Friday, 1 February 2013

Wonky cycles: To care or not to care

I've charted most of my cycles since last January, using mainly the Ovacue. My cycles average about 25 days with significant variation (longest: 33 days. shortest: 17 days!). Generally though they are not much longer than 25 days. (I charted BBT for a few  months, but by summer I was tired of the ritual. Plus I would always wonder after a disturbed nights sleep if my temp was valid - and of course, I would not sleep well mostly on the nights when I really needed to track my temperature!)

My current cycle started bang on New Year's day. I made a half-hearted attempt to chart the first couple of weeks - and then we got the news of Mr. Turtle's diagnosis. That seemed like a good excuse to take a break from charting.  Of course now I am having a very long cycle and have no idea what's going on. I finally took a pregnancy test today. I don't test very often; I don't like to feed the crazy and anyway AF pretty much comes on cue.   I grabbed a pee stick at the drugstore on the way home from work and anointed it as soon as I  got in the door. BFN.  I'm not surprised: pregnancy was a long shot.

But without any indicators of when I might have ovulated, I don't know how long the cycle will last.  I started wondering what might be going on this week, when AF was a no-show. I took an Ovacue vaginal reading around cycle day 28.  It was the first one I'd taken in weeks, and the result is not very meaningful, since there is nothing to compare it to except my trends from previous recorded cycles.  I had a vaginal reading of 95, which is low for the luteal phase.

(To learn about how the Ovacue readings work, see this link. Basically, the higher the vaginal reading, the higher the progesterone level. Ovulation is indicated by a patter of low vaginal readings followed by a high readings, indicating the body's switch to progesterone dominance.)

Today after the BFN, I took another vaginal reading: 359. I was rather surprised.  My longest cycle last year was 33 days, with ovulation possibly happening around CD 20. (This is unusual for me; I usually ovulate between CD 10 and 14. But it made sense in terms of the cycle length) If I am near the end of  this cycle, I should be seeing vaginal readings drop. Instead I got a very high reading.

Anyway, now I'm feeling ambiguous about my decision not to chart. Even when I chart I can't always tell  what's going on with my cycle, but often I can see patterns that make sense.  Now I'm just waiting with lots of drippy CM, sore boobs, occasional mild abdominal sensations, and little idea what to expect (and I am getting sick of wearing maxi pads everywhere because AF could start anytime.)

I had some slippery CM between day 25 and 28 (again, I didn't note exactly when), so I wonder if I ovulated very late, around day 25. That means AF might hold off till day 37 to 39 (ugh!)

A couple of days ago, I also had some weird muscle spasms off and on for about 24 hours. They were around belly button height and perhaps they were contractions, though I don't know what contractions feel like. They didn't hurt, but they did feel odd.

So, no answers, just some random data that I decided not to pay attention to, and therefore have no way of interpreting. A little frustrating.  On the other hand it was nice to not care about my cycle this month, and by and large I've done a good job of not caring. Since Mr. Turtle is the only one with a medical diagnosis, and his diagnosis means that it is very unlikely we will conceive naturally, whatever I do, I should be free to forget about all of this. Apparently I'm not that keen to take advantage of  that freedom.

It's just not possible to be completely indifferent.

Later, The Turtle

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