OvuSense

My PCOS journey got a big present this week with the arrival of my new OvuSense kit! But before I dig into that let me give you can update on all things period and PCOS in my life. As usual I just want to give you a heads up that this post will go into somewhat graphic detail on my period and PCOS symptoms, if that’s something you’d rather not hear about I suggest you skip this post. πŸ™‚

At the beginning of the year I decided to go old school with period tracking and get a mini pocket calendar to write down all my symptoms and aunt flow days.

 I wanted to do it that way instead of an app for a few reasons. Many of the period tracker apps on my phone weren’t designed for women with PCOS and whether it was an app glitch, a user error, or just something wonky with my phone I had a hard time changing my actual period week from the predesignated one. It wound up keeping both periods  which obviously wasn’t right. Another issue I was having was how to track on the apps those extra long cycles I used to have. The ones that started spotty with dark brown blood and continued on for two weeks before I would get a “normal” red flow for a week to ten days followed by yet more brown gunk. I figured the best way to track all that would actually be to write it down in detail each day. I even came up with my own scale for lightness or heaviness of flow, the type of color, and the amount of clots. I was super lucky however that 2017 so far has been a great year of periods for me. I haven’t had any period or spotting lasting more than 8 days. That is some miracle in and of itself to me.

Just this past week I went back and recounted my cycle length days. I’m embarrassed to say I’m a 29 year old woman who still wasn’t entirely confident on how to count my days. I can blame PCOS though can’t I? πŸ™‚ Just in case you weren’t sure either, day one starts on the first real red flow day of your period. Brown spotting before doesn’t count. The cycle lasts all the way up until the day before your next day one period day. Since going plant based on February 27th these are the periods that I’ve had:

Period 1 had a cycle length of 52 days

Period 2 had a cycle length of 49 days

Period 3 had a cycle length of 40 days

Period 4 had a cycle length of 45 days (this was the period I experienced those imaginary pregnancy symptoms and the one I was mad at for taking so long to come)

That brings us up to speed until Thursday evening. I went to the bathroom that evening and I wiped some dark brown gunk away. I was pretty confused and a bit angered by this. Since switching my diet to a plant based one (I’m about 70% whole food plant based and 30% oily vegan) I haven’t had any brown at the beginning of my period only for a few hours at the end of my period. Of course the wheels start spinning in my mind wondering what all this means. As a PCOS woman I know this has happened to me many times in the past and is considered “normal”. As a plant based woman with PCOS this brown stuff before a period hasn’t’ been normal to me. Was it a sign of how off track my diet has been for parts of August? But then another abnormality was present. This brown wipe was only 28 days since the start of my last period. Speaking in averages terms that’s 19 days sooner than usual. What is going on!? Of course like anyone who wants free medical advice would do, I jumped on Google. Good ol’ Google will give me some answers yes? Well according to the myriad of web pages and women online there were some possible answers. I could potentially be having implantation bleeding. (OMG cue the IPS again!), it could potentially just be the leftovers from last period that didn’t get cleared out last time (hello PCOS probs), the other reasons didn’t really seem to fit me like perimenopause for example. I of course rushed to the bathroom to take a pregnancy test which came back negative. I had pretty much assumed I wasn’t but there’s nothing like having that confirmed either way. It helps to move forward and figure out what actually is happening. Only time would tell. Friday more of the same. I had extremely light flow that was mostly brown in color. Saturday again a very light flow but more pink in color this time. Here we are Sunday morning and still the flow is the lightest I’ve ever had and color still seems off to me. Just when I think I’ve got my body figured out it mixes things up again!

I don’t know if I should be excited that this period came after only 29 days. Or if I should be concerned at how different this one is. I’m not even sure if I should consider this a period flow or just mid cycle spotting? Ah! Help!

Well help did arrive Friday afternoon in the form of my package from OvuSense. I am so extremely excited about this product. It is an internal core temperature monitor that sends data to it’s app and can tell you with 99% accuracy if you ovulate or not. It is also backed up and approved for use for women with PCOS! This is amazing! So many products like opk’s and fertility apps aren’t designed for women with PCOS. I purchased the vaginal sensor and a year long subscription to the app for about $225. (I used a coupon code…always use coupons people!) My excitement about this product was already high before I even took it out of the box.  The reviews and the private OvuSense facebook group for users has a lot of success stories from women who had been trying to conceive for literally years and years. I loved the idea of having the knowledge of a definitive yes or no on if I ovulate. The company seems wonderfully supportive and my purchase even came with a free one hour consultation with their fertility nurse after I’ve used the OvuSense for a few cycles.

