Karoline Heldt, CFCP
I'm too busy to chart... And does that even matter?
Updated: Apr 18
I'm too busy to chart. It's just one. more. thing. And it didn't get done again this month. I can't have one more thing on my plate clamoring for my time and attention. How much of this do I actually have to do for it to count? Will it still "work" if I get it done sometimes but not all of the time?
You can do this
I get it. Life feels nuts right now. I'm right there with you. Here's a slight perspective shift that might help. Have you ever been so busy that you didn't go to the bathroom when you needed to? Or too busy to brush your teeth before bed? OK. I'm a mom of 4 so occasionally the answer to these questions is YES. But overall, these are things that just get done no matter what. Because they're just a part of normal hygiene. It can help to start thinking of your observations and charting as a normal and necessary part of your regular hygiene routine. Your observations for the day should take you about 60-90 seconds total for the whole day. So even when work is bonkers and you have to get back out there. (Been there.) Or there's a small child with her chubby fingers jammed under the bathroom door crying for you. (Been there too.) Or you're in that awkwardly tiny bathroom at a family gathering and there's family members talking right outside the door...I can't even! You can take 8-10 seconds to make that quick observation.
Use your husband
I know it only takes a few seconds but I don't have the brain space for this on top of everything else. Amen, sister. Here's where your husband (or fiancé) can help you out. The mental load tends to be heavier for women. You have to do the work of the observations but your husband can carry the mental load. If keeping in mind the most fertile observation for the whole day is too much (in some seasons it just is) throw them in a note in your phone that your husband can view (a few extra seconds of time invested but less brain space). At the end of the day he can look at it, determine the most fertile observation for the day and get it on the chart. All you have to do is make the observation, throw it in your phone and let it go!
If you feel like you can remember the most fertile observation for the day (I'd rather do this than write them all down), then text it to him at the end of the day and again, let it go. He can dig out the chart, find the stickers your toddler walked off with, figure out what day it is and get the whole thing down on the chart.
I'm not knocking husbands here. I'm saying they are SO capable. Let's work with them instead of trying to do it all and getting frustrated and discouraged when we can't. Also, this is a team effort and this is where he can help. The most successful couples with Creighton have a full engaged husband/fiancé that understands the systems and attends follow ups. We were not made to do this alone.
It matters... and it doesn't
There's a question we ask couples as part of an exercise around the 4th follow up. It goes something like this: True or false - A woman has to make 100% observations to have complete knowledge of her fertility. The answer is TRUE.
If you want a complete and accurate picture of what's going on with your reproductive health you have to make all of those observations, remember the most fertile sign of the day and get it on the chart at the end of the day.
That being said, this is your chart and your journey. Not everyone is in a season where they need or want a 100% accurate picture of their fertility. It's important to understand that you will get out of this what you put into it. If you make your observations 50% of the time, you probably have a 50/50 chance of meeting your goals of avoiding pregnancy, achieving pregnancy or figuring out that health issue you're trying to get to the bottom of. Some couples are in a cycle or a month or a season where that's enough. Our job is to make sure you understand how well you're doing with your observations and charting and how that's going to impact your fertility goals. If you're looking for an answer to this question, ask your practitioner for an "Intention Use Assessment". This is a quick way that we're able to objectively calculate how well your observations and charting are going and give real-time feedback on what you can do to improve and have a better chance of meeting your goals. And if you need that 98% effectiveness to avoid pregnancy or really want that 100% accurate chart for your Napro appointment next month, that is absolutely possible. Get feedback from your practitioner, give the chart to your husband, lock that bathroom door and use those extra few seconds - you can do this!