Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Pee sticks are like crack

Thank you for all of your comments and thoughts. Trying to stay in the zen place...trying...it is tough to sustain, but is a good goal.

Today is 5dp5dt...(gulp)

Still here. Still clueless about what's going on inside.

In terms of "symptoms," yesterday I thought I was having some abdominal pain, but I am bloated from all the estrogen and progesterone, maybe also from the prednisone, so I thought it might have been because my pants were too snug at the waistline. Last night and this morning, though, too, I have been feeling mild intermittent lower abdominal pain. It's on the left side and is a dull, constant (when there) feeling. Not exactly a cramp at all, and not even necessarily in my uterus. I prefer this significantly to feeling nothing, but really, have no idea if it signifies anything. Also, my heart rate is fast. I had Will count it last night in bed and it was 96 bpm just lying there. Odd...also probably doesn't mean much (and again maybe could be chalked up to 5 mg prednisone bid?)

Now that today is equivalent to 10dpo, I wanted to answer the question that some of you had asked about testing ahead.

Testing ahead hasn't really been a major thought until today...but now it is on my mind.

I still have a large amount of HPTs left from the motherlode that Will brought home for me way back when. And they are set to expire this year (guess they aren't good forever). So that makes me think I should use them - wouldn't want them to go to waste, now would I?

On the other hand, I know from the one cycle where I peed daily (and ultimately didn't get pregnant), that all that POASing (can POAS be a verb?) extended and magnified the agony. So I don't want or need to be doing that. I've also read way too many stories too of people who ultimately had happy news spiral into despair by testing too early. And I definitely don't want to spiral into despair needlessly.

Last cycle, I did the POAS-and-seal-in-envelope-until-beta-day strategy (remember that?). A crazy strategy, I know, but one that allowed me to pee but save my sanity. These hospital-grade tests can in fact be read later, so then can let you know how far back you had a positive. Of course...one would think this could be calculated merely by halving the beta level and counting back by two days, repeating this until you get to 25, the level of the test...so is kind of a waste. For some reason at the time, it held some sort of logic for me...

Today, though, the thought crept in, well, why don't I just test, just to see. It's so early that if it's negative, it means nothing. Not a thing at all! Therefore, it won't mess with my psyche! I convinced myself. I won't be disappointed if I test today because it is really the first day that you could possibly test positive and many times that I've been pregnant, a 10dpo test would have been negative (not that any of those pregnancies turned out ok in the end, but you know what I mean).

So I did test this morning, fool that I am....and damn if I'm not sure of the result!!! It looks like a negative. But examined in a certain light, with my eyes squinted...I thought I saw maybe the whiff of a second line. But then I set it down and looked later and thought, nah, not really, I think that's just where the second line would be, if there was a line. Because I've looked at so many tests over the past five years that I can intuit where the second line should be. Remember, too, I'm very talented at seeing faint lines. I was able to discern a line last cycle when the beta was 23. This is no 23, I don't think...I think this is more of a hallucination. Or is it? I swear I can almost see something...


Oh, and as for the prediction that I wouldn't be disappointed? Well...I'm not disappointed, I'm...confounded! Aggravated! More anxious than I was before. I want to break the whole freaking box open and pee on all twenty tests.

Pee sticks are like crack. You have just a little taste and then you feel this enormous chasm of want open up inside of you, gimme gimme gimme!

So the answer about when I next will pee on a stick? Well, apart from today, I don't think I will test much prior to the beta. Unless my resolve breaks down again before then, which is definitely a possibility.

Oh, and I have a question I need your help on...when should I draw the freaking beta? I am due to have it drawn on Saturday (which will be 9dp5dt). But there are two problems with that - my local clinic doesn't draw betas on weekends. Also, we think we will be away in the country this weekend. I thought of getting it drawn a day ahead on Friday morning...but Friday I have to drive upstate and give a seminar to a roomful of clinicians. I don't really want to get a call from my clinic in the middle of that with good or bad news. Alternately, we may be able to find a Quest or Labcorp somewhere in the boondocks to get the HCG drawn stat on Saturday (does Quest or Labcorp offer same-day service?). Of course if we do that...we then will need the second beta drawn on President's Day (bang head on desk in frustration). When we will likely still be in the country and when I am certain no country lab will be open.

