Trying to make people: The OVACUE how-to!

Trying to make people: The OVACUE how-to!

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Almost two years ago we started on the journey towards having another child, and like most people, we thought it would be a snap. All we would need to do was to actively stop trying to not have a baby and we would be set. Wham, bam, thank you ma’am, here you go. But yet, two years later we are still baby free.

It seems, despite what every Trojan commercial and MTV says, it it quite difficult to get pregnant…well for me and my 37 year old ovaries it is. Seriously, I got nothing. My uterus is like a seashell but instead of hearing the ocean you put your ear up to my belly and hear crickets. But apparently there is a science to all this and it’s all about timing. Before I had no idea when I was supposed to ovulate, just that I did. Now, like every other woman in my situation, I could teach a class on the female reproductive system and cycle. Let me put it to you this way, if there were a Jeopardy catagory about cervical mucus, I would own that shit.

As you know (or if you haven’t been keeping up- are about to find out) we had a miscarriage back in August of 2012. After that terrible ordeal we enlisted the help of some awesome OB-GYNs to see if there was an issue and to pretty much do everything short of enlisting the aid of a proper fertility doctor (though not completely off the table yet). This past fall I had to stop. No more blood draws, no more clomid, no more almost weekly doctors appointments. It was time to try a more natural approach by way of learning my cycle and charting my days…and then I was introduced to OvaCue.

My OvaCue Betterhalfblogs

 This, my friends, is my OvaCue Fertility Monitor (snazzy pink polka-dotted carrying case not included). This little thing will change how you go through the process of trying to conceive. In short, OvaCue, through daily monitoring of the electrolyte levels in your saliva, will tell you the exact date of expected ovulation with a 98.3%  accuracy. AND if you are using the vaginal wand in addition to the oral monitor  you will get confirmation that you did ovulate. This is my favorite part, for some reason, it’s the same satisfaction that checking an item off your to-do list has…if you’re a wierdo awesome Type A like me.

So what does my typical day with OvaCue look like? Easy peasy. The only thing that ever is an issue is that I am in no way, not even a little bit, a morning person and you have to do the oral test before you brush your teeth or take your first sip of coffee. I have been known to forget to do it every now and then although I find that setting it next to my toothbrush helps to make sure I see it in the morning. And on setup day…well the brain isn’t always there. Setup day is what I call the day that I start using my monitor for the month, ideally this would be day 2 of your cycle but Ovacue says just by day 4 at the latest.

OvaCueSettings BetterHalfBlogs

This is my monitor when I set it up for the month just the other day. As you can see I am on a 30 day cycle and I started monitoring on day 3.

Ovacue Testing BetterHalfBlogs

And this sexy beast is me (sorry to disappoint all the eligible bachelors out there reading my parenting blog, but I’m taken). All you do to test it hit the “O” for oral (duh) and follow directions. It sits in your mouth for all of about 3-5 seconds and you’re done.

OvaCue Today BetterHalfBlogs

So here is my read out for day 3 of my cycle on February 10th…not fertile. And off I am to go about the rest of my day. It doesn’t get any easier than that. I do this every morning until I get ovulation confirmation. If you plan on doing vaginal monitoring (which I HIGHLY recommend) you start that on day 8 of your cycle. I do this when I go into my room, after coffee, while I’m changing into my clothes for the day or jumping in the shower. Just like the oral testing, you hit “V” for vaginal, follow directions and insert the wand for all of about 3-5 seconds and you’re done. Please forgive me if I don’t post photos of that…it’s not that kind of blog but you can see a photo of my wand in the first photo in this post.

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To give you an idea what an entire month looks like here is October in my monitor. It’s a little tough to see the difference in color but there is a slight difference between September 30th and October 1st, this tells me my chances of getting pregnant if I have intercourse on that day is slightly higher. Then come October 5th, you can clearly see it’s a darker blue which means it’s go time baby. The darkest blue on October 8th is my highest day and then October 9th turns pink which tells me that I did ovulate. After my pink day I stop testing till the next cycle.

There you have it! Like I said, easy peasy.

And if I can take a moment to talk to all the ladies out there who are where I am right now, and if you’re finally at the bottom of this long ass post I’m assuming you are. This isn’t the miracle that’s going to guarantee you a baby, it’s not how it works. What it is is another option in a world where there seems to not be enough options. I did the pee sticks, and while it was nice to get my ovulation narrowed down to a week, this blows that out of the water. Who wants to pee on a stick everyday? And I’m sorry, but lets be honest here, I am a busy, often exhausted woman so telling me around when I should be “doing it” with my husband is not good enough. I want to know exactly when I should be having sex, the. exact. day. I don’t have time or energy for anything else.

If you are interested in getting more information please check out OvaCue’s website for any information you may need and to see the range of other things that come in handy when you’re #TTC including basal thermometers and pee sticks along with a wide array of vitamin supplements and prenatals for both men and women to help with your getting knocked-up needs. (I was sent the prenatals and vitamins but I am super sensitive to any sort of medication so I can’t talk about those with any sort of intelligence. Sorry.) AND!! If you enter the coupon code BETTERHALFMOMMY you will get 10% off your order!

Disclosure and message: I was sent the monitor and supplements for the purpose of doing this review back in the fall. (Yes, I realize it’s now February and I’m barely getting to the actual review but I am nothing if not prompt.)  In the past 3 years I have worked with plenty of companies both in and out of the blogging world and I have to say that Fairhaven Health is, and has been, the best company I have ever been connected to. This type of thing is not like a vacuum or baby walker that you can say “this works” or “this doesn’t”, there are emotions and heart attached to the overall purpose of this product. So, I would like to say a huge THANK YOU to Fairhaven Health, especially Sarah (my contact person) for being so understanding, supportive and patient. In a world full of corporations where the customer is just a number or a nuisance, who doesn’t want to support a company with excellent customer service and care?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trying to make people: Part Ugh

(Ed. note: I’m venting here. Just roll with it.)

