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Is ignorance bliss when TTC?

When it comes to taking pregnancy tests, is ignorance bliss?

I thought this time around I’d just take a test every day (during my two week wait) every month until I got a positive result or the fat lady sang.

Well on my second month in I gave this a try and test day 1 was a disaster.

I saved an empty plastic teddy grams container– perfect for containing pee–and kept it in my bin with pregnancy tests and feminine supplies (I know, kinda ironic). Better it locked away than out and about for someone to confuse with a mouth-rinsing cup.

I followed the directions: Peed in the cup, dipped the strip in (not crossing the do-not-cross line) and set it flat on the tub for a few minutes. I didn’t wait five… I never seem to have have five minutes these days. But I could tell it was negative. (Of course I held it up to the light and examined it from every angle before conclusively deciding this and throwing it away.)

You’d think I wouldn’t care. I was only about 9 days post-ovulation and statistically there’s only about a 10% chance a positive result would show up that early anyway, but I was bummed. Seriously bummed. And I thought maybe the test was wrong. I contemplated going to my OBs office to get a blood test to be sure but talked myself out of it… Thank goodness. I called them to see if I could set up an appointment but hearing my own response to the questions made me realize how dumb I sounded.

Receptionist: “So you took an at home test?”
Me: “Yes.”
Receptionist: “And it was positive?”
Me: “No, it was negative.”
Receptionist: “And you think it may be wrong?”
Me: “Um, I don’t know, I’m just impatient.”

She transferred me to the nurses line but I hung up before leaving a message.

I didn’t test for the next couple of days thinking it wouldn’t be positive enough anyway, and another discouraging negative may make me feel horrible all over again, or worse… Foolishly hopeful there was still a chance.

By the weekend my attitude changed and I was testing morning and night for the heck of it (I’ve got a 50 pack), only feeling partially disappointed, but still clinging to every possible symptom as a chance.

Finally, five days later, a definite NO confirmed what I had learned five days earlier.

So now I’m asking myself, is it worth the torture to find out early?

Of course a positive result is fun to find out early. But not a negative one.

This month it was the same song but to a different tune, with ovulation tests. They finally showed up positive way later than I was expecting, which isn’t good based on my research and charts. So I set up a “pre-conception appointment” with my obgyn for the 23rd ironically, the same day I should know if I’m pregnant or not. In the mean time I’m using progesterone cream, taking vitamin B6 and telling myself not to take any early tests this month.

Problem is I know too much. Of course it’ll happen when it happens, but there’s sorta a science to it too. I enjoy trying to understand why things work, and don’t work, and yes, it may make me seem a little cray cray.

Maybe it would be better if I wasn’t a fanatic when it came to research. If I was one of those “Woah! Whatdoyaknow, I’m pregnant again, what a shocker!” people. Maybe this is one of those cases where ignorance really is bliss.

 

PS: I love the love, but before you lovingly tell me not to stress, read this. I promise I’m not as stressed as I may sound.


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Honey B. says:

I’m curious why you’re taking progesterone cream?

My luteal phase is only 8-9 days. I’m trying to lengthen it to 14.

Natalie says:

I hate BFNs! Hate them! So I am more likely to wait until I get my period or am truly late before I test. I just hate that negative so much more than the unknowing part. I’d rather see red than see just one line. 🙂 That is my philosophy but I know a lot of people would rather test test test. To each their own.

As do I. I think I’m going back to that approach next month.

JennyP says:

Your disclosure post made me think about a comment someone made to me a few weeks ago about how I shouldn’t complain about taking care of six kids and I should never say it’s hard. Because some people want kids and can’t have them.

I get it. My sister struggled with infertility for seven years. She and I are incredibly close so I know on a very personal level how desperate one can feel to have children. I have the utmost love and compassion for women that wish they had children that don’t.

But also, in my life, I have the right to be tired and frustrated. And you have the right to anticipate the conception of your next baby how ever the heck you want. If it takes two months or seven months or two years. It’s your body, your life, your space.

I wish you all the best of luck and hope it happens fast. I know too much too. I used fertility awareness method for birth control before conceiving each of my kids, so it was always a ovulation/luteal phase/what the heck day is this/temperature taking craziness that invaded my bedroom.

