My confessions on my secret obsession with ovulation and fertility.
Have you been accused of being obsessed with trying to conceive? I was and I found solace with many other women on the same journey. I honestly don’t think there is any other primal urge in a woman’s life than that of conceiving a baby. It’s as if when we see that positive pregnancy test that we can truly say we’ve fulfilled the calling of womanhood. Until that time when we can bask in the glory of those double lines it is a roller coaster of an obsession that controls our very waking moment.
Looking back on the journeys I took in preconception (yes, I have been there a total of four times now) I realize one important thing. I should have bought stock in the home pregnancy test companies. I honestly think I have used every single brand sold in the retail market both in pharmacies and discount stores and online. I would purchase the tests with a secret excitement each time, hoping and praying that IT would be the one that would crown me “mother-to-be”. I know I spent a small fortune on those things. My husband would just take a deep breath and go look at video games as I browsed the pregnancy test section. “It wasn’t the pregnancy tests that embarrassed me”, he’d say, “But the condoms and assortment of yeast infection creams that were sold alongside the boxes of tests.”
I had to laugh at that. It got to where I would purposely find another checkout line each month, as I would approach the checkout counter armed with an assortment of pregnancy tests. It was funny to behold, but I was very serious about the entire matter. I researched and knew what tests would show a positive, if there were a positive, on what day. Not all tests are created equally I learned and realized that just because it costs more doesn’t mean it’s more sensitive or better than those that cost a fraction.
I spent countless hours going over the test instructions and plotting just what day I’d test. I’d set a goal and would start to test on day 10 post ovulation IF my temperatures went up or IF I’d have some sort of “pregnancy” symptom. I’d usually go through about four tests a month. Sadly, most of them were negative. And oh, let’s not talk about the devastation I’d feel as I’d look at that one-lined test result.
Speaking of which, another aspect of the grand obsession was the careful scrutiny of that negative pregnancy test. I’d look at it with the light in front of it, with the light behind it looking for that shadow of a line, anything to give me a glimmer of hope. I’d even take the test apart just to see if the strip would show a line outside the casing.
On more desperate times I would take a negative test and reuse it the following morning. I only did this a few times and only if I ran out of tests before my period showed. I know I’m not the only one who has done this too! Or throw the test away in the waste basket only to dig it out hours later to see if a line magically appeared.
My life was, during the times of trying to conceive, ruled by my basal body temperature and by those pregnancy tests. I swore to myself then, that as soon as I learned how to build a website I was going to offer these types of products to women who were going through this, to help them save money and ease them through the preconception days. I’ve come a long way since then, I did build my own site, Beyond Fertility Shop (which is now owned by someone else), and I do offer all the things I wished I could have found when I was on the journey.
So when I say I understand because I’ve been there, you can believe me. My secret obsession was real and strong for over several years total. I had to hold my tongue to not share the intimate details of my daily charting symptoms when I thought they were doing well. I had to stifle my voice of utter sadness when I only saw one line on those tests time after time. A lot of people don’t understand. There are women who become pregnant without giving it a second thought, then there are those like us, who suffer with this secret obsession. Thank God for online forums and communities which are rich with fellow obsessors and whom you can pour your heart out to and commiserate with.
May your journey be short and may you see those double lines real soon!