There’s circumstantial evidence that my cycles may be starting to act up again, but I’m surprisingly sanguine about it all (no pun intended!).
I’ve been tracking my cycles carefully for a long time now, both with basal body temperature (BBT) measurements and with digital ovulation prediction kits (OPKs). At first I did it as part of my initial infertility workup, and now I do it because I like the reassurance of knowing what’s going on with my body, and the lack of guesswork when it comes to how to time sex. Since our daughter died, I’ve noticed an interesting trend. Here are the days of my cycle I’ve gotten a positive OPK since September:
September: 15 days after D&C (so, call it CD 15)
October: CD 15
November: CD 14
December: CD 14
January: CD 12
February: CD 11
Seeing a trend here? Shorter and shorter…
Now, all of a sudden for my March cycle it’s CD 14 and there’s no positive OPK or temp spike in sight. Am I worried? Nah. I mean, for one thing, I’m still entirely consistent with a normal period length — if I got a positive OPK tomorrow, I’d have a 29-day cycle, which is still pretty textbook. After 6 months of looking at cycle lengths in the 40s, 50s, and 60s before I got pregnant, I’m only sort of looking sideways at these numbers. By now, I know irregular periods, and it’s clear even in my freaked-out state that these are not. For another… well, if my cycle starts acting funny again, it’ll be all the more fodder for my appointment with the RE in May. My main worry at this point is that she’ll say “Oh, your cycles have been normal since your loss? Go away and come back in 6 months!”
Having this appointment on the calendar has been good for my psyche in a number of ways. Now instead of freaking out about every little thing and worrying that it means we’ll never have a living baby, I just silently note each symptom or worry and add it to my mental list of concerns I want to discuss with the RE. On that list right now are:
– Could whatever caused the scarring of my uterus have also scarred my tubes? It’s not like I *want* to do a repeat HSG, but I admit that I would find it reassuring to know that my tubes were still open.
– Really short/light periods. I barely bleed for two days, and it’s been consistently much lighter and less clotty than before I had our daughter.
– Occasional ED on my husband’s part (poor guy… I think it’s mostly anxiety, but would like to discuss it with a doctor just to cover our bases).
– Cervical mucus that doesn’t seem to bear any relationship to ovulation (it seems random and often at its best 4-5 days before ovulation…?).
– High temperatures. When I look at other women’s BBT plots online (and there are thousands of them out there), almost nobody’s temps are as high as mine — mine are typically 97.7-98.0 in the follicular phase and 98.6-98.9 in the luteal phase. When I got pregnant, I knew it because my temps stayed at 99.1 for three days in a row before I tested and got a positive. Is it healthy for a baby to be cooked by what is nearly a low-grade fever all the time? I’m pretty sure my thyroid got tested along with everything else in my infertility workup, but maybe it’s borderline high?
Anyway, all of this is why I’ve got no news about our TTC efforts so far this month — because I’ve just been chugging along waiting for ovulation to hit! I do feel much more relaxed about it than I have for the last few months, and I think it’s mostly thanks to having the appointment scheduled. I think the scariest thing for me is having no milestone coming up — that’s when I feel like our TTC efforts might stretch out into forever, that we might never be parents. I always feel better when there’s a clear “what comes next” time to work towards. During pregnancy I felt the same way — whenever I freaked out, I’d just try to save up my worries for the next appointment. I’d surely love to cancel that appointment with our RE, thanks to news of another pregnancy (which would bring with it more prenatal appointment milestones to mark the future), but unless that happens, I’m willing to sit back and see what the next two months bring.