Triticum Turgidum

Lying Dormant and Waiting to Bloom Since 2005

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Location: The Prairie, Illinois, United States

I am a beauty-loving ambidextrous higher-order primate who learned transcendental meditation at 7, statistical analysis at 23, tap dancing at 30, and piano at 35. I tolerate gluten, lactose, and differences of opinion, but not abuse. Or beets.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Insane World of Pregnancy Web Boards

When DH and I started TTC we BD'd, like, 20 times in 10 days! Luckily I had been tracking my EWCM and BBT so I knew when O had occurred. My BBT went triphasic around 10DPO. I got so excited I ran out and bought an Equate and POAS at 12DPO, which was kind of early because my LP is 14 days, but alas, BFN. Two days later, AF came. Not PG this month. :-(

Didn't understand that? You would if you were a regular at a conception/pregnancy web board. Here's the translation:

When my dear husband and I started trying to conceive, we had sex (BD = baby dance, just the sort of vomitous cutesiness that makes me glad I grew up with brothers), like, 20 times in 10 days! Luckily I had been tracking my eggwhite cervical mucus (yum) and basal body temperature so I knew when ovulation had occurred. My basal body temperature went triphasic (during the menstrual cycle the temperature rises significantly the day after ovulation, then again the day after implantation, which occurs about 7-12 days after ovulation/fertilization -- so a 3rd phase is a sign of possible pregnancy) around 10 days past ovulation. I got so excited I ran out and bought an Equate (a particular brand of pregnancy test available only at Sprawl*Mart, preferred because it's cheaper and twice as sensitive as EPT and First Response tests) and peed on a stick at 12 days past ovulation, which was kind of early because my luteal phase (the number of days from ovulation to the start of menstruation, highly consistent within individual women) is 14 days, but alas, big fat negative. Two days later, my period (AF = Aunt Flo, a.k.a. Aunt Flow) came. Not pregnant this month. :-(

Now I know why trying to conceive is so stressful. Not only do you have to cope with a body that won't cooperate, you have to learn an entirely new language.

I began visiting a TTC/PG (hey, no complaining, I just told you the code) board in the spring when G and I decided we wanted to start trying to get pregnant. I thought I might pick up some tips, you know. Mastering the new language was difficult enough, but the hardest part was reading the signatures of the regular posters. Each poster can include graphics and information in her signature that gets inserted automatically at the bottom of her posts. On the trying-to-conceive boards in particular, these signatures read like lists of war wounds. One poster's signature might read:

TTC#1 since 2/01
Clomid 8/01-8/02
IVF 10/02 failed
IVF 5/03 failed
BFP 12/03, M/C 2/04, 11w4d
BFP 7/04, M/C 9/04, 8w6d
BFP 2/05, M/C 3/05, 5w5d

This record denotes someone who was on fertility drugs for a year, then switched to in-vitro fertilization (two failed attempts), then managed to get pregnant three times but miscarried all three times in the first trimester (11w4d = 11 weeks, 4 days).

The problem with visiting these sites is that about 20% of the information you get is really valuable, but about 80% scares the crap out of you. And these signatures are heartbreaking to read. Makes you really glad and not a little guilty when you discover that you, lucky you, don't have fertility problems. (Not yet anyway.)

In spite of the fact that people have been getting pregnant for millennia without websites, books, or other mass media -- though certain publications, namely the kind with a trifold in the middle, have long been helping males with their end of the process -- I am convinced that things would have been more difficult for G and me had we not obtained a copy of Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler.

This book is AWESOME. Don't believe me? Read the reviews. All women should receive a copy when they're about 13. I'm serious. Reading it will thoroughly blow your mind. You won't believe how much you did not know about female fertility. It's not just for people trying to conceive. It's also for people who wish to avoid conceiving without having to put their bodies under the influence of hormones 24/7. And for people who want to monitor the menopause process. And for people who simply want to understand more about their menstrual cycles, really handy things like, What day will I get my period? Above all, it's for people who want to demystify female fertility and transfer control of it from the medical establishment back to regular women, in whose hands it belongs.

Thanks to this book I knew the day I ovulated and conceived (May 24) and the day implantation took place (June 3). From charting I already knew the length of my luteal phase (13 days) so when my temperature went up a few days before I was expecting Aunt Flo, I knew I was pregnant. I actually got my positive test 2 days before the old hag was due. If you're reading this, Dad or Todd, sorry if TMI ("too much information").

Best of all, this book introduced us to Pre-Seed. As women age they produce less EWCM. A lack of EWCM interferes with conception because, ideally, the woman's CM should be just as runny as the man's semen so the sperm can continue swimming undeterred. Pre-Seed is great stuff. Gives you the EWCM of a 20-year-old!

(I can just picture my brother's look of horror: Gaaaaak! TMI! TMI! TMI! Sorry, Todd, I'll stop.)


Blogger mireille said...

this is fascinating. A whole world unto itself. K, I've never carried a baby to term, so I hope you don't mind me vicariously experiencing a bit with you. It's exciting and scary, I bet. Very exciting, very scary. xoxoxo

6:42 PM, July 28, 2005  
Blogger jane said...

