Saturday, September 25, 2010

Come for the inappropriate hope, stay for the frustration

Like my late mother, I occasionally get obsessed with things. I get these odd yens to have lots and lots of something useless--20th-century American pottery, 1960s La Solana casserole dishes, Art Deco beaded purses. (Luckily not stray cats, as my mother did--thank you, Dad, for your allergies and obsessive-compulsive cleanliness.) I usually give in to those that are not too expensve and don't require much space, and eventually the intense drive wears off and I no longer feel compelled to check eBay six times a day, in dread of missing out.

And now that I have overcome my long aversion to them, I have a new obsession: pregnancy tests. Last night on the way home from work, I hungrily grabbed up five different brands before prudently putting back all but two.

True story: When I got home, before breaking into the good stuff, I thought I'd try that one in the cabinet with an expiration date of January 2006, and boy was I surprised when I was presented with two lovely blue lines...only to realize with a bit of a sickening sensation and extensive Googling, that it had been, in fact, an OPK. (One note on this subject: the OPK was not positive in the way an OPK should be positive for ovulation, but there were two solid lines--control was definitely darker. So, at least at very low levels, I can now say with some confidence that the pregnancy hormone does not trigger a positive OPK, if the OPK has been expired for the better part of five years. There. I've done my duty to science.)

So at bedtime, after uncomfortably holding my urine for a couple of hours, I was amazed and astounded to see a beautiful second line on one of those brand-new "six days before..." FREDs, one I could be highly confident was not an OPK. The test line was not as dark as control, but bright pink and visible across the room. Holy shit, I thought, I've been using sub-par tests! I must be waaay more pregnant than I thought! I stayed up till 2 a.m., high on optimism, reading reviews and reviewing pictures of other people's similar pee sticks.

Then I got up this morning, appropriately dehydrated, and tested again, visions of a super-solid, super-pink, 16-DPO-type test line forming in my head. It will be so pink!, I thought, "And so solid!" Then I actually looked at it, and...yeah. Not so pink. Not so solid. More like a pale, pee-bleached watercolor. So of course I immediately started searching the internet for pictures of super-pale FREDs at 16DPO that resulted in babies, and pictures of pregnancy test progressions that got paler and then darker again, instead of just trailing off to white. (An aside: My god, there are a lot of pictures of pee sticks on the internet. I didn't know this was the done thing.)

At this moment I have seven sticks of various hues, presented as carefully as my Rookwood pots, on my toilet where the light is good. Despite their generally faint lines and fainter plus signs looking back at me, I start jonesing for the next test, to add to the collection.

1 Comments:

Blogger JV said...

I don't mean to give you false hope, I really don't, because I know where you are coming from. I have been down the infertility road, and had my many false starts. I just wanted to tell you what happened last year when I got pregnant, and I was sure that as usual it would all fade away. So I started testing obsessively, looking for darker lines, because I remembered that my first successful pregnancy had clearly darkening lines in succession. At 14 dpo the line was a bit darker than the very pale 12dpo line, gave me so much hope, then as I expected at 16 dpo the line was all washed out and getting really light again. No doubt in my mind that it was yet another early loss. I waited for the beta phone call simply knowing for a fact that they'd tell me the beta was dropping. Well, the phone call came and it had more than doubled. With a very washed out line that same morning, on a FRED taken from the same box of the test that had given me a darker line at 14dpo. So same batch, same box, same everything... I was really thrown off. I asked the nurse to confirm my name on the chart, 'cause there was no way it was my number. But it was. The nurse laughed it off and said that "a line is a line" and color doesn't matter. I always thought it was bullshit... Of course color does matter. And I do think that most of the time it does. But apparently they don't make FREDs the same way they used to. So you just don't know yet - and I'm sorry if this hope I'm giving you doesn't work out in the end - but I just wanted to tell you what happened to me that time. I know that if I were you I'd keep testing like a maniac, so I'm not going to tell you to just take a step back and let it be. But take those tests with a grain of salt, because only the numbers do the real talking. I am crossing my fingers very hard for you.

12:27 PM  

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