Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Oh, boy!

Well, well, well.

It seems that I am experiencing my Peak Day today on cycle day 17, approximately 14 days prior to my next cycle. I should ovulate today or tomorrow. All good.

And there's this:


Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!! That'd be a riot!!!

And now begins the Two Week Wait. Siiiiigghhhh.


Monday, December 10, 2012

It's a No-Go

Well, as charming as it would have been to announce pregnancy news right before Christmas, it was a no-go for this cycle. Looks like God has an even better plan!!

On the bright side, if it 'takes' in December we'd be due in late September, which would be lovely--right between my dad's birthday and Drew's. Fine by me!!

I see a new ob/gyn--or more accurately, their nurse practitioner--in a week to get checked out. I hope they can run labs on my thyroid levels, too, since my chiropractor wondered about that after Ethan's pregnancy. Either way, it will be nice to get into a new ob/gyn practice and find out about their hospital and the insurance, etc.

So...I don't have to avoid the spiked punch during Christmas! And we are looking at being fertile on or around Christmas Day, so that's kind of fun.

Here's to a fresh start!!


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Still waiting

It frustrates me when people write all about the Two Week Wait then fall off the face of the earth RIGHT at the best part, and you don't hear anything else until you get the + or - news. Or NO news!

So, this is me checking in.

My cycles have been consistently under 30 days, then 30 and 31. Only one this year was 32. Going by that, lack of spotting, feeling good and no signs of impending period...I have every reason to hope I could be pregnant.

I had negative tests right up until the day OF a positive with past pregnancies. Thinking that I could start a new cycle at literally any moment and there IS a good chance that I will tomorrow...I feel silly thinking about the idea of actually being pregnant right now. There's like a 20% chance I am. Not great odds.

BUT...I can't stop hoping. I just can't. IF there is a baby in there, I want to know as soon as possible!! And I'd want to start loving that baby as soon as possible!! I will not apologize for that. I can't just say, "Eh, well, this cycle is dragging on and it probably didn't happen so I give up. I won't think about it any more."

"Don't Stop Believing!" And I have no reason not to believe.

And it's a very unique place to be, in the "could be pregnant and be a day or two away from knowing it" phase. Amazing. It reminds me of when my college roommates knew my now-husband was about to propose and we were on a basketball team road trip together and they had that juicy little secret between them and didn't tell me. They loved it.

Now, being in the "about to start a new cycle" phase? Pretty darn boring.

But I don't live in the place of "I'm not going to get my hopes up just in case it didn't happen."

Oh, my hopes are up, baby.


Don't Stop Believing

It's not a very spiritual song but "Don't Stop Believing" (originally by Journey) popped into my head during our last Two Week Wait.

Here it is, by the way, on Youtube. This is the GLEE version. It's so fun. It makes me want to get back to singing.

This time last month, my grandmother had just arrived into town for a month-long visit and, yes, we pick 'themes' for her trips and that one was "Let The Good Times Roll" with a 1950s vibe. We even had a sock hop to welcome her to Arizona. We love to party.

So! I got that song stuck in my head, then come to find out, one of the lyrics was "paying anything to roll the dice just one more time."

That had been our pregnancy announcement plan: to do a play on words with "we decided to roll the dice one more time"  to go with the "Let The Good Times Roll" theme. I remember bursting into tears when I heard that part of the song as we were awaiting news.

Alas, we didn't get pregnant...but the "Don't Stop Believing" concept stuck with me.

I believe that God is challenging me--probably in all parts of life--to keep believing in His plan and that He is working everything out for the best. Regardless of how my circumstances look.

As of today, I'm cycle day 31. The only cycle I've had longer than that in 2012 was back in April. My average is 30.

I'm approximately 14 days past ovulation, too, which is a day longer than average. No spotting except a tiny bit of pink late last night, which is NOT typical to my pre-period spotting, which tends to be red and/or brown. Implantation bleeding??? That did happen with one pregnancy, probably Andrew's...where I had no pre-period spotting but DID have some light pink, then got a positive test two days later.

Naturally I think about all of these possibilities and how one trip to the bathroom could put an end to the wondering. But, until AF arrives full force, I will keep believing for the best!!


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

It's So Bizarre be in the Two Week Wait* not knowing whether you're pregnant, hoping you are, waiting to test and knowing that you COULD be walking around with a blastocyst in your uterus that will eventually be your new son or daughter.

It's just bizarre. Like being trapped in two realities. I might be about to get the biggest news of my life or it could just be another month that went by. I could be carrying a teeny-tiny ball of cells with mine and Drew's DNA or be about to start my period. This weekend, we could be making an announcement and talking about due dates and baby names or estimating the NEXT potential fertile phase and deciding whether to 'go for' a September baby. Those two realities are vastly different.

And you just don't know. And there's nothing you can do but wait to find out.

You just count down the days until you can take that pregnancy test, knowing that the result will either change your life forever or force you to start another cycle of trying and waiting.

Just as an update, I'm now 10 DPO (days past ovulation), which is really the first day that most women get a positive pregnancy test. But I'm not testing today. I may test tomorrow, though, so I could tell my grandmother before she leaves town and so I'd know whether to have a cocktail at my husband's company Christmas party that night. 11 DPO is still relatively early, but most tests should pick up a positive two to three days before my expected period.

