Saturday, February 28, 2015

Book Review: The Art of Natural Family Planning (4th Edition)

Today I found The Art of Natural Family Planning (4th Edition)  at the used bookstore for $10.00 - score! I haven't finished all 511 pages, but so far I like it. I vastly prefer the tone of the 4th edition to the more recent edition, which seemed a little dumbed down to me. The book still has very overtly Catholic sections, which I am "meh" about (same feeling towards the most recent edition). At the same time, I think I slightly prefer the tone of the 4th edition to "Taking Charge of Your Fertility." I think there is a greater emphasis on marriage and using NFP to grow your family than in TCOYF, which more closely aligns with NaturalGuy and my goals.

Fives Things About Observing Cervical Position

This past (long) cycle, I've been working on getting better at observing my cervix. Observing temperature came very easily to me - it's objective and straightforwards. Observing mucus was a bit more difficult, but after one cycle I felt quite confident, and at this point, I have a pretty good feel for what's "normal" for my cycle. The cervix - it's just been more challenging! It's unfamiliar and I can't see it. Here's five things I've learned so far:

Interesting Article on Family Size

NaturalGuy forwarded me this article. Coming from a family with a very "filled in" tree - several aunts and uncles, many cousins, not to mention great-aunts, second-cousins, and the greater extended family- I really hope my children get the same. I hadn't thought about the children I will have as a gift to my grandchildren, but aunts and uncles have certainly played a huge role in my life.

Friday, February 20, 2015

More on stress...

I read a very interesting article on how stress effects pregnancy today. Between working long, frustrating hours recently, and wedding planning, I have been feeling worn thin lately. I think that I may have finally ovulated though, on cycle day 63. Waiting to see if tomorrow's temperature confirms it.

Long story short - I am very excited to be married and done with the wedding!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

How does stress affect ovulation?

For the past month, I've been feeling particularly tired and caught every cold that's come through the office. I'm currently on cycle day 53, and I haven't ovulated yet.  The good news - according to my last doctors appointment, I am the picture of health. The bad news - stress is the likely culprit and de-stressing is not easy!

The simple explanation for why stress delays ovulation is that stress effects the hypothalamus, a gland in the brain which is responsible for stress response as well as the reproductive system. (It's also responsible for for regulating appetite, temperature, and emotions - this explains SO much of the past few weeks!). The hypothalamus regulates the pituitary gland, which controls the release of the hormones FSH and LH. When stress effect the hypothalamus, it results in delayed release of FSH and LH, which leads to delayed ovulation.