HASTY RETROACTIVE DISCLAIMER: It has been brought to my attention that people struggling with infertility might feel like they are being mocked by this post. Please note that this was the FURTHEST thing from my mind when writing this. As someone who went through four years of infertility, two IVF cycles and two frozen cycles to have her first baby I would never mock anyone dealing with this shitty stuff. It is meant to be a lighthearted piece about how the biological urge to procreate can take a bizarre hold on you and make you obsess in some pretty weird ways. If you are not in the right headspace for this, please click out now – but not before you take one of my super-rare internet hugs before you go. I sincerely hope that things work out for you and I apologise to anyone reading who I may have upset. I may be a smart ass, but I’m not an asshole (not deliberately, anyway) x
Consumers of pregnancy tests generally fall into three distinct categories:
CATEGORY 1: The Reluctant User
Oh SHIT, I had unprotected sex. I think I might be pregnant.
*vomits in own mouth*
CATEGORY 2: The Casual User
It’s been two days since my period was due and we are trying for a baby. I think I might be pregnant.
*rubs belly in hopeful anticipation*
CATEGORY 3: The Obsessive User
It’s been two hours since I did my last pregnancy test, 14 days since I ovulated from my left ovary and 13.5 days since I had approximately 8 minutes of unprotected sex with the father of my future baby. Please be pregnant, please be pregnant, please be pregnant. SHIT. Is that a LINE!? That’s a line. PLEASE be a line! It’s TOTALLY a line.
*glares at inconclusive pee stick for 10 minutes before sending a series of time-stamped photos to every single female on their contacts list in order to get a second opinion*
Right. I’ll do another one in two hours.
*repeat ad nauseam for the next 72 hours*
Today’s post concerns users that fall into Category 3.
Women who are trying to get pregnant can be some of the most intensely single-minded people you are ever likely to meet, and I myself am no stranger to this unusual phenomenon. Obsessive pee-sticking is one of those totally bizarre pregnancy rituals that makes absolutely zero sense until YOU are the one at the
pointy pissy end of the stick.
Exhibit A: I counted 83 pregnancy tests in this picture.
Obsessive pee-sticking goes further than one woman squatting over a plastic test stick in a solitary toilet cubicle. There are entire communities and online forums devoted to the pursuit of pregnancy, and they all have their own rules, rituals and terminology.
An entire language of mysterious acronyms has formed around the act of conception, and obsessive women in forums all over the world have developed their own linguistic code in order to talk about sex, ovulation, vaginal discharge and urinating on plastic sticks.
Cracking the “Pregzilla Code”: what does it all mean?
OPKs (ovulation predictor kits) help couples who are TTC (trying to conceive) determine when it is the optimal time to BD (baby dance) or DTD (do the deed), which is what otherwise mature adults refer to as “having sex”: because using the term “baby dance” in the boudoir is a sure-fire way to kill your husband’s hard-on 4EVA.
Most sensible women will wait until around 10 DPO (days past ovulation) to POAS (pee on a stick), when HPTs (home pregnancy tests) start to detect HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), the hormone which indicates PG (pregnancy).
The colour and elasticity of a woman’s EWCM (egg white cervical mucus) determines fertility levels, and is a common topic of discussion. I have personally seen someone post a photo of their own VAGINAL FLUIDS on scrunched up toilet paper, kickstarting a lively debate as to whether the sticky smear of rust-coloured vag goop was implantation spotting or poo. TMI.
Hardcore pee-stickers will know that FMU (first morning urine) is the gold-standard piss for sticks, because hormones are at their most concentrated levels. If the test fails to show a second line you have a BFN (big fat negative). If the test shows a second line you have a BFP (big fat positive) and are officially UTD (up the duff). OMG. GTFO!
Some women do scores of these tests, multiple times a day for weeks on end. They meticulously inscribe the time and date on each stick: lining them up in strict chronological order, posting them on baby forums and pleading with internet randoms to validate their obsession.
You can also vote: your options are “yes”, “no”, “not sure” or “get a life”.
THIS is what the single-minded pursuit of pregnancy does to a woman – it makes ridiculous rituals seem utterly reasonable. Sharing photos of crotch juice. Squatting over pee sticks several times a day. Speaking about sex in twee acronyms. Stretching cervical mucus between your fingers.
Even more bizarrely, some women actually keep their positive pregnancy tests as mementos; stinky, urine-stained sticks mouldering away in a drawer somewhere, kept as a lasting reminder of the pregnancy.
I kept lasting reminders of my pregnancies too. I call them “children”.