Love how this product is packaged! So positive and hopeful!

Now you cannot use it during any spotting or bleeding so I haven’t been able to start using it yet. But even though this spotting/period that I’m having has me so confused about what is happening in my body I don’t care as much as I usually would because the answers will be coming soon.

I will keep you all updated on the OvuSense and what is going on with my body. I also heard of a new supplement to take to help with all kinds of PCOS symptoms but I don’t think I’m going to look into that unless the OvuSense says that I am not ovulating. I’m trying to take one thing at a time here.

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Cracking The Whip

I’ll cut right to the chase. We’ve been a bit off track or maybe a lot off track. Too much eating out and too much processed junk. Unfortunately I can be easily swayed into not cooking and eating out. But luckily M has decided to crack the whip on food choices and he’s more of a once I’ve made my mind… kind of guy. So I love that he’s determined to keep us both on track right now. Here’s some pictures of the food we’ve been up to! Yum-my!

So confession…I ate at Ruby Tuesdays three days in a row the other week 😬 BUT it’s because I finally discovered a new way to enjoy big salads without my old ex beloved ranch. This compliant salad compiles of: mix baby greens, romaine, spinach, cucumbers, carrots, edamame, peas, dried cranberries, walnuts, almonds, salt and pepper, and the dressing is hummus with balsamic vinegar! And I realized I can make it myself at home and it tastes just as good!

This is M’s salad the he artfully arranged himself.
Finally tried my hand at a lentil loaf recipe and oh wow it’s so good. Which I’m super glad to know because we are making this for Thanksgiving this year instead of turkey (at least for us I think my dad may die if he doesn’t get Turkey).
I loved the mini potatoes and the zucchini chips. As much as I love green beans these didn’t turn out how I wanted but I still ate them.
Our favorite Mac and cheese with oven roasted Brussels sprouts.
Morning power plate- oil free sprouted ancient grain bread, organic all natural peanut butter (no added oils), bananas and blueberries.
This was so good! Sticky sesame cauliflower bites over Chinese style “fried” rice (not actually fried or made with butter/eggs/oil).

My Favorite Word, “Auntie”

We were fortunate enough to spend the past weekend with some of my family on a vacation in Iowa. It was a long drive but we made it there and back in one piece. We used my sisters time share to get a couple of apartment style rooms on a golf course in Panora, IA. (For the record she does not advise that you purchase time shares but since the deed is done we make the most of it!) The weather was perfect all weekend which always helps with kids so they aren’t couped up all the time. We had so much square footage that is was so nice to not be on top of each other for once. We had three kitchens and five bathrooms between the two apartments so that kind of space was darn near priceless. Typically the boys will go out golfing but as we were on the golf course the ladies got a chance to go out once as well. It was a blast. 

And of course I got spend time with five of my favorite people. Each of them are such fun, sassy, outgoing, and loving people. I’ll never get tired of them calling out to me or hugging my neck tight. Sweet Alice still has a limited vocabulary but spits out, “Auntie!” just fine. πŸ™‚ There are pros and cons to being a younger sibling. You constantly feel behind at life and are always trying to catch up to where your older siblings are at. You 

Of course family time can be stressful too. Differences of opinions, different ways of doing things, different ideas on how to spend your vacation time…you get the idea. So with stress, time away from work, and long drives, what makes family time worth it? Simple. The memories made, the pictures taken, and the laughter in between it all. And the older my siblings and I get the harder it will start to be to get all together. 

Using The Wait Wisely

I had such a wonderful comment on a blog post the other day and it has really stuck with me. The waiting time of when you first wanted to get pregnant to the moment you actually do get pregnant is a wait time. You are waiting for it to happen. For some it is extremely short and for others it seems endlessly long. But no matter how much time passes between those moments it is a waiting game. And the question is how will you use that waiting period? How will you prepare and fill your time until the thing you want to happen, happens. And this can be true for many things in life. The wait time from the moment you decide you are ready to be in a relationship to the moment you are in one. The wait time between deciding you are ready to get married and the moment you get engaged. The moment when you decide what career you want and the time it takes to get to your dream position. The moment your relationship ends until the moment a new one begins. The moment you save that first dollar for a car or house until the moment you have enough money for the purchase. The moment you decide to adopt to the moment you first hold your child. All of these life events and more have a waiting period. How will you use that waiting time? Will you embrace it? Will you do something positive with it? Will you wait wisely?

