Monday, May 26, 2008

Fertility While Nursing

I found this a couple weeks ago and it explains rather reasonably how fertility returns post-partum, while breastfeeding:

The greatest level of suppression is not ovulating, but as your prolactin levels go up, your fertility will gradually return. First you will ovulate, but not have the proper hormone levels for fertilization; then you will ovulate and fertilization may occur, but you still may not have the proper hormone levels for implantation; finally, you may ovulate, be fertilized, and implant, but not have the proper hormone levels for continuing the pregnancy, so you have a very early miscarriage, probably along the lines of minutes or hours after implantation, so you wouldn't know you had been pregnant. It is also possible to ovulate without having the right hormonal levels in the right combinations for the uterus to have been preparing for implantation, so yes, it is possible to ovulate without menstruating. For all of these stages, there seems to be incredible individual variation between women. Some women get pregnant again the first time they ovulate, with no intervening menstrual periods. I knew a woman in Indiana years ago who had three children in six years with no menstrual periods! Her doctor couldn't figure out when to predict her due date

The author, Kathy Dettwyler, has studied a lot of different aspect of nursing. Her site is pretty interesting to poke around:

I found her mentions about the natural ages of weaning amongst other large mammals to be affirming of what I have been observing with my little one.

I love E.C.

This morning I was getting dressed and I heard the baby walk down the hall from his room. I called to him to see where he was and then found him holding onto the toilet seat. He looked up at me and signed for "more" and then I got him undressed and set him on his seat reducer and he proceeded to have a big poop. Yeah for no poopy diapers! Yeah for baby!

The no poopy diapers is pretty commonplace but the baby initiated trips to the bathroom are still relatively new. We invested in a second toilet seat reducer and a foldable seat for use when we are out. The foldable seat has come in handy and the second seat means that we are totally ready whenever he is.

We have a sitter come help care for the baby a few afternoons a week now as I need to get more work done and baby is ready for more than just hanging with mom and dad at the office. He will potty for her as well which is super and great for her as well as no one likes to change a poopy diaper.

Live and Learn

I've been going through my posts from 2005, the time between my myo and TTC again and then my second miscarriage. In there I found a reference I made to having headaches in my luteal phase, and for some reason I made the connection to them being related to prolactin levels. The reason this seems so odd to me is that in the middle of my past luteal phase I also had a killer headache, and since I'm nursing prolactin is easily related, though I'm not sure. That was the cycle I tried Vitex and while a little helped a lot, more didn't help at all, it rather delayed my ovulation.

Now that I'm TTC while nursing my cycles are a little more unpredicatable. I was loosely charting the start of my period since I first got my first post-partum AF in September. I've just started using Ovusoft's Taking Charge of Your Fertility software again to track it in a little more finer detail. I'm just tracking symptoms but not yet have I delved into basel temp taking. I know my little guy would be fascinated by the beeping of the thermometer and want to take it out of my mouth so I don't know that it would be a practical thing to do while co-sleeping. I also pulled out my fertility monitor from the back of the closet and took a look at it again. It might come in handy though now my thought is of all those little plastic sticks and their foil envelopes and the impact on the environment.

I'm trying to be diligent about taking my prenatal vitamins as you are supposed to do while nursing. I try to eat a balanced diet, eating a good 3-4 meals a day plus snacks to keep my calorie count up for nursing. The baby is growing well and my energy level has been good so I think we are doing okay in that regard. My partner is back taking Acetyl-l-Carnetine and Arginine again, plus his daily vitamin. We held off on grape seed extract for now and we have talked about getting some more Preseed again, that's the really expensive lube that doesn't hurt the sperm. I think one of the cheapest places to get that is through Ovusoft