Monday, December 31, 2012

The Year of the Baby

I'm not one to make New Year's Resolutions because franky, I never keep them. Usually life comes up and I'm too preoccupied with other things to remember that diet I swore I would follow. This year, however, will be different....slightly.

I'm still not making a New Year's Resolution. Instead, I'm making a New Year's Hope. A hope that 2013 will be the year of the baby. Hope that we will get pregnant and maybe possibly bring home a squishy newborn by the end of the year.

But let's get serious. With my PCOS, baby makin' could be difficult. Since my diagnosis, we haven't actively been trying so I'm not sure how things are going to go. It could happen with my first cycle off birth control. It could happen with my first cycle of Clomid. Or we may find out near the end of the year that we may need a bit more help than pills to conceive. Who knows. I do know that 2013 will be a year of learning, growing (hopefully in the mid-section region!) and hoping.

I'll admit, I hope that 2013 will be the year that we are lucky enough to get pregnant. Keegan is warming up to the idea more and more each day and I would so love to be able to give him that gift. But, we know that it could potentially be difficult for us to conceive so for now we're taking it slow. I'm not expecting to get pregnant my first month off of BC. I even told Keegan that if I did, he could name the baby whatever he wanted. I think the current favorite is a character from his favorite video game.

I'm horrible at keeping resolutions, but I have a feeling that my hope for a baby will be steady until we're holding one in our arms.

Here's to 2013. May it be a year of new possibilities. And hopefully, new life.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Low Down on Charting

I've mentioned before that I've been "charing my cycles," and I'm sure that many of you have been wondering what that means. To chart your cycles means to take your basal body temperature every morning at the same time, to see when you've ovulated. FertiltiyFriend defines your basal body temperature (BBT) as: "Your body temperature at rest as measured with a special Basal Body Temperature thermometer. A rise in BBT occurs after ovulation making BBT the only fertility sign that is useful for pinpointing the actual day of ovulation."

Many couples use charting as a way of "natural" family planning, instead of using birth control. By taking your BBT and charting it, as well as other bodily signs, you can tell when your body is about to ovulate, did ovulate, and if you're pregnant. Your body temperature rises after ovulation which will show as a spike in your chart. Of course using things like ovulation predictor kits (OPKs) can also help in predicting ovulation as well.

I started charting in the beginning of November in the middle of a cycle. Normally, you start a chart at the beginning of your cycle, as soon as your period starts, but I wanted to get into the habit of rolling over and sticking a thermometer in my mouth as soon as I woke up, before I started my next cycle. I began charting as a way to see if/when I'm ovulating so that we can give ourselves every possible advantage when we actively start to try and get pregnant. Of course my current charts will not show ovulation because I'm on birth control to prevent just that, but it's a good habit to get into for when the time comes. As a note, I'm using the free version of FertilityFriend online as well as their iPhone app. 

So without further adieu, my first chart! 
A few notes: 
  • I don't have temperatures for the first three days of my cycle because I was in Atlanta for job training and my thermometer broke.
  • Some temperatures show up as clear circles because they were taken at a later time than my usual 8:05 a.m. I'm sorry, but until we're actively trying, I'm not getting up early on the weekends just to shove a thermometer in my mouth. 

A chart that shows pregnancy can look like the one below:

The red cross hairs show the date of ovulation (the vertical line) and the coverline (the horizontal line.) If your month ends in pregnancy, your temperature should stay above your coverline. If it dips below, there is a good chance that you're not pregnant. Of course I don't have cross hairs because I didn't ovulate this past cycle due to my birth control.

Our hopes are that for the next three months after I come off birth control, I will ovulate on my own and I will use my chart to show if/when I do. If my chart shows for three months that I have not ovulated on my own, then I will most likely go on Clomid which forces ovulation. 

So that's kind of a quick run down of charting. I'm going to continue charting and posting my chart every month. If you have any questions, please, ask away! I'm by no means an expert, but I've done a fair bit of research and have been doing this for a little over two months. FertilityFriend has a lot of good information if you're interested in starting to chart yourself.

I was in no way compensated for this post. I found out about FertilityFriend from another blogger, decided to give it a try, and it quickly became my favorite fertility website. All opinions expressed are my own.  

Sunday, December 9, 2012

To Eat, Or Not To Eat...

...that is the question.

