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Hi everyone! My name is Lindsay and I have been on JM for 4.5 years. I just found your board as it is so important to me right now. My husband and I have 2 kids, our daughter Sydney who is 4 and our son Lucas who will be 2 in a few weeks.
I have always been aware of OPK's and of this so-called "charting". A friend of mine-who I met on JM-just sent me TCOYF and I am reading it with great interest. We are TTC #3 and it has been 6 months, but 3 of really really trying-as my husband would put it. I am getting frustrated, which I know to many of you is nothing. I conceived my daughter within 2 weeks of coming off the pill, and my son 3 months. Now, our life is pretty full. Our daughter is completely handicapped and has had a difficult year. We almost lost her about 2-3 times in 09 and the stress has been immense. The last scary time was in November. So, we are only 2 months post hospital for her. The longest stretch she has stayed out of the hospital all year. I assume that some of our challenges NOT to conceive are due to this, but I am starting to get worried.
After reading and reading, I am worried I may have a short LP. Then, my mind goes all over and I worry that something else could be wrong. When I was on the mini pill while nursing my son, I was getting my cycle every 2 weeks. It was dreadful. I had been on it while nursing my daughter and had no problems. So, my dr did a whole battery of tests, ultrasound, biopsy, labs. Everything was fine. Once he was done nursing, I switched back to the regular pill and things got so much better.
So, my question (among many future questions to come, I am sure) is how likely is it that there is something wrong with me or my hubby as we conceived 2 children with little difficulty? Should I pursue my OB about getting my progest levels checked?
I am so into this FAM that if and when we conceive and I am nursing, and my OB won't put nursing moms on any other BC, I really think I will be going with NFP. Plus, I think those hormones and stuff in the pills, messed me up-even though they didn't when I was younger, but for some reason did this past time.
Thank you for reading all of this. Sorry it is so long, I just felt my history was probably necessary for you to genuinely answer my question.
I will also say, I find myself awfully confused about so many things in this book, so I hope it is okay if I ask a million questions. Thanks!
I'm so sorry to hear of your daughter's challenges. I cannot imagine the worry and heartbreak, I'll be sure to send up prayers for her and your family that she continues to do well.
I'm new to this board but have been using TCOYF for almost five years, both to achieve and avoid pregnancy. My first question for you would be, have you started charting yet? If not, I would definitely recommending that as a starting point. Reading the book is great (love the way Toni lays it all out) but until you chart and learn what your cycle is like and what is normal for you, it will only be speculation as to whether or not your LP is long enough to sustain pregnancy.
As we age, some women may experience more difficulty conceiving than when they were younger, so there *may* be a possibility that you now face a fertility issue. Charting a few cycles would be a less invasive and less expensive way of discovering this than having your OB run more tests.
I think you might have been experiencing break through bleeding while on the mini-pill instead of a cycle every two weeks. This is a very common side effect and I've been there myself - it's no fun! As for postpartum birth control, NFP/FAM can sometimes be hard to use effectively due to the demands baby makes on your sleep schedule. For the first six months you may be able to use LAM which has three simple (but strict!) rules: 1. Baby is less than six months old, 2. Baby is exclusively fed at the breast (no bottles, no pumping, no formula), 3. You haven't had any bleeding or spotting past two months postpartum.
As for any other charting questions you may have, there are several ladies on here who have tons of knowledge and are always very generous with sharing it.
There are just a few things that I think it might be helpful for you to know. First of all is that it's normal for couples with healthy fertility to take 6-12 months to conceive. Secondly, fertility is affected by stress. You've been dealing with a lot lately, it's very likely that is affecting things too. Synthetic hormones also impact fertility and it can take an average of 3-18 months for the reproductive system to fully heal from the effects.
I don't think you need to be worried yet. Charting is a great start because it will allow you to assess your reproductive health and see what's going on. Being post-Pill and dealing with all the recent stress could both be affecting things, your body may just need a little more time to sort itself out from all of that.
Post partum charting can be a bit more challenging than when cycling regularly, but the effectiveness of the NFP rules (99%) is not diminished during this time. An NFP instructor can walk you through how that all works when the time comes. TCOYF doesn't go into great detail about post partum or peri-menopausal charting, but that's probably a good thing because those unique times are easier to navigate with personalized support.
Ditto to what the other girls have said. I also use FAM and have used it to TTC and right now TTA until we decide to go for #3.
I'm finding my post partum cycles to be a bit challenging. My LP is on the low side right now, and I'm hoping that eventually they will increase a bit.
I would totally recommend starting to chart your cycles right now. Even if you are nursing. It will get you into practice for when your cycles really do begin.
If you are using FAM, buy a digital BBT (basal body thermometer) with a memory. That way, if you happen to fall back asleep or forget to look at it, you can go back later and record. Most thermometers are memory based now.
Your cycles are really going to be all over the place at first. So, don't think that there is a problem right off the back. Once you get used to charting and get used to reading your body which can take up to 6 cycles after your first PPAF), you'll find that things will start falling into place.
Looking forward to getting to know you and walking this journey with you.
Well, first, a huge thank you to you ladies for your invaluable input. I really do appreciate it so much . I have felt kind of alone in all of this and finally feel like perhaps I have found you all who can help me with this journey, so thank you!
As far as charting goes, I have started charting on FF. IS that what you all recommend using or do you all use the charts on paper in TCOYF? I know the copy of the book I have has a CD which I believe has charting on it, but I do not know that as it is still in the sleeve
I was thinking of temping, but I shouldn't start that until next cycle, right? Or can you start now? From what I have read and lurking on the TTC boards you should start anew with each cycle and not mid cycle.
I should add that I have started taking B6. I know I have read a lot about that, what do you all know about using it?
THank you so much for all your information and support.
When you're just learning and because you're TTC, FF is fine. It's not reccomended for avoiding because it doesn't get into enough detail for that. But for TTC you just need the basics, so it's just fine for that. The charting software that comes with TCOYF is even better - fewer false interpretations and the charting is consistent with what you'll be learning in the book. Some of FF's features will not be consistent with what you're learning.
I totally agree with Shawna, FF is great for TTC but you really need the TCOYF software for TTA. They have an online beta version now that you may be interested in: Beta Test the New Web-based TCOYF - TCOYF
I think starting to chart now would be a good idea, actually, just to get into the habit and have some practice. I wouldn't use this cycle as birth control, just strictly practicing your daily charting habits.
Kate is right. It's a great point that right now to get used to doing what you are going to be doing. You can start to chart at any point in your cycle especially if you are TTA right now.
TCOYF book is an awesome resource for the FAM method so I personally would start your charting using the software. Just add your temps for now until you get a little better interpreting your CM and VS (vaginal sensation). CP or cervical positioning is optional and not necessary.
I believe you have a 2-week trial date for the software before having to pay for it. So try it out for two weeks and see if you like it. I find it VERY easy to use. The web-version is good, but I wouldn't trust their website. They've had a lot of issues as of late, where they've been done for several weeks for upgrading, hackers etc. Not to say that it's always going to be that way, but to solely have a web-version and nothing else, can be a bit hairy. At least with a PC version you have access to it all the time.
I'm not very FF-friendly. I find it very hard to interpret half the time and it's always different from my TCOYF software. Like several days off. But that's just my experience. There are several girls on here that use it and have done fine with it.