I've been reading on this site a lot in my last few tww's and can finally share my own story to help others out.
We already have three children, none of which were actually planned (was on various forms of the pill when all three were conceived).
Anyway we decided to try for one last baby to complete our family & just assumed it would happen right away. 4 months later I was started to get a little disheartened at getting BFN's towards the end of each cycle and then the dreaded AF.
So this month I decided to step it up a level. The previous 4 months we'd just been doing it the old fashioned way of BD'ing around my fertile window & hoping. This month I went all out & got OPK's, BBT thermometer (although my chart never made much sense), Preseed, Softcups and signed up to Fertility Friend.
Below is a list of what we did each cycle day that led to me getting a BFP at 10dpo :)
CD's 1-5: AF
CD 6: BD
Cd9: BD used softcup. Neg OPK
Cd 10: BD used softcup. Neg OPK
Cd11: Nothing. Neg OPK
Cd12: BD used softcup & preseed. Neg OPK
Cd13: BD x2 used softcup & preseed. Neg OPK
Cd14: BD used softcup & preseed. Neg OPK
Cd15: BD x2 used softcup & preseed. Positive OPK
Cd16: BD used softcup.
Cd18: BD softcup & preseed
The rest of the cycles BD'ing was just spontaneous and more for fun & is probably irrelevant as the above was what really covered our fertile time. Got my BFP on cd24, 10days after positive OPK.
I really rate the softcups & have just passed on the rest of my box load to a friend hoping to get her BFP too so fingers crossed they'll work for her too :)
Symptoms wise I had bouts of nausea, tender breasts, light cramps from 5dpo.
From 7dpo I was really tired & unusually very hungry.
On 8dpo I got a bad headache that lasted 3days & also lots of ulcers in my mouth (not sure if this is related?!)
From 7dpo I also felt all the typical pre-AF symptoms I get, heavy feeling, more cramps etc. Every time I went to the toilet I expected AF to be there, even though it would have been early for her, but fortunately not, just my BFP a few days later :)
With regards to tests... I admittedly was becoming a bit of a POAS addict & decided I needed to cut back on my spending on tests so ordered a bulk load of One Step 10miu from EBay, they satisfied my crazy need to POAS every morning but were giving me BFN's (even though I was probably still too early).
Anyway on 10dpo I decided I'd got to the point where I could use my precious FRER left over from last month. I dipped both in a pot of my FMU, the One Step cheapie showed seriously the most barely there/questionable/squinted/silvery line after 10mins, yet the FRER came up with that wonderful second pink line within a minute!
So I think FRER are definitely more reliable than the cheapies, despite the fact that the One Step are supposed to measure a lower concentration of HcG.
For more comparison, I saved the pot of FMU, rushed into town and bought Superdrug & Tesco own brand tests, as well as a Clearblue digital (see! Told you I'm a POAS addict!) Anyway got home & dipped all three..
Tesco gave me a very faint positive, Superdrug gave me a clear positive (but still not as clear as the FRER), the Digital gave me a negative. I was still pretty convinced after my 3x BFP's so did some googling and found out that many people had to wait a few days till the Digi picked up what the FRER had first said. This ended up being true for me too, I patiently waited and at 13dpo got my 'pregnant' on the 2nd digital from the box :) I think I should let you know though that at that point when my HcG was high enough for a digital I was still getting hardly anything on the One Step 10miu's, I therefore don't really rate those, they're good to satisfy a POAS addict if you can't wait till 10dpo as you feel like your doing something & they're ridiculously cheap! But not that reliable! I'd def go with FRER every time! Or if you can't afford that the Superdrug own brand, but just make sure you wait out the 3mins before checking :)
Right, so I now realise I've written an essay! Sorry if I've bored you but hopefully it'll give at least one person some tips/advice that will help them get their BFP :) xx