Friday, December 29, 2006

Test anxiety

As a former academic perfectionist and generally fortunate person, I just assumed that the first home pregnancy test that I ever took would be positive. Yes, I knew that the odds of pregnancy were only around 20% per cycle, but I still thought I'd be the lucky one. The though of my arrogance and naiveté back then really cracks me up now. If there's one thing that I've learned on this bumpy journey, it's that I'm not special.

I haven't tested much after that first disappointment. I realized quickly that there's nothing at all fun about a negative home pregnancy test, and that knowing that the cycle failed just made the time between the test and the arrival of my period horribly depressing. So, I'm finding myself in new territory knowing that I actually have a (slim) chance of a positive result this time. Should I test?

Here are the arguments FOR testing

1. Good news would be wonderful, and would make me feel a lot less anxious.
2. This weekend is New Year's Eve. If I'm NOT pregnant, then I might as well have a glass of something bubbly to celebrate.
3. If I don't actually know the result, I'll be a total basket case waiting for the doctor's phone call on Tuesday.
4. I really don't want to cry at work, so if it's bad news, it might be better to know before the phone call.

The arguments AGAINST testing:

1. It might be negative
2. I think it will be negative
3. I don't know how I will handle it if it's negative
4. Repeat #'s 1, 2, and 3 several more times...
5. A negative result probably still wouldn't allow me to drown my sorrows over the weekend, since there will always be a shred of doubt in my mind. Maybe the test is too old? Maybe I was a late implanter?

What to do?

Regarding the previous post, a couple of commenters discussed their experiences with infertility after having a first child, and stated that they don't feel guilty about wanting another child. Well of course you don't! Why on earth should you? I really hope that my post didn't come off as unsympathetic to people who are struggling with infertility after their first (or second, or third, or fifth) child. What I MEANT to say was that I realize now that a positive result, and even the delivery of a healthy "take home" baby, won't take away the pain of infertility. I hope that I didn't hurt anybody's feelings. I wish that we all could have as many (or as few) children as we want without going through so many struggles along the way.


Stephanie said...

i remember that I took a POAS test after my first IVF and got a neg. I was kicking myself that I took the test and lost hope before I really had too. But now that I am on the brink of starting IVF #2 I am thinking again about the horrible TTW and how hard it is to wait. Oh the wait! Waiting...waiting...waiting...
My heart is beating faster just thinking about the horrible TWW!

Tinker said...

Sara, your post definitely did not sound unsympathetic to those wanting more than one child. I think the comments meant to indicate that we shouldn't pile more burden on ourselves than infertility already does. You're right that it steals that pure unencumbered joy of pregnancy. We know too much about what can go wrong and are robbed of the innocent marvel at having a baby.

As for peeing on a stick... wait. Whether positive or negative you can still enjoy a small glass of New Year's celebration.

Marie-Baguette said...

Hi Sara! Thanks for your support! I do pee on the stick before the beta test. Because if I am not pregnant, I can 1. stop the freaking awful PIO shots, and 2. get thrashed. By the way, even though I am French, I don't believe in drinking moderatly during pregnancy. More and more reports come out showing that it is worse than previously thought for the baby. Plus, who can drink moderatly? Not me ;-) Go with the flow and do what you feel like doing. You don't mention any symptoms. Do you have cramps? Bigger or sore boobs? Are you tired? I am hoping this cycle is going to work for you! Bonne chance Sara

Anonymous said...

Sara, I say wait until the morning of your beta to test. That way you know before the doc calls if it is negative but also because before then you might get an unreliable result. My HPT was very light the day of my beta. I am wishing you the best of luck and will be checking on Tuesday for results!