I’ll be honest though… in my five pregnancies, the ones I stressed about conceiving took a lot longer than the two that happened unexpectedly. So as you said… maybe ignorance really is bliss. I think with ignorance comes less stress, and less stress makes it easier to conceive? So hard to implement in real life though. 🙂

YUMMommy says:

Well, here’s to hoping you all will have some positive news on the 23rd! I hope that ignorance will be bliss when we try for our third after my Mirena is done. I am already a natural worry wart and have started freak out about whether or not it’ll take us a long time to get pregnant since I’ll be 30 by then and the Mr will be 40.

Brittany says:

Sometimes finding out the early positives isn’t so fun. In the 5 months my husband and I were TTC, I had 3 chemical pregnancies. The only way I know that is from testing super early. I would get a faint positive for a day or two and then Aunt Flow would show up a day or two after that.

I say, just wait the entire 2 weeks and then if AF doesn’t show up like she should go ahead and test.

My fingers are crossed for you though!! I had a super short luteal phase too, and took B6 to help. I got pregnant that cycle with twins!

Girl, you have this down to a science! Tell me about this cream….I may need it when I’m truely ready for the next baby. I feel you, I absolutely hate negative pregnancy tests whether I was hoping for a baby or not. Babies are truely a miracle blessing. I hope pregnancy happens for you very soon.

Nichole says:

I took B6 for a month before TTC #2. I have self-diagnosed LPD (LP of 8-9 days). The B6 helped but it took both B6 and progesterone cream. I added progesterone cream the month we TTC and got pregnant (and stayed pregnant) right away!

Wishing you the same good luck!

Congratulations!! Happy to hear that. I hope it helps me too!

Nichole says:

Oh, P.S.: I took 100 mg of B6.
And I don’t think ignorance is necessarily bliss – it’s important to be informed, but it’s MORE important not to drive yourself crazy.

In my experience – testing early doesn’t help… basically all it did was get me super excited when I saw a faint line… super super excited when it got a LITTLE darker… then SUPER bummed when I miscarried… I knew too much… should have just let my body do the talking.

I’m so sorry you had to go through that!! That’s really changed my mind about early testing. Thanks for the advice.

Mich says:

Hey Jenn. I use the Fertility Awareness Method as birth control but of course it can also be used to plan conception. So, I take my temp when I wake up, record it on FertilityFriend.com (great info on the site btw), and just look for cervical fluid before & on ovulation day (ex. I knew I ovulated yesterday b/c of excess fluid & gagging while brushing teeth. This morning my temp increased sharply…progesterone…confirmation). Some say its a good idea to do the deed every day from the last day of mens. until a day after ovulation & to relax the mind about it all.

I also have the book “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” by Toni Weschler which is excellent. Every woman should own this book. You’ll understand your cycle so much better. Maybe you know about this already. If so, then I hope its helpful for others trying too.

Thanks for sharing! Yes I have that book and know that info but surely this will be helpful to others! 🙂

Goodness sakes, I didn’t realize how much could be involved in TTC. I totally agree that ignorance is bliss. I would much rather just wait for the signal, before testing. Negatives always make me so depressed.

Chelsea says:

I completely agree about knowing too much. I am the same way, it will never be a surprise pregnancy for us. In some ways it’s nice to be so educated and in other ways I wish I could be more easy breezy about it.

I definitely think it’s good to wait till you’re actually late, but that’s also because I worry I might catch a chemical pregnancy and be devastated. On the other hand, this is our first month trying for #2, and I’ve been charting on and off for about 12 months now. I feel more relaxed than the first time around, but then again, this is the first real month. But I am going to do my best to actually wait till my period is late. Promise. I will. I’ll support you if you need it!!

kmorris says:

I think ignorance is bliss no matter the topic. It’s good to be informed and to learn, but when it comes to matters of the heart, I think it’s nice to just roll with the punches.

