Sunday, July 13, 2008

A Cautionary Tale: And this, children, is why we don't take pregnancy tests early.

So. Yesterday was 8 dpo. I was thinking, "Yeah, it's early. Way too early. I mean, only 35% of pregnant women get positive tests at 10 dpo, which is two days from now, which means the odds of me getting a positive test are really low; probably worse than my odds of conception this cycle."

You'd think that stern, logical talk I gave myself would snap sense into me, but alas, this is a cautionary tale, so naturally, the illogical side responded with, "Yeah, but plenty of people have gotten positives this early, and you said yourself you had that strange cramping and if it was related to implantation, then it may not be too early to tell after all. Oh, and neener neener neener!"

So what I do? Naturally I wait for my husband to leave to go with his friends and ready myself for a quiet night of pirating my neighbor's unsecured wireless internet connection since the grounds crew cut our cable line. I look at the clock while the battle rages in my head (and is excessively juvenile - the mental equivalent of a food fight at this point - clear evidence the illogical side is winning) and note that it's coincidentally been about 3 hours since I last peed. And I ate dinner, but didn't really drink too much by way of liquids, so many I should go ahead and pee. In a cup. For scientific purposes. To see if I'm getting adequate hydration, yeah, hydration, that's the ticket!

My urine is actually kind of dark, so that scientific question is answered in a scientific way, but now I have a glass of urine sitting on my counter. Well, hey, by this point, the juvenile illogical side has strung the underwear of the logical side up the flag pole and is getting drunk on light beer it smuggled out of the camp counselor's room while the counselor was making out with the rival camp's counselor. So I pull out my trusty $tree tests and decide to have a go.

Nine minutes later I am frowning at what appears to be a very faint line. And when I say faint, I'm not referring to the digustingly clear pics that people seem to put on the nest for interpretation, I mean faint as in that could be a shadow where the antibody strip is or it might be my imagination.

It's now over 10 minutes past and the result is definitely reading negative by any standards, but I'm still curious about that faint line. Cause I really believe I could see it, you know? I sternly remind myself that it's probably only because I've seen so many tests and can look at a blank one and usually pick out the antibody strip, but then the drunkards shove the logical one in the broomcloset and lock them in. Logical one is weeping with vexation while the drunkards urge me to take a closer look.

I turn on the lamp, and take a closer look. I can clearly see a shadowy line where the antibody strip is. It's very faint but defined. So naturally, I take the test apart to see it better. I mean, what else could I do but give in to peer pressure?

And when I do this (I would just like to point out this was all in the interests of satisfying scientific curiousity, since the test read negative at the time limit and was already invalid), I notice the faintest trace of pink in the line imaginable. Really, it was there, but only if you sort of angle it the right way. . .

I used the same urine for two more tests. One clear negative (only in my scientific interest, I bastardized that test before I took it and to be frank, it was cool to watch) and one more shadowy negative but enough to get my heart pounding inconclusive test.

I held my urine for three more hours and repeated the process. Again, negative, this time no trace of shadowy lines. Now I'm much more annoyed with the fact my husband isn't home yet. I did get a call on time saying he would be late, but I didn't realize how late late would be. I hold my urine for three more hours, but I have had things to drink and it's paler than I would normally like to test with. This does again yield the same shadowy line. I go to bed now, husband is finally home and awake at 7:30 needing badly to pee (guess the coke caught up with me). It's been five hours since the last test, but I'm bursting. I'm also tired and not wearing my glasses so I quietly pee in a cup and test without paying much attention. It's negative, but if I squint really hard I can pretend there is a shadow line there.

I have to pee again at 8:30 and this is a long pee lasting forever (uh, didn't I just pee an hour before and go back to sleep? Must be the all the light beer the juvenile side of me was drinking, which also explains the headache and vague nausea, since in real life I drank only Coke Zero). When I finally get up for good, I'm horrified to see that the first morning urine I used was extremely dilute, very pale lemon pulp color. Well, no wonder it's negative.

Oer breakfast I tell my husband about the possibly maybe but probably not pee-stick adventure and he reiterates his belief that I am pregnant. I am kinda leaning that way too (so much for neutrality), but refuse to get excited.

I have not yet been able to hold my urine without drinking for it to acheive a good concentration (although I tried, really, I did) for accurate test results yet today. I've had one more shadow line and my tests from last night (YES, I KNOW they are invalid) have faint but visible pink lines. I'm hopeful that I get an actual clear result in the next two days. Ok, I mean a clear positive result. Otherwise, by this time next week when I am dealing with cramps and bleeding, I'm going to feel really stupid on top of it.

So, the moral of my long story? Early testing really does provide the opportunity to get back unclear results and cause a bit of stress. If I could only just say it was negative, it'd be much easier, but there have been definite enough shadow lines to think that maybe something is up after all. Now I am driving myself mad with shadow lines and holding it and second guessing.

So there you are kids - don't try this at home unless you too are willing to end up like the crazy pee stick lady!

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