Forget testing ahead. Forget testing all together! Maybe I should just wait nine months and see if I give birth.

Have you seen my zen? I think I left it somewhere.


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  1. I think if I was going to be away from the clinic on beta day I'd take an hpt instead and do the blood test when I returned but then I'm a bad patient. Good luck!

  2. Ugh, pee sticks can be so evil. And of course this is all over a holiday weekend, it figures. I think I'd wait to POAS until Saturday, and wait for beta til you are back in the city next week. You'll get an answer Saturday, and after that it is all numbers anyway. But if you POAS all week, I'd totally understand that too. :)

  3. See, I always liked HPTs. I'd start taking them early enough that I knew I was watching the trigger leave my system, and then I'd just keep right on going every morning until it was super-duper obvious one way or another. But then, I'm a 'I wanna know NOW' kind of girl. And if nothing else, it gave me something physical to look forward to and DO every day. But I know it can be devastating if that line doesn't appear--and I remember some of that. Hen's pregnancy barely showed up as a faint line even on fancy 'early' HPTs even when my numbers were in the 600s. (So if you do pee and don't see a line, please remember my happy case.)

    And all that said, if it were me, I'd pee. Wouldn't want to waste all those sticks, after all!

  4. Is a beta really needed for some reason, other than knowing if you are pregnant or not? I'm not really that well informed about this process, but couldn't you just continue any supplements you are on until the holiday weekend is over, then do your beta and second beta?

  5. As a cycle sister, currently 2dp4dt, I can tell you that I will be facing a similar conundrum if I accompany my husband to Las Vegas next week. My clinic runs betas at 12dpt which would fall when we are out of town. I have thought about not even going to Vegas (for reasons other than where it falls in my 2ww) or having my RE write orders for a beta that I could take to a lab in Vegas.
    That said, and even though I have my own POAS horror stories, I will begin POASing at 4 or 5 dpt. My true belief is that one should actually wait until 7 or 8 days, but maybe there will be something to having it be negative then having it possibly be positive that will be sanity saving.

    Who knows, even as of today, I figure this cycle is a bust for me, so maybe I'm not the right person to be spouting advice.

  6. Pee sticks are the devil. Step away from them. They don't change the outcome, just drive you crazy.

    As for betas, I don't have any advice. Sorry!

    I will express my hope and optimism for this cycle, tho!

  7. Oh Mo, this post made me laugh at the absurdity of it all. At our futile attempts to remain "zen" through a process that is so high-stakes and fraught with emotion that it's simply impossible not to stress. I will be RIGHT THERE WITH YOU in 3 days!

    As far as the beta, why don't you try to find a Labcorp/Qwest in the boondocks on Saturday? You should get that first beta over with, but not during your lecture on Friday (agree wholeheartedly with you there!) If it's positive (oh please, please!) you can always push off your second beta a day and do that when you are back from the country. I think that's what I would do in your situation, but there's no right answer. Whatever keeps you most sane is the right answer.

    I know I will be doing exactly the same as you as far as POASing. I will resolve to wait as long as possible but then I'll break down early. That's what I ALWAYS do. I know what you mean about it driving you crazy, but will you honestly be less worried not testing? I don't think I will - maybe less volatile, but not less worried.

    Sending you as much strength of mind as possible to get through this week. Grow little embies, grow!

  8. Oh,it's such a conundrum. I did a digital HPT after they did my blood draw for the beta, so I would be prepared for what the phone call would be. You could just enjoy the weekend and wait until Monday. It won't change the outcome either way. But you might be going crazy from the "not knowing". I will be faithfully following to see which way you go. And Please let it be positive!!!

