The colors in plan a pregnancy mode

Dear Cyclers,

In the new version of the Natural Cycles app the pregnancy mode has a new fresh look. The ‘fertile window’ is presented in red scale where the most fertile day is red, and the least fertile day is pink. Read more about the fertile window and the science behind our menstrual cycle here. The non-fertile days are presented in grey.

nonfertiledaysredscale

“We want the important days to stand out very clear, even if this means that the non-fertile days come across as dull. We do this by using the contrast between a muted gray and a very vibrant red.” Quote from our head of design, Daniel.

If your ovulation has been confirmed in the app, you will also be able to see when you can test for pregnancy the earliest. This function also existed in the old app, but is now even more visually clear. If your period comes, the symbol will disappear. Read more about symbols here.

testforpregnancy

Do you have any feedback? Comment below, please! 🙂

 

 

Last important meeting before baby?

This morning we had a meeting with a technology investment company here in Stockholm called Northzone.

We are not in urgent need of funding, as we are still afloat from the investment round we closed last year, but at the end of this year we are looking to close a new round. Northzone would be a cool partner for NaturalCycles, so we are starting to get to know each other.

The meeting went well and we’ll meet again at the end of June. This reminds me that we’ll have to find a nanny for future meetings that require the presence both Raoul and myself. Today might very well have been the last important meeting before baby. We do have another meeting with our future business partner on Thursday afternoon, but there’s quite a risk that I won’t make it to that one. I hope it will not coincide completely with the birth, because then Raoul will not make it either. Well, well, we’ll just have to take things as they come in the next few days.

Meeting - NaturalCycles

Pitch to an audience of women

This Monday, NaturalCycles pitched at the Investing in Women Meetup. It was very exciting since, for once, the audience consisted of 95% women. Usually when we present our start-up to a mainly male audience.

As usual Raoul and I shared the pitch 50%-50%, which I think is a nice way of doing it.

We talked about how NaturalCycles is the best natural contraception out there and then finish with our own story – how we first used NaturalCycles as contraception for 1.5 years and then posted on twitter that we’d try for a baby on our wedding anniversary, which as you all know worked very well 🙂 The response we got was very different with a female audience and they were cheering a lot during our pitch. It was really fun and encouraging!

Pitch to an audience of women - NaturalCycles

Next Tuesday we have another pitch at the Sthlm Innovators event. We are becoming good at this!

Tonight I’m off to try out pregnancy pilates for the first time. I was choosing between pregnancy yoga and pilates and I imagine pilates being a bit more of a work out. I’m used to jumping around at zumba, so the more action the better. I’m not really patient enough to just focus on my breathing for an hour. I hope the pilates will be fun and that I get to meet some other cool pregnant women here in Stockholm!

15 weeks pregnant

I’m now 15 weeks pregnant and the first trimester already feels far away.

I feel so much better after the start of week 14. No head aches to speak of and only some nausea in the morning. Life is good! Another thing is that I got a shared office at TechnoPark here in Zurich for the rest of the year. When I worked at home before, I got quite nauseous when looking too much at the computer screen (even before I was pregnant!). I think it was due to the lack of light. It is much better here.

15 weeks pregnant - NaturalCycles

Here is my belly at 15 weeks. Not huge, but definitely there. I’m wearing Raoul’s pants since most of my jeans are too tight by now. The belly will probably start growing faster from now on. The baby is currently about 9 cm (3.5 inches) and will reach about 15 cm (6 inches) in a month or so, which is a 70% increase.

We got the test results back from the nuchal scan, which shows a probability of chromosomal defects. It measures the liquid in the baby’s neck with ultrasound and combines it with a blood test from the mother and the mother’s age. The lowest possible score is 1/40 000 and the highest is 1/2. Since I’m 29 years old I cannot reach the lowest nor the highest score. Our result was 1/8000, which is about 0.01%. I think that’s pretty low for an almost 30-year-old mother, where the average is 1/800, so a factor 10 more. The probability that something else goes wrong, at birth or before/after, is probably higher, so no need to worry about Down’s Syndrome from now on.

