From the "Looking Back" Series...
It's hard to explain the waiting period to anyone who isn't actively trying to have a baby. Many women don't necessarily experience this part of the process. For those surprise pregnancies or those women who just black out after ovulation, this part may seem like nothing. But to the rest of us hopeful souls who desperately want to conceive this is the worst part of the "trying" game. You gave it your all. You did everything you knew you could do. You followed your doctor's advice. You tried every single suggestion thrown on a message board. When the moment came, you grabbed your husband and gave it your best performance. And when the moment had passed, you kept hips up and waited for his little guys to have a chance to swim upstream. Now there is nothing left for you to do, but wait. For, like, two weeks or so.
What happened to instant gratification? Don't we live in the generation where we have everything at our fingertips? Why can't we know now?? Hasn't science figured out a way? Maybe there is a light somewhere on my body that will come on the moment the sperm and egg meet. Well, science is apparently getting close because I see the commercials for that one brand all the time on TV telling me so. But until they figure it out, we wait. And waiting isn't a bad thing, really. Some miscarriages happen so early in the pregnancy that the woman doesn't even know she was pregnant to begin with. So, in essence, ignorance is bliss. Waiting until your missed period is really the right approach. Don't rush the test taking. If you test too early, you could just not have enough of an increase in hormone to get a positive result. It will save you from disappointment, frustration and wasted tests.
So, the following day after trying, I woke in the morning to take my temperature discovering that my temperature had spiked overnight. (I haven't discussed the process of taking and charting temperatures, but if someone has specific questions, I would be happy to answer any.) Basically when charting temperatures, you have to take your temperature first thing every morning at the same exact time. The temperture should stay consistent, but at ovulation will spike due to the increase of hormones. The following day I saw the spike. It had only been about eighteen hours or so since smiley face guy showed up. We got one try in. We were done for the month. I was pissed. I stomped into the kitchen where my husband was and announced the news in an annoyed voice, "Well, I ovulated." Again, he blankly stared at me wondering why I was upset. "Wasn't that what we wanted?" He cautiously replied. "Yeah, but I wanted to try a COUPLE of times. You know, to make sure it worked! Now it is all over with!" I remember he laughed like when you experience something anti-climactic. We were gearing up for it, it came and was over before you know it. (The only other type of experience that comes to mind is planning a wedding.) So, we both finally chuckled about it and went on our lives involved in all of our day to day commitments and stuff....hmmm...you really believe that? Remember, I was crazy, right? My husband went about his days, but I think it was always in the back of his mind. Perfectly normal. It was a big life deal that we were trying to accomplish. But me, well, it was always in the front of my mind. I went to work and tried to focus on what I was doing and who I was with. But all I could think about was every little ache, twinge, thought, desire and cervical fluid that appeared before me. (Yep, we are back to that.)
Because I was a temperature taking fiend, I knew that my luteal phase (the time period between ovulation and the first day of the next period) was eleven days. This means that eleven days after the day I ovulated, I should expect to get my period. This would be the earliest day that I should try to test. Every woman experience different pregnancy symptoms at different times within the pregnancy, so what I am about to tell you isn't for you to assume will happen to you. I noticed a couple things that happened to me while I was waiting to test that I can't attribute to a normal cycle. My nipples were very sore and I had to pee like the dickens. A couple days after ovulation, I noticed that I started having to get up in the middle of the night and use the restroom. Now, I was a person who could probably hibernate for the winter. So, when it became a ritual to get up everynight to use the bathroom, I thought that was quite odd. I was quite pumped, too, that something ODD was happening. About two in the morning my bladder would start screaming and I would awake, smile and go pee. Sweet abnormal bliss. When my nipples felt like they were going to fall off, I would pleasantly sigh. They hurt, but I was happy.
Day 10 Mission: Go to CVS after work and buy a 2 pack pregnancy tests. (BTW - the store brand work just as good as the expensive kind. Don't worry about buying the best. You are just going to pee on it.) Set alarm to get up to take test before getting ready for work. Try to not get up to pee in middle of night, need the best morning pee as possible....
Day 11 Mission: Get up and open up directions to test...why didn't I read the directions the night before? I can't hold my pee in any longer! Okay, they are all about the same. Just take the cap off and pee on the stick part....ahhh...much better...cap back on, sit on a flat surface and wait for results...still peeing...ooh, my breasts hurt even more today, cool...still peeing...
The test was positive. I decided to be cool about it, but I wanted to scream. So, I finished peeing, finished up and went to find my husband. I met him in the hallway. Remember it was early and he was half asleep. I felt like a little girl waking up early on Christmas morning to see what Santa had left for me. I told him the news. He was pleased, but told me to take another one tomorrow. Hmm...Why would he tell me to do that?
I think that he was a little gun shy after our miscarriage. I don't think that I truly understood how important it was for him to be pregnant, too. He hurt just like me and was hopeful just like me. Now, he was asking me to be sure because his heart couldn't take it if it were wrong. Those words never left his mouth, but that is what I believe he was feeling. And I think that he was wise, too, to know me well enough to know that my heart couldn't take it either. So, I took two more in the following days and both were positive, too. It was time to call the doctor to get that bloodwork done and to find out some very important news.