No spotting, no symptoms to speak of. But not really PMSing or feeling period-like cramps, either. Just nothing.  

I'm actually feeling fantastic, which is in stark contrast to last month when I recorded all kinds of crazy symptoms at this point in my cycle! What is that about?!? I always felt good in early pregnancy with past pregnancies--mostly increased energy and appetite. Then the 'night nausea' and exhaustion came full force at around 6-8 weeks. So there's nothing to go on at this point.

So, yes it's bizarre but it's where I am right now and we'll get an answer soon enough.

In the meantime, we wait.

*The TWW is the two weeks between ovulation/conception and a positive pregnancy test.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

What Are the Odds?

First of occured to me that out youngest son is three-and-a-half now, the age our oldest son was when we welcomed his little brother into the world. Wild. If we got pregnant this cycle, our youngest would be four years and two months old and our oldest would be over seven-and-a-half when the new baby came along! Wow.

Second...we're finally TTC again and on this cycle, our first one 'really trying,' I've got an odd condition I've never had before that is affecting my charting. And now today, a major belly ache. Really!?!? Nothing can be easy I suppose. It did cross my mind that the belly issue could be related to my cycle. I have a very sensitive stomach! It could also be two days of eating rich foods combined with not drinking enough water. Who knows?!?!

BUT, we're still 'trying' and trusting God with the outcome! I'm CD 16, within a day or two of my typcial 'peak day' with ovulation and/or conception being likely for Monday Nov. 26th. We're already approaching the dividing line for this cycle!

Having had two yucky stomach bug-thingies in the last month has been a bummer, and reminds me of the unfun side of pregnancy--GULP. Difference is, you get a baby at the end of a pregnancy! :)

My resolution at the moment is to take it easy this time over the TWW (Two Week Wait). Last time I obsessed WAAAAY too much, mostly because we decided at the last minute and I figured we probably were too late. This time will be worse in some ways because we've tried to time it just right, so if it doesn't take, it's not due to lack of effort!

Thankfully, this week is my son's birthday (my oldest turns 7) and my birthday, then early December is plenty busy, so I should be nicely distracted! I have made up my mind to wait until I'm truly LATE to test (that's December 9th), but you know I'll be watching for signs and symptoms leading up to it. At least I have once cycle for comparison!!

We are still 'putting it a request' for a girl, although we've done nothing specific to increase our odds. I'm not sure that stuff matters anyway and with as busy as we've been, we haven't had the follow-through for it.

I think a girl would round out our little brood, and I think we'd both enjoy raising a daughter. I am seeing girl goodies everywhere at shops and craft shows and pictures of mothers and daughters--how could we not at least roll the dice one more time??? Of course a third boy would also be a tremendous blessing and we'd be thrilled to raise another son!

It's all in God's capable hands now!


Sunday, November 11, 2012

TTC Update and Please Stand By

TTC (Trying To Conceive) cycle #1 was exciting and nerve-wracking and did not indeed 'take' on the first try. We're at peace about it and we have trust in God's perfect timing.

I wrote a lot during the Two Week Wait that was raw and honest (God showed up in some BIG ways!)...and now it's all in 'draft' form so I can go back over it and make sure it's appropriately authentic before I post it for the world to see.

There was some good stuff in there about the waiting, about early pregnancy symptoms and test-taking, etc...I'll re-post ASAP!

Thanks for bearing with me! And, yes, we're planning to 'try' again in approximately 15 days.

Monday, November 5, 2012

My TTC and Pregnancy Anthem

The whole "trying to conceive, pregnancy, having a baby" process really boils down to faith, doesn't it?

This is a song that was relatively new when I had my miscarriage in May 2008. It was the song I meditated on in the days afterward, and the song I played over and over once I got pregnant with Ethan. I experienced a lot of fear in those days--I needed the freedom that only His love provides.

I had to cling to the idea that God loves me, is in control, and has me in His grip. He always had and always would. He is ever-faithful.

I called my TTC journey after the miscarriage "Leap of Faith" because that certainly is what it is. Sometimes it feels like diving off of a cliff into the great unknown--but that's what faith is all about.

I am now 10 DPO, feeling somewhat pregnant and awaiting news.
I told God, "If I hear Hope Now this week, I'll take it as a sign."

I heard it today. And not in my car like I thought I would, but visiting with a friend when it came on the radio. My heart did a little flip-flop.

What does the sign MEAN? I don't know yet.

{scroll down to hear it on Youtube}

These are the lyrics to 'Hope Now' by Addison Road.

If everything comes down to love
Then just what am I afraid of
When I call out Your name
Something inside awakes in my soul
How quickly I forget I'm Yours

I'm not my own
I've been carried by You
All my life

Everything rides on hope now
Everything rides on faith somehow
When the world has broken me down
Your love sets me free

When my life is like a storm
Rising waters all I want is the shore
You say I'll be ok and
Make it through the rain
You are my shelter from the storm

Everything rides on hope now
Everything rides on faith somehow
When the world has broken me down
Your love sets me free

I am not my own
I've been carried by you my whole life

Everything rides on hope now
Everything rides on faith somehow
When the world has broken me down
Your love sets me free

You've become my hearts desire
I will sing Your praises higher
Cause Your love sets me free
Your love sets me free
Your love sets me free

Here's the song on Youtube:

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Tab's Tips For Taking Pregnancy Tests

I say tipS (plural) because, seriously, who can take just ONE test!?!?

