Last week was National Fertility Awareness Week, so if you’re also on the trying to conceive journey, feel free to head back there for more info. It’s Saturday morning, and I felt like doing another personal entry. This week, I ordered a nutrition guide from MyMindBodyBaby. There are four phases of the menstrual cycle: menstrual, follicular, ovulatory, and luteal phases. Most science just breaks it into two phases: follicular and luteal. But the menstrual cycle is dynamic, the hormones fluctuate from day to day, but also within the day there is a circadian rhythm. Yes, I’m still working, and yes, we’re still trying to adhere to public health guidelines for social distancing during COVID-19. Our RVT has a friend with asthma who has been staying home, but making face masks that you can put a filter in. I would say that my hormones are a bit more stable today than last week. Last week I was going to head to my sister’s place, pick up a few things and visit through the window, but I got too emotional with this TTC journey. It was her birthday on Tuesday, and they are moving, which has been adding to my depression. I had some balloons delivered to her house on a rare sunny day. It’s just hard thinking of babies, and my “baby” nieces, and them moving without me being able to give them a hug goodbye. But it’s more difficult because this TTC journey has me feeling a bit trapped. If you’re familiar, and been on this route in Ontario, you’ll know that the Ontario Health Insurance Plan covers one round of IVF per lifetime of women under the age of 43. What the means now is that because I haven’t been able to get pregnant, I may need that IVF and financial support. It’s one thing to think about with my husband’s career moves potentially taking us to L.A., and yet, another one that says I have to stay here because I wouldn’t have coverage in the U.S., or in B.C. where my family is and all will soon be. In my last post, I said you need to take control over the things that are in your control. Your activity level - exercise doesn’t have to be set, but just get moving; do some yoga, or meditation. Then on Tuesday, I injured my neck, well, re-injured it. So now all I am doing is Physio exercises. Then diet; what you put into your body, the nourishment, you control this! I used to never eat breakfast, because I couldn’t get up early enough to make anything. Now I have more of a routine of getting up and making breakfast. As I mentioned, I am trying seed cycling but I decided not to stop the flax seeds in the luteal phase because of this article. This is what the morning routine looks like now. That’s flax meal, hemp seeds, chia seeds on oatmeal. I already had the sunflower seeds on their own. We have Ubiquinol at 200mg - taken in the morning, some more Omega 3’s, some vitamins, a cellular vitality complex - this has a bunch of antioxidant, the Vitex - a plant suggested to help lengthen the luteal phase, and my medications. My doctor prescribed an anti-inflammatory for my neck and I’m still on the antidepressant. I also already took my prenatal vitamin and 500mg of Vitamin C - yet another antioxidant. The cellular metabolism of the ovary is quite high, especially during ovulation and into the luteal phase. Hence why scientists suggest to have antioxidants to help your body when you are TTC. I’m trying to limit myself to one cup of coffee in the am, and then switch to green tea for the rest of the day. So where are we now? Well, I ovulated this cycle, so we take that as a good thing. My LH looks like it should - I had a peak at CD11, and then my BBT rose after that, confirming that I ovulated. I’m currently in the TWW - which to be honest, is not two weeks for everyone! It’s 9-10 days for me. Which is why I’m trying to give my body things to lengthen that. My husband doesn’t understand all this stuff, and so far hasn’t taken much interest to do any research for us. Which means, I feel like I have to take this burden upon myself. Looking at that image, it’s been 24 cycles of tracking. Now, I did track before TTC, so the app knew what my normal was. The 23rd cycle I took Vitex in the luteal phase, and I found my BBT to be more consistent, but it still dropped at 8 dpo. So if it takes 6 days for the embryo to travel through the Fallopian tube to the uterus, then it’s only two days to implant before the endometrium is shed. Doesn’t seem like a lot of time. I was very regular up until Oct when I had a chemical pregnancy, but ever since then things have been all over the place. I have been TTC for 10 cycles now. I kept this from Oct as a reminder that we can do this. For whatever reason it gives me hope. I don’t think of it as a failure. Mainly because I know that it means egg and sperm found each other and created an embryo. That embryo was trying to signal to the ovaries to produce progesterone, which maybe wasn’t high enough. You can’t get pregnant if there’s no ovulation and no meeting of sperm and egg. So despite it not sticking, it’s a positive sign in different ways. Last cycle I felt more emotional and off. Hubby was under a lot of pressure with work, so it seems understandable when we didn’t get preggo. Why am I sharing all this personal information? When I shared my NIAW posts to FaceBook, I got private messages from three friends offering their ear to listen, and telling their personal story of TTC. I also got equal numbers messaging and thanking me, because they were currently stressed and struggling with TTC. That’s why I share my personal journey, so I can feel helpful to those going through similar situations. Just like the assumption that being a veterinarian means that you play with puppies and kittens all day, no one should assume that getting pregnant is as easy as relaxing and taking your mind off it - sorry, that just does not work. It's also difficult to focus on anything else, really. So, until we have a little one in our family, you'll be seeing a few of these posts!