Another test result we got was that my blood type is RH negative. If our baby is RH positive, my body could develop antibodies against it, if some blood is exchanged between us, which could reject a future RH positive fetus. This is not a disaster though and no need to panic. They will test the blood group of our baby shortly after birth and if it’s RH positive, they will give me a shot of medication that will prevent my body from rejecting the next fetus. Problem solved.

Next visit at the gynecologists is already next Thursday. It’s the third ultrasound already at week 16. I think they do more ultrasounds here in Switzerland since people here pay for everything. But I don’t mind, it’s exciting to see our baby again. We’re hoping that next time we’ll be able to see if it’s a boy or a girl. One can tell for the first time between week 16 and 20, so we could be lucky or unlucky. It’s of course not important, but we’re still curious to get to know the little one a bit more.

Welcome second trimester!

Yesterday I entered the second trimester.

I’ve been thinking that this is some kind of magic threshold where I’d suddenly feel a lot better and life would get easier. The last three weeks I’ve had a constant headache that’s been worse than anything I’ve ever experienced before. On Monday, when the headache reached an unbearable level, I thought that there’s no way I’ll feel better during the second trimester, being only a day away. I was however also very tired from our intense weekend in Stockholm and I basically crashed on Monday evening and slept 10 hours, with only one peeing break! Then on Tuesday morning, when I entered week 14 and thus officially the second trimester, the headache was miraculously gone! I felt so much better and it was such a relief. Although still a bit nauseous, I’m thinking that maybe entering the second trimester is some kind of magic threshold after all.

pregnancy status, second trimester - NaturalCycles

As you can see from my NaturalCycles‘ pregnancy status above, the baby should be about 7 cm (3 inches) this week. Ideally I should have gained about 2 kg (4.4 pounds) during the first trimester, but the last weeks I’ve gained weight at an alarming speed and in total I’ve put on 3 kg (6.6 pounds). I’m hoping that the nausea will soon completely disappear and then I don’t need to eat all the time to feel better. Also, in the second and third trimester the body needs an extra 300 calories a day, which might balance things out for me.

My baby bump has also been steadily growing (see picture from yesterday). Not sure how much of this is actually baby and how much is the extra kg, but let’s hope it’s the baby 🙂

Baby bump second trimester - week 14 - NaturalCycles

I still have 4 pairs of pants that fit (although one pair is Raoul’s that I’ve stolen) and dresses work well together with my maternity leggings from H&M. The leggings stay up by being tighter on the upper thighs and just below the breasts, which leave extra room for the belly.

I’m excited to see what the second trimester will bring! I’m hoping to feel better of course, but also to feel more connected with the pregnancy. So far I haven’t really realized that there is a baby inside of me, but I’m hoping that as it grows and I start feeling its movements, it becomes more real.

Launching NaturalCycles.com in Spanish

I’ve been bad at blogging lately, but I’ve been in a good working mode. I’m now pregnant in week 12 and getting less and less tired and nauseous. I’ll tell you more about my pregnancy in another post, but honestly, I haven’t thought much about it lately since I’m now back to enjoying working many hours straight again.

Since the Swedish version of NaturalCycles.com came out last week, I’ve finally had some time to work more on the app. It is almost there now, just missing the instructions and medical basics pages. I redid the way to visualize the MyCycles statistics on the app, but I also put it on the website, since it looks much nicer than just plain text. Below you can see the widgets for my personal cycle.

Spanish website - NaturalCycles

This week we also launched the website in Spanish.

Both our contraceptive method and pregnancy planning are very popular in Latin and South America so we’ve had many requests for a Spanish version. Implementing the Spanish texts made me realize how different the length of a language can be. The text in Spanish is so much longer than the English version.