  9. Well, in the 30ish IUI/IVF cycles, I did between LG and Tiny Boy, I tried it all. One of the only times I didn't POAS at all I ended up with a beta of 17 (and peed immediately thereafter so I could see for myself!). With Tiny Boy, I had a shadow line at 4dp5dt that probably would have gotten darker had I done my typical practice of storing them to look at later...didn't test at all the next day and at 6dp5dt had a glaringly obvious positive (and a beta of 81). With LG, I had a faint line that showed up after about half an hour...and a beta of close to 200 the next day. I guess what I'm saying is yes I agree those sticks are addictive... and if you can manage to concentrate on anything else, leave them alone and wait until a reasonable day. But I also wouldn't torture myself by delaying beta... the wait is long enough without that.... Wishing you the best, Mo.

  10. Given that you might already have a faint line...I would not be able to hold off on anymore testing at home. I'd do one more pee stick Thursday morning (or tomorrow) to see what it turns up. Then I'd do my blood work when I got back to town. I also like the idea of calling ahead to the lab in the country to see if they do Saturday testing AND if they can give you same day results. If they don't do same day results, it doesn't make sense to go to them. I think the pee sticks will be your best option in that case...just so you *know* before Tuesday. And I remember reading that sometimes FET's have lower HCG in the beginning...just a thought.

    Good luck with your Zen...it's nearly impossible for us not to stress and wonder and overthink and all that other crazy stuff that we go through in the 2ww. Fingers crossed for you!!

  11. I'm hoping you saw the beginning of what will be a dark line!

  12. Where upstate are you going? Perhaps I can direct you to a lab but I am the girl who found a quest in anchorage alaska while on vacation because I needed a blood draw and didn't want to wait 10 days so I am a bit psychotic I guess... or I was.

    Take care.

  13. Where upstate are you going? Perhaps I can direct you to a lab but I am the girl who found a quest in anchorage alaska while on vacation because I needed a blood draw and didn't want to wait 10 days so I am a bit psychotic I guess... or I was.

    Take care.

  14. oh, thank you nepsi! I'm going to put Will on the case. We'll be up in the Berkshires, assuming we go.

  15. Heehee! I love the wait 9 months to see if you give birth line. In the end, it basically all boils down to that! I can't believe you didn't post a picture of the stick for us to contemplate! We need our crack fix, too! (Just kidding, btw ...enjoy your zen filled weekend).

  16. Agreed with Sprogblogger. I love testing early. I tested at 6 DPO this past cycle (got my positive at 8 DPO), for this 6th pregnancy. I like having something to look forward to / something to do the next day.

    Also, agreed with White Picket Fences - where's the pee stick pic?! I need crack too. :P

  17. The dreaded 9 day wait and all of it's annoying symptoms just drive a person crazy. Is there a hospital near where you will be this weekend. I had to get my drawn at a hospital because nobody else was open on the weekend. I POAS the day before my beta mainly because I didn't want to get the results alone I wanted my husband and I to know together. Hang in there only a few more days! So praying for your BFP!

  18. dear mo, how will you be able to stop poassing now that you've got a faint line? i'd be poassing 12 hours after the first poas to see if it got darker!!! i'm so praying that this will be the case and, if so, start posting your paos pictures for all of us, your faithful followers and admirers, to start rejoicing. x

  19. Personally, I'm a wait until the beta kind of girl, since I ended up hating pee-sticks with a passion (because they were always negative). But I'd not blame you if you went the pee-stick route.

    Fingers crossed still!

  20. This is like 10 DPO in a regular cycle right? In both my pregnancies,I'd test daily from day 6 (just for shits and giggles) and on day 10, things would start to happen- my test was super negative morning of 10 DPO, and as the day went by, changed to the faintest positive, and was clearly positive morning of day 11.

    The second pregnancy, I think I peed on like 10 sticks as the day went by, I kid you not. It IS like crack- I'd get 50 of the cheap sticks for 20 bucks and go nuts.

    You can't stop now, sadly. You have opened Pandora's box, so to speak. But I'd give atleast 8 hour intervals between testing.

    There are downsides to testing this early...there is massive potential for a lot of unnecessary grief. I drove home in tears on day 11, because my doctor's office pee test was far less sensitive, and they informed me I was NOT pregnant- I came and a digital Clearblue stick informed me that I was.

