Intro and a few questions (OPKs, cycles, nursing and TTC)

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harmonybear's picture
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Intro and a few questions (OPKs, cycles, nursing and TTC)

Hi, I'm Harmony, 29 years old and married for 4.5 years with a 2-year-old DD. DH and I have been JLIH for about two years now (though I'm only really going to count the 14 months since my cycle came back), and, well... it isn't happening. Wink DD is 25 months old, and at this point she's going to have a sibling that's at least 3 years younger than her. So we decided it was time to be a bit more proactive.

It took us 2 years of TTC to have DD. I lost two babies in the process, and I also went through a year of infertility. I know that's nothing compared to what some other women go through, but it was tough for us. And now, of course, we've been going for 23 months with no BC and nothing. So I assume there's some form of subfertility in our family.

Back when I was TTC DD, I used fertility friend and charted my BBT. But that's not really practical for me, especially since DD is still not sleeping more than 2 hours at a time, and I know all that waking affects BBT. So I'm going to be trying OPKs this time around. Does anyone have any suggestions? Are the internet cheapies just as good as the expensive store ones? Are store brands any good? Do the reusable saliva tests really work? I am completely new to this world of OPKs, so please give me lots of advice!

Also, for the last year or so I've been having very strong PMS. I've had my mom, my sister, and even at times DH convinced I was pregnant, too, because I just had so many strong symptoms. But here's the weird thing: every single month it's something different. It's become a running joke with me and DH. One month I'm so hungry I'm getting up in the middle of the night to eat. The next I've got horribly sore breasts and I'm crying three times a day. The next month I have to pee constantly and I'm super grouchy. The month after that I've got a cold that just wont' go away and I'm an insomniac. Etc, etc, etc, for the last 14 months. Is that normal for anyone else? I hardly had any PMS pre-DD.

Also, does anyone on here know anything about nursing and TTC? DD is still nursing a lot, and I've been getting a lot of conflicting information about it. If my cycle is back, does that mean I'm definitely "fertile" again? I realize that I am probably dealing with either subfertility or secondary infertility - but is the nursing, specifically, still preventing my ovulation even with a return of menstruation? Or can it cause subfertility?

Thank you for reading it all. And thank you so much for your responses!

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Well first Welcome!! I have tried opks and they are pretty good !! If you look at the "Do You See A Line" board, a lot of the women there order their test online. I personally used the CVS brand first and then i broke down and bought Clearblue. Both are pretty accurate to me ! I cant order the test strips from online because i live in an apartment building. As being fertile and having a period there are a lot of reports that say that you cant have a period with out ovulation but every woman is different . Have you seen a specialist yet because maybe they can tell you if you maybe there is a hormone imbalance especially with all the symptoms you have ! I would think i was pregnant too!

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Last seen: 3 years 11 months ago
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Hi there, and welcome...

I used ICs (the 'One Step' brand) when I was TTCing #1 - they worked fine for me, and I was always able to pinpoint my surge - the cost of store bought tests is prohibitive over here.. hence the IC choice...

Can't say anything about the saliva tests...

I used a Clearblue Monitor for two cycles and then got pg with DS - I found it much easier and less annoying to use than OPKs - no holding your pee for X hours in the afternoon required! lol I plan on using the monitor again this time...

after two years, i would 'think' that nursing shouldn't still be interfering with your fertility, especially as you're getting AF - Some way of checking for ovulation should be able to give you a better idea...

hope that's helpful!

k

alwayssmile's picture
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If your cycle is back, you can definitely get pregnant despite still nursing. Smile My cycle just came back, so I can't really comment on the PMS symptoms. Though the witch was super, super evil for me proving that just about anything can happen and be within the realm of normal.
I never used OPKs when TTC DS, but I know they have them at most Dollar Trees. That's where I get my pregnancy tests! lol.

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You may not be fertile even if you are getting your cycle. I was nursing DD when I got pregnant with DS (they are 2-1/2 years apart). So, it is definately possible. I also nursed DD my entire pregnancy with DS. I was temping / charting, but I was also using a clear blue easy fertility monitor. I tried the saliva testing -- it is very prone to errors and is a sensitive test.

With that having been said -- how regular is your cycle? Do you have any idea if you are ovulating? I experienced irregular cycles, but on top of that, I was having very short luteal phases. So, while technically fertile, there was no way I was going to conceive. I had to wean down DD to less nursing before I got my true fertility back. It had to do with elevated hormones from the nursing!

Good luck and let me know if you have any specific questions!

harmonybear's picture
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Thanks, everyone, that's really helpful!

One of the reasons I'm going the OPK route this month (and maybe next month) is to determine 1) if I'm ovulating at all; 2) if there's an issue with my ovulation (ie short luteal phase).

I don't know which result I'm hoping to get. If there's a problem, then it gives me my answer (and hopefully the problem will be solved by weaning), but if I'm ovulating normally and still not getting pregnant, that seems almost worse to me - though it's technically a better result for TTC. IDK. We'll see what results I get this month and go from there! Smile

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sounds like you have a good plan.. good luck and KUP!

celticbandgeek's picture
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:goodluck: I hope you get that BFP soon!

As far as OPKs, I get ICs through Amazon. I know not everybody loves these, but they work really well for me. Whatever kind you decide to use, after a few cycles you'll know what is "normal" for you as far as how the lines look at various times. (Of course, hopefully you won't be using them long enough to figure that out! Biggrin )