Sunday, September 7, 2014

To Pee or Not To Pee, That is the Question

Do you pee on a stick before your tests?

I did twice at the very beginning, and both times it was negative and threw me into a funk before the phone call even came. I decided peeing on a stick was a bad idea.

Then I actually got pregnant, and I peed on a stick for novelty of doing it (because I knew what the result would be). But both times it wasn't right, so while I got to pee on a stick and have it be positive, that's about all I got.

After that, I decided there is no point in peeing on sticks.


Except that my new clinic tests two weeks from transfer, not two weeks from what would be retrieval. Soooo, peeing on a stick on a day that could have been your test day at a different clinic could actually yield pretty confident results.

Last cycle, what with the early bleeding and the beta 5 days early, well that just kind of solidified it for me. I was like, if they can test with bloodwork 5 days early, surely I could POAS three days early. Right?

Here are the reasons why I justified it:
- Waiting 14 days post transfer is torture
- If I peed on a stick, I could alleviate the nerves a bit.
- If it was positive, I could actually have that experience of going to Bryce, stick in hand, and whispering, "Guess what? I'M PREGNANT!" I could regain some normalcy that has been gutted from this area of my life and have a little private moment that doesn't involve a phone call.
- If it was negative, it would give me some extra space to come to grips with it before the phone call confirmed the bad news. (Or surprised me because the stick was wrong, although in my experience the stick is never wrong.) I'd have to take shots for a few days knowing they were for nothing, but I could fall apart a little more conveniently, on a weekend.

Pretty good reasons, eh?

I had a stick in the back of the closet, leftover from an insane moment where I had a negative test but I didn't fully believe it and so before I had a ton of wine to drown my sorrows, I wanted to pee on a stick. In case it was all a big mistake. Because a generic CVS pee stick is so much more accurate than a blood test. So, I wasted one stick and had the other one, a little pink blur at the back of our bathroom closet, haunting me.

So I used it at 5:30 this morning. First pee is supposed to be the most potent pee. I had hidden it in my box of pantiliners (ironic and kind of brilliant, right?) next to the toilet, sort of in plain sight so that it would be overlooked by Bryce if he happened to get curious about the zillions of pantiliners that have always been next to the toilet. I even tore the edge of the packaging a bit so I wouldn't have to do much when early in the morning I had my chance to be sneaky and get my good news.

Because of course it would be good news, because I've been really tired and actually nauseated the past few days. There had to be so much HCG running through my system to cause that, so I was ready for a clearly positive test and then a beta on Wednesday that would reveal a number high enough to solidify twins as a clear possibility. I was crampy and full feeling. I know, only the blood can tell you if you're pregnant, but despite being faked out by my creative body many times before I was sure.

The stick was a dud. No lines anywhere, not in the special circle that meant pregnancy, not in the control box that just meant there was pee. The stick was plenty wet, I was covered in pee. It wasn't user error. Although, I have to say, I suck at peeing on sticks. I get pee EVERYWHERE. I don't know what's wrong with my technique, but it sucks.

So now I had a problem. I had peed on my only stick. It was inconclusive. So, what did this mean? Did it mean that the pee stick gods had spoken and I should just walk away from the stick peeing? Or did it just mean that my year old store brand pee stick was no good? Should I go get more and find out for sure, or let the uncertainty sit until Wednesday's blood test?

I went with "go get more." I went to get gas for my car, and across from the station is a Walg.reens, where I wouldn't run into any students or parents and it wasn't very busy. I don't know why buying pregnancy tests as a 38 year old woman seems dirty, like buying condoms when you're 18. I felt surreptitious. Not just because Bryce had no idea what shenanigans I was up to, but because I felt like I was cheating. I decided to screw the double pink or blue line tests, and go for something more concrete. E.P.T. makes a digital test that doesn't dick around -- it either says PREGNANT or NOT PREGNANT. You could not be more clear. Plus it was touted as the earliest test you could buy. Today I am 11 days post 5-day transfer, so I figured I was good to go.

I stuffed it in my purse (after paying of course) and went straight to the bathroom after admiring Bryce's paint job on the shelves he's building for the top of our stairs. I didn't want to be too suspicious. I peed, (pee everywhere...seriously, is there a trick to this?), and waited while the hi-tech stick flashed an hourglass at me. I had a sinking feeling, one that had blossomed in the pit of my uterus since this morning's dud test. And then I looked.