Thankfully, I haven't had the horrible case of nausea that I had when we bumped up my dosage of Metformin from 500 mg to 1000 mg yet (knocks on wood.) Once I moved up to 1500 mg/day, I held my breath waiting for the all day and all night nausea to hit, but after a week, it hadn't, so I breathed a sigh of relief. However, I seemed to have relaxed a bit early. Mind you, it's certainly not as bad as it was with the last dosage increase, but these last two weeks have been rough. I'm only nauseous a few times during the day, but what's been bugging me the most is huge list of food aversions. It currently includes:
  • cheese (unless melted on pizza....but only sometimes)
  • meat (unless its chicken...most days)
  • vegetables
  • most fruits (except the little cutie clementines)
  • milk in any form
  • pasta (which used to be a huge staple in our house)
  • and more
To say that meal planning is hard would be an understatement. Things like pasta that we used to eat at least once a week haven't graced our dinner table in months. It's also hard to make meals because being in the kitchen seriously makes me sick. If I see food prepared, I can't eat it. Before, Keegan and I would prepare dinner together in the kitchen, but now, he has to cook alone so I can actually eat what he makes. We've also come to the compromise of him loading the dishwasher and me unloading because dirty dishes make my stomach do flips (and I'm not just saying this to get out of chores.)

I was getting so frustrated because I would plan out an entire week's worth of dinners, do the shopping, and then when it came time to make the meals, I couldn't fathom eating any of them. Unfortunately a fair bit of fresh produce has gone bad because I haven't been able to force myself to eat what I had planned for dinner. 99% of the time, I can't decide on what to eat for any meal until I'm about to eat it, so planning a week's worth of dinners wasn't going to happen. This week, I didn't but much in the way of groceries in hopes that I will feel like eating some of the pasta in our pantry or making chili which we already have the fixings for (thank goodness canned beans don't go bad easily!)

I've been feeling like a horrible wife lately because I can't do simple "wifey" duties like make Keegan dinner or clean up the kitchen since it makes me so nauseous. Keegan has helped a lot, but he works 12-14 hours a day and the last thing he wants to do is make dinner and clean up when he gets home. Unfortunately because of this, we've been eating out more than we should. I've had this craving for spinach and artichoke dip lately which is strange because 1) I had never had it before about a month ago, and 2) it's full of cheese which I normally can't force myself to eat. Whatever, at least I'm getting some sort of vegetable in myself, right? I can't eat more that an appetizer's size portion, so getting an appetizer for a meal kind of all works out.

At my last appointment, I asked my doctor about getting a prescription for a nausea medication which he agreed to but failed to write. I've been holding out reminding him in hopes that these food aversions would go away, but they seem to be here for the long haul so I may be contacting him soon. I just hate the thought of taking yet another pill.

Currently, I'm taking two 750 mg pills of Metformin (the white pills), one daily multivitamin (the yellow pill), and a heartburn pill (the two pink pills, it was a bad night when this picture was taken,) all at night plus a birth control pill in the morning. The blue pill pictured was a Naproxen pill because I was having horrible pains from my ovarian cysts the night the picture was taken.

 I spoke to my doctor about the fact that I have to take at least one heartburn pill every night or I wake up at 3 a.m. feeling like my throat was on fire. He suggested that I take Prilosec for 8-12 weeks to hopefully cure my heartburn, so Keegan and I bought the economy pack of the generic version at Sam's this weekend. I'm hoping the Prilosec works; it would be awesome to eventually get rid of a pill each night. 

The big box held the three little boxes of 14 days worth of pills each. 

Besides not eating, not much else is going on in our world of baby-making. I'm supposed to start my period some time this week, so I'll be able to show you guys my first full month of temperature taking (I'll explain more in that post.) I had one more refill of my birth control, so Keegan and I decided that I would take BC for one more month to allow my body to regulate as much as it could, then we'll start trying on our own "naturally" for three months. My doctor said at our last appointment that the first three months after going off BC are a  woman's most opportune times to get pregnant, so we'll see how that goes. If it doesn't work out, we'll talk more about going on Clomid which my doctor has already agreed to. I don't have another appointment until late February or early March so we'll see how things go until then. Who knows, maybe my next appointment will be a baby check up! 

I'm going to try and update more frequently, but honestly, not much is going on over here. Just pill poppin' and nausea. Real fun stuff. I hope those that are taking Metformin are having a better time with it! 

Until next time,