Ah, but once you start, you can't stop. I decided to test again the next morning, expecting to see a bit more of a defined line with a first morning sample. I kept an eye on the clock this time. We teach our medical assistants that a positive result will usually show within a minute, and that you shouldn't read a test after a full three minutes. Although most of the patients we test in our office are actually past due for their cycles. Am I even considered late, as my RE had me test rather early? My iPhone app thinks my period is two weeks late. I need to enter a fake date to put an end to the reminders. At the three minute mark, my test looked completely negative. I think around 5 or 6 minutes, I could start to make out the blue line, and yes it did look a little darker than my previous test. Accordingly, my HCG increased to 65.
Saturday morning and I tested exactly 24 hours later. This time I used the stop watch feature on my phone to time. The control line appeared within 30 seconds. Three minutes -totally negative. Five minutes -still totally negative. Eight minutes -nothing. 10 minutes -maybe barely something. I started running a second test. The second test also appeared negative after ten minutes, but I could start to appreciate a faint line on the first test, which had now been sitting out for nearly twenty minutes. I know the limitations with urine testing, but I didn't feel that I could justifiably consider myself to be pregnant when standard protocols for urine pregnancy testing would interpret my tests as being negative. I'm still an impostor. I'm only pregnant on paper.
I didn't share any of this with Myrtle. While it pains me a bit to exclude her, I decided that it's best to keep her outside of the circle of trust for now. I know she has no comprehension for the science, nor my perspective. She peed on a stick once, got a positive result and had a gorgeous, healthy baby girl. I had to explain to Husband that she never had serial HCGs drawn; it's not routine practice for fertiles. I'm not excited. I'm cautious. I'm realistic. It just doesn't seem logical that we could be a first time IVF success, that yields not only a (true) BFP, but a single, chromosomally normal fetus (who will later escape my threat of pre-eclampsia and arrive into the world at term and healthy). I'm not naive.
It just doesn't feel like this is meant to be 'it'. Maybe I've consumed too much of the Day 5 Embryo Kool-Aid and I have too little faith in our day 3 embies. Despite my RE's attempt to offer reassurance to the contrary, I still regarded this transfer as a Hail Mary pass. I viewed it as a 'practice' transfer before we could proceed with our voted more likely to succeed day 5 blastocysts. Then again, if our day 5 blasts are so great, why didn't they look better on day 3? Who is to say that our day 3 over-achievers wouldn't have made it to day 5? I'm still so skeptical. I question if I'm just trying to prepare myself for a bad outcome or if I intuitively sense that this isn't going to work.
I'm managed to make myself emotionally numb; as if I've administered an epidural to my brain. I want this to be it. I am hoping that this is the one. Yet, if it's not, I want to know as soon as possible. Fail fast, fail cheap. Well, not cheap in financial terms, but before we make any emotional investments. If you're not meant to be our baby, please do me the favour of declaring this as a chemical pregnancy. Do not fuck with me by progressing to week six or beyond only to devastate us with the discovery of absent cardiac activity. Thus I can look at these low betas and barely, faintly positive tests with both concern and relief.
Hi, my name is Jane and I'm addicted to POAS. [Hi, Jane!] At first I was just curious to POAS, just to see what would happen. Before I knew it, I was POASing every day...
I know there is no information to be gleaned from determining how long it takes for a pregnancy test to become positive. Although in theory, if my hormone levels are increasing, then the test should be positive quicker and the line should be getting darker. I need to keep reminding myself that I am so early compared to when most other women test. I just felt that I should be collecting data, even if were irrelevant. On Sunday morning, (12dp3dt) I could barely see a line after ten minutes. It was a little more noticeable after fifteen minutes and present, although still very light after thirty minutes. I know this merely indicates that my beta is still pretty low, which I already knew. In the interest of the scientific process, I decided to re-test in the afternoon. Familiar scene: negative after three minutes, negative after five, negative after ten. Still negative after twenty...thirty...forty five minutes...an hour later and not even a hint of a blue line. Like any junkie, I needed my fix, but this time I needed something stronger. I went out to the pharmacy to pick up a digital test. Still pregnant according to the display. Time to stop testing for today, as like any addict, I needed to hide the evidence of my habit before Husband came home. Of course, I would lie if he were to ask if I had POAS'd.
Monday morning (13dp3dt) hours before my beta draw, the test was still negative at 3 minutes, but a faint line appeared around five minutes. After 10 minutes, the line had not become any darker. I also ran my other digital test. It took over two minutes for the monitor to declare that I was still technically pregnant. I shared with Co-worker that I felt completely prepared if I were to learn that this was a chemical pregnancy. "Why are you obsessing over these pee sticks?" she asked. Why? I wanted to pee on a stick, see two lines and declare myself to be pregnant like any other woman. I still feel as if I'm literally grasping at straws; pathetically squinting to identify a blue line in a manner similar to looking at those 3-D posters. Ultimately, as I know from my prior experience, these faint blue lines may be all I have to show for my pregnancy and I want to capture them while I can.
My blood was drawn at 8 AM, so I had hoped that I might have some results by lunchtime. Previously, I had been called around 3 PM. It was now quarter to four and still no message. I figured if it were bad news, they would wait until the end of the day. Minutes after 4 PM, there was a voicemail message on my phone. I presumed that if the message were to 'call us back to discuss your results' or if it were my RE himself calling, it was likely bad news. To my surprise, New Girl's message revealed that my beta was now 183 and my RE was pleased with how it was rising. I needed to do another draw in 48 hours, but she had tentatively scheduled my first OB ultrasound. Husband and I had been treating each one of these beta tests as if we were clearing one individual hurdle at a time. We've passed 3 of 4 so far, but it still feels like there is so much ground to cover before getting to our ultrasound. Thus, I'm still pursuing this challenge of getting a true, normal, positive back office pregnancy test. Alas, my name is Jane. I am addicted to POAS.
9dp3dt -Beta HCG 36
FMU 10dp3dt -Beta HCG 65
FMU 11dp3dt (top after 20 min bottom after 10)
Mid Afternoon 12dp3dt -Totally Negative