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Hmmmm, the first time around - we never really did understand it properly. We had really poor instruction and no follow up. The second time, when we learned it all properly - I would say it took about 6 months to before I started feeling really confident. At the first follow up, I had to make a lot of corrections to my charting and we'd been applying the rules wrong. After that there were fewer and fewer corrections each time we met with the teacher, so I knew I was getting the hang of it. I was post partum then, so I kept testing like crazy to make sure it was working! LOL
About 2 cycles. The first cycle, wowzers... it was so crazy. I was using an ear thermometer , AND I was temping after I had already gotten up, gone to the bathroom, and come out into the living room. So my temps were ALL over the place, haha. Add to that... I couldn't even find my cervix, let alone check CM or CP.
I've come to look at that first chart as my "practice" chart and don't even count it in my "TTC charts".
The second chart, I figured out I was using the wrong type of thermometer and figured out when was the right time I needed to temp. My temps were SO much clearer that cycle. At the end of my period, I could FINALLY find my cervix (it was nice and low since I was still on my period), and then I knew what I was looking for! I was finally able to start checking CM and CP. It took about a cycle and a half to be able to tell the differences between the different qualities of CM and to tell the CP's apart. But after that cycle and a half I got it.
The next chart after that, I was sick... so I had to rely on CM and CP (and OPK tests), instead of temps, and I believe I was able to accurately figure out when I ovulated. It was at that point (being sick and still being able to determine when I ovulated, or at least when I was most fertile) that I really felt like I knew what I was doing.
We took the CCL classes about 6 months or so before we got married, and I was really confused for about 4 or 5 months. That was before they changed the curriculum, and there were so many different rules to keep track of. Right before we got married I got a copy of the new edition of the CCL student book, and things finally clicked! The rules were condensed, which was a huge help, and there were COLOR pictures of CM in the book! Really gross to look at, but that's what I was struggling with the most so it was really helpful. After a few months using that book I finally started feeling confident with NFP.
Jessica ~ Mommy to Genevieve ~ Expecting #2 October 5th!
I understood the concept and theory of FAM just from reading the book but it was probably four or five cycles before I felt confident that I was applying the rules correctly and new what each of my symptoms meant for me.