Today is my first day off Provera, and hopefully the spotting means that my period will arrive shortly. I’m crossing my fingers that tomorrow might be CD1. At any rate, it seems a good time to share the full breadth of my strategy for this next cycle.
Besides 1,000 words, this picture might be worth: A) Successful pregnancy achievement! (we hope); B) A new positive outlook on trying to conceive; C) A grim insight onto the depths of obsession; D) Somewhere around $200 (not counting the laptop).
- Provera. 10mg for 10 days, to trigger my period and a full “uterus reset” after my very (now almost 60 day) long anovulatory cycle.
- Clomid. 100mg on days 5-9, to stimulate follicle growth. I think I’ll split the dose between the morning and evening.
- Obligatory BBT thermometer and homemade fertility chart.
- OPK strips – internet cheapies I ordered on Amazon. Yeah I know there was ambiguity trying to read similar ones last cycle, but I can’t argue with 40 of them PLUS 10 HPT strips for under $10, especially since I might wind up using all 40 in one cycle. (Delayed/absent ovulation is a pain.)
- HPT strips – yes, internet cheapies. Because they were cheap and there are quite a few of them, I can test liberally if I feel the urge. I do have some stashed FRERs to corroborate any questionable results.
- My water bottle. As in, I’m trying for 3 of these a day. Also as in, I’m limiting my coffee and booze intake. ALL MONTH. Added points if it actually helps with cervical mucus, as I’ve read it might.
- Evening primrose oil. To be taken from CD1 until ovulation, to counteract the adverse effects of Clomid upon my cervical mucus.
- B-6. 50mg a day throughout the cycle. If you believe what you read on the internet, it can lengthen the luteal phase, promote fertile mucus, ease PMS symptoms, support an early pregnancy, cure cancer, bring peace to the Middle East, etc. Whatever; it is safe to take with Clomid and it probably can’t hurt anything.
- Daily prenatal multivitamin. Ah, my constant companion. I bet infertile women have statistically super levels of folic acid. (I’m on bottle number 4 of the 90-count. Sigh.)
- Natural progesterone cream. See, I really don’t like the idea of the synthetic progesterone, especially in regards to it causing cysts and terrible things. But it seems likely I may have a progesterone deficiency, so I’m going to try using this as an alternative to having to repeat the Provera next month. I’ve also read that it can help sustain a pregnancy. (I’ve also read that it does nothing at all, as the amount absorbed through the skin is minuscule.)
- Pre~seed sperm-friendly lubricant. If the evening primrose does work, then this may or may not get used.
- Diva cup. To give the spermies all the help I can without doing headstands.
- Some light reading: Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler, which I checked out from the library. Yes, I’m probably a little past this stage, as I really haven’t learned much in the first half of the book that I hadn’t already seen on any number of websites. Also it’s written about equally as much from the perspective of wanting to prevent pregnancy as achieve it. Still, it’s kind of one of those classics that I felt a little bad about never having read; it removes all of the blather and tells the researched, expert perspective; and I still have the second half in which I might pick up some tidbits. In a curious way, too, reading the chapters on charting instructions and fundamental principles of reproductive hormones has kind of allowed me to revisit the mindset I had when I was first really learning all this stuff and was all excited about trying, and it’s helped me regroup emotionally.
- My headphones, representing the guided visualization audio program that I’ll be using for some focused relaxation and positive energy. (I’m choosing not to say which program it is for personal reasons, but I’m looking forward to starting it on CD1.)
- My bathroom scale. I’ve been trying to lose a couple of pounds, just eating intelligently and being less sedentary. I don’t really believe that my weight is contributing to my anovulatory cycles, but I am about 4 lbs outside of the healthy BMI range, so it’s a possibility. (I mean, I’d like to lose 10 or 15 lbs, but radical rapid weight loss would be counterproductive for ovulating, and I still hope to be discussing putting on pregnancy weight before I’d get to a 10 or 15 lb loss at a good slow and steady rate.)
- Last but not least, this blog! The only thing better than getting to confront my emotions is getting the support from you guys and feeling like I am at least understood. I may even try to branch out, not be such a little blog-hermit, but maybe participate in some online communities or something. Just, you know, slap me if you catch me overdoing the forum acronyms or inserting any flashing “BFN” animations.
I’m aiming for renewed enthusiasm, for a boost out of the rut I’ve been in these last few months. As much as this picture makes it look like I’m going for total control – and maybe previously that’s been true – what I really want to achieve is to understand and support my body wherever it needs it rather than trying to bend it to my will. THAT is the attitude adjustment. The problem here is that if I do ovulate this cycle but I don’t get pregnant, then I won’t be sure which part(s) of this strategy was the primary catalyst, and so I’ll have to repeat the whole shebang every month until the recipe works.
I took this photo the other day, and Hubs called me funny. I said, “Because I’m using all of this stuff, or because I took a picture of it?” He said, “Both.” (He didn’t want me to reveal the herbal supplements I’ve convinced him to take, even though I totally don’t think they are embarrassing. What do I know, I’m obviously not easily embarrassed on the internet.)