I remember when M and I broke up for a period of about eight months. I remember being so focused on fixing things between us and getting back together that I didn’t use my wait time wisely. For many of us there are so few moments in life when you are on your own doing what you want whenever you want to do it. I wish that I had focused more on myself and done things that I wanted to do solely because I wanted to do it. Spent money on myself however I wanted without being held accountable to a partner, up and left on a trip with no responsibilities to tend to, and heck something as simple as eating at whichever restaurant I wanted to. That lesson of waiting wisely now has always stayed with me. Because one day the wait will be over and then you are left sometimes wishing you had used that time more wisely. 

We have a few things we’ve focused on as we wait. Health and wellness have been a big focus for us. We want our children to grow into healthy happy people and the biggest way we think to do that is through example. We also want to travel and spend as much time with family and friends as possible because one day it won’t be as easy to just jump in the car and go. The kids won’t be able to stay in their car seat very long without screaming and crying and soccer schedules and bible camp will all get in the way. We also try to spend quality time together just the two of us playing cards and board games, walking to the brewery, driving to state parks in the evening, and taking weekend naps with pets. One day we will be too tired and too busy to do it often. 

It may seem like that moment you’re waiting for will never come but if you want it bad enough it will. I’m so looking forward to that moment in the future where M and I look at each other and say, “remember when we didn’t have kids?…yeah what was that like?” And until we get there I’m going to enjoy the here and now. 


So how will you use your wait time?

Friday Blues

Thankfully my period came today so I can once and for all confirm that I’m not pregnant. I had a stern talking to him (I think it’s funny to call my period a him) and told him I wouldn’t put up with that crap anymore and that I was very worried why he was 12 days later than I had expected and that basically next time it was come on time or don’t come at all! He seemed to be red with shame.

You would think that now I’d be able to move forward and get on like business as usual but that was not the case today. Today I learned of my next door neighbor’s son’s passing away. He was in his mid forties and died suddenly from some virus that sent him into sepsis which he was unable to recover from. The scene next door has been hard to ignore since we’ve had such nice weather we’ve been keeping the house open for a nice cool breeze. Their house has been full with his family gathering to mourn his sudden loss. To witness such heartache right next door is like a reality show gone wrong. Their grief is powerful and contagious in the sense that you never know what happens in life and that every moment is truly precious. It reminds me of when my sister and her family were in a head on collision with a semi on their way back home from M and I’s wedding. They all managed to escape with little to no injury but at times like these I often think back to how it could have ended so much more tragically and how thankful I am. Try not to forget to be thankful and grateful for every moment with loved ones.


With Mr. Period curled up inside me making himself nice and comfy in my uterus and with the sadness next door on top of my frustration of how my day went (computer issues…don’t get me started!) I didn’t want to go to the grocery store to get the supplies I needed for the supper I had planned. Instead I wanted my favorite meal from the vegan restaurant with a side of heaping french fries. The only reason I was able to talk myself out of that idea was to tell myself, “why would you spend money on food when you have a freezer full of heat and eat meals, sorry can’t validate your wants today.” I’m mad at myself about it haha but actually very thankful that I will stay on track with another day of oil-free under my belt! Four days in and feeling good about that.

M is on his way home and we will have our favorite mac and cheeze for supper before heading out to “the pits” which is some kind of water hole area that M goes diving in. We are going to take the new truck and enjoy the gorgeous weather and outside time together. I’m sure that is just the pick-me-up that I need.

Have a safe and good weekend everyone.

