Today is Day 21 of my cycle. As my cycles are usually 26-28 days, this means I probably have less than a week before I start my period. A month ago now, I was sure I was not pregnant, and thus the wait was not hard. I was just excited to get to the next cycle so we could try again. Now, though, I'm back to my regular dreading and worrying.
Back when we were trying not to conceive, NFP did not take much effort. I have regular cycles, so all I had to do was count days and take my temperature around the time of ovulation, and we managed to avoid conception every time. (I was a very lazy NFP user, and I prided myself on our ability to avoid pregnancy without having to follow all the strict NFP rules. In retrospect, I laugh at the irony of it, because it seems like we wasted all that abstinence – we probably never would have gotten pregnant anyway!)
When we decided we were ready for a child, we stopped using NFP completely. Even the small amounts of charting I had done were too much effort for someone as effort-averse as I am, so we decided to go all natural. Because I knew that cervical mucus is supposed to peak at ovulation, we have been trying, for the past year, to cover the days in each cycle when it was peaking. Needless to say, no conception.
Well. Last cycle I charted, for the first time in over a year. My cvm peaked, and my temperature did not go up. And did not go up. And did not go up. Finally, an endless five days later, it did. By this time conditions for conception were not ideal.
Since I’m only 22, I had never worried that infertility would be a problem for me. Over the past year I’ve just been shrugging and saying, “Oh well, we’ll try again next month.” So even though I have a basic knowledge of the way human reproduction works, I haven’t collected much information beyond that. When I discovered that I was ovulating five days after ideal cvm conditions, I did what any self-respecting child of a mother-of-six-whose-dream-is-to-be-a-midwife would do: I asked my mom.
I told my mom when Michael and I started trying to conceive, and even though we haven’t talked about it a lot since then, I know she’s been praying for us, and I know she’s aware that there’s no baby yet. She never had problems with infertility herself: I was born a year after my parents got married, and my youngest brother was born, with no complications, just before Mom’s 42nd birthday. Her dream is to be a midwife, though, so she is a fairly endless fount of knowledge on all things pregnancy and birth-related. She’s probably read every book the local library has on the subject, and I know that if (when) I ever get pregnant, she’ll be able to grab a stack of books off her own shelves for me to read.
Despite her cheerful, encouraging attitude regarding our failure to conceive, I know she must have been a little worried, because when I told her what I’d discovered about the discrepancy between my cvm peak and my ovulation, her face lit up. I asked, tentatively, “Do you think this could be causing the problem?” and she answered me with a resounding, “Yes, definitely!” She suggested that, before going on to more complicated treatments, I try just taking guaifenesin because it “makes things runnier.” So I did, this cycle, and I took my temperature to make sure we covered the right days (I’m pretty sure that in the past year we’ve missed ovulation as least as often as we’ve covered it).
So I’m really hoping to be pregnant, but I don’t want to hope too much. It seems like it hurts more if I let myself start dreaming. I’ll just wait the week out and see what happens.