This blog is completely different to the topics I usually write about, however it is a subject close to my heart which I hope by sharing can enlighten people as much as it did for me. Some couples are extremely lucky when it comes to making babies. They pretty much just look at their partner and conceive! Others have a hard time and spend years trying to create a family. Sadly, sometimes with no success. And then there’s the many people like myself who are just a bit clueless when it comes to the nitty gritty details of the birds and the bees. At school, it is drilled into our heads that if you have unprotected sex you WILL get or get someone pregnant. Yes it’s a great thing to teach but I personally think that it would be better to teach teenagers about their bodies and how they work to create life, rather than scaring them with current silly stories and showing unnecessary birthing videos (scarred for life-thanks high school health teacher!). Why do I think this? Because when it actually comes to the time in your life where you want to start a family and begin the process of trying, you find yourself getting frustrated because it takes more than just having randomly timed sex to conceive. There’s actually only a really small window each month that is the right time and it’s not always that easy. As females, we are taught that ovulation occurs in the middle of our periods. Again, not always the case. Before I tell you about this wonderful book which made our lives that little easier when it came to starting our family and which I can’t recommend enough, I’m going to share my story with you.
I’ve never been the girl to get her period on the same day each month. Mine came as it wanted. Anywhere from 3-5 days different to the previous month. It never really bothered me to be honest as I don’t suffer from horrible, painful periods or bad PMS. When my husband and I decided to start trying for a baby we though that it would be as easy me coming off the birth control pill and then seeing what happened. After 18month, no success and many hours wasted Googling about fertility and tips on getting pregnant, I decided to speak to my Doctor. She assured me I was most likely fine but that I should have some tests carried out just to make sure everything was functioning correctly. So after forking out a lot of money for an internal ultrasound, blood test and urine tests, I was told I was in perfect baby making conditions and that my husband should get tested if we were still concerned. Otherwise, keep trying and it will happen when it happens. So back to trying. Wasting more money on ovulation tests and more Google searches. I started to look in to using temperature as a guide to when it’s the right time to try. I began taking my temperature every morning as soon as I woke up and charting it. I learnt after a month that there was a spike in temperature at a certain point which was obviously when I ovulated. I didn’t know if it was correct as this occurred only a week after my period ended which didn’t seem right to me. But the next month we followed the charting again, looked for the spike in temperature and did our thing. And made a baby! Yep, it worked! Just 3 months after our wedding, we found out the news we had been waiting so long to hear. In September 2014 we welcomed Jack Aaron Gilpin into the world and couldn’t have been happier.
When Jack was around 18 months old, a good friend and I, who also had one child, were discussing how we were both thinking about trying for our second kids (We are now both pregnant with our second bubs just a week apart from each other!). I told her how I hoped that this time it would be a bit easier for us to conceive. She told me all about this book she had been reading, ‘Taking Charge of Your Fertility’. I am usually the last person to follow a fad or something people “swear by”, but my friend is similar to me so I know she wouldn’t bother telling me about it unless she thought it was beneficial. In short, she explained to me that it teaches you all about how the female body works when it comes to conceiving and how to tell when it’s leading up to that time of the month to try. It really is a great read and so beneficial for people wanting to make a baby! Also for those who don’t want to use the birth control pill (for health or religious purposes) but also don’t want to fall pregnant. And for women who just want to learn about their own bodies. Because, it’s an amazing subject and we should all know so much more about them!! My friend also showed me how to chart using the information from the book using either a chart which you can print out from the Taking Charge of Your Fertility (TCOYF) website or the downloadable app. The next day, I went online and ordered the book which retails at around $35. Which is a cheaper than buying endless ovulation sticks to pee on let me tell you!
So, what will this book teach me you ask? SO much!! I don’t know why we aren’t either taught about this subject at school or at least given information from it from our Doctors! In my opinion, all Doctors should be aware of this way of conception (I’m sure they are) and be sharing it with their patients when needed. There’s actually a lot to take in whilst reading this book but don’t think it’s too much to learn and not worth your time. You could simply read the first quarter and understand way more about your own body and how awesome it is than what you currently know! The three main things I took away from this book, is that you can learn when you are ovulating by noting three easy things your body does to tell you it’s ‘ready’. The first is body temperature, which I was already aware about but did learn a lot more about from TCOYF. As mentioned earlier, it’s a matter of taking your temperature as soon as you wake in the morning and charting it. The second thing to chart is cervical discharge, or cervical mucus. Something which you may at first go eeewww at, but once you learn what the stuff is doing inside your body, I can assure you that you will look at it in a whole different way! You can tell when you are ovulating, approaching your period, are pregnant plus more just from this icky stuff found in your undies! Gross. But amazing! The third is cervix position. Another gross one. But worthwhile knowing about! Again, you can tell when you are ovulating, not ovulating, when your period is approaching and more from where your cervix is sitting. It takes 10 seconds of your day whilst in the shower to find out your position. Just squat, insert two fingers and feel. Easy! Gross but easy. Three easy things that take only seconds to do each day but all play a part in learning about your body and finding the right time to try and make a baby.
When it came time to start trying for our second child, I reread the first quarter of TCOYF to freshen my memory. Body temperature. Cervical discharge. Cervix position. Chart. Repeat. And soon enough I could see the pattern. In fact, we were lucky enough to get it right the first try this time around! I had an inkling that ovulation was near and as my husband works away, thought it best to try before he headed off to work and we missed the window. And it worked! I will admit that I was shocked that it happened the first time but we were so happy! We are so happy! And this time there was no stress. No wasted money. No doctors appointments. Just from knowing my body and knowing the right time to try, we created life. Since announcing my pregnancy on my social media pages, I have had a few ladies private message me to congratulate us and also talk to me about their struggles to conceive. I recommended TCOYF to them and decided to write this quick blog post in a hope to help others. Now, I’m not saying that this is a guaranteed way to get pregnant and that it will work for everyone but I do believe it’s something that many women don’t know about and I hope that by sharing I can open a new door to people trying.
I wish anyone currently trying to make a bub or thinking about starting/extending their family in the future all the very best! It can be a testing time but it’s well worth the effort! Xx
Zoe – THE DIY DECORATOR