These are mine from September 2, 2008, approximately 14 days past ovulation. I dipped one in the cup and it popped up before I even set it down. Not trusting my eyes, I dipped the other one immediately afterward. I was amazed!!

When I was learning the Fertility Awareness Method, I remember reading that it is almost impossible for a woman to go beyond 18 days past ovulation without being pregnant. For charters, being past day 18 post-ov without a period is an almost sure sign of pregnancy. "Well, I'll just wait the 18 days and test after that, then," I remember thinking.

Riiiiiiight. That never happened.

With all three of my pregnancies, I started taking $1 tests as early as 10 days past when I thought I ovulated. I would have negatives or even light positives on days 11 and 12, but I didn't get a STRONG, dark, CONCLUSIVE positive result until fully 13-14 days post-ov.

I was never an obsessed test-taker, but I did try the dollar tests just for fun in the days leading up to day 13-14, knowing I'd have to splurge on a 'real test' for the official result.

So! Here are my Tab's Tips for Taking Pregnancy Tests:

1. Wait to take a test until your period is truly LATE.

Implantation needs to occur before hCG is produced, and that generally happens between 6-12 days post ovulation, usually by 10 days after. I recommend not testing before at LEAST 10 days post-ov, and closer to 13-14+ days if you can bear to wait that long.

During the 'waiting to test' phase is when knowing the typical length of your luteal phase (the time between ovulation and your period) is extremely valuable. Knowing what's normal for you means that you can test confidently within a day or two of when you would usually expect your period.

With my first pregnancy, I knew my luteal phase rarely went past 12-14 days AND I usually had spotting on days 11-14 or so. When I got to day 13 post-ov with NO spotting, I figured something was up. Sure enough, the test on day 13 was very faint but on day 14 it was VERY positive.

CAUTION!! Many factors can lead to a longer-than-usual cycle including delayed ovulation due to stress of sickness. So unless you KNOW when you ovulated, just thinking you're 'a little late' doesn't necessarily mean you're pregnant.

COOL TOOL!!! Wondering when to test based on your specific cycle?? Try this on Gives you a run-down of when various pregnancy tests will pick up the hormone levels. Very cool! According to my dates, I'd be a fool to test before at least Nov. 4 and I'm advised to wait until Nov. 7th and beyond. My plan is to hold out until Thursday the 8th because I have a big teaching gig the next day AND my grandmother arrives into town so I will HAVE to know!

2. Test with your first morning AND midstream urine if possible. You should use midstream urine--meaning you should pee a little first and then either hold the test stick in your urine stream or use a collection cup. And I recommend.....

3. Pee in a cup, THEN dip the stick IN (rather than trying to pee ON the stick). You will be nervous and your hands might be shaky, so don't attempt to pee ON the stick!

Follow the package instructions, of course, but for MOST tests, you can pee in a paper cup then dip the absorbent tip into the cup for the specified amount of time and lay the test down to get your result.

4. Keep the test pointing downward and then lay it flat afterward. I remember with my third pregnancy, I dipped it in the cup then watched it move across the control and BAM! The second line emerged, before I could even set it down! That was awesome.

5. Know your tests. Some tests are more sensitive than others. If you're testing early, you want a test that detects the LOWEST amount of the pregnancy hormone. There are many tests on the market that can pick up 25mlU. Some even pick up levels as low as 10mlU or 15mlU.

Check out this list from for a list of the most sensitive tests then take it to the store and see which ones are on sale. 

Wondering about the hCG levels? A rounded-off average would be about 25 mIU at 10 dpo, 50 at 12 dpo, 100 at 14 dpo. You can see why I got FAST, clear positives on day 14!

I'd wait to get the digital "I'm pregnant" test until you're pretty sure you are OR if you are just DYING to know for sure early on. It is a fun picture for the scrapbook (or to use as a prop to announce your pregnancy), but cheaper tests can still give you a conclusive positive (or two or three or six) before you have to splurge on the expensive digital version.

Happy testing!

Do you have tests you love or hate? Do share!


Friday, November 2, 2012

Early Pregnancy Symptoms

For women who think they may be pregnant, it's fun to compare notes on the early pregnancy symptoms other women experienced. Here are mine.

Andrew's pregnancy (2005):
1. My first tip-off was being 12 days post-ovulation without any spotting. If you are hoping to be pregnant, anything unusual about your cycle is a good sign!
2. Bright blue veins across my chest and later, on my belly. Increased blood flow, I believe.
3. I walked into Target and almost wretched when the smell of popcorn hit me like a wall.
4. My jeans were tight around the belly almost immediately. Or they FELT that way, anyhow. It's said to be a result of hormonal changes.

**Reading over old blog posts, I discovered that I had what was almost definitely implantation spotting a day or two before my positive test with Andrew. Good to know!

