Where Is The Line Between Helpful Info And Not   Leave a comment

You know how sometimes a little knowledge is good, but too much knowledge gets in the way? I’m dealing with that situation right now, and trying to figure out where that line is. Unfortunately, like many things in life, there’s no hard and fast rule. Too much depends on circumstances, personalities, and other variables. It’s especially challenging when people of authority say one thing, and intuition says maybe another thing. Generally the only hard and fast rule that I follow is that intuition rules. But what about situations that are outside of past experience?

My dilemma is this: to track basal body temperatures or not.

Backstory: Way back when my husband and I decided that when we start trying to conceive, we would forgo any pregnancy tests and go back to the old fashioned miss-two-periods-then-go-to-the-doctor strategy. This was in the hope that it would reduce or at least modulate the emotional trauma of early miscarriages. We figured that if we don’t know we’re pregnant in the first place, then we’ll be less upset after a spontaneous abortion. However, then my best friend tipped me off to the Fertility Awareness Method, which I had expressed interest in but knew very little about. I immediately started practicing it and felt like a veil had been lifted from my eyes because of how much more self-knowledge I now have. For someone like me for whom knowledge is gold, intimate knowledge of my body’s cycles is irreplaceable. When we moved into our new house, I took a month off from tracking my fertility signs for various reasons, including not being able to print out a fresh log sheet. During that month, though, I felt lost in my own body and couldn’t wait for my next cycle to start so that I could start tracking again. Unfortunately, practicing FAM means that I can know very early when I may be pregnant, and probably have more related knowledge than your average woman. So much for not taking a pregnancy test!

On my last visit, my naturopath recommended that after confirming ovulation, I stop tracking for a while so that I don’t know whether or not I’m pregnant. She suggested it as a way to prevent/reduce stress. At first I thought it was a great idea, even my intuition felt that was the way to go. Then I remembered how much I hated that month that I didn’t track, and my intuition wavered. Would not tracking cause more stress than tracking? Maybe. After all, last time I didn’t panic because I wasn’t pregnant, I panicked when I thought I was and suddenly felt like it happened too fast. My intuition tells me that there’s no risk of stress if I do track, and a very real risk of stress if I don’t. But people of authority and people who have been through it say that there is risk of stress if I do track. After all, what do I know?

Intuition rules. That’s one of the guiding principles of my life. I cannot think of any instances when following my intuition had negative consequences. Trust myself. That’s another, related, principle. No one knows me better than me. And that includes “people of authority” and “people with experience”. They are not me.

So what’s the worst that happens if I do track? I get stressed, don’t get pregnant or lose the pregnancy, and we have to try again. What’s the worst that happens if I don’t track? I start a pregnancy feeling unhappy, lost, and uncomfortable in my own skin. Uh, right. Decision made.

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Posted December 2, 2010 by mayakey in musings, pre-pregnancy

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