"No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow." ~Lin Yutang

Monday, March 21, 2011

things i chart

when one is aware of their fertility, via studying FAM (fertility awareness method), one is presumed to chart their cycles.  some choose not to, but when practicing FAM one should chart.  the three clues that FAM teaches awareness of are basal body temperature, cervical fluid, and cervical position.  other things that are important to chart would include sexual activity, stress level, and vaginal sensation. 
below i have compiled a list of things that i chart.  i find it immensely intriguing how the changing of our body's natural hormones also change the overall way my body works in so many different areas!
  • basal body temperature (i set our phone to go off at 4:45 each morning.  i use the phone so i can grab it easily without having to rouse myself at all to turn it off.  i have a thermometer that softly beeps so that i know it's in the right place and to keep me coherent enough to remember what i'm doing while it records my basal body temperature.  it then beeps when it's done, lights up so that i can see what my temp was and then turns off.  my basal body temperature runs from 96.1 to 98.4 and is almost always in between 97.0 and 98.0)
  • cervical fluid (i chart this throughout the day, just by observation when using the toilet.  it's really not as gross or invasive as i thought it would be when my sister told me about it.)
  • sexual activity (i put a mark on the chart of every time my husband and i have intercourse.  i also make mention of another form of birth control was used, -ie. condom, withdrawal, etc.)
  • vaginal sensation (i write if it seems my privates are wet or slippery or damp just on a daily basis anytime throughout the day.)
  • stress level (it is important to note if you have a really stressful day.  stress can whack your hormones into a different routine if it's early in your cycle.)
  • mood (i really like to chart if i'm being grumpy or irritable, happy, sad, gloomy, depressed, angry, moody, fickle, etc.  after charting for a few months, it's interesting to see a correlation of those moods and the cycle.  then an awareness starts to occur when i'm feeling a little less than "normal" and i can more easily change my mood purposefully in a more understanding way.)
  • sexual desire (it's obvious that the hormones trigger a desire in one for their partner.  i like to chart that desire, whether it's strong or weak.  this helps me have a better affirmation that i can and i enjoy satisfying my husbands needs.)
  • motivation level (sometimes i have lots of motivation and other days i just want to sit around and read... this level also correlates with hormone levels.  this is an awesome awareness that i can take hold of and use to my advantage.  when i know i have a productive week in which i'll get so much stuff done, it helps my esteem when there's a week when i just feel like i haven't done a blasted thing!)
  • energy level (same is true with the actual energy level.  sometimes i feel really motivated, but don't have the energy...  that sucks.  but it's good to have record of these things.)
  • sleep (if a night comes when i'm up a lot with sick kiddos, i will chart that.  it may have nothing to do with my hormones, but it could effect my cycle.  i will most likely effect my mood, my motivation, and my energy levels!)
  • my complexion (yes!  zits come and go throughout the month and they are more prevalent at certain times... it's true.  i know because i chart!!!)
  • the use of my shampoo vs. no-poo.  (i started charting this for 2 reasons.  1. i was concerned about my dry, flaky, itchy scalp.  and 2. i was wondering if the complexion was in correlation with the hair cleaner rather than the hormones.  because of charting, i was able to get answers for both of the concerns:  whether i used poo or no-poo i still had a dry, flaky, itchy scalp.  and the complexion isn't related to the hair products, but rather the cycle.)
  • my period (i chart when i start and how long it lasts.)
  • the length of the cycle (my cycles have ranged anywhere from 26 days up to 31.)
i find it interesting how my body works and why it's doing what it's doing.  i love charting and finding out new things about myself in this natural way.  i love that i can have moods, low motivation/energy, awful skin, itchy hair, and no sex drive and still have gumption enough to get up the next day. 
i don't have to lowly esteem myself for these things that happen to me...  there's nothing wrong with it.  God made me the way that i am and He knew what he was doing.  He knew i would need rest and encouragement and love and support and so He gave me wonderful people to help me (like my kids and husband). 
women especially, will degrade themselves because they were angry all day, or they didn't feel like they accomplished what they wanted to, or they feel they are ugly... our bodies are AMAZING.  God is so so soooooo wonderful.  we need to trust in Him, first and foremost.  He won't give us more than we can handle.  and then also trust that He knew what He was doing when he formed us and created us.  and then we need to praise Him! 
thank you, God for making me the way that You know is good.  thank you for giving me emotions and thoughts.  i love you!  please help me throughout this day.  turn my thoughts to what is true and good. 

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."


Trenicker said...

whewwee! that is some nice charting! keep it up sister!

MamaT said...

oh yeah. another: pains, cramps, headaches, etc.
those are marvelous to see correlate with cycles!!!