It felt like the digital display was shouting it. Like it should have been followed with, "SUCKA." I just stared at it. Ok, any chance it could be wrong? Very, very, very slight. So much for surprising Bryce with good news today.

Here's what's going through my head:
- Oh holy jeezum, this is just never going to happen for us.
- That extra sticky blast wanted to stick to the PLASTIC CATHETER, but not to me. Maybe it used up all its stickiness on getting retained upon transfer.
- Oh no, the donor sperm isn't magical, is it my death uterus after all? Is there something we don't know yet, lurking?
- Bryce must be so disappointed in me. (I know logically this isn't true, but it feels like he should be.)
- What did I do wrong?
- If we hadn't gone to Vermont, would I be pregnant now?
- If it hadn't been the first week of school, would I be pregnant now?
- Am I somehow undeserving of a baby? Is there some secret out there that I'm not in on?
- Is it mistake that we're using my eggs again?
- Why does this keep happening to us? What the fuck is going on?
- How soon can we get started again?

A little sick, but we are on a time clock. We need to do our next frozen (thank goodness we have two still in the freezer) as soon as humanly possible, because our package is up in May. And unless there is some light shed on why we are unsuccessful and it's not something that can be helped, I want to just plow on through. I don't have space for any more breaks.

I wasn't going to tell Bryce, I was going to hold it myself, because I was only going to share if it was good news and I was so sure it was good news. Again. But I was just so sad. I didn't want to ruin his day, too. Plus we have to keep doing shots at 8:30 at night through Tuesday so we can keep to the beta on Wednesday. Maybe it's wrong. And maybe my garden will magically weed and stake itself.

I felt horrible, disrupting our Sunday this way. I am completely overwhelmed with school, it sucks the life out of me (and it was SO HOT last week and I felt like crap). I just wanted some good news today. I feel a little on the numb side. Logically, I know that this was our first try with the donor sperm, and that doesn't mean that anything new is wrong, it just means that we fell on the other side of the statistics. AGAIN. Or does it? I am feeling so frustrated. I am feeling so dysfunctional. I am feeling like a big fat failure. I'm not going to lie, I feel pretty hopeless in this moment.

So was it a mistake? Should I have not peed on that stick? I have the luxury of moping today, and while I still have a half day on Wednesday for receiving my news in the privacy of my home, maybe I can distribute my pain over the next few days and try to find a little hope again. I'm so sorry I don't have good news, again. It really seems like there is just never going to be good news. I could use a hug.


  1. Oh no! I am so sorry. I will definitely give you all the hugs that you need. And then some. I'm very proud of you for heading right to the digital, because even after my beta last time, I still had to wait a week before I was confident enough in my numbers to do the digital. I am also shaking my fist at that CVS test for being a dud.

    I have always peed before the beta because I want to be able to feel like a normal person at least once in this journey of conception. I want to get to tell my husband because I found out when I peed on a test. Not when some nurse or doctor calls me with data.

    I am sorry this is once again not your happy ending. I will be sending healing vibes for you and Bryce to be able to move forward with your frosties. <3

    1. So, I'm hoping against hope that the faint line I found later on the CVS one means maybe it's not an unhappy ending... Probably a little pollyanna of me, but whatever. The digital is scary! I realized too that last time I did digital it was Clearblue Easy, and this one is E.P.T., so I wonder if the threshold is different? I agree, I felt very strongly that I wanted the chance to tell in a way that seemed normal. Maybe I was too early? Trying so hard to believe maybe it's a mistake. (See? This is exactly why I haven't been peeing on sticks! Sticks are the DEVIL!) ;-) Thinking of you as you wait, your beta's got to be sometime later this week! So hopeful it's a clearcut YES for you! :)

    2. My beta is tomorrow morning. I can't believe your clinic makes you wait so freekin' long! :) I'm going crazy with only 24 hours left to go. I can't imagine having to wait 4 more days like you have. Ugh.

