When you first start getting your period again after having a baby, or when you’re just getting off birth control, the big question that lays heavily on your mind is when you will start ovulating again. You may not realize, but you can get your period without ovulating. A period is not a sure sign that ovulation is happening. (Now, if you are ovulating, you must get your period unless you conceive.) For me, the answer to this question has been a big mystery. For one, it took “forever” for my cycles to come back. My son was 18 months old when he finally weaned and I didn’t start up again until a solid month later. So here I am, waiting for #2, clueless as to when it will happen and whether it is even a possibility for me at this time. My son is about to turn 21 months old, quickly approaching the big “2.” I expected to be six months pregnant by now; instead I am wondering, ‘am I even ovulating?’
The truth is, although I would love to get pregnant, I know I’ll lose my mind worrying about it, so I choose to be oblivious. If I were really worried about it, I would go to the store and buy an ovulation predictor kit (OPK) so I could determine if I am ovulating yet. I would also chart my symptoms like I did when I conceived my son. Then I could at least not get my hopes up until I actually have a chance. I suppose if another year passed without getting pregnant, I would ask my doctor what was going on. I don’t think that will happen considering how quickly we got pregnant the first time, but you never know.
Weaning myself off birth control was much harder than this. I had so many crazy symptoms that seemed to mimic pregnancy as my body adjusted to the sudden absence of artificial hormones. I took test after test, convinced I was pregnant, but it never was so. Shortly after, I started charting. I discovered that the first month I charted, I showed no signs of ovulation, and this was a good 6 months after I had quit taking birth control. The second month I charted, my symptoms were text book and ovulation was obvious, but we did not conceive. The third month, I again showed textbook symptoms of ovulation, but this time we hit the jackpot! Ironically, that was the month I was convinced I was not pregnant. It is because of that first month however, that I suspect that I am not a regular ovulator (no, that’s not a real word). It’s not entirely uncommon, after all, for a woman to ovulate irregularly. It’s probably the reason it take some couple longer to conceive than others because it means their odds are a little lower. It is really frustrating, however, when you do confirm that you are ovulating, and you time intercourse “perfectly,” and yet you still do not conceive
The moral of this story is that while there ways to figure out the answer to this big question, “am I ovulating?”, sometimes it’s easier not to know the answer.