Thursday, July 5, 2007

Just the Facts, Ma'am

I stopped charting my BBT.

Cold turkey. I had to. I was becoming obsessed. Seriously. My mood for the day was predicated on what my BBT read. Days before AF’s impending arrival, I would wake up several times in the wee hours of the morning because I was so nervous as to my temperature reading.

And I am sure it was super s-e-x-y for Cowboy to wake up to the annoying beep, beeps of the thermometer at 5:30 A.M.

Good riddance I say.

Except, not really.

You see, I am an information junkie. I listen to NPR. Every day. Even on Sundays. My favorite class in grad school? Market research. My second favorite? Conjoint analysis. Which is kind of like market research squared. I heart facts and the more of them, the better.

When I first stumbled upon Taking Charge of Your Fertility, I felt liberated. I seriously wondered why this book isn’t mandatory reading for women (and enlightened men) in college. I became a TCOYF disciple and starting with the effing charts. I still have every chart since I started this process. They are kept in chronological order in a file folder. The charts for my first and second pregnant cycles have tabs on them so I can refer to them to see if my current cycle matches that of those past successes. Sick, I tell you.

I never questioned my charting exercises. And, in fact, was secretly proud of them. Once, my acupuncturist – who loves looking at my charts – noted that she had never seen a chart so thoroughly documented. Oh, I was rightly proud until my RE scoffed, yes he actually scoffed, because I told him I was not only charting but using OPKs starting CD8 or 9 twice a day. What kind do you use because I want to buy stock in that company, I believe were his exact words.

But his comment got me thinking. Maybe I was being a tad bit obsessive about it all (me? never!). In the past year, my body had become a quantitative study. And the more I tried to do everything “right,” the more frustrated I became when I didn’t get the data I was expecting.

So I quit taking my temperatures every morning. And then I decided that I would only use OPKs once a day starting on CD 11. My RE had asked if I ovulated regularly every cycle. I did. So he counseled me to start using OPKs in the middle of day on CD 12. He made it sound all so simple and straightforward. I decided to trust what he said.

Only then my freaking body decides to ovulate on CD 10! WTF! Who ovulates on CD 10?

And because I wisely stopped charting, I have no data to back me up. I can only suspect that I ovulated.

All I have are signs. Yes, other signs, which are sometimes reliable and sometimes not, because I couldn’t stop checking everything.

So on CD 10 I have these signs. And I have other feelings. Um, well maybe "urges" is a better word. These signs were pointing the “Call Cowboy up for a little afternoon delight” section of the decision tree. But did I heed them?


The nerd in me pulled out my chart and said, “Nope, you should be ovulating in 3 days and since we just did it the day before yesterday, we want to give Cowboy’s ponies a little more time to refresh.”

And then my post-o signs showed up the next day.

And I was so freakin’ mad and disappointed in myself that I didn’t go with my gut that I literally gave myself the finger and made an ugly face at myself in the mirror (super mature, I know). Oh I was pissed.

To add insult to injury – or should that be to add ignorance to idiocy – I still started using OPKs on CD 11 and then wasted almost the entire box with exactly none of them going anywhere near positive. I gave up when we left for our camping trip.

So I blew this cycle by not listening, really listening, to my body. And decided that from now on, I am going to shut up and start listening. And responding to what my body tells me, not what the data says.

And I’m also ditching the OPK pee sticks. Fucking sticks.

I’m ditching them because I need the can-test-every-day-if-you-want-to big guns. Has anyone used the monitors or Ovu-lite (sp?) spit testers?

Sorry, but I can’t go entirely cold turkey on the 4-1-1.


Sticky Bun said...

So, a few thoughts:

1. I ovulate on CD 10. :-) I've always been an early ovulator. Hence my ridiculously short cycle.

2. I laughed out loud when you mentioned giving yourself the finger and making an ugly face at yourself. (Not that I've done that, um...)

3. I used the monitor for a while and was a pretty big fan. Although, I ditched both temping and the monitor back in January after my first RE appt. The OPKs made a brief comeback for two of my IUIs, but otherwise I've never looked back.

Although, for reasons I can't fully explain, I still have kept my fertilityfriend membership. ???

Great to have you back! I'm sorry you missed ovulation this month, but listening to your body sounds like the right move moving forward. Wishing you the best!

Amy R said...

Oh I also went gaga over the TCOYF book. I remember the first time I saw my eggwhite CF- I was playing with it like play dough and screamed for my husband to come in the bathroom so I could should him.

I still haven't been able to kick the habit of temping though.

Hope you had a fun 4th :)

Bumble said...

It felt like such a weight off my shoulders when I stopped taking my temps while TTC. But move the damn thing FAR away from your bed, don't leave it in easy reach or on those weak days you'll be tempted. But I remember how my temp dictated my mood for the day too. Its a shit feeling. And don't worry about this cycle, you still did get in a roger (sorry - didnt want to say BD, he he) the day before didn't you? But you're right, listen to your body. Hang in there x

Carrie said...

Oh my, that's a strong woman!
I have charted for nearly 3 years. And OPK twice a day. I NEED to know the sighns and the OPKs weren't teasing me. More worrying, I am still taking my temp every morning and I'm sick to my stomach incase it drops. I am trying to give it up. It isn't easy!

As for your timing this month. Well, stranger things have happened. I can testify. I hope it does for you too.( And a day early isn't badly timed)
Hoping x

Adrienne said...

I recently took a break from it all cold turkey, because I just couldn't stand myself anymore. This month, I'm back to the Clear(asMud)Blue Fertility Monitor w/the OPK sticks as back-up. But if I'd followed the "signs" (also known as the What the Hell is that Stretchy Stuff), we should've started getting down and dirty 4 days ago, instead of just today. If I go by my body, we missed it. If I follow the monitor/sticks, it's 24-48 hours from now. I'll find out in 2 weeks. Isn't this fun?

Adrienne said...

p.s. and thanks so much for your kind words on my blog, ms. planner ;-)

The Oneliner (Christina) said...

i used to chart like a madwoman too...and then i stopped. it used to determine my mood for the day, and that was too much.
i use the monitor and i like it. although, i don't even use it that much.
i know when i have o'ed b/c my temp is high, so i usually only take it on like cd 16 or so...just to make sure that i did, in fact, o.
my RE def. thinks that we should be testing at noon.

Coffeegrl said...

Good for you - doing what you need to in order to keep yourself from going crazy. I was a disciple too and went whole hog. Ok, good to have some information. But at a point it can become overkill...

Thanks for stopping by to say "Hi" on my blog :)

Anns said...

Haha.. you charting ladies crack me up, I have NO IDEA how you do it.. I can't get myself to remember half the time.. I've tried, I swear.

Do me a favor and try Sperm meets Egg if you haven't yet.. it's a no brain plan. There's no chance in hell you'll miss the "o"

Come on... if even just for the sheer pleasure us ladies will have reading about your escapades during it.

I'd do it but I'm still benched.
Help a girl out why don't ya!

Anns xo

Von said...

Try and let go. I did that for years and it got me nowhere except to a bad sexlife as no man likes to be "told" too many times when the deed needs to be done.
I am firmly in the land of "I don't give a fuck" now and it's strangely liberating.
I do realise of course that your situation is different but sometimes the best thing to do is to do nothing.

LJ said...

You are preaching to the choir. For me, not knowing is painful. The more stats I have, the more I can have a "good" cycle. Clearly, that is not fucking working :)

I cold turkey'd the monitoring too. It's tougher for me, since I may or may not ovulate on my own. But stay strong! At least you know that you can hear your body speaking to you!