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Friday, September 26, 2008

F*ck Ovulation Charting

Greetings and Warning, KuKd Mommas and Inquisitive Guests: This is a Bad Mood, Profanity-Laden Post.

It started last weekend like this: "I should really start doing what other intelligent and responsible thirty-something-year-old-women do: figure out when I ovulate." Everyone and their grandmother seems to know when they ovulate. My friends all know when they ovulate. Some of them print out color-coded charts showing when they ovulate, laminate those charts and hang them on the wall and memorize them. Regardless of whether we ever decide to try for a baby again, I should probably know when I ovulate.

So, K buys a BBT thermometer from Target, and I throw away the instructions because I'm tired of little crumpled receipts and useless scraps of paper littering the kitching table and office desk. Something like a thermometer should be completely intuitive to use, shouldn't it? Press a button, stick in mouth, and beep.

Two days in a row: forget to put thermometer by my bed. And once you get out of bed, it's all over - temperature stats are worthless, as we all know, and you'll never find out when you ovulate. Ha ha!

Third day: put it by my bed, but forget to take temperature in the morning.

Fourth day, this morning, I remember. Try to take temp when K's alarm goes off at 6:45 - can't figure out how to work the dang thermometer. Press button, hear beep, put in mouth, never hear another beep. Eff around with it for a few minutes, pushing the button, holding it, sticking in mouth again, nothing. Frustrated, get up. Screw this; need coffee.

Same morning, coffee in hand, start a chart thingy on fertility friend dot com, which gives me an automatic password that's way too hard to remember, like fmeouf98efzzuei##k9e8fefe. Who the fuck develops these websites? Look at thermometer again and press button a bunch of times, see something that looks like a temperature but I'm not sure. Enter it anyway.

Rummage around for thermometer instructions (maybe I only THOUGHT I threw them away...) while K reads over his lesson plan as if nothing's awry. Irritated that he isn't as concerned as I am, I throw the thermometer against wall and say "fuck this." Get up, try to break it in half, knowing I'm acting irrational - we spent ten freakin' dollars on that thing!- but not caring. The thermometer won't break, so I toss it in garbage can and shove it way down there, underneath the dripping empty tomato cans and stinky styrofoam that the chicken from 2 days ago was packaged in.

Slam lid on garbage can and mumble, "I'm sick of being the only one who cares if I get pregnant. Fuck it, we're not going to have a baby, not now or ever." So the truth comes out, even to myself: THAT'S why I'm trying to chart my ovulation.

Kevin stands up and says, "What! I'm the one who bought the fucking thermometer. I'm going downstairs." Gathers all his stuff and stomps down into the basement, surely to escape this raging bitchy lunatic of a wife.

Thermometer suddenly starts beeping incessantly from deep within the garbage can. I kick garbage can hard with left foot, beeping stops. Tebow's staring at the garbage can, mostly interested in that gross 2-day-old chicken juice smell coming out.

Ahhhhhhhhggggggghhhh! F*ck ovulation charting.


anabelle said...

just have sex everyday.... granted it takes alot more physical effort, but its easier than all that charting crap ;)

Selmada said...

(said totally tongue in cheek) it is an ovulation chart for f*cking.

I figured the thermometer part out but I had such a hard time with the taking of temp upon waking without getting out of bed. I have to make the mad dash to the bathroom right away!!!!

If you really want to get into charting, I highly recommend Taking Charge of Your Fertility as a good read.

It was good to know what my cycles are. Nothing in them told me my eggs were crap, but it was still good.

Monica LeMoine said...

Anabelle -

I like your way of thinking! I'll pass your advice along to K.

Selmada -
Yes, I've dipped into that TCOYF book. Still doesn't take away the urge to jump out of bed first thing in the AM and pee. And yeah, I guess all the temp taking in the world doesn't indicate if one's "eggs are crap." Somebody should invent a device that does that.

anabelle said...

haha trust me it was easier... I picked a good 10 day window and told the hubby he needed to deliver every other day in that window.. maybe i'm just lazy.. but hell, it worked

*~*Lis*~* said...

I just yesterday threw m BBT out - it had been sitting in my jewelry box (???) for the last 3 years. I used it once. I could never remember to take my temp and even when I did I couldn't remember what it was supposed to be. Just do it everyday - it might even seem fun at first! :)

Michelle said...

I too read Taking Charge of your Fertility and it is a pretty good book. However, temp charting sucks! I gave up on that... I had a hard time making sure I did it at the same time everyday. During the week fine but who wants to get up at 6:00 am on a Saturday...I think not. OPK is what I started doing but now I am taking drugs so I don't really need them anymore. I'm with you F*ck ovulation charting!

Monica LeMoine said...

Yes, I really admire those peeps who do it and stick with it. I think I just don't have the discipline to do it. It's so hard to think about any logistical matters before I've had my morning brew.

sharonvw said...

