CircleBumpCheckedFilledMedicalBookmarkBookmarkTickBookmarkAddCheckBoxCheckBoxFilled

The Surprising Way That Charting Helped Me Get (and Stay) Pregnant

save article
profile picture of Shannon Guyton
By Shannon Guyton, Contributing Writer
Updated March 2, 2017
Hero Image
Image: Getty / The Bump

I didn’t get pregnant quickly like I thought I would. Who knew that after years of trying to prevent pregnancy, I would actually have to try really hard? (Not me.) I’ve been pregnant five times and have two kids, and I’ve learned a ton about my body and conception along the way.

Like most couples, we started out with a la-tee-da “if we don’t prevent it, it will happen” mentality. When nothing happened, I researched how fertility really works, and I discovered something no doctor or friend told me — trying for baby around day 14 meant nothing to me when my cycles lasted anywhere from 25 to 60 days!

I’m obsessed with spreadsheets, so it was easy to commit to daily charting. It gave me something concrete to do, and I loved knowing exactly when to say those three words every man longs to hear: “hoooneeeey! I’m ovulatiiiiing!” I felt totally in control. However, I would soon learn that while I could do the right things at the right time, Nature was still running the show.

Once I knew how to time our efforts, I got pregnant quickly. It was a long cycle, and it seemed forever to wait, but what a prize! We were typical giddy new parents to-be and told everyone who could hear us our good news. Then the most shocking, out-of-nowhere thing happened — I had a miscarriage. I felt so suddenly…empty. And wicked angry. I mean, what the hell, I did everything right?!

Fortunately, hope can be stronger than pain, and within a few months I was ready to try again. Certainly the odds were for me this time! I tracked my cycles and on another particularly long cycle, we conceived again. I was right to be cautiously optimistic, because once again I lost the pregnancy.

Related Video

A long period of charting, worrying and obsessing ensued, filled with irrational contempt of other pregnant women. I felt somehow they took my chance to be pregnant away from me, and I was beyond jealous. I tried taking time off from charting, but it made me too anxious. Charting made me feel proactive.

Then I saw a pattern. My failed pregnancies were on cycles that were over 50 days long, and I thought maybe my uterine lining was too old by then to give baby everything he needed. I never proved this out with a doctor, but it made sense to me. We decided we’d only try for a baby when I knew I was ovulating before day 20. When I got pregnant a third time, my doctor put me on progesterone, and  I ended up passing the 6 week marker, then 16 weeks, then 40…and I finally (finally!) became a mother!!

I’ll never know if it was my long-cycle hypothesis, the progesterone, that baby had all the cells he needed, or a combination of it all. But deep down, I truly believe learning about and getting in tune with my body led to my son being born.

How has charting helped you with trying to conceive?

save article
ADVERTISEMENT

Next on Your Reading List

mom and toddler in bed
1 in 4 Parents Struggle to Get Their Kid to Bed, Study Shows
By Wyndi Kappes
Wiz Khalifa and Aimee Aguilar at the premiere of "Spinning Gold" held at the Directors Guild of America on March 29, 2023 in Los Angeles, California
Wiz Khalifa and Aimee Aguilar Are Expecting Baby Girl
By Wyndi Kappes
dad sitting at desk with baby
These Are the Best States for Working Dads in 2024, Report Says
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
meteorologist adam krueger tries empathy pregnancy belly
Local Meteorologist Shares His Eye-Opening Empathy Belly Experience
By Wyndi Kappes
pregnant woman holding cash
These Are the Most and Least Expensive States to Give Birth
By Wyndi Kappes
Stephen Ringer, Aly Michalka, AJ Michalka, and Josh Pence attend The Art of Elysium's 25th Anniversary HEAVEN Gala at The Wiltern on January 06, 2024 in Los Angeles, California
Aly Michalka Has Welcomed Her First Baby in Home Birth
By Wyndi Kappes
Anna Petrakova and host Candace Parker attend Candace Parker’s Ace All-Star Party, presented by adidas and Meta at Cindy’s Rooftop on June 9, 2022 in Illinois
WNBA's Candace Parker and Anna Petrakova Welcome Baby Boy
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
mother breastfeeding baby at restaurant
Parents React After Eatery Bans Breastfeeding Moms and Kids Under 5
By Wyndi Kappes
mom calming toddler down during tantrum
Popular TikTok Reveals One Key Tip to Shorten Your Child's Tantrums
By Wyndi Kappes
young man eating a burger
Study Suggests Dad's Diet Before Conception Influences Baby's Health
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
certified pre loved snoo from happiest baby
How to Save Almost 50 Percent Off the Cult-Fave SNOO This Weekend
By Wyndi Kappes
Darren Criss and Mia Swier at the After, After Tonys Party at Pebble Bar on June 12th, 2022 in New York City, New York
Glee Alum Darren Criss and Wife Mia Welcome Baby No. 2
By Wyndi Kappes
gabourey sidibe and brandon frankel welcome twins
Precious Star Gabourey Sidibe Welcomes Twins With Brandon Frankel
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
Sarah Landry walks the runway at the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Show during Miami Swim Week 2024 at W South Beach on June 01, 2024 in Miami Beach, Florida
Sarah Landry Embraces Her Postpartum Body on Sports Illustrated Runway
By Wyndi Kappes
close up of pregnant belly
New Study: US Maternal Mortality Remains Highest Among Wealthy Nations
By Wyndi Kappes
Eboni K. Williams during the Safe Horizon 27th Annual Champion Celebration at Gotham Hall on May 18, 2023 in New York City
RHONY Alum Eboni K. Williams Is Expecting Her First Baby via IVF
By Wyndi Kappes
Drew Scott and Linda Phan attend 2023 Baby2Baby Gala Presented By Paul Mitchell at Pacific Design Center on November 11, 2023 in West Hollywood, California
Property Brothers Star Drew Scott and Linda Phan Welcome Baby No. 2
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
Iskra Lawrence shows off baby bump on the runway at the Cupshe show during the Paraiso Miami Swim Week at The Paraiso Tent on June 02, 2024 in Miami Beach, Florida
Iskra Lawrence Shows Off Baby Bump on PARAISO Miami Swim Week Runway
By Wyndi Kappes
Jelly Roll and Bunnie XO at the 59th Academy of Country Music Awards from Ford Center at The Star on May 16, 2024 in Frisco, Texas.
Rapper Jelly Roll and Wife Bunnie XO Share Their IVF Journey
By Wyndi Kappes
 Ashley Graham attends The 2024 Met Gala Celebrating "Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2024 in New York City.
Ashley Graham Releases New Book of Positive Affirmations for Kids
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
Article removed.
Article removed.
Name added. View Your List