On cycle day (CD) 9, I was at the gym doing a barbell bench press and, upon lowering the bar to my chest, I felt a twinge of pain shoot through my left breast. Wait. Huh? I completed the repetition and lowered the bar to my chest again, just to be sure of what I was feeling (because, of course, racking the bar and touching my breast with my hand makes way too much practical sense) and, sure enough, my breasts were quite tender to the touch. Now, granted, lowering 85 pounds of weight onto one’s chest may be cause for feeling a wee bit of pressure, or perhaps even slight pain, I knew something else was going on. But… so soon? My period ended just a couple days ago… and we haven’t been intimate … and oh, my goodness, did we miss the window? … did we screw up our chances this month? … ugh!
These and a million other panicked, mildly irrational thoughts crowded my mind as I sat on that bench, repeatedly and firmly pressing my palms on my breasts, squishing them into my chest to ascertain the areas and depth of the tenderness. I wondered if I could hold my pee long enough to finish my workout and go home to take an ovulation predictor test (OPK)? I most certainly couldn’t but a full bladder was surely not going to deter me, so I stopped drinking water, continued on with my workout and earnestly prayed that my daily kegels would pay off.
Sore breasts are the first indication that I am preparing to ovulate. Last cycle, I had absolutely no breast soreness until one week before my period started, which was quite unusual for me but I didn’t think anything of it; I figured my body was getting back to normal after the previous cycle’s early miscarriage.
I made it home without incident (or accident) that day and took an OPK. It wasn’t positive – thank goodness – but it was definitely dark enough for me to know that my LH surge would be happening very soon. On CD 10, the OPK test line was slightly darker than on CD 9 and, comparably, much darker than it had been in all but one of our previous TTC cycles on CD 10. I knew at this point that my predicted ovulation was going to be off by a few days and that my cycle was going to be shorter, overall. What I also knew is that we had not been baby dancing, so we were not maximizing our efforts in conceiving this month.
CD 11 was my peak day! My test line was way darker than the control line. In fact, in all 6 TTC cycles, this was the darkest I had ever seen it. Luckily we were able to baby dance that day (actually, we had already done it before I took the OPK).
August has been a really busy month for me in my business. I mentioned before that my attitude towards this cycle is one of mild ambivalence but we still planned to get our groove on during my fertile week. Little did we know that my body would kick things into gear 4-5 days earlier than expected!
I know our God is a wondrous and powerful God and, if He sees fit for us to conceive this month, we most certainly will! I also know that fertile week sprung up on us and we weren’t doing everything we could to increase our chances of conception this month so, if it doesn’t happen, I will totally understand why.
There is much to be said about keeping track of your cycle and knowing your body. I would have most certainly missed our chance altogether if I didn’t pay attention to my body’s signs and signals that I was about to ovulate. An app can only go so far in prediction. Knowing your body, knowing what to look for at each stage of your cycle, will go a long way towards improving your odds when you’re TTC. Relying on apps, temping and even OPK strips isn’t as effective as being intimately connected with the cyclical rhythms of your body. This I know for sure.