I've had irregular periods forever, and mom wanted to help me fix that, so...
Apr 2011, my Chinese medicine doctor advises me to start taking Basal Body Temperature. Ideal BBT would be low until ovulation, and then high until menstruation. For me, it was all over the place.
Nov 2011, we figure out that I've been using an inaccurate thermometer, so we start over. It's still all over the place.
January 2012 was when we decided, "hey, having a baby wouldn't be the end of the world, but we shouldn't try super hard or anything."( long, long, LONG account of my many medical travails )
The most frustrating thing about this whole experience, is the UNCERTAINTY
. There's the 5 days around ovulation time of "is this the right time? Is it going to work? Oh shit, is this ovulation spotting or is my uterine lining abandoning me?" Then there's 10 days of just twiddling my thumbs, followed by 5 days of complete ambiguity -- all the physical signs in those 5 days could be EITHER "you're pregnant!" OR "you're so not pregnant!" It felt like being an auger of your own body. Are these cramps implantation cramps, or menstrual cramps? Is this spotting menstrual spotting, or implantation spotting? Is 36.8 a high BBT or a low one? This continues until either the period happens, or, more common in my case, I give up and pretend some spotting counts as a period.
On the one hand, considering all of the factors that had to be aligned to make it happen ... the ovarian follicle had to mature ... there had to be sperm chillin' in the fallopian tube at that time ... the resulting blastocyst has to wander down to the uterus ... the uterine lining has to be thick enough for implantation... it's kind of amazing that babies happen at all. But on the other hand, hope springs eternal. :/ It's total emotional whiplash, and let's just say that getting a period is kind of a crappy consolation prize.
By February 2013
, it's been half a year of this frustration of uncertainty. Jono and I were both sick in February, so I was like, "not gonna happen this month". But then my BBT went up and stayed up! And then I got weird stomach cramps, so I was like, "implantation??! but it's 2 days too late!" 4 days later, which is last Friday, I got weird stomach cramps *again*, so I was like, "????? do I have ectoplasm?". At the same time, OvuView decided to re-calculate ovulation and menstruation predictions to be a week later, so I was like, "Am I on day 15 after ovulation, or Day 7 after ovulation??" So I go see my regular doctor, and we do a blood test. The blood test for pregnancy came back as "Inconclusive." .... WTF?
It turns out that pregnancy tests, whether blood test or urine test, measures the amount of HCG in your body. Ignoring the units, bascially HCG doubles every 2 days or so until 1600 units. When you have <5, you're not pregnant, and when you have >25, you're pregnant. I was in the 5-25 range last Friday, hence, "inconclusive" -- it could go back down, in which case the implantation was unsuccessful, or it could go up, and I can form babby. So even though pregnancy is often seen as a "2 lines=yes, 1 line=no" dichotomy, it's actually more like "faint line = maybe, stronger line = more likely". This is not accounting for the sensitivity of various pregnancy tests -- some don't trigger until 100 units of HCG, and others trigger at 10 units. In attempting to get all the data to make sense, I'm guessing that I might have ovulated on Feb 21st? (But then what's the deal with the positive ovulation test a week earlier?)
I've been using a super sensitive test every 2 days since Friday, and the line has been getting stronger, though it's still not as clear as I think it should be, so now I can say I'm 80% certain that I'm pregnant. I've scheduled an appointment with a new ob/gyn for next Tuesday, which should confirm it.
So I think the moral of the story is (1) give up on doctors for a while, (2) flail about wildly and get sick lots, and (3) smart phone apps can be helpful sometimes.