OMG, K! I just pissed my pants laughing (comes with menopause)and I do agree with you. I'm not familiar with this particular book,but did use a similar one based on natural functions,as my cycles were never normal or predictable (until I read the book) I will, and always do, say that a little champagne and high elevation always helps with conception (at least with my 2 it did) LOLOLOLOLOL

6:43 PM, July 28, 2005  
Blogger mireille said...

and yes, yes! I was in RC!! left you a reply on mine, too!

8:35 PM, July 28, 2005  
Blogger katiedid said...

I am just so glad those days of worry about fertility (in my case, over-fertile.)

All those letters and numbers, it looks like some impenetrable algebraic code to me.

9:27 PM, July 28, 2005  
Anonymous SuburbanSue said...

Wow, do those acronyms take me back. I learned that "language" back in 2000 when I was a TTC-er. I posted on the TTC boards on and found the whole experience enthralling. Let's put it this way, there was no need for a perfume obsession when I could obsess over the whole process of trying to get pregnant. Every month was a new challenge, a new opportunity, more fodder for my control-freak tendencies. It was almost a letdown of sorts when I became pregnant, kind of like, "OK, now what?" No more charting, no more temping, no more checking CM, no more checking in with my CBs (cycle buddies). No more worrying about my progesterone levels in the luteal phase, or bugging my doctors to test my hormone levels. No more procreative sex with legs up in the air for a half hour afterwards. Nothing to do but sit and wait for nine months. And as a pregnant woman, I now had to follow the unwritten rules and depart the TTC board to begin posting on the "Due in (insert month)" boards.

I have to admit, corny as those boards and their private-club lingo sometimes seemed, they were a godsend in many ways. My "Due in August 2001" board friends and I stayed together after our babies were born, and now we post on a private board. We had a get-together two years ago and I've seen and spoken to several of them since, even though we are scattered across the globe. It's wonderful to have the support of others who are in the same boat; for me it was necessary, since none of my friends had children or could relate to my intense focus on pregnancy and motherhood.

BTW, I concur heartily with your recommendation of TCOYF (oh yes, every TTCer worth her salt knows that acronym!). I've managed to, at different points in my life, get knocked up and avoid pregnancy with the information contained therein. It's wonderful to be free of BCPs forever. And I never knew about Pre-Seed -- what a wonderful invention! I did attempt to boost my CM by guzzling Robitussin, and to enhance my ovulation by taking baby aspirin and vitamin B6. Ahh, those were the days!

12:35 AM, July 29, 2005  
Blogger cjblue said...

This is so funny. And our entire conversation in that NY restaurant keeps coming back to me too - I hope I wasn't *too* brutally honest with you about the "not every second is really worth it, but more are than aren't" stuff. Hope I didn't scare you.

I read that book too, in between my first and second children. Learned a lot more than I ever wanted to about mucus, that's for sure, but I agree that it was empowering and absolutely vital information. Good suggestion on having daughters read it, I'll try to remember that. It's the stuff they don't teach you in sex ed classes, and even your mama doesn't tell you - probably because she doesn't know either.

I keep meaning to call you - I will one of these days. I'm just so happy for you and I hope you're not feeling too sick.

Just remember, pregnancy is an unbelievably cool time, but it's also extremely trying and tiring and hard on your body. It's OK not to revel in it all the time.


8:00 AM, July 29, 2005  
Blogger cjblue said...

PS - Baby Dance, HAAAAhahahaaaaa! Far too cute for the likes of me. When we were trying, there were times neither of us felt particularly in the mood and I'd say to him "It doesn't have to be good, just give me your stuff."

8:03 AM, July 29, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've read the book, and I agree, it contains some very important info. Before I bought it, I thought I knew enough about my cycle, etc. from various internet sources but boy was I ever surprised to find out I barely knew anything! I also agree about those boards - been there several times myself, and some of the stuff did scare me, too. We've been TTC for a year and a half now - no success. I stopped charting but this post makes me want to go back to it and perhaps read that chapter again. Thanks, Kris! :)


9:12 AM, July 29, 2005  
Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

This is fascinating and surreal as well.

Next thing you know, there will be an entire class taught on this new language, its meaning, and the ways in which women and men can work together or NOT to conceive.

Hang in there, sweetie!

6:39 PM, July 31, 2005  
Blogger Urban Chick said...

OMG! been there (TTC, BDing, BFP etc.) and oh oh oh! toni w!!

just one question: did you *do* the eggwhite thing? (er, maybe someone i know did, um, er...although it DIDN'T WORK, TONI!!)

good luck with your pregnancy btw

UC x

4:28 PM, August 06, 2005  
Blogger WinterWheat said...

Egads, no! Pre-Seed is a much better, though pricier, substitute. Toni's description of the woman laughing and "farting" out the eggwhite had me ROFL and vowing never to try real eggwhites. :-)

8:07 AM, August 08, 2005  

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