My name is Hopeful and I am a temping addict. It has been 5 and a half hours since I last temped.
For those not in the know, one of the most accurate ways of tracking your fertile time and to pinpoint ovulation is to take your BBT (basal body temperature). However, this is not as straight forward as shoving a thermometer in your mouth whenever you feel like it. There are rules to follow.
Rule 1: Thou shalt temp at the same time every day.
This may sound straightforward but not breaking this rule requires serious commitment. You have to choose a temping time and STICK TO IT. Heaven forbid you sleep in and temp 1 hour later as that will skew the true temperature. Then you have the dilemma of adjusting the temp or not. You go on a BBT adjuster website, see that they have adjusted your temp to one which you don’t like (“Shit, they’ve said it’s lower and that takes me below my coverline. Fuck it, I’ll keep it as it is.”) and then your whole sodding chart ends up being a zig zag of high and low temps because one day you overslept and another day the dog woke you up. So I stick with 5:30am everyday. Work days, weekends and bank holidays. In summary, set an alarm, temp at that time, then go back to sleep (if you can).
Rule 2: Thou shalt temp after 3 hours of solid sleep.
I have been in that situation where you wake up in the night needing a wee and you lay in the dark, see that it’s 4am and you wonder whether to do a ninja piss with your eyes closed to trick your body that you’re actually still asleep, and therefore you can still temp at the normal time without fucking it up. Or do you actually sit on the loo doing your business while taking your temp, knowing full well you’re technically awake now so then in 2 hours’ time when you ACTUALLY get up you’re going to have to go through the rigmarole of adjusting your temp to account for your middle-of-the-night piss (see Rule 1). In summary, don’t you DARE go to the toilet in the middle of the night. It’s not worth it.
Rule 3: Thou shalt use a thermometer that goes to .00 decimal places.
Back in December 2015 when I first learned about temping, I was a naïve rookie who bought a Boots own brand thermometer, used for detecting high temps when you are poorly. This was not a BBT thermometer and (shock horror) only went to one decimal place. But it was in degrees centigrade, and us Brits like that. I later learned that TWO decimal places was more accurate, so I ordered a proper BBT thermometer off Amazon and discovered it recorded in degrees Fahrenheit. This perturbed me. I now had 2 thermometers, reading in different units, to different accuracies. Not trusting the accuracy of either, I decided to use both, seeing whichever temp was higher and using that. So every morning, every fucking morning, I stick both thermometers in my mouth and wait anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes for them to beep. One beeps 4 times in a low pitch. One beeps 10 times in a high pitch. Sometimes they both beep at the same time. Other times one follows immediately after the other. All Dave knows is that every morning he hears my phone alarm go off first, followed by the beep of thermometer 1, then the beep of thermometer 2, then the snoozing of my alarm 10 minutes later to tell me that I can stop temping now because they will have definitely got my accurate BBT. Then he asks for a divorce.
Rule 4: Thou shalt not move, speak or even breathe immediately before temping.
If you do that, you fuck up your temperature. GOT IT?! It doesn’t matter if your darling husband wants a cuddle and says good morning to you. You ignore him. The temping must come first. If he really loves you, he’ll wait. Or if he’s anything like my husband, he just won’t bother anymore. They soon learn their place.
Rule 5: Thou shalt remember which thermometer goes where…
Apparently BBT can be more accurately recorded in your vagina. Who knew? If you are one of those women who prefer to do that, then knock yourself out. But maybe make sure your significant other doesn’t catch you sticking your probe where the sun don’t shine, as that somewhat ruins the mystery. But hey, at least the beep will be muffled down there. If, like me, you have 2 thermometers and are curious to see which is higher – mouth temps or fanny temps – then all I’ll say is PLEASE do not mix up the two when you are fumbling for them in the dark. Not unless you want a fishy after taste. ‘Nuff said.
Rule 6: Thou shalt temp several times a day – morning, noon and night – because you are a deranged idiot.
Your temp jumped up by 2 degrees at 7pm?! Then OF COURSE you’re pregnant! It went down again below the coverline at 9pm? Well then that’s because taking your BBT anytime other than first thing in the morning is pointless, so don’t worry about it. But I’ll still take it again just before I go to sleep at 11pm after laying really still pretending I’m asleep because that one temp will DEFINITELY tell me I’m pregnant. For sure. Let me just Google “are high evening temps a sign of pregnancy?”…
Rule 7: Thou shalt temp until ovulation is confirmed…
…then promise yourself you’ll stop temping at 3DPO (because 3 high temps after the previous 6 low ones confirms ovulation). But actually, you slap yourself for being silly because of course you’re going to carry on temping until that BFP or AF shows up as you LIVE for waking up every day to see what your temp is! Don’t you?! (Just tell yourself you’re doing it for the ‘data’ to take to your doctor. It’ll make you feel better.)
Rule 8: Thou shalt remember to pack your thermometers whenever you go away.
Hell will freeze over before you leave that trusty stick behind.
Rule 9: Thou shalt remember to clean your thermometer regularly.
At least twice a week. Maybe every Sunday. Okay, realistically, once a month.
Rule 10: Thou shalt forgive oneself for taking a month of temping.
We’ve all been there. We all know that one lady who didn’t temp for a month and that was the month she fell pregnant. So naturally, you try it out, see that it’s a load of bollocks, don’t fall pregnant, and then the next month go back to your regular temping habit. Then curse yourself for ruining your pretty charts and fucking up your data by having that one month with no temps on it. Just scroll past it quickly to avoid pissing yourself off.