Friday, August 31, 2012

Embracing my womanhood!

The following post has lots of details about lady things! So you can skip it if you're uncomfortable with that, although I don't know why you would be. I wanted to document my adventures in fertility in case someone else has the same problems.

So, many of you know I've been trying to get pregnant again (I'm not pregnant, just to clarify). Recently a friend of mine told me how someone gave her Taking Charge of Your Fertility for a wedding present, and she recommended it to me. This book looks like it's going to be another one of these natural remedies magical happy times cures, but it's not. It's about helping women become more aware of their cycles and fertile times, in gruesome and useful detail. Charting your cycle is as easy as taking your oral temperature every morning when you wake up. I'd heard about basal temperature readings, but most of the commentary on it was pretty negative, focusing on how it doesn't tell you that you've ovulated until afterwards, or that it's really finicky, or that you need to take readings somewhere other than your mouth with some expensive thermometer. Well, any oral thermometer will work.

I also started using these pre-ovulation tests this month, and got a positive result. So now I know that if I have some kind of fertility problem, it's likely not something to do with ovulation. I'll know more when I finish charting/keeping track of my basal (waking) temperatures for the month, and when I visit my OB/GYN next month. It's something little, but having this insight into my own body makes trying to have a child less like weird voodoo and a little more scientific.

Another awesome lady thing I have tried is the Diva cup. It's a menstruation cup that replaces pads and tampons and only needs changing every 12 hours. It reduces waste, since it's reusable, and it's a lot more comfortable than pads. There's also very low or non-existent risk of toxic shock syndrome since it's made of silicon. I heard about it a few years ago but I was too scared to try it. But now that I've tried tampons (like why didn't I do that earlier?) and gotten married, putting a silicone cup up my vagina is a lot less scary. It takes some getting used to, but it's SO MUCH BETTER than pads/tampons.

Last lady thing: I got my ears pierced! I probably should have gone to a real piercing place instead of Claire's, but it was less scary that way. Now I'm just paranoid that my ears will get infected and I'll regret it... but hopefully now children will be able to tell I'm female, even if I have my hair up (yes this is an actual problem for me).

Also: timp cave!


Becky said...

Hey! So even though we haven't really talked in ages through the magic of the internet I still feel in touch. This is kind of a random post to finally decide to comment but I figured I might as well. Yay for taking charge! Good luck with the whole getting pregnant thing. It still blows my mind that people my age and younger are having babies. Which really shouldn't because I'm going to be 30 next year and people in their 20s (and teens...) have babies all the time. I didn't realize you didn't have your ears pierced. Today I talked to my best friend's husband who I have known for over 5 years and he said "hey, you got your ears pierced." Actually, they have been pierced since I was 12. I just rarely wear earrings. That was kind of funny. Best of luck with that gender clarification thing. I've had people mistake me for a man too and it isn't any fun. Sir. :)

Rachel Helps said...

haha thanks Becky. Hope you're doing well!

Tangerine said...

I'm glad you found that book helpful! I now feel that the supremely awkward moment of opening that up as our first wedding gift in front of his parents and mine is justified.

krebscout said...

HA. THE CAVE. WHY THE CAVE? At the end of the post, like made me laugh out loud.

I've never heard of the diva cup. Sounds interesting. I see this one is pre-childbirth, though. Hope it works after, too?

I just got my ears (re)pierced, too! And sometimes I look like a man, too!

I like you.

Rachel Helps said...

haha thanks krebscout. There's another post-birth model that's a little bigger I think, but I went ahead and got the pre- model hoping to tempt Murphy's law.

also, glad your embarrassment could have some justification, Tang.

Lexi said...

I've always wondered about things like the Diva Cup. I really don't like tampons; is this... better? (I know, "better" is ambiguous. :)) Anyway, interesting stuff. It's nice to read about woman things from other women!

Rachel Helps said...

depending on what you don't like about tampons, a diva cup could be better... diva cups don't go in as far and I can't feel it when I wear (use?) it. Some people who say that tampons give them cramps thought the diva cup was better for them, but you probably won't know unless you try it! :-)

Andrea Landaker said...

Yeah, honestly, I didn't really feel very feminine until I got pregnant. Then it was like, "Well obviously I'm a woman, and if you can't tell, that's your problem". :-D

In a similar vein, if it sounds fun to "take charge of one's sexuality", I recommend The Guide to Getting It On. I kind of wished I had read it sooner. :-)