Since I last wrote about my surrogacy journey, I tracked my ovulation as best I could during my last cycle which mainly consisted of peeing on sticks daily and sometimes twice. I decided the best way to do this would be to keep the sticks so that I could line them up against each other to truly follow how dark the line got in order to figure out when I was at my peak.
It’s no good throwing them away everyday as you’d have nothing to compare it with and you’d be guessing if you thought it was darker than yesterday or not. It was interesting particularly as you could sometimes see a difference even in the same day which does go to show that the less diluted your urine the better.
What I also found interesting was the contrast between the cheap and cheerful sticks and the Clear Blue ovulation sticks. When I ordered them, I didn’t realise they do 2 different ones – ones that track just the LH levels and ones that track LH levels and estrogen. I had the ones that tracked both LH levels and estrogen and started using these alongside the cheap and cheerful ones 5 days before I was due to ovulate.
To begin with I just had a circle which meant I wasn’t fertile and then I got a flashing smiley face which meant that I was fertile and at this point the leaflet told you this was the time to start having sex (if only!!) but to keep testing until you reached a smiley face which was when you are ovulating.
However, I stopped testing after 3 days of having a flashing smiley face because the cheap and cheerful sticks showed the 2nd line was fading and when examining myself and based on symptoms, I also felt by this point I had ovulated.
The window for ovulation can be as little as 12 hours which can obviously happen at any time so could happen whilst you are sleeping and seen as sperm can survive for up to 5 days before you ovulate, I wasn’t concerned that the Clear Blue sticks didn’t show a smiley face when I think they should have. However, this month I am moving onto the other Clear Blue sticks that only measure LH levels.
For those of you that don’t want to know the ins and outs feel free to stop reading…
So, another way of trying to work out if you are fertile is by examining your cervical mucus, this can be done by either seeing what it looks like if you get any in your knickers, but it is more accurate if you can try and reach your cervix with your fingers and then see what it looks like. If you check it at different times throughout your cycle you will notice that it changes. On day 1-4 after your period ends it can be dry or tacky, day 4-6 it is sticky, day 7-9 it becomes creamy, and yogurt like in consistency and day 10-14 it becomes stretchy and resembles raw egg whites. It is between days 10-14 when it becomes stretchy that you are fertile. The position of your cervix can also help indicate if you are ovulating as it is higher at this time.
By combining ovulation tests, tracking your cycle, noticing any symptoms you have as well as noticing the position of your cervix and what your cervical mucus looks like is probably the best way of knowing when you are fertile or ovulating.
As I rarely get the chance to go to the toilet in peace (as my daughters tend to follow me even if they are happily playing at the time!) they obviously have seen me doing ovulation tests and so they are aware of what I am doing and why. I was surprised when Florrie asked if she could help and so she took an interest in watching the test as it flashed and liked being in charge of telling me if it was showing a circle, flashing smiley face or just a smiley face. When she saw the flashing smiley face, she gave me a very grown-up look and said, ‘does that mean it’s time to make a baby?’ – this completely took me by surprise and made me giggle.
Everything is beginning to feel real now because we have our surrogacy agreement session booked and Ali & Andrew came up for the weekend and met my mum and best friend. When they met Maddie, it was lovely as she has 2 little girls who are a similar age to my girls who get on really well and Maddie said to me that she was honoured to be involved in my journey and for her girls to experience surrogacy as well. I’m pleased (& relieved) that Maddie approves of Ali & Andrew (not that I expected her not to). So now we are on the countdown to signing the agreement and starting to try and conceive!