Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Charts and Christmas Tree

I haven't yet shared with you my charts, but I think it's high time I did so :)

Whenever I get really depressed or upset with our "failures," I often take out my oldest chart and compare it to my newest chart. The difference is astonishing. What I'd like to do for you now is take you through my infertility journey visually, via Creighton Model stamps.

Here is my very first chart, from Summer 2006:

As you can see, I had stopped charting right before our wedding and honeymoon... but if memory serves me correctly (and it does, and it serves my poor DH even better), I spotted on the 4th day of our honeymoon right thru the remainder of it, almost 2 wks straight. So here is an example of an anovulatory chart with variable return of Peak-type mucus and LOTS of bleeding. Incessant bleeding. It stunk.

By the end of that chart (end of the 4th line), I had seen Dr. Jean. I started progesterone to jumpstart a new, hopefully more normal cycle. JUST WITH PROGESTERONE ALONE, you can see the difference in the last cycle of that chart, and the length of bleeding.

Then came this chart:

Still a novice charter at this point, you can see how I made up my own little stamp right smack in the middle of the chart, for a day of fertile mucus with spotting... I stuck a white baby on a red background! You can also see my extreme anxiety with the TONS of writing in every single tiny description box! I began Clomid in the middle of this chart, and you can see that I'm now actually getting a real Post-Peak phase to speak of... which means actual Peaks and actual ovulations :)

Here's the next chart:

And here begins the post-Peak yellow stamps for management of my pasty post-Peak discharge. Still on Clomid during this whole chart, and with the exception of the very late ovulation in the 3rd cycle, my cycles are becoming more regular in length, and I can now predict when my next mestrual flow is coming (and it's a REAL AF, not just spotting for weeks on end).

Here's the next one:

Look at that! GREEN Stamps in the post-Peak!! And in the middle of the chart, I begin pre-Peak yellow stamps! I can actually identify a true mucus cycle now! Cycles are still a regular length, but getting a bit longer due to later and later Peaks on Clomid. By the last cycle of this chart, I stopped the Clomid to prepare for surgery in the next chart...

Here's the chart right before and after the big OVARIAN WEDGE RESECTION:

Isn't that AMAZING??!! Aside from the long periods, I am Peaking without meds very close to CD 14, and have a solid post-Peak phase! Wait, it gets better...

Here's my latest chart:

Again, aside from the longer periods, these are now looking like classic charts! (Well, classic yellow stamp charts.) The 2nd to last line is the cycle of Dr. Toth treatment, which is why there's a lot of spotting throughout... but LOOK CLOSELY at that line and the next one. Not ONE DAY of BROWN spotting! It has been red ever since the 1st day of treatment! UN-believable!!

Just humor me now and go back to look at the 1st chart again. See the difference? Now, my Dr has often said I am not her "toughest case." But my goodness, if I were my Practitioner, I'd pull my hair out trying to manage those 1st 2 charts (I think it's time for a thank-you phone call to my Practitioner)! It is so cool to see how far I've come... how far Creighton and NaPro have brought me.

And just for fun, here's our famous Blue Ball Christmas Tree:


Sew said...

I will have to look at the charts when I get to work! :) That is a ton of information.

I had to comment on the blue ball Christmas tree!!! I LOVE IT!!!

We are thinking of going to the Heartbreak Hotel when we can finally start since we live so close to Graceland. I would die if we conceive at the Heartbreak Hotel....I might just swear that was our problem the WHOLE TIME!!!

Life In Mazes said...

Wow! I am so excited for you for your improved health and cycles. I feel just as much in awe as I reviewed my own charts.
Your Christmas tree is beautiful! Your decorations are so festive! I also liked your tree skirt. My husband and I made our own this year because they are so expensive (like $70-100) and we made our for $3.49. I love it, but now it is covered by the presents for our family! Have a happy day!

JellyBelly said...

that's amazing!!!! i can totally see the difference!

Sew said...

Your cycles were CRAZY!

I am so heartbroken for women who do not know this method. Or won't even consider learning it. My heart really breaks for them because their body is telling them something....

Amy @ This Cross I Embrace said...

Yeah, no kidding! And with the exception of the irregular bleeding, some of those cycles I thought were "normal" since I was having a period. If I hadn't been charting, I would never have seen how obviously messed up I was!