I’m not a particularly patient person.
It is only after exercising considerable restraint that I managed to take only three pregnancy tests in the past week. They’re all negative, of course, because it turns out there was a reason the clinic said to wait two weeks before taking a test. Pregnancy tests detect levels of human chorionic gonadotropic (hCG) in your urine, which don’t show up in detectable levels until somewhere between 10 and 14 days past ovulation, depending on the sensitivity of your test (I have no idea what mine is; the “bulk pack” didn’t include those sorts of superfluous details) and your own body’s response to harboring a tiny parasite. Which is why it is so important that I test, just to be sure, at 6, 8, and 10 days. Just in case all of medicine is wrong and my heart science is right.
Thankfully, I anticipated my tendency to do this, which is why we bought a bulk pack of pregnancy tests way back in December. I love diagnostics! (Thanks, Amazon!)
H asked that I share with the group my pregnancy testing ritual, I suspect because she enjoys it when I embarrass myself publicly.
1. Try to convince myself that there is no point in testing something that will come out negative with 95% certainty.
2. Figure, hey, let’s just give it a go, wouldn’t it be nice if it were positive? After all, I have so many tests in my drawer. Also, I’m bored.
3. Procure the “pregnancy testing cup.” These tests need to be dipped, which requires a cup. After great consideration, I settled upon the Hendrick’s teacup that came free when we bought some fancy gin at duty free. It’s just the right size, with a nice wide mouth, but more importantly, it makes me feel like classy English royalty when I use it. As you do.
4. Fill the pregnancy testing cup.
5. Dip cheap-o pregnancy strip in cup for 5 seconds. (The instructions say 3. I’m an overachiever.)
6. Watch all the colors move around. Oh god! Could it be positive?!
7. Watch all the colors vanish. Nope, never mind.
8. Wander away for the 5 minutes you’re supposed to wait for a result. It will only change to positive if you don’t look at it.
10. Obsessively check the internet for reasons there might still be a negative test at day X but ultimately positive results, even though my heart feels like I should be able to tell by now.
Closing note regarding perspective. I realize waiting two weeks to find out whether you’re pregnant is an amazingly common occurrence, and surely at least some of you are laughing, remembering the first go, and then the second, and then the third, and then the thirtieth … I fully acknowledge that in the world of all hardships requiring patience and perseverance, this is somewhere above “waiting for dinner despite being very hungry” and below “saving up for a nice vacation that won’t come for six months.” I just like sharing.