Monday, January 25, 2010

Weird statistics

So in fixin' up my FF account (I realized my stats were all kinds of thrown off by things like ectopic and chemical pregnancies and such. So I went through labeling and excluding cycles and noticed the following:

In May, should it take so long, we will have been trying to conceive for 2 calendar years. Obviously, I've been pregnant for big chunks of that time, so it's not necessarily an accurate representation, but it's so strange to think back to my mindset at that time and how eagerly I approached trying to conceive, certain that by now I'd have a baby in my arms and confident in my superior charting knowledge to get me pregnant as quickly as possible. Blissful arrogance and naivete, back when a pregnancy test still meant a baby would make an appearance about 39 weeks later.

This is the 10th cycle trying to conceive. If you count the anovulatory cycle, and if you count the cycle post-ectopic where we weren't really trying but had sex once during the fertile window (in this instance, I am including November's cycle where we weren't directly trying but did have sex with inadvertently excellent timing).

Anyway, there is a point here. Nine completed cycles, 4 separate pregnancies. Eight cycles if you throw out either of the cycles mentioned above (one for lack of effort/timing and the other for no lack of effort but no possibility of pregnancy), four pregnancies. We're averaging 50/50 here, or just over or under. That is just insane.

We really are pretty good at getting sperm and egg to meet up. In fact, depending on how you look at it, we are 2 of 3 with perfectly timed marathon sex, possibly even 3 of 4 if you consider the last cycle excellent timing (it's debatable depending on when I actually ovulate, which we will never know for certain). The secret to getting pregnant for us appears to be having sex to the point of exhaustion.

I suppose that should cheer me up some, as it indicates that if we keep making love/fucking/tappin' that ass/doing the deed/having sex/engaging in marital discourse/participating in acts of intimacy/insert your own phrase here as you choose. . . we should get pregnant again. What happens after, well, we've traveled that road once or twice recently.

Also? Despite all my efforts to move ovulation up? The average day of ovulation minus the pregnancy cycles is 22. With the pregnancy cycles it is 25. The cycles themselves? Ovulation occurred on cd 25 (post-anovulatory cycle, so if you prefer, it's in the 50's), cd 35 (post-miscarriage, 10 'extra' days of bleeding tacked on), cd 26 and cd23(we think). So . . . maybe it's not really worth worrying over, especially seeing as how it does not appear vitex is making any difference for me at all.

Other tidbit of interest? Ovulation pains noticeably begin between cd 8 and 10 - and in all but one cycle were on the dominant ovary side (which is left more often than right. Three pregnancies from the left side, one from the right - that was Gabriel). Average time between first ovary-related pain and ovulation? 2 weeks.

Nausea seems to come early and frequently during the lp of pregnancy cycles but has made an appearance outside those (with less intensity and frequency). Frequent urination is about 50/50, showing up early in two of four pregnancy cycles. Tender breasts in non-pregnancy cycles seem to stop about 9 dpo, while skin seems to clear up around 12 dpo in pregnancy cycles, but only after my period shows up in non-pregnancy cycles.

I don't know how I feel about these breakdowns. Sort of depressed more than anything, I guess. I'm trying to be optimistic and simply present and not let things get too far ahead of me (you know, cart then horse).

So I'll go home tonight, take an opk, which will be negative no doubt, but hey, good to get started, right? I'll take my evening dose of folic acid and vitex. We'll do a load of laundry and work on folding some of the clean laundry. Maybe I'll talk DH into having sex, mostly for the fun of it (it's been awhile). And then I'll go to bed and wake up again tomorrow and take that as it comes.


Anonymous said...

i know that all women cycle different, but when do you start using your OPKs? i have a few ovulation pee sticks laying around and am on CD8, thinking about taking it, but not sure. what's your thoughts?

CottonSocks said...

It depends on when you think you normally ovulate and how many opk's you have.

Generally, there is a chart provided to give you some idea. I tend to start too early out of a hope that this cycle might be different and I might ovulate earlier.

There are a couple of ways to go about it - if you are familiar with identifying egg-white cervical fluid and have more than one day of it, then I'd start when you first notice ewcm. If that's not something you are especially familiar with, then take your average cycle length and subtract 16 days (the longest normal luteal phase length) and start at least two days before that. So if you have a 28 day cycle - you'd want to start no later than cd10. If your cycle is 40 days, then I'd start cd 22.

The idea is to give yourself some time before you think you would ovulate to pick it up.

FF would suggest that I start around cd 17, and I generally start closer to cd 10. Again, usually because I hope the vitex will help and move up ovulation. That is why I like the 20 pack opks, so I can start earlier and feel confident I won't miss it.

Anonymous said...

awesome, thanks so much for the info. a friend suggested vitex to me as well. i might look into it.

CottonSocks said...

That is a good link to an overview of Vitex. The normal dose (caplets) seems to be 500 - 1000 mg, though you can follow the directions of the manufacturer. I'm currently taking about 1600mg.

It's a long-term thing, most people don't see results for 3-6 months after starting it (some even sooner, but I'm not one of them). Depending on what you want to do, there are other things you can try as well. DongQuai, false unicorn root, licorice root, etc.