Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Getting More out of Mass

The title is kind of ironic. I mean, how can we get more out of, literally, the Lord's supper? We are in the flesh with Jesus every Sunday, and are so blessed to have that same opportunity every day of the year if we choose to take it. But I will freely admit to sometimes spacing out and not fully appreciating what's happening in front of me. You know, that cute baby catches your eye, or you're checking on the little old man who sits in the 2nd pew every single week without fail, or you're looking ahead in the hymnal to see if your favorite song will be sung (what, is that just me?). 

But it hits me quite often, as I imagine it does you, that the source and summit of our faith is physically present before us. And that is powerful! I sometimes wonder how we can have this realization more often. What things can we do inside and outside of Mass to help us more fully appreciate exactly what is happening at the Mass? My personal favorite thing that I've found immensely helpful was reading The Lamb's Supper. It shows how every. single. thing. we do and say in Mass is purposeful, where it comes from in the Bible and in tradition, and how it all points us to God. It was shocking to me the amount of things I didn't know before reading that book, and I find it so much easier to focus when I can think of all those connections the book made for me. Anyway, I went to one of my favorite groups of ladies to get some more ideas that you may find helpful in your experience of the Mass. Here's what they shared:

Beth Anne said that a lot of people have shared with her that they feel more in tune with the Mass when they are a lector, Eucharistic minister, or participate in some other role in the Mass. Makes sense, because becoming distracted and forgetting to walk up for your next reading or something would be pretty embarrassing ;). 

Jess shared that adoration helps her more fully appreciate the Mass, and I totally agree with that! I actually find myself craving Adoration when it has been too long since I've gone. 

Amanda and Marie said that they remind themselves that Mass is not about them, but about Him. What a good reminder for all of us! It doesn't matter if the priest's homily is boring or if it is stuffy in the church because it's not about us.

Sarah said that kneeling at the communion rail and receiving on the tongue places her in a state of humility before God. I have only received on the tongue very few times in my life and it is something I'd have to gather courage for, so that is one suggestion I might need to try! I can certainly see how it would help one view Jesus differently, just from the physical positioning of kneeling when receiving.

Sarah's input was the most interesting to me. She shared that being a mom to her (precious) twin daughters has helped her because she wants to set an example for them of focusing and being reverent in Mass, since she is the first person they will look to. Love that! 

So what about you? What helps keep you focused on the Eucharist? What brings you back to the Mass when you are distracted? 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Dear Baby: Letters to our Future Child #4

This is the 4th letter in a series of letters I have been writing to our future child as we go through the process of dealing with subfertility/infertility that began in January. If you want to read the others, simply click the "Dear Baby Series" tag at the bottom of this post. 

Dear Baby, 4/25/13

Hope is such a tricky thing. I know that hope grows faith, and that despair is not of God. So I try to be hopeful, and I pray daily for hope. I also pray for peace and grace. Hope that I will get pregnant, peace if I don’t, and the grace to handle this process. I really thought this cycle might be the one... that tricky cycle of mine has been lasting one day longer each time, just long enough to really make me imagine growing you in my belly and holding you in my arms. I saw a tiny baby curled up on her mother’s chest last night at Chickfila and my heart just ached for you. Daddy and I talked for a long time about fostering and adopting last night. We know that you will come into the world and to us the way you are meant to, but it’s scary for us right now to not know which path that will be. It’s scary to not know when to switch from one path to another. We are staying hopeful though, and know that really it hasn’t been that long. Some perfectly healthy couples try for months and months to conceive. If we were perfectly healthy, I don’t know that I’d bat an eye at 3 months. But knowing that the only reason my body is functioning each month is due to a medicine I can’t be on long term... boy, that adds a lot of pressure! I have to tell you though, baby, how great God is. Without Him, I think I’d be a shattered piece of glass during this process. When I feel too pained to pray much of anything, I just repeat my mantra of “Give me hope, peace, and grace” and He does. He really does. Your daddy is also a rock star. He doesn’t show his hope on his shirt sleeve the way I do, but I know it’s his way of protecting my heart. We have so much love to give you, baby.


Dear Baby,

Two letters in one day. How did you get so lucky? :) Mommy learned today that she has to have surgery very soon if she doesn’t get pregnant this next cycle. As scary as that was, and as awful as my day at work was (great combination, huh!?), it melted away when Daddy came home with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a big hug. I can’t wait for you to meet him.



Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Happy NFP Awareness Week!

I have written quite a bit about NFP on my blog before,so I'm going to make this shrt and sweet and invite you to check out my guest post over at Iusenfp. I wrote all about using NFP with irregular cycles, dispelling the myth that it can't be done!  If you want to check out other things I've written about NFP, check out my NFP and PCOS tags (I'll tag this post to make it easier). Happy NFP Awareness Week!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Dear Baby: Letters to our Future Child #3

This is the 3rd letter in a series of letters I have been writing to our future child as we go through the process of dealing with subfertility/infertility that began in January. If you want to read the others, simply click the "Dear Baby Series" tag at the bottom of this post. This letter is similar to the first one because apparently I forgot that I had already written about this somewhat... or, knowing me, the more I wrote it, the more cathartic it was! 

Dear Baby, April 17, 2013

I haven’t told you our journey to the infertillity diagnosis. Mommy started seeing a doctor who was Creighton trained shortly before the wedding. We decided to proceed with treatment for PCOS/amenorrhoea when we got back from the honeymoon. I had ovulated only a few times, I think, since coming off of birth control 4 months prior. But shortly after the wedding, nothing happened for many months. Mommy would think her body was working, but blood draw after blood draw said otherwise. The doctor gave me until the end of the year to ovulate on my own before wanting to come up with a game plan. Mommy prayed and prayed that her body would get it together. My thyroid suddenly quit working correctly, and I put on 30 lbs within a few months. It was a pretty rough time and I was getting sick of going to the doctor all the time, especially because it is a 45 min drive each way. At the end of the year, I got a 3 month break as we just waited for my body to do something. It was a much needed break.

In January of this year, we decided to try to get some post ovulatory bloodwork to see what was going on. The only way to do that was to force my body to ovulate. Daddy and I were scared, but we decided to start trying to build a family during the testing. Mommy got stuck so many times to measure levels. Now we are 3 months into this. Usually someone using NFP is not called infertile until they try for a baby for 6 months. But because I didn’t ovulate for 8 or so months in a row, I got the diagnosis before we even started trying to have you. Lucky me, huh?

What has probably been the most painful part of this is not getting support from other people dealing with the same issue. People seem to think that because daddy and I haven’t been trying for you for a long time that it is not painful, that our experience is less valid. Let me tell you baby, you are worth all of this, but it is very painful. It is hard knowing that we won’t have you without pumping medications in my body every month, without enduring blood draw after blood draw, and even harder when people won’t let you lean on them for support because they are hurting so much. Sometimes I feel like I have nowhere to turn. Daddy tries really hard and is so supportive, but he just doesn’t *get* it. He has so much confidence that you will come along soon, so it’s hard for him to understand my feelings. I hope he is right. I hope you come along VERY soon! But I also have to remind myself that people try for months, years, and some never get pregnant. That is a hard pill to swallow.

Baby, you will join our family however God designs it- whether through Mommy birthing you, or through foster care, or through adoption. But even knowing that does not take away the sting of knowing that my female body is not doing what it is designed for. My body is designed for life, and bearing life is such a struggle. I do know that I can bear life to the world in other ways, and I need to get better about that in the mean time.

I love you!

Friday, July 19, 2013

7 Quick Takes

--- 1 ---
My big excitement for the week is that we purchased a sectional! It was kind of touch and go there for a while, though. We decided to put our existing furniture up on Craigslist to get an idea of how long it would take to sell, thinking it might be a few months. The furniture is pretty nice, only 4 years old, but left a huge dead/unuseable space in our living room because of the configuration. Anyway, I posted it Thursday or Friday and we had people here last Sunday snatching it up. We sold the tables that went with it and everything, but they didn't even try to haggle so it was awesome. Then the issue was.... how long would it take to find the PERFECT sectional?

--- 2 ---
My definition of perfect was non-microfiber, gray or medium brown, scrubbable fabric, and I had a certain, low price range. I also really wanted the longer side to be on a certain wall, which turned out hard to find. Sectionals are almost all made with the longer side on the OPPOSITE of what I wanted. Oh that was another requirement. You had to fit 4 people comfortably and 5 people semi comfortably on it. A lot of sectionals are smaller and only fit 4, and even then 2 of the people's knees are touching. So we set out Wednesday and went to a bunch of stores. I was getting really discouraged and preparing myself for a life of camping chairs when we walked in a random, unplanned store and saw...  

