Charting Cervical Mucus

pregnancy testIn a previous post, I talked about how charting your basal body temperature, or BBT, can be beneficial in determining when you are most fertile. Going along with BBT, charting cervical mucus is another inexpensive and easy way to find out when you are most fertile each month.

A little background on how cervical mucus charting works:

After a woman is finished with her menstrual cycle, there will be little to no mucus. As she approaches ovulation, her discharge becomes more abundant, thin, transparent and slippery like egg whites. When the discharge changes to raw, egg-white looking, the woman has entered her fertile period. This time is the best for regular intercourse.

Along with being accurate (except for those women using feminine hygiene products, lubricated condoms and contraceptive foams and jellies), charting cervical mucus is free. Also, a number of apps and websites help you along the way. We especially like the free Kindara app to help women track and chart their cervical mucus.

For more information, check out this article from Medical Daily.

A (simple) look at the (complicated) science behind conception

For some women, getting pregnant is all too easy, but for others, the process is long and difficult. The science behind conception is extremely intricate and complicated and many women do not understand the processes the body goes through to create life. The act of conception can only take place two days a month and follows a complex process that requires all parts of the puzzle to work perfectly together.

A woman becomes aroused during sexual intercourse, producing the exact lubrication needed to help the sperm survive and function, and ultimately capacitate the sperm. Capacitation allows the sperm to move with whip-like motions to travel the six to seven inches into the ampulla, the far end of the fallopian tube where the mature egg is released by the ovary each month. Proper lubrication also helps balance the pH levels of the vagina and hydrate the cervical mucus, both of which lead to increased sperm function to fertilize the egg. Capacitation also allows the sperm to penetrate the egg for conception.

This You Tube video shows the conception process in an eye-opening and amazing way…check it out!

fertilization sperm-capacitation

Putting the Romance Back Into Conceiving

Between charting basal body temperatures, checking cervical mucus and timing intercourse, for many couples trying to conceive, all forms of romance can go right out the bedroom window. Couples struggling to conceive often find that sex becomes a chore or another to-do to check off the list, which can further impede their chances of conceiving.

ToConceive, created by an award-winning gynecologist, helps a woman’s create her own natural conception lubrication. The product not only makes sexual intercourse more pleasurable for a woman, but also promotes sperm capacitation, essential for conception. Couples using ToConceive can enjoy conception sex, while at the same time increasing the woman’s own natural conception lubrication.

candlelight--romance--sensual--burning_3220207How can something so seemingly natural and fun turn into such hard work? The Infertility Unit of Ferrara University studied a sample of 60 infertile and 52 fertile couples and found that the infertile couples showed a decrease in sexual satisfaction, impaired sexual arousal, lubrication deficiencies and lack of orgasm. As the study states, “as far as infertility is concerned, sexual intercourse can lose its spontaneity because it is aimed at ‘baby-making’ and it is strictly restricted to ‘fertile’ days.”

Having sex on a schedule can be emotionally stressful for both couples, especially for male partners, who feel progressively degraded to the role of “sperm donors”. For women, hormone medication can produce certain side effects that affect their sexual behavior and desire to have sex.

As the study concludes, infertile women have decreased sexual arousal and lubrication, both of which are necessary for the conception process. The so-called “decay of pleasure” leads to vicious cycle for infertile couples, who only see sex as a chore. “Sexuality can be therefore deprived of its recreative and erotic value and subordinated to the direct goal of pregnancy,” states the Ferrara study.

Even celebrities like Michael Buble and his wife Luisana Lopilato admitted that sex to conceive wasn’t sexy. As Buble pointed out in an interview on the Graham Norton Show, “there was nothing sexy about it [sex].” Buble continued, “My wife is so beautiful but it wasn’t like that. She was very, ‘You know what Mike? It’s nine o’clock on Tuesday night and we must do it now.’”

All kinds of advice exists online on how to enjoy sex while trying to get pregnant, including numerous sex tips for when you’re trying to conceive. Tips range from taking your time, sticking to a routine, utilizing all five senses and changing positions.

