The idea is that by … um … daily hoo-ha inspection and recording, you can figure out the “safe” times to have sex (if you don’t want kids yet), and the “good” times to have sex (if you are trying to conceive).
Darling Husband dismissed the “scientifically-proven” method as total crap. I was sucked into it at first, but had to agree that it could not qualify as birth control. So we Trojan-ed it up until we were in the clear.
However, learning about cycle tracking was helpful — even if we’re not going to trust it as birth control. I started tracking when I went off the pill in February, so that when we began trying to conceive, I would know which days were “good.”
Enter my handy-dandy calendar …
I started by making a red mark on my FDLP — first day of my period. That would officially be “Day 1.” Then I would use smaller markers to track how long it lasted. Although, unless you are doing the try-this-as-birth-control junk, I don’t think you need to track that …
Then it’s all smooth sailing, until you are almost two weeks past the FDLP, when you start to get that … you know, slippy sensation …
Without getting too graphic — or have I already? — you make a bright blue mark on the day you suspect you are ovulating (egg whites … I’m not saying more). And continue to mark the couple of days after that, because you also have a chance to conceive then.
So blue dots = lots of action. Got that?
The next mark you make is another bright red (or pink) one on the first day of your next period — about four weeks after the first day of your last one. Everyone’s different, but these days are usually 28-30 days apart. This is the next official “Day 1.”
You can continue to mark the days of your period, if you feel like it.
Now that you know how long your cycle is, you can make a little pink-and-blue mark about five days before your FDLP. This mark shows you when you are clear to take a test.
Once you do this for a few months, you can “estimate” when you’ll get your period, and then work backwards five days to see when you can test.
My super-cool counter says I can take a pregnancy test on Sunday, but this calendar says I could have taken one yesterday. The First Response commericalsdo say you can take it five days before your period is set to begin.
I’m Heather Laura Clarke. I’m a writer living in beautiful Nova Scotia, I have a 12-year-old son and a 10-year-old daughter, I married my high school sweetheart, and this is the story of my handmade life.
I have depression and anxiety, and I fight like hell every day to keep them from taking over my life. Creating things helps.
Whether I’m writing novels, decorating a room, busting out my power tools to build furniture, getting muddy in the pottery studio, sewing clothes, or cross-stitching a swear word, I’m all about using my creativity to craft a life I love.
I’ve been writing this blog since 2009, so if you dig deep into the archives, you’ll meet a bright-eyed 25-year-old newlywed who was basically obsessed with having kids, buying a cozy house, and supporting herself full-time with her writing. (Spoiler alert: she got exactly what she wanted.)