--- 3 ---

Dream of dreams! They even took $100 off the price (delivery is another $100 but still!) AND we get a brand new one, not the floor model. It is an Ashley sofa for a fraction of the price of Ashley furniture. SO EXCITED. It has to last us the next 10+ years so here's to hoping we take good care of it! 

--- 4 ---
Our next excitement this week was that our air conditioning died at about 7pm on Tuesday evening. I was laying on the living room floor (I can only sit in a camping chair for so long) and realized it was getting stuffier and stuffier. Yuck! Luckily, Steven was off Wednesday and, luckily, we found an amazing guy to do the job and, luckily, it was only $150! I was really hoping we wouldn't have to part with big bucks (especially since this was the day of furniture shopping!). 

--- 5 ---
I always feel bad for my facebook friends because my quick takes are old news. I'm one of those people who basically shares EVERYthing on facebook. I'm ok with that because I keep it to a fairly small crowd of people I'm ok knowing all the things about me. But yeah, it probably makes for a boring quick takes!

--- 6 ---
Weekend plans: Headed to SC for a mini high school reunion. I'm skipping the big one in October, but my close group of friends from high school is getting together for a pool party Saturday afternoon with spouses and children. Should be a blast! We have almost all seen each other at least once a year since we graduated, for get togethers, weddings, and baby showers. Love them and can't wait to catch up again! We are also celebrating my mom's birthday while we're there and will get some quality family time in. 

 --- 7 ---
Friday Question: Going back to A/C. What temperature do you keep your A/C on in the summer? My dad was surprised to know we keep ours at 74. Disclaimer though, when I was single I kept it at 77. My husband is a space heater and requires cooler air. Luckily, I haven't noticed that much of a difference in the power bill, but I *do* wish we were consuming a bit less energy. Just one of those battles I had to concede on ;). 

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Dear Baby: Letters to our Future Child #2

This is the second installment of letters to our future baby where I open up and share the journey we have been on since the beginning of the year. If you missed the first post in this series, you can check it out here.

Dear Baby, April 11, 2013

Daddy got me a St. Gerard statuette and medal for Easter. I almost cried! I have to tell you the background story of why we love St. Gerard so much. During Lent, we went to another parish for their penance service. We picked the LONGEST line (literally... we were the last ones out of the church!) and kept thinking about line hopping. For some reason, we kept deciding to remain in that line. While we waited, there was a statue at the beginning of the line, and I wanted to know who it was. I kept mentioning that I wished the line would move enough so I could see if there was something that told who it was. Once we finally got up there, after over an hour, I saw a beautiful, ornate prayer card at the base of the statue. I picked it up and it was a prayer to St. Gerard with the most beautiful lines about desiring a child. Mommy almost lost it right there (does that surprise you?) and daddy was really touched, too. We have prayed it every night since, and have now done two novenas to St. Gerard, so you can see why daddy’s gift was touching to me!

I never imagined that trying to start a family would be like this. I added up the cost just for this month alone (which included 2 nights in a hotel room during a visit to Aunt Rachel because we felt too weird staying at their house!) and it was over $450! I didn’t know trying to make a family would cost that much, but I know it will be completely worth it. Luckily, we have scrimped and saved so we are able to do this. I can’t imagine what a couple would do if they just didn’t have the extra money. Mommy is probably being a little crazy with the extra vitamins, teas, etc but how can I not? I want you so badly and want to do anything I can to help my body. I have lost 15 pounds this year and I’m working on shaping our diet up to what it was before the wedding. We are hoping and praying that all this will help!

You are so worth it. You are worth every dollar, every needle stick, every cry session, every pain!



Friday, July 12, 2013

7 Quick Takes: Back in Business

--- 1 ---
Gluten free update! I know some people asked for me to continue sharing about the experience. Steven still feels way better without gluten. We're eating gluten free about 90-95% of the time, and he really feels it that 5-10% of the time we don't! I still am not really noticing anything different in myself except that my food choices got way better in the beginning and stayed that way. I'm snacking on so much more fruits, vegetables, nuts, and cheese now than I was before. We're going to basically stick with it as much as we can. It hasn't been as hard as we thought it would be! However, I'm kind of wanting to do a dairy test next... DON'T TAKE MY CHEESE!

