getting pregnant

Stop Torturing Yourself By Taking Your Pregnancy Tests Too Early

By  | 

pregnancy-testTrying to conceive for nearly five years does something to a person; I admittedly became a woman obsessed. It’s hard to describe the mental gymnastics you go through when you want something so badly and it’s just not happening. Being a control freak and being completely not in control of that situation made me fixate on one element I could control: the frequency with which I took a pregnancy test. I basically drove myself crazy and wasted a lot of money.

It really doesn’t help that Mother Nature plays this really sick joke on you every month you are trying to conceive. Did you know that PMS symptoms and pregnancy symptoms are oddly similar? The headaches, the nausea, the fatigue – these are all things you can easily convince yourself month after month are sure signs of pregnancy. So of course you should have a stock of pregnancy tests “just in case, right?” I did! And because I refused to identify as one of “those women” who buys cheap pregnancy tests in bulk (that would be obsessive!) I, month after month, bought a pack or two of EPTs. Those were roughly $13 for a box of three at my local Target. I don’t think a month passed that I didn’t buy one. Well, except the months I was able to briefly hold onto a pregnancy before I miscarried.

There is a thing women who are trying to conceive are very familiar with; the two week wait. There’s even a website dedicated to women obsessing over it. It’s the window between ovulation and when you can effectively test for a pregnancy. With pregnancy tests claiming to be able to detect a pregnancy earlier and earlier, it’s really easy to convince yourself you don’t have to wait until you’ve missed a period to do it. This does nothing but make you literally piss your money away and torture yourself. In some cases, it may even cause you the heartbreak of what your doctor will call a “chemical pregnancy.” This is basically a very early miscarriage, in which the egg is fertilized but does not implant in the uterine wall.

The first of the three miscarriages I had was one of these. I tested two days before my period was due, and got that positive I had been waiting on for months. Then I began bleeding heavily about five days later. What could have just been a heavy period, was now a miscarriage – with all of the horrible baggage that brings. I wanted a pregnancy so bad, even knowing that I had one for a few days was a difficult thing to let go of.

I didn’t learn my lesson of course. I kept testing early. Month after month I went through this ritual. Month after month I tried to convince myself and my partner that I saw a line. That second pink line on a pregnancy test to a woman trying to conceive is the equivalent of a desert oasis to someone who’s dying of thirst – It’s there! I see it!

I’m not sharing this anecdote to try to make you stop – like the headline says. I’m sharing it so you know you are not crazy. It’s hard not to obsess over the things we want so badly. If you are month after month searching for that second line, I really hope you see it soon.

But learn from my mistakes – buy the cheap tests in bulk.

(photo: Nikita Starichenko/ Shutterstock)