I like Annabelle's suggestion too, there's only one problem with it. It doesn't work if you're infertile. Trust me, six years down the line there is no way in hell we'd still be keeping that up. Mon, its easy to figure out approximatley when you ovulate if you have regular cycles. If not, I'd highly recommend the irriatation of charting. Having said that, everything about inferitlity is about disipline. From charting to douching to meds etc etc.
I've become really good at it in the last 3 months so let me know if you need some tips!


eggorchicken said...

Just for what it's worth - while I definitely concur that Taking Charge of your Fertility is definitely a worthwhile read I would take it with a pinch of salt. I am a very slap-dash type at the best of times, plus when I was trying for Jamie I had an 18-month-old-non-sleeper on my hands so

a. I used a digital thermometer
b. Half the time I either only temped after I had gotten up to wee, or generally after I'd gotten my daughter up and installed her in front of the telly.
c. MOSt of the time I hadn't had the requisite 3 consecutive hours of sleep because seriously. My daughter. Did not. Sleep! I was often up just about all night with her.

And despite all that - it still worked. Maybe my temps weren't entirely accurate to the nth degree - but the shifts were clear enough for me to EASILY see what was potting.

I know most of the info out there is very clear on you HAVING to take your temp FIRST THING etc etc. But I seriously find it hard to believe that slowly shuffling to the toilet would have SUCH a drastic effect on my temps.

I tracked my cycles for 2 months, and then we only started trying on the third - and I fell pregnant immediately. I found the book fascinating, warts and all, so I did everything - the temping, the CM checks, the OPK's etc etc.

I would say ditch the BBT, use a normal digital - keep it next to your bed with a piece of paper and a pencil (or a photocopy of your chart if you can) and try to be as accurate as you can. But don't sweat it if you have to take your temp while you're pee'ing. Seriously.

Good luck ;)

Monica LeMoine said...

Thanks for the tips, Shaz and Eggorchicken!

Viktoria said...

I agree with eggorchicken. There's no reason you can't pee with a thermometer sticking out of your mouth. I just use a regular digital one too.

Rebecca said...

I loved charting, but I am an obsessive compulsive freak! I set my alarm at the same time every day before I needed to wake up, stuck the digital BBT thermometer (it has to be more sensitive than a regular thermometer), and then fell asleep with it my mouth. When it beeped, I took it out and put it back on the nightstand (the one I have keeps the temp stored until you take it again), and re-set my alarm for when I actually needed to wake up. But I'm a champion sleeper (seriously, its my best skill), so it never disturbed me.

I paid $40 for an electronic version of the fertility chart (software available on TCOYF website), and was totally obsessed with watching what was happening in my body, and programming it to track other things that interested me (like vivid dreaming, travel, sex, yoga). After doing that for a while, I now know the signs of when I'm ovulating, which were a mystery to me before and amaze me now.

Sadly, like sharonvw said, it doesn't actually help you get pregnant if your tubes are blocked, though...

Monica LeMoine said...

Wow Rebecca - falling asleep with it in your mouth! That's impressive. I think I'd be afraid of chomping down on it in my sleep.

Rebecca said...

its digital so it doesn't have mercury - there's no way you could chomp it!

Monica LeMoine said...

Seriously Rebecca, I think I might chomp it. Or worse, swallow it and get it lodged vertically in my esophogus (sp?), or it could impale my heart going down there. Agggghhhh!

Laura said...

I recently started temping...I have no idea why. I guess I felt like I had to something, while we were doing nothing. Anyway, I too bought a thermometer from Target, and I had the same problem. Bad batch maybe? Anyway, I don't really have a point, but wanted to wish you good luck. Oh, and I rarely get the right amount of sleep and I work night shifts, so we'll see how things work out with this. Good luck!

Monica LeMoine said...

Laura, good - I mean, not good that you had trouble with Target's BBT, but good that I'm not a total retard for not figuring it out.

Belle said...

Taking your temp doesn't tell you when to have sex because by the time the temp shift happens, the fertawindow has closed. I only did the complete temp charting thing for a while to confirm that I had normal(ish) cycles. Now I only take my temp for a few days after the point that I think I've ovulated to confirm that it's happened.

I'm lucky in that I have very clear cervical fluid signs and that lovely thing we call "mittleschmertz" (sharp ovary pain around the time my ovary is spitting out an egg), so I use these signs for my fertawindow barometer. Hope that helps!

Karen said...

I chart and also find it a challenge to remember the temp. But the CCL method is sympto-thermal so it's the position of your cervix and fluid signs as well as temp to indicate fertility. I know women whose husbands set the alarm and get them up to take temp - NOT mine in this lifetime - LOL - he'd never wake up early or remind me if he could be sleeping. But maybe your husband would????