September 27, 2013

PCOS to Pregnancy: Playing with dates

Twenty eight days. That's the "typical" length for a woman's menstrual cycle. You're "supposed" to ovulate around 14 days after your period starts and then start a new cycle 14 days later. This is how due dates are usually calculated. The doctor goes with the first day of your last menstrual cycle and counts from their. Unfortunately, not all women work on a 28 day cycle.

With my son, I didn't ovulate until day 21, a whole week later than the norm. My doctor was doing blood tests to look for ovulation and I was failing them. Sure, it's very possible that I wasn't ovulating at all (that is my normal after all) but I know I had to ovulate the month I got pregnant. It's the only way it could have happened! So when my due date was calculated, my ultrasound measurements all matched my ovulation date and my due date was pushed a week back. Guess what...I had a due date baby! My son came on my due date exactly. If my doctor would have based my due date on my LMP (last menstrual period) then I would have been a week over due, possible looking at an induction, and stressed! 

With my current treatment plan, I have ultrasounds. The first ultrasound takes place during the first three days of my cycle and looks for any roadblocks that would prevent a pregnancy from occurring. The second ultrasound takes place on cycle day 12. This ultrasound measures my eggs to see if they are ready for ovulation. With my current treatment plan, we don't worry about if and when I'll ovulate naturally. I give myself an injection that stimulates ovulation. Thirty-six hours after injecting the medicine, I will ovulate. 

Unfortunately (again) I don't follow a typical pattern. The first month, I came in on day 12 and my eggs weren't ready. They were too small. I was instructed to wait two days before giving myself the injection. This would give my eggs a little more time to grow and develop to the proper size. The second month, I came in on day 12 and (surprise!) I wasn't ready again. I was instructed to come back two days later for a second ultrasound (cha-ching!). That ultrasound showed that my eggs were big enough and I was ready for the injection. 

So here we are cycle number 3 (our last chance). Thankfully, they took my past two cycles into account and delayed things. After the baseline ultrasound, we delayed things a couple days. Instead of scheduling an ultrasound for day 12, we scheduled it for day 13. 

Then, life throws you curve balls. A death in my family means an out of town road trip. Being there for my family is more important than ultrasounds. It's okay, my husband and I firmly believe that if pregnancy is supposed to happen, it will. So I called this morning to ask the nurse about rescheduling. 

She was hesitant to let me push the ultrasound out a day. She worries I'll ovulate on my own and we'll miss the window. Me? I'm not worried one bit. I honestly doubt I'll ovulate on my own and if I did I doubt it will happen before cycle day 14. And if I do ovulate on my own, what's the harm in that? All I need is to ovulate. The injection just makes sure it happens and helps us to know the exact moment to act on it. So, we'll do our part just in case and I'll push the ultrasound out a day.

It's okay not to have normal length cycles when you know your body. Disappointment comes when you think you're supposed to work on a 28 day cycle, but sometimes that's just not what your body does. Do you find that your body operates on a different schedule? Do the birth dates of your children match that cycle?

I'm Jenny, the mama behind the blog Cloth Diaper Revival.   I'm a stay at home mom to Noah and a wife to Chas, the cloth diapering dad.  I used to be a 3rd grade teacher until I was blessed with the birth of my first child, Noah. I'm currently trying to conceive my second child while struggling with infertility due to PCOS. This series covers my journey and my experiences along the way.


Hi Jenny,
This can be so confusing! After starting with a new Dr. I have only recently realized that my whole cycle is 37 days long! That means instead of oving around day 12-14 I Ov on day 18-22! Timing can make such a huge difference. Thanks for sharing this week! Heather