FAM (my take)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

For a cycle that I thought would be a complete wash, it surprisingly ended up being pretty spectacular. Just goes to show you how much my predictions matter! Come on, God, I am ready for my next surprise (that Clomid #4 will work, obviously!)!!! Ovulation on CD15 (maybe this morning?), with some baby-makin' on CD12 and CD14. We are praying for you, little one(s)!!

Sometimes I wish that it hadn't worked out so well, to give myself an emotional break for the next two weeks. And then I feel a little guilty for saying that. Because obviously being selfish is so ridiculous when the potential alternative (welcoming baby in June!) is what our hearts are longing for. So then I remind myself that dealing with another mysterious 2ww is nothing, and that I should be on my knees thanking God for another chance to work with Him to create a precious new soul.


But on to more fun things! I am not sure how many of you have no clue about some of the abbreviations/techniques I talk about here, but I am happy to shed some light, from my perspective, for those of you who may be wondering like Becky was! And maybe it might even help someone in their quest to better understand their (in)fertility.

We practiced FAM (Fertility Awareness Method) to avoid conception for about 2.5 years after we got married. You can learn about it from this awesome book Tak.ing Ch.arge of Your Fertili.ty. (FAM is not tied to a religion and is slightly different than NFP.) Basically it involves the theory that there is a difference in your basal body temperature (core temperature, essentially) before and after ovulation. So, you take your temperature and chart it out (first day of your period is CD (cycle day) 1), and by doing that, you can see the shift in temperatures which indicates ovulation. The method also includes checking your CM (cervical mucus) and cervical position....the book goes into how to check these things internally, and I tried once, but it was too much hassle for me. Maybe if I had kept at it, I'd be a pro by now, but I didn't, so I'm not... I am a pretty good mucus-producer (ha!), so I just go by what ends up, um, being evident externally. Ha! I know this isn't technically how you're supposed to do it, and maybe some charting purists will be aghast at my behavior, but I think I do okay with how I keep track of that.

You can use FAM for either pregnancy avoiding or pregnancy achievement, and it worked fine for us for pregnancy avoiding, but so far, it has not worked for pregnancy achievement!! Ha! I think, in retrospect (I don't temp anymore because I use my fertility monitor now) it is easier to use it for pregnancy avoiding because you can just wait after about CD10 or so until your temperature goes up for a few days after ovulation and then resume activity. To use it for pregnancy achievement, you have to assume (in conjunction with CM which gets kind of like egg-white consistency right before ovulation) that ovulation is coming and get busy. Lots of people do use FAM for pregnancy achievement, but it hasn't worked for me yet! Ha!

As far as spotting before your period, I do not have this issue (except for very occasionally one day before), so I don't know a whole lot about it, but from what I've read and people I've talked to, it is mostly due to a progesterone deficiency or possible endometriosis/fibroids. Basically, when you ovulate, your body starts producing progesterone to keep the lining nice and plush for implantation to happen. If your body doesn't produce enough progesterone, the lining breaks down too early (spotting), thus not really creating a great place for your little one to land. Also endometriosis can cause spotting, but I don't know a whole lot about why... My friend K has awful spotting (almost her whole LP (luteal phase- the two weeks after the egg is released)), and she just got her progesterone checked, and it was totally fine, so now they are tentatively suspecting endometriosis. I will keep you posted what I find out from her!

I'm trying to think of other things that I've mentioned... feel free to ask anything if I'm leaving something out! I totally recommend the book for anyone who hasn't ever delved into their cycles before- it is really straight-forward, scientific, and objective, and it is really neat to see your temps for a whole cycle charted out. I recommended it to my friend K, who hadn't ever tried it before, and she thought it was the neatest thing!! Happy reading!


Praying for Hope said...

I know of the book but I never read it. I used to do the temperature charting, but like you, I rely on CM and my fertility monitor now. I've noticed the monitor and CM don't always agree on the big day - peak doesn's usually coincide with ovulation - so I'll contiue both methods.

Anonymous said...

Good luck on your two week wait. I hope all works out for you.

Ann - Building a Nest said...

Good luck on the 2 ww! It's terrible, I know! You had a great cycle and lots of reasons to be hopeful.

I wanted to 2nd the book recommendation. I learned NFP on my own, took a follow up class with an instructor a few years later and STILL believe the book explains it better. The big difference b/w the book and NFP is that it allows barrier methods (condoms) during your fertile phase while NFP does not.

Because movies always make too much of a deal about temperatures and fertility, I always stress to people that CM lets you know you're approaching fertility (in case you're avoiding) while the temperature taking only confirms OV has happened (and your most likely not fertile).

Lynn said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog!

Praying your TWW goes by quickly and ends with great news!

I keep saying I'm going to order TCOYF, but I haven't yet. I've been charting for about a year now though. So far it hasn't worked for me either. I know that I don't ovulate on my own though, so when I'm not taking Clomid I have really long cycles and no ovulation.

Very good explanation of FAM though! I pray we'll both get some great news soon!

Baby Hungry said...

Best of luck for the 2ww! I think a June baby would be perfect!

the misfit said...

That cycle sounds perfect. Either this time - or you're that much closer.

Hillary said...

I dove into TCOYF a year before we started TTC and loved it. I was already spotting then, so I wanted to know what was going on and see if I was ovulating. We didn't use it as birth control, but I felt prepared when we did TTC. I love that book!

Thinking of you in your tww!

Becky said...

I can't believe I didn't comment on this yet - so sorry! Thanks for posting about this, I feel like I have a much better understanding. I was specifically wondering about the spotting because I have light spotting the day before my first full flow day. I was wondering if it meant anything, but from what you said if it was really bad it would probably be for many days before so hopefully I am okay.