderate”?

My period seems to be fairly light (one moderate day , three light days, one VL so far) this month and I am wondering if it has to do with the progesterone dominance vs. estrogen.

Prior to my recent clomid days, I had short, light to moderate periods with a day or two of brown blood at the end (but was it brown on the toilet paper or just on my pad? not sure because I was not creighton-ing).

And in answer to a question AYWH wrote on my last post. Yes, the saliva test I had done last spring showed really ridiculously high progesterone after ovulation. On no medication. Dr. B said it was a problem at the time. But either that test was a fluke, which is entirely possible (there were other things going on that month: it was Lent, so my diet was really different, and I was training for a marathon), or my body has just reacted differently on clomid. Either way, I’d like to do a whole hormone panel again.  I assume I will do that with Dr. S.

In the meantime I also made an appointment with Dr. C for Nov. 30th. Every time I talk to my doctor he says he wants to run things by her. But it seems to be pretty hard for him to get a chance to do so and then call me. So I figured I would just go ask her myself.

It all seems a little hopeless, though, to be honest. I’m just waiting for February at this point.





Creighton! How to begin? *Updated

November 12, 2009

OK, so I think I might break down and finally learn to chart Creighton (I think I can hear several of you saying “finally!” all the way from here). Given that, I need some advice on practitioners and pricing. There are two people listed on the FertilityCare website for the DC area. One (Conkling) is inconveniently located (for me), and he refused to answer my email asking how much it costs. (his reply: “prices are all standard.”) I’ve heard it’s at least $75/session for him. The other is more convenient, more responsive via email but almost as expensive. She charges $500 for 8 follow-ups, so they whole shebang would cost about $550 for the first year. I personally don’t think I need 8 follow-ups in one year, but I don’t know if that is negotiable.  I also called the diocese (thanks, G!) and these were the only two providers they mentioned.  But I am wondering if y’all have any other suggestions?

Is this basically what it costs to learn Creighton? Are there easier or cheaper ways to do it? I’ve heard stories of $100 Creighton training; is that just fiction?

The whole Creighton method is not foreign to me. I’ve been charting my mucus for years, and I know what 10KL is even if I’ve never used that particular abbreviation on a chart. It seems like there should be a condensed training: “Creighton for SymptoThermal Charters.”

I know many of you are huge Creighton advocates, so you are probably just wondering what has taken me so long.

This is why I have been hesitant, in a nutshell: I read “Taking Charge of Your Fertility,” learned sympto-thermal charting and have been doing it for over 3 years. It tells me a lot, and it includes more information than any of my doctors bother to look at anyway. So why spend time and money learning a new system — even if it is wonderful? Further, my doctor, who is Catholic, told me not to bother. He said my current charts tell me all I need to know. “Why waste another three months of your life?” he said.
And, frankly, the thought of all those white baby stickers in the midst of my infertility seems depressing.

However, I am considering going to a new doctor who requires Creighton charts. So, if I’m going that path, I’ve got to learn. And I want to do it as quickly as possible, because I already feel like I lost a year of my life. $500 person has an introductory class tonight, which is nice timing, since I am likely on the verge of a new cycle. But the thought of shelling out that much money, especially in the midst of all these other medical expenses, just makes me sick.

**UPDATE: I went to the training tonight. I can’t say I learned anything, but there was another girl there on the verge of getting married who was at her wits end trying to make sense of it all. She was sweet. My husband and I wistfully remembered how confused we were by charting 3 years ago and how stressful it all seemed. So many rules, so much confusion (at least with TCoYF) Haha! We were so conservative; little did we know it would not matter. sad.

Re:prices. The going rate for follow-up sessions in the DC area (from the only two people the Diocese and the fertility care website list) are $75 per session. According to what many of you wrote in the comments, other follow-ups can be $25-$40. I would love to find something more in that range.

I heart DC. Not so much.

I’m willing to shell out money to do the first few follow-ups in person, if that’s important. But I just can’t pay that much on top of other medical expenses, saving for adoption, etc … especially when I already have a charting system I prefer (sorry, I am sure I will LOVE Creighton soon. Especially when I become pregnant NEXT MONTH. Those baby stickers are going to do it for me! I know it ! They are like little white cartoon prophets.)