A Touch of Sadness

Women who are trying to conceive have you ever experienced IPS? It’s the freakin worst. IPS is imaginary pregnancy symptoms. My brain knows full well that I currently don’t ovulate as far as I know and that the chance of me being pregnant is extremely slim. But it doesn’t stop your body from tricking you into thinking maybe just maybe this time you might be. This time it was less “symptoms” I experienced and more signs. I’ve been having a lot of pregnancy dreams. Dreams about me being pregnant and friends being pregnant so I was waking up already thinking about pregnancy for a few days. When I took a walk and saw a church sign saying “summer blessings” a baby was the first thing that popped up. When driving on the road I had never seen so many pregnancy billboards. Donating blood one of the questions asks if you are pregnant. The signs start to build and I think well what does this mean maybe I am!? And once that seed of a chance takes root it grows fast. The other thing that makes me think maybe just maybe I am is because I was hoping to have a period around now and it hasn’t come. If you know about PCOS you know that a common symptom is irregular periods. However since going plant based the length between my periods has been getting progressively shorter. But of course now it’s taking longer than I had hoped which just fueled my wishful thinking. It all came to a head the other day when I got a call from the blood bank. My heart beat ratcheted up because why would they be calling? Was there something in my blood they had tested that wouldn’t allow them to keep it? Did they find out I was pregnant or something and were calling to tell me?? But alas no they were just calling to thank me. All that build up of signs and symptoms burst right then and I came back to reality. It made me very sad for a moment. The frustrating thing about it all is that while we want a baby at any point I’m actually more focused on weight loss and my own healthy body before pursuing conception/adoption relentlessly. I just got myself all worked up even though I knew damn well what is what. 

But this surge of hope has renewed my determination to eat whole foods plant based no oil. I’m also tracking my food right now to see where I’ve been making mistakes like too much avocado and nuts and beans all in the same day. Not working right now has really helped me up my WFPB game. I’ve batched cooked so many sauces, wheatballs, and taco “meat” that I feel ready for busy days when they happen. 

I had this beautiful vegan salad at Panera on a lunch date with my mom and sister and niece.
We still haven’t gotten sick of this oil free/nut free cheeze sauce. We try it with different kinds of pasta and veggies and each time it’s a crowd pleaser.
I used my copper crisping tray for the first time with some diced potatoes. They definitely had more crunch than before and I’ve also been using my convection function more too for extra crispness.
A brown rice bowl with veggies and a spicy peanut sauce.
I love how easy mashed potatoes are with my instant pot! I’ve started to find a lot of recipes that make cooking a breeze.
My beautiful veggie platter lunch.
I needed a recipe to use up some of the leftovers in the fridge. I found this WFPB soup recipe that was perfect for all my leftovers! Full of veggies beans and brown rice this was hearty and delicious! It was also made in the made in the instant pot πŸ™‚

Refreshed

I’ve had a few days to decompress. I feel like I’ve actually had a moment to see summer. The crickets have just started chirping at night (which is my second favorite sound in the whole world) and the sunsets seem softer. I feel late summer approaching.

I’ve been able to get in some quality time with friends and catch back up on their lives. We also got our second vehicle now so I will no longer have to drive back and forth across town anymore. Although I will miss the moments to and from work with M that were just ours.

I’ve had time to not feel so far behind on household chores. Our evenings went from crazy busy every night to wide open for the most part during the week so that is a huge help as well. Now I can start to tackle my big list like painting the hallway, our bedroom, and the patio chairs plus a whole lot of outdoor projects and indoor organization. 

So in that aspect I’m happy to say that life is slowly down a tad. In terms of reproductive efforts I continue to be amazed at how kind and supportive people in my life are including strangers! At the dollar store the other night I bought 10 boxes of ovulation tests and 3 pregnancy tests because hello they are only a dollar apiece! The cashier was this incredibly sweet woman who said something along the lines of “honey I hope it’s this month and you can come back to see me instead of coming back to buy more tests.” I have told her that that’s a deal! Haha but even the woman behind me in line was saying nice things too. The moment was sweet, humorous, and humbling. I hope that if and when I ever am pregnant she still works there so I can go back and thank her for her positivity. 

This weekend was a great weekend to celebrate Paige and the fact that she is two already! I love that she laughs at all my jokes and agrees with everything I say. 


Today was my first Monday off work now that summer camp is over. Although I’m more than happy to stay home with the animals I really miss my coworkers/friends and our fun we had together. I may have to call them up for an impromptu game of Magic one night! 

I miss these ladies! They are still the background on my phone πŸ˜†

Today is also Wink and Snickers’ first birthday! No more kitten food or kitten collars for them! As soon as M gets home from dive team we will celebrate. And why you ask are we celebrating our cats’ birthday? Because life is worth celebrating both big and small moments. 

Kitten to puma basically haha
All about that sass