Good morning. It's 5:30 am and I sit here writing to you. Hopefully none of you are as intimately connected as I used to be to the BBT. I'm even hoping that I am dating myself and that none of you even knows what that is. Chances are, if you are trying to conceive, you at least know what it is.
Basal Body Temperature. That's what BBT stands for. It seems so innocent, yet it's my recollection of wanting to throw those thermometers across the room, that stays with me. Spending the last few minutes looking on our glossary and further on the internet, I realize that the BBT is very much alive and well. Interesting to me is my vivid memories of how much I despised that particular test. Interesting because it's not painful, (no shots), it not inconvenient, (first thing in the morning before getting out of bed), it's doesn't raise/lower/alter any hormone levels, it's quick, it's inexpensive.
So why did I dislike that particular test so much? And what made me think of it now?
Because for me, 5:30 AM is first thing in the morning. Maybe and hopefully, for most of you that is true. (We won't talk about my crazy sister who is already done with her morning work out by this time in the morning. She also goes to sleep by 8:15 most nights.) That explains my distaste for the basal body test, thermometer and charting in a nutshell.
Waking up each morning, every single morning and having my failure to conceive (that's right, that's how it felt, that's how it feels sometimes, doesn't it? Especially first thing in the morning?) be the first thing I had to think about was demoralizing. Depressing. Just plain awful. Sorry, sugar coating it would also be rewriting history. I hated it.
Dr. Ben Sandler gave me permission to throw it away. He was very kind. He looked at the stack of graph paper in which I had meticulously charted my temperature for months and was very kind. I remember him asking me if it felt at all stressful to take my temperature every morning. I almost, but did NOT, burst into tears. I knew this was the right doctor for me.
And I knew also, that this innocuous, not painful, not expensive, not particularly invasive, not hormone altering test was not the right approach for me. We moved onto ovulation predictors, which were a relief after the daily grind of months of temperature taking.
The first morning I did not take my temperature felt like a vacation. I stretched, touched my toes, and didn't worry about moving around and skewing the chart. It felt luxurious, decadent, lovely and powerful not to have to focus that intently on my infertility first thing in the morning. Even better was when it left my consciousness completely as taking my temperature ceased to even enter my mind first thing in the morning.
Powerful. I loved that.
My moral of the story? Because if you have been reading my blog, you know that I kind of like to be able to learn something from everything. My moral of this story is that if you are on a break right now from treatment; see how you can support not being infertile first thing in the morning. A metaphor of course. But really, who needs to be reminded of being fertility challenged the first moment of every single day?
Do something different. Change up your routine. Do some of the stuff we keep telling you not to do. Have a drink, eat some chocolate, work out like crazy, stay up way too late, drink some caffeine.
Take a break from infertility. Notice those moments when you did not feel infertile. Just felt like you.