Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Yes, I Will Wait

Trying to Conceive is on hold for the moment.

We're in November due date range. November is out-of-control crazy (in a good way) for our entire family. While adding one more may not be a big deal in the grand scheme of things, it isn't on my to-do list either.

I'm not really "feeling it" on the "wanting to get pregnant" thing at the moment. And my hubby is DEFINITELY not "feeling it."

So....we wait. I'm loving this song, too.

Friday, February 22, 2013

On Using Contraception

A friend posted a link to this post today on Biblical Homemaking about whether Christian should use birth control and I thought, "Gosh, I haven't written about that on God Knits! I should tell MY story!" so here I am.

I don't really write about or discuss controversial issues. EVER. In real life or on my various blogs. I do, however, tell my stories and let my readers come to their own conclusions.

Here's my story where it concerns the use of contraception. We will save the "family planning" aspect for another post.

When my husband and I got engaged, I went to my naturopathic doctor and asked her about birth control. We knew we didn't want to start a family right away. She wrote me a prescription for the Pill and I started it right away.

I felt terrible, gained weight, had headaches for the first time in my life and even threw up on the side of Thunderbird Road one night. The Pill was not kind to me.

In the meantime, I was working as an administrative assistant at a engineering firm and a kind Catholic gentleman handed me a brochure one day in the hall and said, "We never need to speak of this." It was about Natural Family Planning.

As a lifelong learner and a Bible believing Christian, I read it and did some research. I was surprised to learn about what the Pill does to a woman's body and felt betrayed by my naturopathic doctor.

That experience taught me that I am in charge of my health and must look out for what enters my body. To this day, I rarely take any type of medicine and am very careful about what goes on and in my body. As a disclaimer, I do still love Oreos and Cheezits and am by no means "all natural."

The thing about the Pill that rocked my heart and left me feeling very convicted was discovering that one of the "benefits" of the Pill is that it thickens the uterine lining to make it inhospitable to a fertilized egg. Believing that life begins at conception meant that it was NOT OK that my body would reject a fertilized egg!! Imagining mine and my husband's cell combining and multiplying and our future baby coming down my fallopian tubes just to be met by an inhospitable environment I created was heart breaking.

I debated for a while about what to do but I couldn't escape the unsettled feeling I had about being on the Pill. As I gave it some thought, it just so happened that Phoenix was experiencing a gas shortage and I was planning to stay the night with friends to avoid the 50 mile drive home. While I was parked behind the tutoring center where I worked, my car was broken into and my backpack stolen, along with my pills. I felt like God was sending a clear message: "Stop taking the Pill." Message received. I never refilled my prescription.

I knew I wanted a long-term birth control solution that didn't involve artificial hormones, had no side effects and was easily reversible so I ordered two books: "Natural Family Planning" and "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" by Toni Weschler.  As a Christian who is not Catholic, the NFP method didn't quite gel with my beliefs. TCOYF, however, changed my life.

I started the Fertility Awareness Method immediately and have used it with great success for ten years now. We have conceived without problems three times and have not had a surprise pregnancy in all that time. What I've learned about my body because of charting is better saved for future posts but suffice it to say, I am now a self-proclaimed fertility nut and a big believer in the FAM.

Human life is precious and a decision about your birth control method (or lack of) is an important and personal one.

I will encourage you to search your own heart, ask trusted mentors, search the Bible, have a conversation with your spouse and make an informed decision. There is a lot to consider.

I'd also encourage you to extend grace to those whose method or perspective differs from yours, especially as you become more educated on the topic. Everyone is in their own phase of their journey--myself included. This is not a black and white issue for most people.

By the way, endometrial abalation destroys your uterine lining, too. Mayo Clinic's explanation of endomertial abalation is: Here. It's just something else to think about.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Starting Fresh

32 days into my last cycle and I was DONE. I just wanted to know whether I was pregnant or not and move on.

I'm not. Again.

So I filled out chart #5 for this go-around. Siiiiigh. At least I get another fresh start. I need to start taking my temperatures again to see when I REALLY ovulate. We may be timing things wrong. Or maybe I'm just older. Who knows?!?

I don't know how women do this month after month and year after year, especially when it involves shots, meds, doctor visits and inseminations. I'm barely putting any effort in and it drives me nuts! I'm about ready to throw in the towel!

Speaking of which, we are going to be taking a small break. We're into November and December due date range and I just can not will not do that to myself or my family.

So we'll start back up again (maybe) in May. Then we'd be looking at a January 2014 due date, or later. The boys would be 4.5 and 8. Yeesh.

In the meantime, I'll be publishing other fun tidbits, stories and resources. Stay tuned!

Friday, February 8, 2013

De Ja Vu

Naturally, at cycle day 31 and 14 days post-ov, I'm dying to know whether I'm preggo or about to start a new cycle any second now.

So I turned to my old TTC (Trying to Conceive) journal.

This was my last entry, after midnight before I got my two clear positives the next afternoon:

"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."

Gee, THAT sounds familiar!!! So...I may have ovulated later than I thought--again! The fertile fluid did drag on for a day or two past when I thought I had my peak day. So, I could be just 12 dpo and get a nice + test tomorrow, or later. Still no spotting, just a little white glob, which I get a lot throughout typical cycles. I am NOT tired--actually, I have more energy! More of an appetite, too, but I had that with other pregnancies.

I have to remind myself that a day makes a big difference in hormone levels this early on! And like with Ethan, I had a - test the day before two STRONG positives!!

Part of me wants to go get a stronger test...and part of me doesn't want the disappointment of a "real" negative. There's something about the not knowing that does keep hope alive.

Everything rides on hope now!

***UPDATE for Saturday, 2-9, cycle day 32: Still no news!!! No new cycle, no spotting and another negative $1 test. I bought a $4 test for tomorrow but the waiting is terrible. I feel well over all, just dying to know one way or the other!!!!


Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Wait is Almost Over

Here we are again, at that excruciating "within a few days of knowing for sure" phase. Ugh.

Cycle day 30, approximately 13 days past ovulation. I've had + tests at day 13 in the past and got a BFN (Big Fat Negative) today with a $1 at about 4:00pm. Naturally, I'm not going to take that too seriously since it was so late in the day.

Either way, my cycles for well over a year have been 30, 31, and once or twice 32 days long, so we're definitely in the home stretch. At this point in every cycle, I want to just KNOW and move on, even if it's negative. Even a fresh start is better than wondering.

The last two days, I've had a couple of very inconclusive and nearly imperceptible "symptoms" but over all, I feel great! I actually have NOT been nauseated, and my appetite has been better--which is very un-pregnant like. My sense of smell does seem elevated and I've had a few 'twinges' here and there but nothing major.

I know I'll want to test over the next day or two as I wait for the start of a new cycle, so I went out to get a few $1 tests and what came on the radio in the precise six minutes that I spent driving to the store?? "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey. My sort of 'trying to conceive anthem.' Do I think that means I'm definitely pregnant? In a word, no. It means, however, that God wants me to remember to 'keep my hopes up' and keep trusting in His perfect timing. It was like a little reminder to me today as I wait..."Don't Stop Believing" and it blessed me tremendously. I can't stop smiling.

I'll probably collect a specimen in the morning and wait to see if a new cycle starts before lunch like it almost always does. Or I may just go ahead and test. I'll probably just test.

I really truly don't have a strong feeling either way. The few barely-there symptoms definitely make me wonder, and announcing for Valentine's Day and being due in October would definitely be cool. As always, we know that God's timing is best!

We shall see!!

P.S. Even as I sit here, I feel a little crampy. Could be anything, though.