I've thought all day about if it would be ok for me to drop in here and ask a few questions since I'm not TTC. I'm in this room a lot just to see how people are doing, but I don't ever feel comfortable posting. It is not my intention to offend, but I don't really know who else to ask about these things. If this is too much please feel free to have the thread removed and I'll try to seek advice elsewhere.
So here's my story:
I got married at 19 and went to the dr for BC because we weren't ready to start a family yet. After asking what seemed like a million questions the dr told me he didn't think I needed BC. Apparently my highly irregular cycles and some other factors indicated to him that I had an underlying medical condition that would make it difficult, if not impossible, to get pg on my own. I didn't really understand the full implications of that at the time since I really didn't know anything about my body - I didn't know how much I didn't know either. I decided not to have any testing or anything done and started the BC anyway. After months of severe side effects from several different hormone based BCs the dr again told me he didn't really think I needed it and felt I was risking too much of my health to continue taking it. So I stopped taking it in October only to find out in January (just 3 months later) that I was pg . I started seeing a CNM who reviewed my medical history and called the pregnancy a miracle, telling me to enjoy it because it may be the only time I'd ever be pg in my life.
Fast forward 6 years to now...I'm pregnant with my 5th child. I've had 4 normal healthy pregnancies and this one (minus a random kidney infection) seems to be no different. I've never had any testing done so I don't know if there really is something medically off with my body, but what I do know is I don't seem to have any trouble getting pg. Since I stopped my BC in October of 2006 I've had 8 cycles and ended up pg 5 times despite my many efforts to spread my children out. I don't mean to sound ungrateful and I do my children dearly but my sanity is starting to demand a reprieve from the constant onslaught of pregnancy hormones despite the fact that I'm not ready to say DONE just yet. I asked my dr today how likely it was that I would continue this trend of having a baby every 18mos or so if I didn't do anything to change our current system - her answer: highly likely. Since I can't put anything foreign into my body on a regular basis (including hormones, IUDs, spermicide, ect.) due to significant side effects I'm pretty much resigned to condoms and somehow tracking my very irregular cycles. DH is very against the idea of using condoms every time all the time, but would use them some every month if I could pin down my fertile times. I got some suggestions to read "Taking Control of Your Fertility" which I intend on doing ASAP. My dr highly recommended a digital monitor to make sure that I was getting an accurate and long enough fertility window each month since it only takes one sperm to make a baby and the most recent studies have shown that 7 days after sex there can still be viable sperm in the fallopian tubes. This is where my questions start to come in.
My understanding is that OPKs will only show positive 12-72 hours before ovulation. Is that right? That doesn't sound like it would be long enough to successfully avoid getting pg again. I'm pretty sure I O 5-6 days after sex when I got pg with Selene. Has anyone ever tried this ( http://www.early-pregnancy-tests.com...tion-test.html ) kind of test or know if they are accurate?
I've been searching for fertility monitors online and found several different kinds.
http://www.early-pregnancy-tests.com/ovacue.html This one is more expensive than I had anticipated, but claims to be accurate up to 7 days in advance and work with irregular cycles. Has anyone ever tried this kind of test or know anything about it? Is there something better I could look at. These are just from a google search and I really don't know anything about them.
http://www.amazon.com/Clearblue-Fert.../dp/B0000532QB This one was recommended as a possibility also. Any experience with it?
I am intending on using temping and tracking cervical mucus and changes, but my dr recommended using a test to back up my findings based on the fact that I co-sleep, am up and down a lot at night with all the kids (both can affect temp), and we have sex on a really regular basis (can affect CM). She felt the tests would help solidify our prevention methods more. If there is anything else I haven't hit on that might help with this or be good questions for my dr please feel free to share. Honestly I didn't think I would ever end up needing to know any of this and I'd really love some guidance right now. I'm not due again till October so even if all I get is some good ideas on where to do more research that would be awesome as I do have some time to work on this more. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and I hope you can understand that I'm only coming here for your wisdom and information.