Otherwise I’m getting excited about the move to Stockholm both for us privately and for our company. There are many details to think about and since we don’t know many people there it’s important that we find a good start-up office and other ways to network. We are going there next weekend to look for apartment, office space and meet potential people for joining our Stockholm team. Will be so much fun!

10th week of pregnancy and getting a belly

Today I am entering my 10th week of pregnancy.

This actually means that it’s been 9 weeks 0 days since my last period and hence 7 weeks 0 days since the actual day of conception. So I feel a bit like cheating saying that I’m 10 weeks pregnant, since the fetus (yes, it’s now a fetus and no longer an embryo!) has only existed for 7 weeks.

One of my many pregnancy apps tells me that this week is when the morning sickness is as its worst. That sounds horrible, but it also means that it will just get better from here on. I’ve learned that in my case the only way of feeling better is to constantly have something in the stomach. So I have like 3 smaller lunches every day. This sounds greatly unhealthy, but somehow I haven’t gained much weight, so I guess all the food is needed for something. Careful though, ladies, because usually one does not need more calories in the first trimester. One only needs about 300 extra calories a day and only for the second and third trimester. NaturalCycles pregnancy tracker keeps track of how much weight I should gain every week, accounting for the increase in blood, other liquids, the placenta, the baby itself, etc. In week 10 the baby is only about 2 cm (1 inch) and weighs as little as 2 grams, so this is basically nothing. The uterus, on the other hand, is now bigger than a grapefruit, more than twice the original size and a lot more blood is already pumping around in my veins. This sums up to an ideal total weight gain of 0.7 kg (1.5 pounds) in week 10. Despite my constant eating, I’ve only gained 0.4 kg (0.9 pounds), so I’m on track.

Although I have gained little weight, I’ve definitely noticed a beginning of a belly. My pants no longer fit, so I basically always wear dresses and sometimes borrow a pair of pants from Raoul. For comparison, I added below a picture from our holidays in Corsica, when I was only 5 weeks pregnant. The belly here is probably mostly due to Corsican cheese.

5 week pregnant - NaturalCycles

And below you see a picture from today:

10th week of pregnancy -Belly - NaturalCycles

The high levels of progesterone during the first trimester, which helps the uterus grow, also relaxes the other components in the stomach and make them swell. So my enlarged belly is probably more due to that than the actual baby. In only a few weeks, though, the increasing uterus will be visible.

From NaturalCycles Prevention to Planning

Our NaturalCycles website is now finally finished and women can use it both as a contraception method (NC Prevention) and as a tool to get pregnant when they want to (NC Planning).

NaturalCycles web desing with beautiful natural women in nature

For the last 18 cycles, which correspond to about 1.5 years, my husband and I have been using NC Prevention as a birth control. It has been working very well for us, with usually around 10 fertile (red) days per cycle where we have to take care not to get pregnant. For those days we use a condom and for the remaining non-fertile (green) days we can enjoy not using anything. My husband says that he likes the variation, as it feels very special for the first green days after ovulation.

Fertility projection with ovulation day today

Today is my ovulation day for this cycle and probably the last time that we will use a condom in quite a long time, since as of next cycle we will switch to NC Planning and start trying to get pregnant. Our wedding anniversary is coming up on the 11th of August, which is next month, and we are going on a romantic getaway to south of Switzerland for the weekend. I am due to ovulate right after, placing our anniversary during the most fertile days in the cycle. I am a sucker for romance and I imagine it very romantic to conceive a baby on our first wedding anniversary. I realize that I might be naive thinking that things will go our way during the very first time we try, but due to my work with NaturalCycles I know exactly when I ovulate and all the details that come with it. We’ll just have to see and I will keep you posted on how it goes.

Fertility calendar with red and green days

I am also very excited to see how my temperature chart will change if I get pregnant. I will definitely notice it very early as the temperatures rise further around the time of implantation (~9 days after ovulation). I’m wondering how to tell my husband when I find out. I’d like to make some kind of romantic surprise gesture, but I’m not sure exactly what yet. Any ideas?

Exciting times are definitely ahead!