--- 2 ---
Check out the guest post Steven did for my blog yesterday about his experience converting to Catholicism in 2012 right before our wedding! 

--- 3 ---
 Last week, Steven's computer died. Well, more accurately, he dropped it on the floor. Details, details. I was panicked about the idea of replacing it since it had been a money heavy week already. Then he realized he could sell his cell phone back to Best Buy as part of this buy back program he paid $30 to join when he got the phone, being guaranteed he would get at least $30 for it. Um yeah, he got $260. Can you believe it!!?? For a 2 year old phone that was kind of beat up. The program has ended (gee, I wonder why!) but we ended up paying $28 out of pocket for a new laptop for him. Thank God for that. 

--- 4 ---
Except then he decided that he likes my laptop better, and I don't really care, so we switched. But now that we switched, I'm realizing how much I miss Windows 7. Windows 8 kind of makes me want to curl up in the fetal position. But at least I no longer have a keyboard where letters are rubbed off. 

--- 5 ---
Do you eat quinoa? It's a favorite of mine. But this week I learned something important. I do NOT like red quinoa! The texture between red and white is so different! I made 4 servings of it and the only way I can get through them is by mixing in refried beans to kind of mask the texture. That's what I get for not waiting on Trader Joe's to just restock the white quinoa, but who knew?! 

--- 6 ---
This weekend I'm on call, booooo. But I did switch weekends with someone because my original one was during a mini high school reunion later this month. So the good news is that it will be a slightly longer time til I go back on call again. The schedule is made through Sept 20th and I'm only on it this time- woohoo! Hopefully it'll be a quiet weekend. 

 --- 7 ---
Friday question time! I suck at using apps on my phone. I kind of just don't care about them. But I spend a lot of time in waiting rooms for my job, and facebook can only entertain me for so long. What's your favorite free game/app to kill time on? If all of you say Candy Crush, then you're officially fired from answering my questions ;). 

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Interview with a Baby Catholic

Some of my friends use the term 'baby Catholic' and it always makes me laugh. I guess that's techncially what Steven is... a 15 month old Catholic! One of my friends thought it would be interesting to have him talk about his experience converting and I thought it was the perfect idea! I decided to go interview style, which is more comfortable for my husband. If you have any follow up questions, leave them in the comments and I'll see if I can get some more answers out of him ;).

I do have a disclaimer and a side note before you begin. In the first question, my disclaimer is that I never, ever told Steven he had to become Catholic. I did tell him that for us to work our children had to be Catholic, but that was my only requirement. Just so you know ;). And my side note is on question #4.... LOL I love him so much. Check it out! 

1) What first got you interested in the Catholic faith?

I first became interested in the Catholic faith when attending mass (or "church" as I called it at the time) with my wife (then girlfriend) Stacy. I had not had any previous interest in the Catholic church, and was mostly oblivious to the Catholic Church's beliefs and teachings.  At first I was only going to make Stacy happy, however over time I began to enjoy going to mass each week.

2) What things drew you in to learn more?

I was drawn in by the order and symbolism of the Church. Things such as the ornate priest's robes, the order of the mass.  The amount of energy put into every detail of everything the church did amazed me. The more questions I asked, or the more I googled information, the more I became interested.

3) What did you feel like the Catholic faith offered that the faith of your childhood didn't?

As opposed to the Baptist church in which I grew up, the Catholic faith offered a much larger sense of family.  While the members of the Baptist church were all very friendly and helped each other out, it still felt like a very small group.  I was drawn in by the world-wide community of the Catholic Church, and knowing that in almost any city in the world you can find a Catholic Parish.

Brand new Catholic fiance! This was 6 days before our wedding. He came in at 7am on Easter morning since we were going to be on our honeymoon on Divine Mercy Sunday!

4) Are there aspects of the Southern Baptist faith you miss?

I have found almost all of the positive aspects of the Southern Baptist faith in the Catholic Church.  The only thing I missed were the frequent covered dish meals after church.

5) What made you decide to join RCIA?

I decided to join the RCIA program after going to church for about a year off and on with Stacy, and starting to really feel at home there.  I appreciated the RCIA program for the formal way in which it was designed, taking place over the course of a year.