Once I found out we were pregnant (13 days post-ov officially), I had increased appetite and energy for about a week. At about the six week mark, the evening tiredness started in. I had some food aversions early on, too, like I didn't want coffee or sweets, and I was thirsty a lot.

Miscarriage pregnancy (2008):
I had to read old blog entries to remind myself...
1. "Drooly" and light-headed, some achiness and lower back aches. "A little tired." I don't remember many clear signs, which may have been a sign.

SIDENOTE: My theory now, four years later, is that I was exposed to a bug or virus of some kind at about 5 weeks pregnancy. I'm not sure how all of that works, but I wonder if my 'symptoms' were merely the bug starting to kick in. My midwives theorized that I had a 'blighted ovum,' which would have resulted in a positive prengnacy test, but isn't technically--maybe--a 'baby.' I'll write more about this at some later point.}

REST ASSURED, however, that MANY women without strong early pregnancy signs go on to have healthy babies! Every woman and every pregnancy is different.

Ethan's pregnancy (2008):
1. All I recorded on my trying-to-get-pregnant blog was "achy and tired." Naturally that can also mean 'impending period' so that's not a big help.

Once I got the positive test (about five weeks in due to 35-day cycles), a couple of days later I reported..."I'm feeling fine. A little low on energy at times, even breathless, like everything is harder. Very HOT. Definitely hungry and thirsty all the time. A little woozy from time to time but otherwise, GREAT!" There ya go!

By six weeks, I reported on feeling "tired and woozy, just enough to be annoying." Sounds about right.

So...we'll see if I'm 'achy and tired' a week from now!

In the meantime, this is a really cool chart to see what pregnant and non-pregnant women were experiencing at the various days past ovulation. Find it on

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fun Tools For While You Wait for Pregnancy News

I have been incredibly fortunate. I've gotten pregnant three times: the first pregnacny took about four real tries, the second was on the first try and the third was on the first try. So I haven't really had to endure much waiting. But the waiting is excrutiating!

I'm in that phase at the here are some fun things to do if you find yourself in that phase, too.

1. This is the "Pregnancy: Week Two" information, including 'getting pregnant' tips and cool information about implantation and what is happening in your body in the early days.

2. Naturally, you'll be on the look-out for signs of early pregnancy. Here's a list of ten common ones: Top Ten Pregnancy Symptoms.

3. DUE DATE CALCULATOR. This one allows you to plug in the first day of your last period OR your date of conception. I am assuming I ovulated on or around Oct. 26th, so if we're pregnant, I'd be due around July 20th. Here is the tool on

4. Here's the Chinese Gender Prediction Chart. Fun stuff, but probably about 50% accurate! :) It says that if I'm due July 20th, based on the day we likely conceived, I'd be having a GIRL. Heehee. I think it said a girl for Andrew's pregnancy, too, but we weren't sure whether we conceived Feb. 27 or more like March 1st, so who knows??

5. You'll be thinking about baby names, too. is a neat site to find out the origin and meaning of your favorite names.

Beyond that, I'm just trying to keep myself occupied so I can survive another week before taking a test!!!

What other tools do you have fun playing with while you wait??


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Gulp. Here we go again!

How quickly things change!!

We are 'trying' now. Yikes.

We went back and forth for months and my fertile phase would come and go month after month...and my husband juuuust wasn't feeling it. Until this week.

This week has been a whirlwind of emotions and excitement. Drew accepted a promotion at work, I actually backed OFF on my writing business, my dear friend is dealing with symptoms related to her brain tumor surgery (again) and there were lost keys, a sprained ankle and other tense moments as well. Life stuff, y'know?
The stuff that makes you appreciate what you have, look forward to the future and re-evaluate what is really important in life.
In the midst of it all, my hubby and I just sort of looked at each other and went, "Eh, why not??" It's not like things are going to calm DOWN any time soon!

I did have to state my case, however:
1. I'm not getting any younger. I'll be 35 in November!
2. If it 'takes' on the first try, I could announce our news when my grandmother is here to visit in November. That happened with my first pregnancy and it was priceless.
3. We'd be due in July, BEFORE the major heat sets in and in a time of year that is UN-busy for us. 4. We know we want a third child (I think I've always known) and there will never be a 'perfect time,' so why not just roll the dice and see what we get!?!

Drew did make me promise that, when it 'takes,' I'll take a break from my businesses, side projects and ministries and focus on the boys, my health, our home and the new baby. I promised!

It was so precious....we were discussing baby names (why?!?) and the two boys kept asking questions about having a new baby. We got into a lively discussion. We voted. They're both in favor or another kid.

So....Drew and I talked. We got real. We argued some. We got emotional. Well, I got emotional. And ultimately, we are trusting God with the outcome and we just decided to 'go for it.'

We did, by the way, put in a request for a girl, IF that is in God's plan. We trust Him to give us exactly what we need, whether a boy or a girl. 

Now it's the part I hate: the waiting. At least my cycles are now 31 days long instead of 35-45 like they once were. The wait between fertile phases use to be excruciating, but waiting a month if we have to 'try' again isn't so bad.

I think I ovulated yesterday or today, so I'll be on the lookout for implantation spotting from around Nov. 3 to Nov. 6 (7-10 days after ovulation in general), then we will probably be able to take a test around Nov. 8, just after my grandmother arrives in town from Florida and before a BIG weekend of stressful events. That will be interesting!