Kim says:

Jenn, I to am TTC (#3)!! I’m stalking the babycenter bulletin boards and contemplating buying preseed and the and WONDFO’s and clear blue OPK’s. But at the same time I’m thinking maybe I shouldn’t stress about it and just let it happen. But them I’m too impatient for that!! Lol. I’m an emotional roller coaster. One day I say “I don’t have to get pregnant right away” and then the next day I have it all planned out from what days I will DTD to the number of babies I wanna have (twins)!! I got preg right away with the first 2 and this time it’s taking a little longer. I thought it happened last month cause I was late and my boobs were sore which never happens but I too took HPT’s 4 times all BFN! Very disappointing. so your not alone on this journey. I think your post gave me the push I need to just be patient and I thank you for that! Here’s to more patience and that sticky baby dust will be in our near near near future 🙂 for the sake of my sanity 🙂

Jah says:

I think you’re totally right — the more you know, the more you know, and the harder it is to shut your brain off about the complexities of baby-making when you’re TTC. DH and I tried for one year exactly before we got pregnant with this little one, and by the end of that year, I was going absolutely in-SANE. I hope when the time comes for baby number two, it’s a lot less nerve-wracking! (I’ve already decided that I want to bypass the “trying” stage completely and never put up another goalie, considering how long it took to conceive this one!)

Cat says:

Had a super super faint early early positive which is probably an evap line 2 days ago- And am killing myself over symptoms which I’m mostly convinced I’m inducing through stress or imagination – a second test was negative and am now gonna wait till AF day … Probably …. Always promised myself I wouldn’t be this fixated mental case but this month I CAN NOT think of anything else – I too wish I didn’t know as much cos then I wouldn’t be torturing myself hourly – google is no longer my friend is all I’m saying !!!

Crazy lady rant over now :oS

Thank you so much for your blog honey it is sooo nice to know I’m not the only one going crazy every month (I’m also making my own list of what I’m treating myself too if this wasn’t my month – genius idea !!! Last months was a 40s pin-up makeover at our local vintage salon in time for O day )

Guest says:

Ugh, some people conceive at the drop of a hat and some don’t. Such is life. Funny to read your blog about it all. I tried an ovulation kit in Jan – didn’t work. Hate that thing. So I went back to old school – just a calendar. We’re 17weeks now, but I know the feeling of trying and waiting. It’s like, “oh wow – not pregnant – again!” Thankfully we have supportive hubbies through all of this.

That agonizing wait! I so know that feeling!

Ami says:

I am definitely 100% in the ignorance is bliss camp when it comes to testing; best thing is to keep busy to keep your mind of it all in the horrible 2ww.

btw; much, much easier said than done i know!

Verna says:

I’m glad I’m not alone!! I bought the 50 pack of tests too! I test all the time. I even test AFTER my period, just in case it was break through bleeding or something. Which it never is but I still check. It took us awhile to get pregnant with #2. I was a freak about the whole thing. We’re working on #3 now and I’ve calmed down A LOT! I’m not even charting!! ; ) Gasp!

Michelle Lubbers says:

Yup, it’s a science. I have it all figured out too.. I have long cycles which makes it tough to know when I will be ovulating–no two months are the same. I’m very unpredictable. I charted CM, BBT, and cervical position just to be sure I haven’t missed an oppurtinuty with all three of my pregnancies. Fertilityfriend.com is a great charting resource. Sure takes all the fun out of just letting things happen though. I guess that is mostly because I’d like to have some plan for when the baby arrives. I like to avoid having a baby in the winter months, and prefer not to be in my third trimester during the entire summer. Have I spoiled all the fun and surprise? I am not a planner type A person either, except for babies. Strange. Your time will come!!

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Marie says:

I am so happy to read this!! Granted I know it is old but I recently started TTC and that wait is torture. I didn’t know I could feel so bad about not seeing a line or color. My heart sank every time it told me I wasn’t pregnant. I am still not pregnant but like you I did all the research & know about the science (ovulation process/ cycle) behind getting pregnant. I am hopeful this month but reality tells me it’ll be negative & I’ll have to try harder next month. Glad I’m not the only impatient researcher 🙂

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget

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I'm a former journalist, and lifelong creator striving to make the world a better place. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day by cherishing our individuality and celebrating our differences.



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