Off the pill, figuring out my cycle, and a surprise OPK!
Not long after my last entry, I had a doctor’s check-up. I took the opportunity to ask if there was anything I needed to do or know before TTC (trying to conceive), especially since I’ve been on the pill for 15 years.
She kinda chuckled and said there was simply no way of knowing until I went off the pill, and to think about taking some prenatal vitamins. Call if I didn’t get a period in two months, or if I got pregnant and past the 8 week mark. Otherwise, go off the pill whenever, and assume things are normal.
Totally understandable but dangit why can’t healthcare be more proactive!? Oh, well, it probably could be if I wanted to shell out a bunch of money and potentially waste professionals’ time.
So after that appointment, it kinda struck me that I could just… go off the pill even if we’re not actually TTC. Duh. For some reason, it didn’t occur to me. And then I read into it, and it can take a few cycles to settle things down, and if I didn’t get my period then I could call the PCP to start figuring things out before it’s critical. So as I was entering the last week of my pill pack, I talked to hubs about it. He was totally on board with barrier methods. Why wait? We agreed.
And because I’m a nerd, I started reading all into tracking things. In the face of the unknown, it makes me feel better to get knowledge and data. I armed myself with a basal thermometer and a couple fertility apps to get started.
Read my rundown on Fertility Tracking 101.
So obviously husband and I aren’t TTC just yet, but I’m always up for learning more about my body, and science.
A few days ago, here I am, cycle day 42. An average cycle is 28 days, so I’m way beyond average. But, being on the pill for so long, it can take a few months for things to even out. Though it is annoying, my situation is also totally normal! That’s why I decided to go off the pill early in the first place.
Up until that point, I had only been temping and checking CM. I didn’t see a huge reason to start using OPKs (ovulation prediction kits) since I had no idea what was going on or what to expect. But after twiddling my thumbs for so long, I was home from work and just decided to try one. See what the directions say, see what a negative looks like.
The timer for 3 minutes went off. I pick up the OPK. Okay, two lines. One is super dark. Which one is the control line? How do I hold this thing?! Oh. The control line is the faint one. OMG. IT’S POSITIVE. A really freakin’ positive ovulation test!
I ran over to Mr. Druzy and showed him a photo of the test, and explained what was going on. He was also pretty shocked and happy to hear the good news. Whew! But, of course, the thought crept into my mind… what if it’s a faulty test? What if I just produce the hormone and every test will be positive? What if, what if, what if? I mean, what are the odds of all days of this crazy first cycle post-birth-control-hormones, that I catch my peak ovulation day?
The next day, CD43, I took another test after work. Another positive, but slightly fainter. That’s to be expected, since the ovulation window is so short, so I’m feelin’ a bit more confident. It looks like I might have just gotten lucky!
This morning, CD44, my basal temp is the highest I’ve ever recorded! This is the missing puzzle piece. If I get a few more days of high temps, that will be my ‘temperature spike’ post-ovulation and I’ll be much more confident that I did ovulate. One step closer to feeling confident about this whole ‘regular cycle’ thing.