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Fertility Awareness and Charting My Cycle

Graph charting fertility cycle

May 8 – Baby dance tonight! It sounds so cute, right, baby dancing? It is what the women on the message boards refer to when having sex for the purpose of making a baby. There are only six magic days per cycle that this dance can be done.

I took my first LH test. What is LH??

According to Dr Google, LH stands for Luteinizing Hormone. LH is a hormone that’s produced in the pituitary gland. LH is an important part of your menstrual cycle. It works with follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which is another gonadotropin made in the pituitary gland. FSH stimulates the ovarian follicle, causing an egg to grow. It also triggers the production of estrogen in the follicle.

The rise in estrogen tells your pituitary gland to stop producing FSH and to start making more LH. The shift to LH causes the egg to be released from the ovary, a process called ovulation. In the empty follicle, cells proliferate, turning it into a corpus luteum. This structure releases progesterone, a hormone necessary to maintain pregnancy. If pregnancy doesn’t occur, the levels of progesterone drop off and the cycle begins again.

So the LH test will confirm the hormone is increasing in my system and I will ovulate soon! Looks like a positive. According to the directions you want the test line to be darker than (or the same color as) the control line. My line is the same color (I think) as the control line. So then I just have to baby dance in the next 36 hours. That seems simple enough!

So I didn’t really remember a lot about reproduction from that class in high school. (Was it high school or before?) What was it, you couldn’t get pregnant immediately before your period or immediately after? Or not while you were on it?? Isn’t it ALWAYS before or after your period, technically speaking? Oh, how little I knew!! I was about to get a crash course of the phases of the cycle. Follicular, mid-cycle, Luteal. Oh my! Turns out getting pregnant is not just about sex. There’s timing and then a million things have to go right before the egg and sperm meet and after….it really is the miracle of life. Of course, when you’re in your 20’s you don’t really need to know all this stuff. Mother nature pretty much accounts for you not knowing and takes care of most of it for you. In fact, if EVERYONE who was a parent had to know this stuff before, I’m certain there would be about ¾ less children created on earth. Seriously.

Downloaded the Ovia fertility app and Fertility Friend to help track all this data. My body and all this data seem like a new frontier. I’m eager to explore. My thermometer arrived today (Thanks, Amazon!) and just for kicks I practice using it and log the temperature. Tomorrow I begin the “real” charting of my basal body temperature (BBT) first thing when I wake up every morning. Luckily there are all these cool apps, so I don’t have to kick it old school with a pencil and paper. Charting will help me tell how long each phase of my cycle is…although I am only two weeks post miscarriage so …it could be all wonky. But you have to start somewhere, so this where it begins.

It feels like all systems are a GO! Some of the things I ordered are starting to arrive. It is time to get serious about this baby making thing. Since I was done having kids, I hadn’t even THOUGHT about conception (obviously) in decades. I pretty much thought I was out of the game and now I have to get out the tool box and see if this classic late model (me) could still ride with the best of ‘em! Vrooom- vroom. Clearly, the idea of fertility, is making me giddy!

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