A fluid situation

October 30, 2009

So, yesterday and the day before I had beautiful, abundant cervical fluid – clear, stretchy, fertile stuff. And it was with only vitamin B to assist, since I am running low on my other various mucus enhancers. It was so exciting! My body appeared to be doing what it was supposed to do! This morning I had a positive ovulation predictor test. On day 14! How quaint!

But wait … My cervical fluid? Nothing. Nearly nonexistant.


Sometimes I just want to fire my reproductive system for poor performance.


There and back again

July 8, 2009

iowa corn

So, I left you hanging with my estradiol conflict and was blog-silent for a week. Sorry! I have literally been across the country and back, with a significant amount of zig-zagging in the middle of this Great Land. I thought I would have time to update, but I did not. And now I have SO MANY things to say…

An overview of my schedule for the past week:

Friday, June 26th, we flew to L.A., where we stayed with my husband’s aunt and uncle for a night, then headed to visit his grandparents in Pasadena. We were there for the memorial service of my husband’s great uncle, who was an amazing man and also happened to be somewhat famous in the world of evangelicals and missionaries. For instance: Rick Warren, Mr. Purpose Driven Life, spoke at his memorial service.

We drove back to L.A. on Sunday night, then on Monday morning I got up at 5 am to attempt to fly to Omaha, Neb. (for work — although I fantasized about dropping in to see Dr. Hilgers). I was supposed to arrive in Omaha circa 2 pm. Instead, I arrived around 11 pm. Oh joy!

I somehow missed my connection in the Las Vegas airport, thereby resigning myself to spend the next 10 hours in that bunker of humming, whirring of electronic slot machines. That airport is not my favorite place. But there was some relief! My husband, “Ned,” arrived around midday for his connection to a flight to visit his family in Kansas. His connecting flight to Kansas was oversold, so he volunteered to take a free voucher and fly out later that evening. As he said it, “I just got paid $350 to hang out with my wife!”

We took a cab into Vegas, and walked around in the scorching heat for 2 hours. We went through two hotels (Paris and Belagio), and ate some delicious gelato. It was actually quite delightful. We did not do any gambling or drinking — our big Vegas experience.

Back to the airport — Ned makes it to Kansas, and I eventually make it to Nebraska. I then drive to my destination, a small town in Iowa, and arrive at 1 am.

I spend the next two days there for work, then drive to my husband’s parent’s house. In one day I drove in Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri and Kansas … which sounds like an awfully long day of driving, but really it was only 4-5 hours. It is beautiful out there this time of year — everything is lush and green. Fields of corn fluttered in the breeze. Truly lovely.

So, at this point in the story it is Wed., July 1st, and I have arrived at Ned’s parents house in Kansas City. We’re there to attend an annual family reunion that takes place in a different part of Kansas every year over the 4th of July. I was a little intimidated by this reunion when I first went four years ago, given that it involved meeting some 70+ family members … but it is so much fun. Knowing that, I was SO EXCITED about it coming up. I was like a kid on Christmas Eve that night, July 1st. I got out Ned’s old trombone and was playing patriotic songs on it at 1 am. (His parents work late at night, so I was really only disturbing my own ability to sleep.)

On Thursday we drove another 3 hours to his family’s ancestral homeland in the Middle of Nowhere, Kansas, where this reunion takes place. For the next four days, we enjoyed a very busy schedule of events that included midnight doughnut runs, late-night frog gigging, a family parade, fireworks, a morning race, a corn roast and a family hymn sing. Good old-fashioned fun and really quite incredible.

On Sunday night we flew back to Balitmore, took the long bus-metro trip to DC … and returned to a really busy week at work.

With all that travelling, time zone change and sleep deprivation, I think my body had no idea what time it was. I am pretty sure I ovulated during the California weekend (my CM would indicate as much, and I had a positive test with an ovulation predictor kit). But my temperatures were still low that week afterwards … at least, when I took them. My charting has been just terrible this month. I was also using a different thermometer, not sure if that could have been the culprit. My temps are now at their normal “high” range, but I’m not entirely sure if I am 10 days past ovulation or two. If it’s two, we totally missed the right window for “relations,” as Dr. B calls them.

I think I am still in another time zone. It’s past midnight now and I am WIDE awake. I should go attempt to go to sleep. Good night!