Excited new Catholic with Fr. Dan after Mass 

6) What teachings or aspects of the Church did you struggle to accept? 

I struggled, and sometimes still struggle today, with the Church's viewpoints in regards to same-sex marriage.  While I understand the biblical teaching, it is hard for me to promote a situation that creates unequal rights for a group of people, and wish that a new alternative solution could be found.

7) What was your experience with some of the harder teachings of the church like believing that the Eucharist is Jesus in the flesh, and not using contraceptives, for example?

I spent a lot of time reading and learning about the Church's teachings, and the reasoning and logic behind them.  Things really started to click for me when I realized that most of my opinions had been told to me by society, and very few I had come to on my own.  Taking a hard look at society today and seeing where we are, I was able to understand many of the church's teachings in a new light.

8) What thoughts and emotions did you feel the day you converted?

The day I converted felt like a celebration party for me.  After such a long journey, it felt good to finally "graduate" into the Catholic Church.  I also remember feeling a great sense of peace that morning.

Dad came down to celebrate with us, and we spoiled Steven with all kinds of Catholic goodies!

9) How did your family feel about you converting? 

At first, my family was skeptical about my conversion, mostly due to a lack of knowledge about the Catholic church and its beliefs.  My Mom asked me twice if Catholics believed in Jesus Christ.  After some conversations explaining the beliefs, they were at peace with my decision.

10) A little over a year later, how has your faith changed or grown? 

I know so much more now than I did a year ago.  I have grown and learned in my faith, and I am more convinced now, than ever, that joining the Catholic Church was a good idea, and that I am at home.

We ate Easter breakfast on "My First Communion" plates ;). 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Dear Baby: Letters to our Future Child #1

Welcome to a new series on my blog called "Dear Baby". We began seeking treatment in January to help us conceive as I am technically "infertile" (meaning I will not get pregnant without medical intervention). Luckily we have a fantastic Catholic doctor who can treat me based off my charts. Throughout the last 6 months, I haven't felt ready to write about it on such an open forum as a blog, so I started writing letters to our future baby about the process and my thoughts and feelings. I know that may seem a bit weird to some, but I found it very cathartic. I feel like I'm at a point where I'm ready to share this journey with others so I'll be posting the letters I've written, probably about once a week. If you comment, please remember that this is deeply personal, and to be gentle. As a warning for people experiencing infertility or subfertility, some of these posts may be triggering for you. Here is the first installment: 

Dear Baby, March 28, 2013

About two months ago, we went to the doctor to get put on Clomid in order for me to ovulate so we could get some testing done. He told us that he would only put us on Clomid if we were ok getting pregnant. We had to go home and talk about it because it was earlier than we had planned on. Daddy was really scared, but Mommy was ready. I didn’t want to waste any chances to bring you into this world. After heated talking, crying, discussing, and holding each other, we decided we were ok with pregnancy. A few days later, we decided to actively try to become pregnant. It was scary to decide, and even more scary when we had to say it out loud to our instructor only one day later! Poor Daddy barely had time to get used to the idea! Our emotions and anxieties were high, but we felt like it was what we were being called to do.

I got put on Clomid and successfully ovulated in February, but no baby. Mommy had a few needle sticks that cycle to check for ovulation. We tried again in March and this time I was getting stuck every day for 5 days, and then every other day for 10 days. It was emotionally exhausting, but I had hope. Even after a longer than normal luteal phase, no baby in March. So here we are again, at the end of March, starting our 3rd round of Clomid.

Daddy has to have testing done tomorrow, on Good Friday, to make sure everything is ok with him. It is a special kind of penance. If that all checks out ok, and we don’t get pregnant in the next few cycles, I will have to have surgery to see if anything else is wrong with me.

Baby, this is not what we had imagined. We hoped the road to you would be easy, breezy, fun, and fast. It’s only been 2 cycles, but I think all 4 of those words have already been crossed off our list. It’s not always romantic, is exhausting, and all the medical stuff is a bit degrading.... but you know what? It is also humbling. I am not control. Daddy is not in control. All we can do is try to improve our circumstances and pray like crazy, but our power ends there.

St. Gerard, pray for us.