Even the co-founder of PayPal, Max Levchin, has developed an app for the iPhone that helps a woman track her ovulation, notifying her of her most fertile periods and offering advice like what type of lingerie to wear when trying to conceive.

Whether you buy new lingerie, light a few candles or take a romantic getaway to mix up the babymaking, ToConceive can counteract many of the unwanted sexual side effects of infertility, such as lack of lubrication. Using ToConceive not only makes conception easier, it can make the experience more enjoyable too.

Want some more tips? Check out these resources:

How to Enjoy Sex While Trying to Get Pregnant

Sex Tips for When You’re TTC

How to Get Pregnant Fast

How to Make Love When You Are Trying to Get Pregnant

Pregnancy Sex Tips: Have Fun Sex and Get Pregnant

Lunch Box Notes

images-7My baby started 2nd grade today! What? How is that possible? Regardless, that is where we are and I’m thankful for everyday. I do however dread packing lunches. It is just one of those things I do not enjoy doing everyday. In addition to trying to provide a nutritious and pleasing midday meal for my son, I also write a little note in his lunch box. By the end of the year my once creative sayings turn into “have a great day” everyday. I was just looking last night for a little lunch box love inspiration and stumbled across a blog on pinterest with a list of great things to write.

http://www.southyourmouth.com/2012/08/lunchbox-notes.html

I have also thought of playing games with the notes, such as writing clues each day that lead to a reveal of some sort on Friday. For example:

Monday- Everyday this week you will get a clue that will help you guess who is going to visit you for lunch Friday. This person shares one name with you.

Tuesday- This person enjoys riding on two wheels.

Wednesday- This person drives a gold- colored car.

Thursday- This person gives you candy when mommy isn’t looking.

Friday- I hope you enjoyed your lunch with Pop-pop!

There is no limit to the creativity you could use each day to make your child’s lunch a special time.

Friday

Check out our partner, Kindara, and take control of your fertility!

ToConkindara-400pxceive has partnered with and is available for purchase through Kindara, an app that helps women take control of their fertility. Whether you’re trying to conceive, attempting to avoid pregnancy or just want to be knowledgeable as to how your body works, Kindara offers something for every woman. Concentrating on the Fertility Awareness Method, including charting basal body temps and cervical fluid, Kindara allows you to input your data, your goals and track your most fertile days so you know the best times to attempt intercourse to get pregnant. Kindara is backed by a team of experts to answer questions and provide helpful information.

As their mission states, they want to “give women amazing tools to manage their health and meet their goals. Confident women make the world a better place and we want to create more of them.”

For more information on Kindara, check out their website at www.kindara.com or visit the iTunes store to download the app and start taking control of your fertility today!

Uniforms in Public Schools

Since my son started kindergarten I have said I was going to write letters to our school district campaigning for uniforms in hopes that by the time my children reach middle school they are in place. Of course I haven’t done that yet, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to get myself motivated.  I would like to look at the research that has been done and see what advantages, besides my own personal motivation, there are to having uniforms in public schools.  I would love to hear from others who have had experiences with uniforms in public schools to see if there really is a difference in those places as opposed to schools with little dress code.

From  NYPost

From NYPost

To The Fort Thomas Independent School Distirct

To Whom It May Concern:

My husband and I carefully chose Fort Thomas as our home because of many reasons, but the top-rated school district was on top of the list. We have already been thrilled with the district and fully expect our children to receive a wonderful education and experience! There is one area that we would like to express concern for the future and hope that you will at the very least consider our recommendation.

At home we teach our children to dress modestly, to try and look their best for the specific task they are given and to wear clothing that is appropriate for that specific circumstance. Amoung other reasons, we believe uniforms would be helpful to encourage more appropriate dress across the board. Over the past few years we have seen a drastic decline in the clothing choices of young people in our nation- in modesty, neatness and appropriateness. Seeing the declining trend, we are concerned for the types of clothing that will be allowed by the time our children reach high school. We also feel that uniforms would help reduce the pressure for students who cannot afford the latest fashion and help set an atmosphere for learning rather than trend-setting.

