I have blessed and cursed the inventor of the home pregnancy test (HPT) kits several times. As you can already guess, it all depends on the scenario. I feel frustrated when TTC moms start testing as soon as 1dpo. I get it, but heck, I just wish the thing had not been invented, at least that way, we can all learn the virtue of patience, even though TTC journeys should come with a Masters degree in patience.
And the other times that I looove, looove these HPTs are the times when they deliver the good news faster than a blood work would. Like recently, with one of our community members. Those two lines showing up on a stick was great news to wake up to. I was literally walking on air for most of that day, even thought it was two days later before she went for the blood work, which confirmed that, indeed, there was a bun(s) in her oven.
Now the results of HPTs I don’t like are those which tell you something else entirely than what is really going on in your body. I mean, you are not pregnant, yet all the tests say you are. It can be pretty devastating when that happens. Because those positive HPTs raise your hopes up, only to pull you down.
A new acquaintance of mine, Ewa, has been through the rigmarole before. During her first IVF cycle, she had been quite optimistic; I think that’s almost to be expected of IVF newbies. She was so sure it was going to work out. Everything had happened as it should, her lining was perfect, the embryos had been Grade A and she had been gorging on the pineapple core. Her progesterone shots were being administered as at when due, so nothing was supposed to stop her achieving a BFP. Right?
Hmmm….well, Ewa began to test by day six after the transfer, when she could no longer bear the waiting. She tested at home, early in the morning, she tested with her HPT hoard at work, and she tested at night. It was like once she started, she just couldn’t stop. She just kept testing and testing.
And the results did not help either. Sometimes, she got strong positives, sometimes, she got a faint second line and sometimes, she got a downright negative. All of these results fuelled her testing spree, as she attempted to use one HPT to confirm another HPT.
Only for her to test on the official test day and got a negative result, something she had been getting for the last consecutive days. She called her clinic and told them, she had tested and it was a negative. That she had stopped the progesterone shots too. Alarmed her doctor called her back and told her to come in for a blood work, which she reluctantly agreed to.
On getting to the clinic, her blood was taken for investigation and she was given a shot of progesterone, which she had stopped a few days ago. Surprise! Surprise!! The blood work came back positive. Her levels were high and subsequent days showed an impressive increase in her levels. You can’t even begin to imagine her relief.
Stella’s story is quite on the other extreme. Her BFP turned out to be a lie. Hers had not been an IVF cycle; she had gotten pregnant spontaneously, even though she had been TTC for a few months, so HPTs and she were somewhat friendly…if you get my drift.
So that month, she tested as usual, 13DPO. Lo and behold, it came back positive, the first in how many months. She was super excited, but she tried to keep calm. For one, she did not want to raise her husband’s hopes, even though he had asked if she was pregnant, as her period hadn’t come yet.
Stella had merely told him she did not know but hoped that she was really pregnant. He had said Amen and went about his way. She tested again, and it was a BFP…again.
She barely waited for Friday evening when she went to her clinic and got blood work, which confirmed indeed that she was pregnant. Out of excitement, she wondered if she could get a scan done that same day, and her doctor said it might not be such a bad idea after all. So, she was sent off for a pelvic scan.
That was when her headache actually started. The radiologist discovered that it was not a baby that was growing inside her uterus, although something was growing there. She was sent back to her doctor immediately with the result of the scan. When her doctor saw the report, he became sober and explained that while all the hormones in her body said she was pregnant, what was growing in her womb was not a baby but a case of a molar pregnancy, that is, a mismatch of growth tissue which were cancerous and would never have formed a baby.
So, instead of a baby, she was carrying something that could very well kill her. Her doctor and her husband were just thankful that she had suggested a scan. Who knew the type of damage that a few more weeks of the tissue staying inside her could have caused.
From being “pregnant”, she went through an evacuation and then a visit to an oncologist, where she underwent weeks of chemotherapy to prevent a regrowth of the tissues. After this, she was told not to bother trying to conceive for a close to a year, first of all, to see if the cancer would come back, and then to ensure that the effects of chemotherapy were out of her system.
Stella is now a mom to her two year old son, one that came from a real pregnancy, confirmed by a scan. Not even blood work would do it for her. Today, she is not a fan of HPTs, as a result of her experience. But one can’t but thank God, that it turned out well for her.
When it comes to HPTs, it all depends on which side you are on, it could very well be a blessing or a curse.
Baby dust to you all!
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