Between now and then, that's about all I'll be able to think about!

But going from 'maybe someday' to 'trying' is a wonderful place to be.

Now we just hold out hope and see what God has for us!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Trying for a girl

My husband can't seem to get past it.

Everyone just assumes we want to.

I haven't been able to quiiiiiite let it go yet.

My extended family is still holding out hope.

My two sons are split on the topic.

What is it??


My mom is my best friend. I can imagine having a little "mini me." In fact, before Andrew was born, I could picture myself with anything other than a daughter!

{image from}

I NEED someone to pass my jewelry, collectibles and treasures on to AND it would be VERY fun to teach a daughter everything I know about God, beauty, men and LIFE. I've always said that it would be cool to having the experience of raising both genders. 

But as I've already said, I WILL NOT go into a pregnancy in hopes of specifically getting a girl. I'm not even convinced that I WANT a girl! They are rumored to be more clingy, needy, emotional (well, that one is a fact), harder to raise and to cost more money. Plus, do I REALLY want the competition for attention?? I am very happy being the queen of the castle--I'm not sure I want a princess!

I am a self-proclaimed Fertility Nut. I bet I could increase our odds of having a girl. And if we decided that we really WANT a girl, and we asked God to help us out...I bet He'd be OK with it.

So the question still goes back to, "Do we want to have another child?" And if so, do we want to "try for a girl"?

My heart seems to be drawn to the idea of adding one more munchkin to our brood. Just not quite yet. I'd like to get my thyroid check and get into better shape and I'd like to help our family get into a better financial position. But...there's always next year.

I'll be looking into it. And thinking it over. And praying about it.

The story continues!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Update, plus tool for estimating fertile window and more

First, the UPDATE.

I know there wasn't anyone waiting with baited breath over whether I was pregnant or not. Just as I suspected, I started a new cycle on September 10th.

For this cycle, my peak day was day 15, which is about average for me. But my luteal phase ended up lasting 16 days, the longest so far for 2012 (my average is 11). The cycle was 31 days long, only a few days more than average. Over all, I was well within the average range and, yes, I did overreact a bit. Call it wishful thinking.

As much as I love trying to get pregnant, being pregnant and having a new baby, my husband and I decided to put it off for the forseeable future. Yes, I am disappointed, but I am not crushed. We may change our minds at any time but my thought of, "We should start 'trying' again!" is NOT happening any time soon!

And....I know it's dangerous to say, "I'm not the type to 'accidentally' get pregnant," I'm more confident than ever!

On to the tool!!!

This is a great tool for determining your fertile window, along with your possible conception and due date, should you get pregnant. All you need is the first day of your last cycle (the first day of your last period).

Check it out, from

It's fun to play with dates, and even having your fertile phase narrowed down to a week is pretty cool!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

What To Not Not Do To Not Not Get Pregnant

a.k.a. "What To Do To Get Pregnant"

As a teacher years ago, my class rules were written positively, like, "Keep hands, feet and objects to yourself" and "Use inside voices at all times" instead of "Don't touch or hurt your classmates" or "Do not yell inside."

In the e-mails I write as reminders for networking meetings, I say, "Thank you for RSVPing on Meetup" instead of the negative "Don't forget to RSVP on Meetup."

See the difference?

Wording things positively and telling people what TO DO makes them feel better and also makes them more likely to do what you want them to do. No one wants to be told what NOT to do! {Don't think about a pink elephant!}

As with kids, when you say, "Don't touch that!" they hear "Do the reverse of 'touch that.'" Not easy for a young brain to do! Or ANY brain for that matter!

So when I saw this online today, I rolled my eyes. As a writer and a fertility nut, it's aggravating. It's an article called What Not To Do If You Want to Get Pregnant.

I get it. Everyone talks about what TO do to get pregnant, but doesn't necessarily talk about the things people do WRONG in trying to get pregnant, or the little-known 'what to avoid' types of tactics.

But as I read through the list, I had to really take time to say, "OK, is this a list of what people do wrong that I should avoid or what I SHOULD do that people don't know they should do??" thank you.

My writing business is called Let Me Rephrase That because I love to do editing, re-writes and paraphrases of writing pieces.

So Let Me Rephrase That article for you. Here's what TO DO to get pregnant:

1. Have sex throughout the month and not just on your most fertile days. Why? Healthier sperm and reduced stress for your partner.

2. Have fun with the sex part. Why? Pleasurable, passionate sex may boost the odds of conception.

3. Use sperm-friendly lubricants (NOT KY Jelly or Astroglide). Using sperm-killing lubricants falls under the 'shooting yourself in the foot' category.

4. Avoid douching and the use of scented feminine hygiene products. Let your natural ph balance do what it is meant to do.

5. Seek fertility help sooner rather than later. To quote the article, "If you've been trying for six months and you're over 35 -- or you've been trying for a year and you're under 35 years of age -- then you should see your doctor." I would add to that...keep an accurate Fertility Awareness chart to take to your doctor if the need arises.

And here's a revisit of MY original list: Tab's Top Ten Tips for How To Get Pregnant. Just DO the things on that list! Isn't that better??