    3. Tomorrow! So exciting--all I have to cross is crossed! Thinking positive thoughts for you.

  2. Ok, not to be completely obsessive or anything, but I was taking the bathroom garbages out and I went to unearth the faulty pee stick from this morning from where I hid it (under organic cotton tampons, not sure why my hiding places are all feminine supplies...) so I could throw it away. Because I am a glutton for punishment, I looked at it. So, I could see the dot that was the only thing I saw in the control window, and then a faint line next to the dot. AND THERE WAS A FAINT LINE IN THE PREGNANCY BOX. Now, I realize that this is about 11 hours after I peed on the damn thing this morning, but could it be I had the lights so dim in there that I didn't see the line? And maybe that test is more sensitive than the digital one? I am not a frequent flier with the pee sticks, and google is confusing me even more. Apparently there are "evap lines" that can show after the window of the test is over, but a positive result also can "stick" for up to weeks after you pee on it. It was dimmed in the bathroom this morning because I didn't want to raise suspicion. Am I getting false hope that maybe all is not lost? Am I grasping at straws/sticks/faint lines? I will say that the mystery will have to be revealed on Wednesday. I can't take any more pee sticking. I kind of wish I hadn't looked. Help!

    1. Digitals definitely have a lower sensitivity than the line test sticks. So it is possible that you wouldn't have turned a digital, but would turn a stick test. Not that I want to help contribute to the crazy. Wednesday will be here soon!

    2. Yes, this is definitely possible. Evaps don't have color to them. If you see pink, I think it is real. And the digital could be thrown off by how dilute your urine was. I'm crossing my fingers!

  3. I wasn't allowed to pee on anything prior to beta so I only got the please of seeing a pregnant pee stick after I knew I was pregnant. I am awful at peeing on and in things, but I did find that it was much easier to take an ovulation/pregnancy if I peed in a cup, then stuck the test in the pee.

    Still hoping for you!

    1. Good tip! We used to have these disney dixie cups in the bathroom and I'd use those with the super cheap strips I'd buy from Amazon. I didn't think to use them with the fancier sticks! :) I should reinvest. Or maybe not, since the sticks seem to cause nothing but drama when I do them pre-beta.

      Thanks for the hope, I am hoping I'm not stupid to believe that maybe the EPT is a big fat shouty mistake. I did pee on that one with more dilute, later-day pee, so who knows. Wednesday. Never boring, but I think maybe I would give my big toe for a nice boring normal experience at this point! :)

  4. Always pee in a cup... Hitting a stick is IMPOSSIBLE! Not to totally feed the insanity, pregnancy lines do last... Like forever. In fact as completely disgusting as it is ( I can't bare to part with it) my positive test from the boys is still under the sink, and is still very very positive. I think there is still hope. I'm holding on to hope for you until your beta!

    1. That's great advice! I am hoping that line is is a good line. We'll see later today... the wait is torture!

  5. Crossing fingers for Wednesday as well. I don't know if I've had an evap line but I had a test with indent once and it had very uneven color (mostly to one end) and most of the line was "white"...cycle was negative so it was definitely a fluke test. Also only able to pee in cups haha Best wishes.

    1. Thanks, Michelle! I wish they made these tests more reliable.

  6. I'm holding onto hope for Wednesday. Love you, Jess.

  7. Oh honey. sorry to not chime in sooner---we were out of town, etc....

    I have almost always waited until the morning of the Beta Day to test with a pee stick....those dang things, you really never know with them. And of course you got a dud one ): ohhhh, Universe, for crying out loud. The digital tests are less sensitive---I've gotten "not pregnant" on two digital tests when I was pregnant...

    It is still of course entirely possible that you are pregs right now! And I will be holding out hope for you for tomorrow. Will check in then, and will be thinking of you until then. I'll dedicate my yoga practice to you and your womb tonight!

    1. No worries! I am so hoping that the line was the right one. Now I just have to wait... such torture. I will be sure to update, and I so appreciate your dedicated yoga practice! My womb and I are happy to be thought of! :)

  8. Oh hon. Not what you wanted. I understand the impulse, and I tested over the weekend to give myself some privacy to deal with the results. I hope, hope, hope, hope that this weekend was just too early and you get good news tomorrow. Sending you strength and love, my friend.

    1. Thanks for the strength and the love... I really appreciate it. I just wanted the same--privacy and some time to process on my own time. Maybe too early though and apparently I suck at sticks, so it didn't much help me. We'll see what this afternoon brings...

  9. Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm thinking of you, too, and hoping your dreams are true... God this wait makes me nauseous.