January 07, 2016
This post is sponsored by Natural Cycles
There was a time in my 20s – like there was/is/will be a time in your 20s – when I briefly enjoyed being “ahead of the curve”, technology-wise. After leaving for college with a new budget laptop that broke constantly and only a vague understanding of the internet (TUBES), I tackled my steep learning curve and learned to embrace new gadgets and tech and before I knew it, I was suddenly considered tech-savvy by friends, coworkers, and family.
Not that the benchmark was set all that incredibly high, back then. I knew how to troubleshoot my parents’ printer and modem, I knew how to use a bunch of software programs and HTML, and I could patiently explain the concept of digital cameras and why no, you don’t just “pop the roll of film” somewhere into a computer like a disk or CD-ROM to put photos on the internet. (Legit conversation I once had once.)
I MEAN, I HAD A BLOG. And a sweet Motorola RAZR flip phone. I was hip and with it and totally saving up for an iPod.
I’m saying all this now because now I'm in my 30s and regularly encountering things that make me smack my gums together while talking about how things were “back in my day.”
Back in my day, when I was trying (and failing, month after month) to get pregnant, there was no “app for that.” My cycles were long and wildly irregular, and my body refused all of my attempts to track, monitor or even BEGIN to understand when my fertile days were – or if I even HAD fertile days. You could shell out $100+ on a digital fertility monitor (plus a month's worth of pricey pee sticks), or you could keep a thermometer and a confusing chart printed from the Internet on your nightstand and try to pinpoint ovulation that way, or give up and try fertility drugs, or…I don’t know. Just throw darts at the calendar and block off a full week for not-super-exciting appointment sex.
And so now, after playing around with the Natural Cycles app, I am compelled to share my story of trying to conceive while walking uphill barefoot in the snow both ways because MAN, do I wish something like this existed for me back then.
I obviously have no plans for any more babies, and Jason took the birth control question off the table by getting snipped last year, but wonky cycles remain wonky, and I’ve been enjoying playing around with Natural Cycles and getting a deeper look at what my body is doing week by week these days. It’s MUCH more than a period tracking app (which, if you are irregular are useful for logging dates but not much else, my estimated start date will always be wrong thanks to not have any REAL “average” length) – you take your temperature each morning and log it in the app; the app does EVERYTHING ELSE for you, based on an actual physical/biological measurement…much more than a simple math algorithm.
This is basically what I tried to do with a piece of paper on my nightstand, but I never REALLY understood what to do with the data I recorded and what it meant for my unique cycle. Natural Cycles is still in the “learning” phase for me (as I am admittedly difficult to track), but was already able to identify my most recent cycle as annovulatory, which. Yep. Sounds about right. And back in the TTC days, when I basically had NO idea month to month if I had any reason to even be vaguely hopeful, that sort of insight (NO EGG THEREFORE NO BABY) would have been massively helpful. Am I late? Should I pee on a stick? Am I in the luteal phase? What even IS the luteal phase?
I suspect going forward, with more tracking, the app will get even smarter and – oh my lands, it would be a Christmas miracle – I might ACTUALLY be able to know when my next period will hit. Can you imagine?
What a world. What a wonderful app-filled whoziwhasits world. Now seriously, get off my lawn. It's muddy and cold and you'll catch your death.
Special offer time! Get 40% OFF a one-year subscription plus a free digital basal thermometer when you sign up via this link here.