What are YOUR 'how to get pregnant' tips? Or questions?


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Delayed ovulation

You can bet that as my cycle CONTINUES to drag on to 31 days with no spotting, I am focused on the reality of only two options at this point:

1. I will start a new cycle today or tomorrow (despite a lack of spotting thus far) OR

2. I had a delayed ovulation.      

I had a negative pregnancy test Friday and another clearly negative test Saturday, so it is pretty much a 100% sure bet that we didn't miraculously get pregnant during what I THOUGHT was my fertile phase around the typical day 14-15.

BUT. We seem to vaguely remember a late-night conversation about a week AFTER my fertile phase of, "Oh, we're definitely out of the woods now, I was fertile, like, a week ago." GULP.

Delayed ovulation can be a week or more after your body's first attempt to release an egg. If it was about a week after when I thought I was fertile, I'd be at 10 days post ov today and able to test on Wednesday. I don't REMEMBER a second round of fertile fluid...but I wasn't looking for it, either.

If I ovulated even later than that, who knows where I'm at?? Since sperm can survive for up to five days, there's a wide range of possibilities!

I still feel like I will most likely start a new cycle today or tomorrow.

BUT, of course, my mind cannot help but think about that very (VERY) rare occurrence of us taking a risk in the last half of a cycle...combined with the teeny tiny possibility that I ovulated late this cycle. If that ridiculous combination of high unlikely events results in a pregnancy, it would definitely be 'a God thing' and meant to be!! And I won't rest until I know for sure one way or the other.

Naturally, my husband is taking the "Well, aren't we going to know in a few days either way? You'll either start or get a positive test? Can we worry about it then?" approach.

It's like he doesn't know me at all!! Of COURSE I will obsess about it until AF arrives OR I can test again!!

So while the waiting game continues, here's some information about delayed ovulation for anyone interested. Delayed ovulation, by the way, is the explanation for MANY 'late periods' when women THINK they are pregnant. They just ovulated later than expected!
Most sources agree on these most common reasons for delayed ovulation:
1. hormones
2. low body fat
3. excessive body fat
4. extended periods of intense exercise
5. rapid weight gain or weight loss
6. medication
7. breastfeeding


It is important to note that the STRESS that can delay ovulation isn't limited to things like sickness, work worries, experiencing a loss or can even be 'good stress,' like a family vacation or starting an exciting new job. Our body can't interpret the difference between 'good stress' and 'bad stress,' it just knows that we're already too revved up and distracted to ovulate and/or get pregnant! So...our body will delay ovulation until we 'calm down.'

In fact, the only unusually long cycle I've had in the last two years was the summer of 2011 when my teenage sister-in-law was living with us temporarily AND we were trying to buy a home in my parents' neighborhood AND get our rental packed up AND were supposed to be leaving on a week-long trip out of town to visit in-laws and go camping. My stress levels were through the roof and my body knew it!  I recorded fertile fluid rising on day 21 but didn't record egg whites until day 32! That cycle ended up being 46 days long. Phew!

Years ago, I noticed a pattern to my (previously inexplicably) long cycles: travel. Once we were on a family trip out of state (camping with in-laws, which was more of a 'bad stress') and once we were on a family vacation (more 'good stress') but both times, I should have ovulated during the trip but ultimately didn't until after we returned home.

Somewhat ironically, I seem to have conceived our second son while two hours away from home on a women's leadership retreat! My hubby and I were intimate that Thursday when I knew I was fertile and I took my thermometer with me on the trip and had a clear temperature rise that Saturday while I was gone! Sure enough, less than two weeks later, I got a positive pregnancy test. I later told the ladies, "I got pregnant ON the retreat!" and they looked at each other in confusion. It was fun! :)

BOTTOM LINE: I am excited about the possibility of a truly miraculous pregnancy...but settled on the idea that I am probably just experiencing a slightly-longer-than-usual cycle. Only time will tell! {I just wish time would hurry up!}


Friday, September 7, 2012

A Great Way to Figure Out If You Want to Have Another Child

What is a great way to figure out if you want to have another child? Wonder if you could possibly have accidentally gotten pregnant!
My current cycle is dragging on for longer than usual with NO spotting. I am a little achy and crampy--symptoms of early pregnancy AND impending period, of course. Love that.

Other things that have made me curious??

1. I've been tired this week, but I've also had a sort throat/sneezing/stuffy nose thing since about Monday, so it's hard to say what causes what. BUT, I've had colds or weird stomach issues at the start of my other pregnancies, too. Strange. I wonder if it's an immune system thing: as soon as pregnancy sets in, your body puts all of its attention there and then you come down with any little thing you're exposed to. Just a theory!

2. On Tuesday, in fact, I was so tired that I laid down to see if I could sleep and woke up THREE hours later when the school called to ask if I was going to pick up my first grader! I almost never nap, and certainly not that long and that hard in the middle of the day! But again, that could have been simply the restless sleep I had the night before in combination with my little case of the sniffles.

3. I had strange belly pains (like gas or indigestion) that was quite painful a couple of days ago, too. Who knows??

4. I woke up two days ago remembering an angst-filled pregnancy-related dream now that I think about it. Hmm. I wish I remembered it better but there was a roomful of babies involved.