    But once you start, it is so difficult to stop, so you cannot be Zen-like about the testing. But I'd try to be zen like about the result, whatever it is. I hope this is it. Biting my fingers here.

  21. If it were me, I'd be splashing that stick with first morning pee tomorrow. Re the beta, can you go the blood draw Friday morning and have them call Will with the results? Then you can check with Will when you're through with your seminar. It's not like it wouldn't be on your mind all day blood draw or not.

    Sorry this is so hard. I've been remembering the agony of the 2WW as you're going through this. But you are actively working towards bringing home your baby. For me, inactive waiting was worse.

    BTW, I never felt anything in the uterine area during my 2WWs, and any symptoms I had I attributed to PIO. But then again, it took a visit to Dr. Google for me to realize I'd been in labor for several hours.

    P.S. I believe in that line! xoxo

  22. i would definetly test again tomorrow... but I´m a stickaholic

    I got I´m not sure line, I must be crazy imagining this line on 10dpt2dt, and then a little bit more visible line until 12dpt2dt then I got a line, and then on 14dpt2dt , at the beta the number was 80, but I have a healthy almost 2 year old girl.

    It gave me peace of mind and hope to test...

  23. mo,
    personally, i would get the beta done on friday at a lab you know and trust. one day early should not make a huge bit of difference. none of it is going to make a difference in the grand scheme- they are just numbers. you can take a beta on friday, and then have to wait until monday (if they are open on the holiday) or tuesday anyway. i think my beta was for a saturday and i had to wait until monday, no other options. if you could wait, (haha), it may be better to have the beta done on a day that you know you will be able to have another beta done at the same place in 48 hours, etc. because what if the boondocks lab doesn't have their equipment up to snuff, and then you have the second beta drawn at a different lab and the results are wonky?

    what a pita!

    as far as pee sticks, i try to avoid. i have never poas before an ivf cycle beta- too stressed out at seeing a -. but i also feel that you have to honor your desires- if you wake up tomorrow and you HAVE to poas, just do it and don't judge yourself. in the big picture, meaning, you are either pregnant or not, this stuff is just crazy-making distraction.

    i know exactly what you mean about seeing a second line, or, the place where the second line should be because you have looked at so many freaking pee sticks. although, that is better than seeing what you now is snow white blankness. so, a good result for today.

    i am really feeling for you, mo. this stuff is torture. stay strong. i hope you come up with a good plan for the beta. please update!

  24. Pee sticks are evil! I agree. I'd probably test all the way to beta if I had that many sticks. But then again, the suspense. AHHHHHHHHHHHH!

    Ok. Here is my suggestion about the beta. Pee on the stick early morning Friday. If it's positive, you can test Friday because you'll be getting good news. If it's negative, you have a lovely time in the country to regroup and you can on Tuesday morning and potentially have enough time to wait and see if there is late implantation?

    Of course this is from someone who went in and had a negative pregnancy test Friday, but beta of 11 on Monday.

    Hopeful for you!


  25. You sound just like me when I got a super faint line with the twins at 9 DPIUI -- with a dollar-store test that was expired, no less! I stared at that dang thing constantly, the entire day. It was only standing in front of my sliding glass door with the test tilted at a certain angle that I could see anything.

    Anything that turned out to be twins.

    Praying for you guys...

  26. Oh, Mo, I was laughing reading this -- in a with you, not at you way, you understand -- because it all makes perfect sense to me! I was then going to comment that I don't think anyone in the infertility community has your zen (and I do mean that), but after reading the comments I think the very first Anon above (February 14, 2012 11:22 AM) may have it. "Is a beta really needed," oh, bwahahahaha (and Anon., please understand I'm not laughing at you, either, it's just that in the infertility journey the not knowing is the toughest part -- even knowing that you can't do anything with the knowledge you might know (or not)).