We understand there are concerns over students individuality and cost to families, but if done right, we feel these concerns are small in comparison to the benefits of wearing uniforms-even in public schools. According to a study done in 2010, 19% of public schools across the country have gone to uniforms (http://www.sfgate.com/food/bargainbites/2011/map/article/School-Uniforms-Pros-and-Cons-4619310.php). Would our district ever consider this?

Thank you for hearing our concerns and for your consideration,

Matt and Krissy Richard

What Not to Say to a Couple TTC

Seems like Murphy’s Law that whenever people see a pregnant woman, they feel like they can say anything they want, good or bad. However, good manners dictate that we should never ask “how far along are you?” unless we’re absolutely sure she’s pregnant. We know not to tell a pregnant woman she looks huge and “are you sure there aren’t twins in there?”

Pregnancy silloutteThe same rules can apply to couples trying to conceive. The TTC process is very emotional and insensitive comments can do a lot of damage to the psyche of the couple. Recently, the Huffington Post published an article on the 5 things to never say to a friend trying to conceive. Even with good intentions, words can really hurt.

Here’s a several of the five from the Huffington Post:

“Everything happens for a reason.”

Suggesting someone’s infertility is part of “the grand plan” or that “everything happens for a reason” will only reinforce negative feelings they may already have, making them feel even worse.

“You know a friend of mine was trying, then poof!”

Try not to tell stories of someone else who was TTC who then suddenly got pregnant. When a TTC person or couple hears these anecdotes, the sting of “what’s wrong with me?” hurts even more.

Other comments to avoid include:

“Just stop stressing and it will just happen.”

Obviously, not being able to conceive is stressful and telling someone to not stress is not productive because they will inevitably stress about it.

“It will happen when it happens.”

Time is the enemy for couples TTC, so using time logic won’t help.

“Just enjoy this time as a couple.”

If a couple is TTC, they are ready to be parents and while spending extra time as just the 2 of them may be great, it doesn’t fill the void of a baby in their lives.

So, what should you say?

Tell them you support them in whatever decisions they make (surrogacy, adoption, IVF, etc), that you’ll keep them in thought and prayer and offer them a listening ear for venting. Be positive, supportive and patient.

To read the article in its entirety, visit http://www.huffingtonpost.com/the-mommy-docs/5-things-to-never-say-to-a-friend-trying-to-conceive_b_3443976.html

Are you ready for a baby?

Tiny fingersMost parents will tell you that if you wait until your really ready to have kids, you’ll never have them. It seems you’ll never be totally prepared for the adventure that is parenthood, but Fit Pregnancy magazine offers some great questions for you and your partner to ask each other, to see if you’re ready as you’ll ever be for a baby.

Here are some of the questions I believe are the most important to ask before starting your TTC journey:

1. How are you going to get pregnant?

Sure, you know HOW to make a baby, but do you have a plan? Just going off birth control and waiting to see what happens is one way to do it, but if several months pass and still no baby, it’s probably a good idea to come up with a plan. Consider charting your basal body temps or cervical mucus to find out when you’re most fertile and time intercourse for those days. Download a helpful fertility app, such as Kindara, to track your fertile days. Try ToConceive to help maximize a woman’s natural lubrication and promote sperm capacitation, essential for conception.

2. Are your finances in good shape?

Having a baby is very expensive, from the diapers all the way to college tuition. Each month you’ll have to budget for diapers, wipes, formula or breastfeeding supplies, medicine, and doctor’s appointments, not to mention all the stuff a baby needs (car seat, crib, etc.)

3. Are you BOTH ready for more chores?

Even if the mom decides to stay home full-time to care for the baby, the dad should still be involved in the daily care of baby, as well as chipping in around the house with chores. Raising a baby will be exhausting for both of you, so work out a plan to assure that everything that needs to get done, gets done. And, remember, taking care of baby is most important; those dirty dishes and laundry can wait 🙂

Check out the full list here:

http://www.fitpregnancy.com/getting-pregnant/fertility-conception/are-you-ready-baby