Before I started on my journey trying to conceive, or TTC, I didn't know I'd have to practically learn a new language. OPKs, IUIs, CD1-28 (or more), AF, BBT, AO, BCP, BFP*... it's quite a learning experience, but one I hoped never to have to go through.
Comic found here.
My aunt told me that with her second pregnancy she used an OPK, or ovulation predictor kit, so that she’d know exactly when to do the baby dance (another fertility nickname for… you know). When we got back from Australia, I decided to try this method so that we could time the baby dance just right and give us a better chance of conceiving before summer was over. I bought the cheapest one in the store and went to work, peeing on the sticks everyday for a week, but I never got a positive. I thought maybe it was because the cheap tests are hard to decipher – you have to determine if the color of the first line is darker than the second and it is a very slight difference that can be dependent on the time of day you take the test, among other factors. I decided to splurge on the pricey digital test for my next cycle, but again, no positive. Then, I started to panic. My cycle was still regular, but I couldn’t figure out why those darn tests said I wasn’t ovulating, so to the doctor I went.
Image from here.
This was the first time someone told me to just relax and it would happen. No, it wasn’t a well-meaning friend or relative, it was my doctor. Now, I like my doctor. He’s really funny and smart and he makes me feel at ease, but the worst thing anyone can possibly say to someone who is TTC is, “Just relax and you’ll get pregnant!” That comment makes us feel horrible about ourselves and while I’d love to just press my relax button and magically become a baby-making machine, it isn’t that easy.
I got a blood test to make sure I had ovulated and I had, but my hormone levels in the luteal phase (between ovulation and the start of the next cycle) were lower than normal. My doctor said that this would make it more difficult for me to get pregnant and, even if I did, it might not “stick”. While this was a little hard to hear, he assured me that there were plenty of things we could do once I got pregnant to help my hormone levels (shots, yay), so I was optimistic for the next cycle.
I guess the universe thought I needed a distraction because one of my husband’s friends decided to give us a labradoodle puppy that month, who we named Jackson.
Even though I didn’t really want another puppy after we lost Teddy, Jackson has been the best addition to our family. He is so gentle and smart, while still keeping us on our toes with his boundless energy. We just adore him.
Next Wednesday, I’ll share the experience that led me to finally make an appointment with a therapist. Yes, Amy gets a little bit crazy…
*Want to learn more fertility acronyms? Check out fertilityplus.org for a long list!