"...Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience."
Romans 8:24b-25

11 March 2011

The Pregnancy Test Phenomenon

Forgive me for my lack of posting the last couple of weeks.  Things have been beyond chaotic in my life lately, and I've had neither the time nor the presence of mind to sit down and compile my thoughts into something worth reading.  Tonight I decided "enough is enough" and that whether I had the presence of mind or not, I needed to post something.  So please bear with me.

You may recall from a previous post that I had an unusually long cycle between January and March.  It's a rare occurrence, but it's also happened enough that our hopes were not even slightly elevated in regard to pregnancy.

During a visit to the doctor, upon learning of the unusual length of my cycle, the doctor insisted that I take a pregnancy test then and there, despite my assurance that I could guarantee the results would be negative.  I complied, peed in the tiny cup (that a man obviously designed because the thought would never occur to a man that a cup that size would result in a guaranteed "peeing on the hand" scenario for a woman - truly, we need Solo brand party cups for those tests), and learned before I left the clinic that the result was negative.  

There were no thoughts of the possibility that levels might not be high enough to detect in a urinalysis, or that perhaps there was something faulty with their test.  I had no doubt in my mind even before the result was given to me that it would be negative.  It is always negative.  Even the time I thought I saw a faint second line on an at home pregnancy test, I knew in my heart that the second test would prove to be negative, and it did.

So, I continued about my daily life, taking care of the chaos surrounding us and enjoying the fact that I did not have to deal with my monthly slap in the face just yet.  The entire month of February was "slap-free" - happy birthday to me!  :-)

As the number of interim days passed 33, rounded 44, and approached the 50's, I began to notice tell-tale signs that my reprieve was about to end.  And then I woke up with nausea.  I chalked it up to stress and perhaps something I ate, and ignored it.  It struck again, ever so slightly, one afternoon, and I dismissed it as readily as it came.  Finally, on day 51, a wave of nausea hit me suddenly as I was about to enter Target.  I decided a pregnancy test was in order.  I waited for the nausea to subside, called my husband to give him a head's up of my plan, entered Target, and bee-lined toward the pharmacy, then the checkout counter, and (after paying) I went straight to the bathroom and took the test.


The actual test
I took in the bathroom
at Target
No surprise.  No genuine disappointment, because I wasn't "appointed" to believe that I was really pregnant.  I knew without a doubt that it would be negative when I was making my way to the pharmacy.

But there's an interesting thing that has been a trend with my body and my mind throughout the last seven years.  If my body is going long on the interim time between first days of cycles, I can almost guarantee that if I pee on a pregnancy test stick that I will start my period the next day.

For whatever reason, hospital tests do not cut it.  Apparently, for my body to get the signal from my brain that it is in fact NOT pregnant, I have to physically hold a stick that has come into contact with my urine and wait for it to indicate (whether by lines, plus/minus signs, or words) that I am not pregnant.

It's like my ovaries are in limbo, wondering, "Do we ditch the corpus luteum, or do we keep it around?" when they suddenly receive a signal from the brain that confirms that they do, in fact, need to ditch the corpus luteum and commence the flow.

True to form, after peeing on a stick in Target and reading the result "not pregnant" on the stick, the next day, day 52, became day one for me and I was spared the extra horror of explaining to the fertility nazi I met for my appointment a few days later why I considered it "normal" to have a 51 day cycle.  She does not know it went that long, and is actually under the impression that my cycles are regularly every 33 days.  And as far as I'm concerned, she'll never know any differently.

As to why I dubbed her the fertility nazi, that's a story for another day.  Let's just say for now that I can't remember the last time I cried as long or as hard as I did after my encounter with her.  And, yes, I get the privilege of having to see her again in the near future.  That should be fun.

Has anyone else encountered this strange pregnancy test phenomenon?

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I would love to hear from you! The subject matter of this blog can be very sensitive. This is intended to be a place of encouragement and to be uplifting. It is never my desire to cause pain through what I write here, so please keep that in mind as you share your thoughts. Thank you.