5. This cycle is a little 'off.'

6. I felt kinda breathless for a moment yesterday--an early sign from last time.

My 'charting,' by the way, currently involves a pocket calendar where I keep track of days that I seem to be fertile, any strange symptoms (spotting, belly issues, poor sleep, even vivid dreams) and, of course, my period. I actually sat down yesterday and recorded my cycle details for 2011 and so far in 2012! I highly recommend keeping track of those minimum details, by the way. Just for such a time as this!

Let me state for the record that until about two years ago, my cycles were notoriously long. Like, MONTHS long. Even in recent history, I would typically not ovulate until day 21 or later, making my cycles anywhere from 35-40+ days long! BUT, almost like someone flipped a switch, when we moved two years ago from the home we built in 2003 to Phoenix, my cycles regulated and shortened. My anxiety all but vanished, too. {Yes, there is a correlation. But that's a post for another day.}

ANYway, since making that major life change (plus finally fully recovering from Ethan's pregnancy along with slowing down and taking better care of myself), my cycles have gotten MUCH shorter!

In 2011, my cycle average was 33 days long with ovulation near day 20.
In 2012, my cycle average was 29 days long with ovulation near day 17.

The time between ovulation and the start of a new cycle tends to be the most 'set in stone' number for most women: mine is 11-12. With both of my pregnancies that 'took,' I had positive tests on about day 13-14 post ovulation.

I don't always record pre-period spotting but I do typically have some (the lack of it tipped me off to my first pregnancy) and I have had 1-3 days of it for the last FIVE months.

So. Based on that. Here I am on day 29 of my cycle with an approximate ovulation day now 14 days ago and with NO spotting. And all of the above strange symptoms.
Naturally all of the above could be NOTHING. And there's about a 99% chance that it IS nothing.
The real issue am I feeling about the possibility that we had an 'oops?' It would be truly miraculous, by the way, because I assure you that we are NOT trying to get pregnant! We are actively preventing it, in fact, and we aren't risk-takers!!

But in trying to navigate the whole "Do we want another child or not?" debate....this exercise in the 'what if' is good.

I took a pregnancy test today.

A $1 test that I got a clear negative on the DAY before my two clear positives with my last pregnancy! It was clearly negative today, though. And I was disappointed. The 'almost brought tears to my eyes when I thought about it' kind of disappointed. I found myself saying, "God, could you just PUT a baby in there for me??"

I went to my son's school this afternoon for his teacher's birthday party and found myself wishing someone would talk to me and I could slip in, "Well, I just found out today that I'm pregnant!" I felt myself wishing I could stick my belly out and rub it and know there was a baby in there. Funny, huh?

We don't need another child right now. I don't have a burning desire to have a baby. I don't want to put my body through another pregnancy. Yes...there is that little part of me that felt hopeful today and kinda wished we were more reckless and there was just a small chance that I accidentally got pregnant.

I daydreamed about telling my parents Sunday on Grandparent's Day, I pinned 'announcing your pregnancy' ideas on Pinterest this week 'just in case' and I found myself going through my old pregnancy blog. My heart is open.

I realized today that I'd be open to having another baby, to adding to our family, to bringing another one of our offspring into the world, to rolling the dice again.

My back hurts tonight. I feel crampy. I'm betting it's impending period this time. I'll wake up tomorrow having started a new cycle and feel silly for all this vain hope. But I wanted to sit down and write this so I'd remember.

And at least now I know. Getting pregnant would be pretty spectacular someday. I think once we're more financially stable and my health is up closer to 100% and things have settled down...I might be ready to give it another go.

And no one is more surprised by that revelation than me.
 ADDED LATER: I was looking again at my trying-to-get-pregnant blog with Ethan and ran across this post, published almost exactly at this time of night:  Title:: "Hoping still" Based on my loose calculations, I'm about 14 days post-ov and no period yet. Feeling tired and crampy but that can be pregnancy or impending period, so that's no help. No spotting, though. I'm betting I ovulated later than I think I did. I took a $1 test this a.m. and it was clearly negative. I'll give it a day or two and test again but after that, I'll know it didn't "take." I hate waiting. But God's plan is best and I'm OK with whatever. Really. 

I realize that I am almost certainly not pregnant....but I'm very happy that I've figured out that I'd be ok with it if I were! :)


Thursday, September 6, 2012

How do you 'walk by faith' in this?

Drew, Andrew and me, walking for our family pictures, December 2007. Andrew was two.

Not much has changed around here in the baby department, meaning that we're still in the 'no desire to have another baby right now but not ruling out the future possibility, either' phase.
Andrew is now well over six years old and Ethan is now three years and three months old and people must think we're 'done' because hardly anyone asks anymore if we're having more kids! Even my mother-in-law has laid off for the time being.

I have just been reading over my old blog entries about our miscarriage and Ethan's conception, pregnancy and birth and while I did adore being pregnant and having a baby, my heart doesn't say, "I want to do it again!" Nor do I feel like there is a person missing from our family or like I WANT another child (as of today).

