A Tale of Two Fertility Apps

With the start of each cycle, we the barren have the opportunity to start anew. It’s like New Year’s for your uterus.  I resolve to tackle this month with the same enthusiasm I had when I first started trying to conceive. I will not drink every night in an effort to drown out the tiny voices in my head telling me I will die alone and childless in a dumpster.

Like all modern resolutions, I will use technology to poke and prod me into staying on track.  For this month’s exercise in wild-eyed optimism, I’ve picked two apps to help me obsessively monitor my bits to predict the best time EVER to get preggers: Clue and Glow.

Why these two? Because a) I’ve been using an app for over a year that keeps popping annoying ads for something called “Flowerama” which is a game about farming (I think…) and b) this New York Times post covered them and I’m a sheep who will try anything once.

My impressions thus far:

Clue: Visually so pretty and very intuitive. I like how the interface isn’t a calendar, actually. My cycle is its own contained thing, and doesn’t give two shits about calendars, TYVM. It’s also less of a painful reminder of the duration of time I’ve been at this. The whole thing feels very human, so I feel less like a broken chemistry set.

Glow: Glow is like a personal trainer for fertility. It asks too many questions, makes you log seemingly endless pieces of data. It offers chipper hints and articles about treating your body well (“Skip those nitrates at the deli, and have a green salad!” “Your period starts tomorrow. Pamper yourself!”) This is probably the best app for data nerds because it will calculate how fertile you are TODAY. Currently, I have a 12% chance of getting pregnant. #depressing

About a year ago when Mr. Ostrich and I began trying in earnest, I was tracking this stuff like a mo-fo. Unconsciously, I was convinced if I just managed all of it *perfectly* that would change things. Obviously, this was not true. Pregnancy, unlike most other things I’ve achieved in life, cannot be attained through diligence, smarts, and hard work. If this were the case, there would be no daytime talk shows. (I’m looking at you, Maury.)

It seems that this all boils down to luck, which I don’t really have. I’m not feeling sorry for myself, but it’s mostly true*. I have never really been in the right place at the right time. I suppose you could argue that I’m lucky on an existential sort of level- I was born to middle class parents in the wealthiest country in the world. Okay yes, that was luck… I’ll give you that.

This explains my percolating pessimism about getting pregnant. Things either happen for me, or they don’t. This is obviously not happening. Does there come a point when you pack it in, and just decide to become a cat lady?

*Mostly, because I was lucky enough to meet and marry Mr. Ostrich. He is by far the best thing I have going. Oh, and my cat. Neither has featured much so far, because this blog is about ME. It’s the one place where I feel comfortable being a sad little blob of selfishness. Deal.



  1. conceptionallychallenged · March 6, 2014

    Here via bionic. I think for many of us, there first comes a point when you try to come to terms with the fact that this isn’t happening by itself, and accept the help that modern medicine and technology have to offer. At least for me, accepting this wasn’t easy though.
    Good luck!!

    • thecommonostrich · March 23, 2014

      You know, weirdly I feel better now that science is involved. (just finished round 1 of Clomid.) Without going into the gory details, it was convincing my lame doctor that proved challenging.

      There is, however, this weird sense of shame that I can’t quite shake. Not that I am using medical technology to get pregnant, but that I have to in the first place. To be clear, I HATE that I feel this, but can’t deny that it is there.

  2. Pingback: The one in which I Google. And realize this is a very bad idea. | the common ostrich

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