Back to the series about more than you ever wanted to know about my experience with charting (consider this your major TMI warning). I don't really know what to call it in my case. NFP doesn't quite fit. Whatever.
I'm back to being happier with charting again. I think it's starting to get a little more natural. I feel bad for my irritation with my FCP last month. She really is awesome, and I didn't get any lectures at this follow up (despite a couple of missed observations). I do appreciate the fact that she is a stickler in that that is the best way to get the most out of what you're doing.
Things that I am learning this month:
1) WHY the rhythm method is so bad. I mean, I knew why, and I knew that NFP is nothing close to the same thing as that, but now I really see it in black and white, if you will. (Or green and white... Sorry, lame charting joke.) So far in 2.5 completed cycles, I have seen an early ovulation and a fairly late one. Clearly if I was trying to avoid pregnancy and simply following the rhythm method, this would not have worked well at all.
2) It does get easier. Again, I state the obvious, but sometimes it's easier to purposely forget the obvious so that I can be as grumpy as possible about the frustrating aspects of things.
3) My cycles, though a little varied, are normal enough and fairly regular with an easy to identify peak day. There are some signs of possible low progesterone. Not completely surprising. I have read enough IF blogs to make me wonder, and the charting seems to be agreeing with that hypothesis. Of course, it would take blood draws to confirm it. In this stage of my life, that probably won't happen. My PMS symptoms are just bad enough to let me know that I have symptoms, but nothing remotely close to affecting function. Since I am neither trying to get pregnant, nor trying to stay pregnant, I see no other reason to worry too much about it (unless someone knows something that they want to clue me in on). However, I do find it extremely helpful to know. If I do meet someone, and we do start to get serious about a possible marriage, I would definitely be looking into that ASAP. Better to know now so I can start to get it regulated before marriage rather than wondering afterwards why it is difficult to get pregnant, or simply write it off as not being 20 anymore.
4) I am curious to see what happens this month with the mucous cycle. It has seemed prolonged and increased in the last two months and coincided with my traveling and taking echinacea because of all the germs on all the airplanes. My FCP has never heard of echinacea affecting that, but she was the first to bring up the possibility in looking at my chart. Then again, the only cycle we have to compare it to is the first cycle I started to chart. It is very likely that I missed a few things that time around, so who knows? I'm curious to see what happens.