Nevertheless, I pretend those are "fertile" days (my husband, worn out after years of IF and unwilling to have sex on command on my schizophrenic theory that we should still be using "fertile" days though I am demonstrably infertile, has required that I refer to the entire business as my "sexy phase" and refuses to hear anything about a "fertile phase." If I use his preferred terminology, he is willing to have sex with me on the days I recommend).
So anyway. I am about to share with you a charting suspense thriller that ought to make your blood run cold. But everyone has been around this defectiveness block so many times that I think everyone will know exactly what door the killer is hiding behind. I am chagrined to say that this time, I, the stupid heroine (and not even blond), feverishly bolted the wrong door and then leaned heavily upon it, breathing a sigh of relief, moments before my cycle once again lowered the axe.
But this metaphor is getting a little heavy. To the facts.
Nobody (including me - I had to go through blog posts to get all the numbers right) is really paying close attention to my menstrual cycle, so I'll start with a quick recap.
October 12: surgery to remove cysts, adhesions, abnormal cervical tissue, and a uterine polyp - so my reproductive health would improve.
Rest of October: recovery, return to work, ignore seriously messed-up cycle. The next one will be normal.
November 5: new cycle. Lasts 22 days. Crap.
November 27: start another cycle. Lasts seventeen days.
December 14: New cycle. Post about how at the going rate, my cycles will soon have negative length. Call Dr. L/C and she tells me to take the tamoxifen I still have. 27-day cycle! (Normal for me.)
January: start new cycle. My tamoxifen bottle had ten pills so I take the other five this cycle and then plan to swear off them for life. 23-day cycle...given the apparent "peak day," medically impossible. I am a miracle menstruater!
February: 24-day cycle. Off the tamoxifen, so this almost seems like good news.
We now resume our story in present time. I started my cycle on February 26. My husband, by the way, got back from a long trip abroad on February 20th, so we had no shot during any of my fertile phase (or whatever it should be called) during my previous cycle. In other words - and I'm not sure it's ever really necessary for me to say this - I could not possibly be pregnant. Of course, I decided to pay careful attention to when any fertile signs occurred during this cycle. It's hard to tell in my case (see HSG knocking out my CM, above), especially since I'm bad and still not taking my temps. But I did notice some stretchy at the end of my period (CD6 and 7), which, per Sew, I am ignoring. Then stretchy CD10 and CD12 (we used some of these days). Then CD15 I had serious breast tenderness. What the heck is that a sign of? Doesn't matter, I'm not pregnant. Next day, a tiny bit of stretchy. Planned to use that day but we were super-busy with planning the St. Patrick's Day party we were co-hosting that night. So we agreed we would use the next day (this past Sunday).
CUE SCARY MUSIC.
We left the party early (seriously) and arrived home just a bit before 4AM. I went to the bathroom before collapsing in bed and saw bright red spotting. I knew I was at about the end of my "fertile" phase - we were planning to use the next day, right? And I had seen a tiny bit of stretchy that very morning. And it was CD16 - so before I collapsed from exhaustion, I read up on midcycle spotting on Dr. Google. It said that this was a sign of ovulation and a "very favorable" sign of fertility. I had never had this sign before, so (this should clearly indicate how tired I was; can't blame alcohol but I sort of wish I could) I realized something must be improving after the surgery after all. A clear sign of ovulation! And the internet (an actual medical site) said "very favorable!" I've never had a very favorable anything. As I fell asleep, I did the math and realized that having sex the next day if I was ovulating that day should still be a good plan. I went to bed with a smile on my face. Gotta be the first time I've been happy about something fertility-related in years. And it will be the last...
As the heroine collapses with relief against the back door she just bolted, she hears a slight noise. Down the hallway, she can see the front door, which she had just run through. She slammed it behind her, but it's hanging open...a few feet away, she suddenly hears a loud footstep, and then -
The next morning when I went to the bathroom I realized I had started my period. I had a sixteen-day cycle. I also started my period during the middle of my fertile phase. WTF?!
This time, when I opened TCYOF, I looked for "perimenopause." (It's not listed separately; you have to look under "menopause." Even better.) Early symptoms of impending menopause include shortening, heavier cycles. This cycle certainly isn't "heavier," and I haven't had a heavy day yet (I certainly did last cycle). In fact - and this is extremely odd - I haven't taken a single Al.eve, which I usually live on. I generally take my first when I feel abdominal tightness and I haven't yet. But I've had NO cramps. That hasn't happened to me in almost fifteen years. I think there's something in TCYOF about "why are my cycles alternately heavy and light," which I can't seem to find, but I think it was "the light ones are probably ovulation spotting." But that can't be so in my case - I'm on CD3, and all three days have been bleeding, not spotting.
Anyway, I'm due for my annual exam. I can't get my p7 bloodwork done since peak day has been shrouded in mystery since surgery (well, it was clear in December. It was Christmas. p7 was New Year's Day), but CD3 is still pretty clear. I'm going to ask for a requisition to get my FSH retested. I can open a lottery, but I am personally guessing that my level (which was 10 and 9.8 in 2004, and 9.0 in 2009) is over 20 and climbing.
If my dh hadn't been out of the country in February, I'd already have bought an HPT, not because I believe I'm pregnant, but because I always want to rule that out as a reason for serious cycle oddity, so I don't wonder about early miscarriage later. (Hasn't happened yet.) But I'm not wasting $8 to rule out a miraculous conception. I believe I'm starting the journey toward menopause. I'm 28 years old. God works in mysterious ways, and I become more hardened and listen less with every passing month. Maybe this is His way of getting through to me that I don't need to go through the expense, or heartache, or pain, of a hysterectomy to avoid my endo getting worse again. Thanks for that...