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this is my first time trying for a baby and i want to do everything i can to make it happen. i may already have a seed in the garden but it's to early to test i would be no more then 3 weeks along. if i'm not this time around i want to go into this next month with guns loaded. i've read alot about charting. if there is something you did that seemed to really help you please share.
First off, I highly recommend using FertilityFriend. It's a really user-friendly way to track everything you can imagine related to fertility. They have a number of tutorials on charting available on their website, but it's also fairly self-explanatory. (Click on my ticker below to see my chart and start your own.)
I started charting last cycle, and it has been immensely helpful. In fact, I realized through charting that I have a short LP, something I wouldn't have known otherwise. I was able to start taking some corrective action, and I'm hoping I'm moving in the right direction now.
What's nice about charting, instead of just using OPKs to predict ovulation is that you can line up all the "symptoms" of ovulation and start seeing trends. It will make it so much easier as you move through from cycle to cycle (hopefully it won't take you long, though).
I'm happy to answer any specific questions you have once you start charting. Perhaps my biggest piece of advice is to try not to let it stress you out too much. Obsessing over your chart can be a bad thing, and stress can definitely mess with your cycle. As long as you keep that in mind, I think you will really love charting.
You may want to consider using OPKs along with charting. I say this because charting your temps, for the first few cycles, will only confirm that you have ovulated. OPKs will give you a heads up that it's coming so that you can maximize your intercourse timing.
Depending on how "into" charting you want to get, you can also monitor your CM (cervical mucus). The transitions will also alert you to your "fertile phase".
If you're a book reader, I highly recommend Taking Charge of Your Fertility. It's a FABULOUS book that goes into real detail about our cycles, how to chart, various examples of the different types of temperature patterns there are, which ones indicate problems, etc. That book is my TTC bible! I can't tell you how many times I've reached for it to answer a question or clarify something.
If you do decide to go the OPK route, you can check out Early Pregnancy Tests and Ovulation Predictor Kits for Home Use They sell great bundles of OPK's & HPT's for fairly cheap. They carry both the little cheap strip tests and the ones in the plastic cassette... depending on how much you wanna spend. I've used the cheapies, and they've always worked just fine for me.
But yeah... if you click on any of our tickers, you can see what the various charts look like, etc. If AF does show up this cycle, get yourself a BBT (basal body thermometer), set up a Fertility Friend account, free version is fine, and start temping from the beginning of the cycle.
Be sure to take your temp at the EXACT SAME TIME EVERYDAY! Do not do anything before temping, no getting up pee, no talking... just open your eyes and temp! There will certainly be times when you can't temp at the same time, but that can be dealt with easily enough.
Hey ladies...since we are discussing charting....how many of you have purchased the VIP of FF? My free trial is over in 10 days and if this is not my cycle, I was considering upgrading but not sure. If you have upgraded, do you think it's worth it?
Personally, I'm only tracking temp and CM. If no BFP this cycle I'm going to start OPK's next cycle...but I really hope that is not the case
Expecting our first little one on June 12, 2012.
There was a string on the "Fertility Charting" board a while back about the VIP version, and several women said they didn't think it was worthwhile. So I decided not to purchase it. Maybe someone else in TTC #1 will have additional thoughts on it, though.
I really like having the VIP but it's definitely not necessary. If you follow the Fertility Friend Facebook page you can get in on special low prices that happen now and then. It seems like every other month or so they have been offering the 1 year of VIP for $25 and that's quite a bit better than the normal $45 for a year.
I have the VIP version and, personally, I like it. I usually get the 6 month deal for $25 bucks. I've let it expire for a few days before, but always wind up renewing. The free version always feels like it's "missing something"... that could just be because I've been looking at the VIP for so long now, ya know?
I use the free version. The only thing I really need to know is what my temps/CM is like and how it fares with possible Oing. I'm so afraid that I would sign up for the VIP and then get pregnant shortly thereafter (because that would be SO horrible, lol!)
Also, it's kind of good that I haven't gotten the VIP version because I haven't even O'd since starting charting, so it would have been a waste right there.
Although, sometimes they randomly give you free VIP days, which is pretty cool!
I hope charting works well for you, and make sure you add your chart to the Chart Stalking room so we can stalk you properly!