BUT. Am I going to get a few years down the road and WISH I'd have done it now?? Are the boys going to be grown and I'm going to wish we'd have had the faith to just dive in and have more kids when we'd had the chance?
I refuse to live a life of regrets. I do not operate out of a place of fear.
So the question is, how do I 'walk by faith' when it comes to the future of our family? Is faith plunging in now, saying, "We're going to do this with faith that God will bless our baby and our family," and trust Him with the outcome...or having the faith to say, "I don't feel the heart-urge right now, so if the time does become right, God will faithfully tell us when that is." I think My 'leap of faith' is to NOT get pregnant now, BECAUSE it isn't a desire of my heart right now...knowing that I'm not 'missing' the opportunity somehow.

I do not want to limit God, or dictate what He can or will do! I don't want to add another child to our family right now. I am trusting God to give us another child in His perfect timing, if that is His will.

I refuse to believe that there is some sort of 'window of opportunity' that I might miss, just like I refuse to believe that there is a 'target' of His will and that only one option is 'on the mark' and the rest of them are 'off.' I have freedom to choose...and He has the power to move and speak as He wishes, to HIS glory and MY benefit!

So for now, I don't want to get pregnant. That could change at any time.
I will walk by faith, knowing that God is in control and will lead us down this path, just as He has so faithfully done before, whether that results in a new addition to our family or not.
Want to read more of my pondering on whether to expand our family? I pondered this topic back in February of this year, too.

Friday, February 24, 2012

ARE we having more kids?

That's me, above, the happy mother of two sons.

I am a very happy, content woman these days. I am truly "living the dream!" We're living two minutes from my parents' house, I have a new home-based business doing what I love as a Mary Kay independent beauty consultant, I have several on-going writing projects in the works, I'm enjoying my home, my friends and my new church, my marriage is going into it's tenth wonderful year and I'm thrilled with my two precious boys. And I have no regrets.

Then there's the "Are you guys having more kids?" question. It is a monumental question. A HUGE question!

Somewhat unfortunately, it's not simply a question of whether our hearts could grow to hold enough love for a third child, or whether we're up for raising another kid. There is so much more to it than that, some practical and some more emotional. Do I want to be pregnant and give birth again? Can we afford a third child, now and in the long run? Do we want a seven-plus year age gap between the oldest and youngest? Do we want our baby Ethan to be a middle child? After two amazingly wonderful pregnancies and incredibly healthy boys, do we really want to roll the dice again??

We're in a really good place right now as a family. Our boys keep us on our toes and our life is very exciting and fulfilling. We have what we need but not much extra. We often look at each other and say, "Let's be done having kids. Let's just raise the two we've got well."


Eleven o' clock at night this past week and we're going to bed. "Y'know..." my husband says. "I bet you're always going to want a daughter."


I don't FEEL like there's someone missing from our family. I don't have a burning desire to raise a girl. In fact, after two boys, the idea of parenting a daughter kind of terrifies me!!

But am I denying that heart desire of having a daughter? Am I repressing a deep yearning for a little girl?

I am girly. I can envision the tea parties, ballet classes, shopping, girl talk and planning a wedding. I have a special bond with my own mother and grandmother and would I like to experience that with a daughter of my own? Maybe.

A dear, wise friend with two grown sons once told me, "You'll get daughters someday. But they'll already be raised." I love that idea!

BUT. I have already resigned myself to NOT trying to get pregnant with the intention of "getting" a specific gender. For one thing, I wouldn't want to set myself up for disappointment. The only tears I'd want in the ultrasound room are happy tears. For another, I don't want a third son who thinks he's the disappointing "too bad you weren't the girl we wanted" kid. Lastly, I don't even really KNOW whether I'd prefer a boy vs. a girl!

I THOUGHT I wanted a girl with my first pregnancy. I didn't really make a request before we got pregnant. Of course once you're pregnant, it's too late to make requests. At that point, you just have to ask God to prepare your heart for whichever one it is. Anyway, I couldn't really imagine myself with a son and people would tell me, "I can't picture you with a boy." Well, when Andrew was born, my heart soared. I knew that he was perfect for me and that my heart was meant to be the mom to a son.

When we had the ultrasound with #2, I suspected that it was a boy and was happy with that. When it was confirmed, I was thrilled. I loved the idea of having two sons! BROTHERS! Some people thought I was disappointed that it wasn't a girl but I wasn't. It just felt like it was meant to be. Having two boys has been an extraordinary joy and something I wouldn't trade for anything.

Now I KNOW that I am cut out for mothering boys. I love how independent and active they are. I love seeing them interact with their daddy. I actually enjoy the noise and chaos and there's something special about being the adored mother of sons.

The REAL question, then, I done having babies? Am I ready to close the door on having more children?

I have been known to say that people who say that they MIGHT be done having kids, aren't. You KNOW people who are "done:" They have DONE something permanent to ensure that they won't have more children! If you haven't, or are playing the "we'll just see what happens" game, you WILL get pregnant again. Mark it down.

So, no, we're not done. We're going to remain open minded for a little bit longer. Our financial situation could change at any time. We could both suddenly realize that we want more kids. Who knows???

As of today, I'm still not sure whether I want to be done having babies. Which, according to my own theory, means that I'm not.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Yaz Birth Control Investigation

Did you see their commericals after the FDA forced them to correct their claims?

Interesting story.