I started writing this post about two months ago. It was dark and ugly and, well, I should have just posted it because sometimes that’s the truth behind the feelings you get when you try (and fail) at getting pregnant. Part of me really did want to hit publish but after rereading it all seemed so jumbled, like the ramblings of the lady that hangs outside 7-11 or a toddler after a donut.

I guess I needed more time to get my head together.

Around that time I had six friends- SIX!- give birth over a 2 week period. No lie. SIX! How does that even happen? Then 2 weeks after that 3 more announced they were pregnant on facebook. That night I told the handsome other half that these 3 friends of mine were expecting and his response was “I’m sorry honey” and suddenly I was that girl. 

I decided I needed a time out. A cease fire on my emotional well being. I took the month off. Like I took off everything having to do with babies (for the most part considering I still kept Audrey alive and never used the old headache trick). I packed away my OvaCue Fertility Monitor, no testing, no temps, no cervical mucus monitoring (eww), no calendars, no little hearts drawn around the expected date of ovulation on said calendar, no subsequent waiting and thinking every ache could be implantation pain… None. Of. It.

I feel like I’ve been pretty careful not to come off as a giant ungrateful “B”, and unless you follow me on Facebook, you would hardly even know all this is going on, but in my head, ugh, it’s not pretty sometimes and I am definitely not proud. It’s really hard sometimes to not feel alone, regardless of super supportive family members and a husband willing to do whatever you need him to. It’s hard not to feel like you’re the only barren womb on the block with all the bellies and babies everywhere you go. What I wouldn’t give to be exhausted with vomit on my shirt.

Recently I came across a post by Amy from Carriage Before Marriage on Huffington Post where she so accurately describes the everyday aches and pains of Secondary Infertility. The wanting to give your child the best gift in the world; a sibling- and failing. The baby shit all over your house that is crowding up your precious storage space and yet you refuse to give it up. (Seriously, don’t touch my crib.) And the guilt over being so sad regardless of the precious little person you already have. It was the most spot on piece I have ever read regarding this crapity situation and I highly recommend you reading it because I don’t do it justice and it’s better written than the nonsense you’re reading now.

I know this feeling is just a phase because this is not like me. I am the one that annoys the crap out of my husband because of my ‘it could be worse!’ attitude, just ask him. I know it’s just the holidays and the fact that I’ve researched a million adorable ways to announce you’re expecting at Christmas (Christmas card! How freaking cute is that?). And I know that God has a plan for me and my family. Everything in His time and all that.

My head knows all of this, just please explain it to my heart.

(PS, I am back on the fertility monitoring phase so stay tuned for the next edition of Trying To Make People where I show step-by-step how to use this handy little device.

 

Trying to make people with OvaCue: Part 1

My title says “part one” but if you’ve been following the story, there have been many parts before this. This is just where I start the first part of this part of the journey and, in turn, share it with you.

I have started many a blog post by saying “parenting is hard” but now I’m going to change my tune and say “making people to parent is hard”, because it is, despite what that chick with 19 kids has to say. Even before Audrey had turned 2 we started the conversation about having another child but I had worried about having them too close in age as I value my sanity and sleep, so we waited. Two days after Audrey turned two, in March 2012, I was at my OB/GYN “pulling the goalie” and away we went.

It didn’t take long to see the fruits of our labor as we found ourselves staring at 2 blue lines in June that same year. But our joy was to be cut short by a miscarriage and D&C that August. Since then I have gone month after month staring at negative pregnancy tests. Then at the beginning of this year I finally consulted my doctor about going on Clomid, a popularly prescribed fertility drug. My doctor agreed that this would be a good route for us to try, however, due to my age (36! Where’s my mobility scooter?!), they would only be giving me 2 months. Those months came and went and I fought for more, which was granted. (I can be pretty convincing, just ask DirecTV.) More months came and went, with the same sad result.

In the mean time, I did everything I was supposed to do; I drank lots of water, took my vitamins, carefully charted my cycle with pinpoint accuracy, allowed the doctor to essentially drain me dry of blood every month for testing purposes and forced my husband to adhere to a very strict, ahem, “private time” schedule. (If the words “timed intercourse” doesn’t get you all hot and bothered, then I’m sorry but nothing will.) Then there was the time I had to take Audrey with me to have an INTERNAL sonogram. I don’t recommend that.

Now here we are, a year and a half later, with nothing to show for it except for about 7 extra pounds (thanks Clomid) and more knowledge about cervical mucus than should be allowed. But I’m not done, and I’m not giving up either. We decided a long time ago that if it comes to the IUI or IVF, we would just hang up the towel. I don’t think I’m ready to put my family through that, emotionally or financially, or my body as I was already a commercial-crying basket case from the crap I was on.

So now on to this part. I have opted to forego anymore fertility drugs, or the start of any treatments, and try a more natural approach. I have teamed up with OvaCue, a company that makes a wonderful top-of-the-line electronic fertility monitor, in hopes of conceiving the more natural way. Along the journey I will blog about how it’s going and what I generally think about the process. (If you have specific questions, please message me and I will be sure to address them in my follow-ups.)

I get it, I’m not the spring chicken I once was but Hello! Halle Berry! I can’t be the only one over 35 who is wanting to have another child without putting their family in debt. So here’s to us; the crusty, the dusty, and the not-yet-ready-to-be-put-out-to-pasture. Let’s do this!

Cheers.