    It's been over 5 years since my only clinical pregnancy (now better known as my son) was conceived and I'm still right there with you. No advice, but if I do stumble across any zen I'll send it right your way, including upstate or boondocks, as appropriate.

  27. For what it's worth on 5dp5dt I had exactly the same thin happen - the faintest of all maybe imagining it lines - and the next day had a positive.

    Good luck!!!

  28. On the beta thing, I'd probably get it done Friday morning, then arrange to have the results called in to Will or to a home phone where a message can be left for you to retrieve AFTER the seminar (if you have a separate home phone, and if that's something that would logistically work out), then do it at your local clinic on Tuesday after you're home again.

    But on the POAS thing--I've peed on a lot of sticks, with both positive and negative results, and my experience tells me that even a maybe-I'm-just-making-it-all-up line is probably and truly the harbinger of a more reliable line later on. You have to do what feels right for you, and resolutions one moment can lead to behavior that runs completely counter the next moment. I've waited for the beta in one instance while testing daily as early as possible in another. I will say that, in the second instance, it was really fun (what bizarre ideas of "fun" those of us in the fertility game develop!) to have a long line of pee sticks running from absolute negative, to faint, to unmistakable, over the course of 5 days.

    You will have many people keeping all their appendages crossed for your good luck.

  29. so. i swear that you need a special degree to read pregnancy tests. i remember thinking: i can complete a phd, but i can't read this effing test?

    do what feels right. for me, i always needed more info in terms of betas. i only did a HPT 3 times total. i HATE them. they make me feel challenged! :)

  30. Oh Mo...those pee sticks are the worst. I swear I have nightmares about them. Thinking about you and hoping for the best!

  31. An opinion from the other side, here- I hate POASing and never do it during cycles- the one time we conceived without intervention, I waited until a full week after my period was due to test. Seems to me that good news is always welcome and bad news will keep. So, if it were me (and I know this isn't even an option you're considering), I would go to the country, put it all on ice for the weekend, and test Monday or Tuesday. Which I guess, in the world of possible options, means I am voting for Saturday.

  32. Fingers crossed for you Mo, all the way...

  33. I totally love the idea of peeing and sealing them up for later, when you have great beta numbers to match with the pee sticks...(Of course my hubby always thought pee sticks laying around-sealed or not- was gross so that wouldn't work for me!) Thinking of you as you try to stay zen for a few more days... and yes, there are labcorps and quests up here in the boondocks where you can get the beta drawn. Fingers crossed continuosly for you~!

  34. I agree with Heidi. Get the test done Friday but tell them when to ring you - or you ring them.

    I too had the faintest line on the same day. It only showed if I stood in my hallway and held it at exactly the right angle.

    For the next few days the tests got a bit more obviously positive but I was still worried it was a chemical pregnancy again (I'd had loads). Anyway beta came back 172 at 14 days and now I'm 24 weeks pregnant with triplets!

    The very best of luck to you. That feeling you described was exactly what I had. x

  35. back again, & i think i feel stressed out for you regarding your poas & beta, as i have awoken early for no apparent reason.

    i was thinking about your beta again, and in some way i think if i were you, i would not go to the boondocks this weekend. i would stay home, get the beta done at your local trusted lab on saturday, and then again on monday (they must be open in the city...). having the beta done on the "right" day, and then again 48 hours later, at the same lab, seems very important for this time. i would imagine that being in the country, while beautiful and far far away from your regular life, wouldn't actually be a lot of fun if you are concerned about a beta happening, when, etc.

    so, that's another option- stay home! stick to the schedule, and have the beta numbers be spot on for your peace of mind. this is going along with the idea that your first beta on saturday will be positive- if it is negative (knock on wood, etc etc), then by all means, get in the car and drive to the boonies and drown yourself with whatever most comforts you.

    anyway, thinking of you...

  36. My fingers are crossed your way!! And, on the beta question, I had to wait until the following Monday for my beta as it fell on a Saturday as well. Hugs!

  37. Glad you found a lab. I could have helped with putnam or duchess. I wasn't sure what you thought of as upstate since I heard some people down in the city think Yonkers is upstate :)

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