I'm at 9 dpo, sort of, I guess. Since the whole cycle was "staged," the correct phrasing is that I'm 6dp3dt. What I know is that by either 9 dpo or 10 dpo in a natural cycle, my body clearly tells me that AF is on its way: I have a restless night; my chest deflates and any soreness goes away; my basal body temperature starts falling; and I feel a sensation I can only describe as uterine gurgling (I've come to decide it's the endometrium starting to break down).
All I can say to those tell-tale signs this Mother's Day at 5:30 a.m. is check, check, check, and check.
I don't write this to solicit a flurry of "don't give ups." I'd prefer not to get any. I just write what I know. I know it on the surface. I know it from years of cold, hard experience. And I know it in my heart.