Friday, July 5, 2013

7 Quick Takes are MIA at Catholic and Crunchy!

We have had an extremely busy week and weekend, so I just didn't have time to sit down and write takes (which, if you know me, means I really AM busy!). 

Make sure that you check back next week for an awesome interview with my husband about his faith and experience as a convert, and a special series I'll be starting! See you next week! 

Buuuuut I don't tweet; I blog!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

PCOS & NFP: Emily's Take on Marquette

Remember the series I started a while back? It's been slow going, but I'm so happy to have another method post to share with you today! Thanks to Emily for sharing, and please let me know if you have PCOS and want to share your experience with your method of choice.This is *not* a method wars series ;); it is simply a way to show that you CAN use NFP even with irregular or, as I affectionately call them, "wonky" cycles. It does present extra challenges, but is completely doable. Different methods work for different people and situations, so it's wonderful that we have options!  I will be sharing my experience with Creighton at some point and I have another STM post ready to be posted, so stay tuned! 

My husband and I have only been married for 2 months, but I've been charting my cycles for over a year now. I actually started by using the STM method, but after 8 months of frustration and confusion over my cycles, I decided that wasn't the right method for me. I have virtually no visible mucus (which is a huge part of charting STM!) and was finding it frustrating to chart signs that I wasn't seeing. I was thankful that I started charting my cycles before we got married so I was able to feel a little bit more comfortable after our wedding. However, the changing and irregular cycles were proving difficult to my ability to accurately predict our abstaining days. 
I had heard of the Marquette method from a few of the women in the NFP group but I never really thought much of it. However, when deciding that STM just wasn't for me and also knowing that I have little mucus to observe, I decided to try another method that wasn't dependent upon that observation. And being a technology nerd, I was happy to try a method that used some technology. And I wasn't trusting my own observations enough to make decisions about our family planning based on them. 

Basically, Marquette method is using the Clearblue Fertility Monitor and the test strips to check for fertility each morning. I wake up, press the button the machine, and it lets me know if it needs a test strip or not. It tests the estrogen and luteinizing hormone in your urine and identifies 2 peak days during a cycle. It also identifies "high" days of higher fertility near peak day, which can also increase chances of conception. Since my peak days tend to be later in my cycle, it doesn't ask for a test strip until day 9, and then I test every morning until I reach the Peak reading. Like STM, after waiting 3 days after the second peak (4 days after reaching the peak reading), it goes back to low fertility. The monitor also uses an algorithm that starts asking for test strips around the average time of "high" fertility based on the last 6 cycles. Since I started 3 cycles ago, it starts on day 9. I'm assuming after a few months it will not start asking for tests until around day 12. 

I also use the "Boston Cross Check" method of Marquette, which means I chart more than just the readings on the monitor. I stopped recording mucus readings (mostly because I hardly have any to read), and still keep track of my temperatures. For the most part, when I get my temperature spike(indicating ovualation), that is very close to the day I reach my "peak" reading. I like taking my temperature every morning because I was in the habit of doing that and it is another sign that I can keep track of. 

While I've really liked the ease of the Marquette method so far, sometimes it is frustrating with PCOS. Last cycle I had 14 days of "high" reading and my "peak" reading came 3 days before my cycle. Talk about no fun! After talking with my instructor, I realized I didn't ovulate that cycle. I've been lucky to ovulate (or have signs of ovulation) every cycle since I started charting, so this came as a surprise to me. I realize as someone with PCOS, that happens sometimes! I've also been lucky to have pretty normal lengths of cycles since I lost weight. It was very frustrating a few years ago having 5 month cycles. The Clearblue Fertility Monitor is for women who have cycles under 42 days, so unfortunately it doesn't work for all women with PCOS.

I have also noticed that irregular cycles also lead to using more test strips. The test strips that go along with the monitor aren't cheap in stores (around 60 bucks!) but thankfully, Amazon has them for cheaper! I'm glad that I finally have found a method that I can trust a little bit more and that works for my husband and I. While having PCOS and trying to keep track of fertility signs is very difficult, it helps that I now have a monitor to help me beyond my own personal observations. 

In the past few months, I've grown rather fond of the Marquette method and I am so thankful that I decided to switch to save my sanity. While STM may work for some women with PCOS, it certainly wasn't working for me. 

If you would like to read more about the monitor, check out the Clearblue site here. If you would like to read more about the Marquette method, check out the Marquette site