Monday, June 21, 2010

Conception Update: Cycle 1


Today marks 35 days since the start of my last period. I haven't been feeling anything too strange, so I have no reason to suspect that I'm pregnant. I mainly think my strange feelings are related to digestive issues from all the unhealthy food I've been eating. I've read that many early-pregnancy symptoms mimic those of PMS. Strangely, I'm not having too many PMS symptoms either.

Also, my cycle has been irregular ever since I stopped taking birth control pills (of course it was regular when I was on the pill, but it was all regular before I started the pill). I'm not going to start taking multiple home pregnancy tests within every cycle. I think it would stress me out. My last cycle was 38 days and the one before that (when I was really focused on de-stressing) was 33 days.

In the past year, my longest cycle was 43 days, so maybe I should make a little pact with myself not to test until the 45 day mark. We'll see what happens.

The good news is that working on my online course about Purposeful Conception has helped me recommit to all the principles of healthy conception that I started learning about so long ago.


The good part about not being completely ready to have a child is that I'm a little bit relieved when I'm not pregnant. With that said, I will confess that I felt completely jealous when one of my "friends" in this conception journey got pregnant. I am so, so happy for her, but I did feel jealous and a little sad that we're no longer in the same stage. If you read other blogs of folks who are trying to conceive, please leave them in the comments section! I need to make more trying-to-conceive friends.

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Paige said...

While you're trying to conceive, have you been drinking any alcoholic drinks? I know that alcohol has the worst affect when it's drank early in the pregnancy, but that's also when you don't know if you're pregnant or not! I was just wondering how you were dealing with that.

Sara E. Cotner said...

Hi, Paige: Everything I've read about conception recommends eliminating things like alcohol, caffeine, over-the-counter medications, etc. in order to create the healthiest environment possible for conception. I've been able to do that because those are all things I've been trying to reduce in my life for a long time anyway. I imagine it would be much, much harder if those were part of my daily or weekly routines.

A friend of mine is trying to conceive and she subscribes to what she calls the "European philosophy." She still drinks during the two weeks following ovulation when she might be pregnant.

Felicity said...

Hey Sara, I've been reading your blogs for over a year now. After giving it a lot of thought I feel compelled to comment on your course name "purposeful conception." There is something about this term that I find a little offensive. I'm having trouble putting my finger on it exactly, but I think that the way you are using the term makes me feel like those of us who do not consume our lives with all-things conception are not trying to conceive "purposely."

The purpose of conceiving is to have a child, whether we consume our lives with checking vaginal fluids, basal temps, and counting our cycle days, or not. I think the opposite of a purposeful conception is an accidental conception, which is not what the women who are not all-consumed, but still trying to conceive, are doing.

I urge you to reconsider the name of your course. Perhaps you could ask your readers for a more accurate term that reflects that the purpose of your planning is to be 100% present and mindful of every aspect of the process, not "just" to conceive.

FM said...

"European philosophy" is an interesting name for that approach. The name I've heard more is "drink til it's pink". The idea being that there doesnt seem to some people any reason to think alcohol affects an embryo (in terms of development) until sometime after it implants and the placenta develops and starts feeding the little thing, and it takes a couple of weeks after conception for all that to happen - so probably not before you get a positive test (unless you are pregnant for several weeks before you even test as Sara is suggesting she might do since she's not sure how long her cycles are - then you might be more concerned). And also the idea being that acting like you're pregnant when you're not makes it that much crappier when you find out you're not each month. Don't know how or whether alcohol consumption affects your chances of sperm meeting egg or egg implanting successfully.

Sara E. Cotner said...

Hi, Felicity: I'm sorry the title is offending you! I don't intend for it to sound like a judgment at all. I'm sorry it has that impact.

The purpose of the course is not to encourage people to consume themselves with conception. Not at all! In fact, there's content related to the danger of becoming obsessed with conception and losing yourself and compromising your relationships in the process.

With the title, Purposeful Conception, I'm trying to attract people who want to purposefully prepare their lives for conception. By approaching conception with intention and thoughtfulness, I am simply talking about reflecting on all the areas of our lives that will both impact and be impacted by pregnancy and parenthood.

As far as tracking one's cycle, that aspect of conception is explored as a choice in the course. People can purposefully prepare their lives for conception (by strengthening their partnerships, fortifying their nutrition, making sure their finances are in order, etc.) and then decide to let it happen naturally.

At this point, I've invested way too much time/money in the title (e.g., I bought the domain name and spent countless hours designing the logo). My only hope is that it doesn't alienate too many people.

I really do appreciate your thoughtful feedback, Felicity. Please always feel free to send it my way!

Anonymous said...

Hey Sara! I totally know what you mean about wanting online friends in the same phase as you. Women trying to conceive but not having problems with fertility seemed harder to find yet. That was why I was so glad to find you. :) Anyway, I totally know how you are feeling and don't blame you for the sad part. I am looking forward to when you join this phase too, will be following you in the meantime, and will absolutely let you know if I run across any cool blogs of women trying to conceive. :)

Meghan said...


We are shooting for August as a start date. I too have been doing a fair bit of research in order to be "purposeful" about the process. I am excited to follow your journey!

Autumn said...

We are trying to conceive but I'm not blogging about it since we're not telling anyone but our families we're actively trying. We are on cycle #3 (although cycle #2 was 55 neverending days long). I've actually thought about starting an anonymous blog just to have a place to warehouse my thoughts/ experiences.

I came off birth control in March and am hoping my cycles regulate soon. I'm 30 and we hope to have 2-3 children, so while I'm trying not to stress over it happening quickly, I'm also just really ready!

I'm enjoying reading about the process of TTC for you and Matt!

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