Yeah, so, I ended up taking a much more sensitive test tonight around 7pm, around 52 hours after the last negative. And surprise, surprise, it’s also negative. Given that this test detects half as much hCG as the other one I took, and that my body’s had two days to double the supposed amount in my system, I’m now pretty convinced that I’m not pregnant at all, that I ovulated later than I thought, that we thus totally missed the window this month, and that my period will show up in a couple of days, not really “late” at all. Sigh. I had a big glass of Syrah at Houston’s tonight.

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100% Cotton

July 8, 2007

Today is our second wedding anniversary. Wikipedia tells me that

Married persons who regard the day of their marriage as important may mark the occasion in some special way.

G and I have no special plans, although we will probably go out to eat. I hope this lack of planning does not make us bad “married persons.”

From Wikipedia I have also learned that the traditional gift on a second anniversary is cotton. If I were the proper sort of married person I suppose I would have gotten us some new flannel sheets (not that G would see the romance in this, especially since it is July), or perhaps some matching cotton pajamas? Hmm. Cotton doesn’t strike me as a particularly sexy gift possibility.

Last year’s tradition, though, was paper–even less sexy, what with all the sharp edges. At least we followed instructions to some degree by exchanging cards. This year, I don’t know. Of course, some part of me wishes we were the kind of people who would have elaborate anniversary plans already made, who when sitting and cooing to each other over the dessert course at the fancy restaurant that requires a jacket and advance reservations, would murmur, “Darling, I have a little something for you,” and produce an exquisitely wrapped box from beneath the table. Instead we will probably go to Houston’s and have a variation on the dinner we have whenever we go to Houston’s to celebrate something, which is fairly often. This would actually make me pretty happy. Houston’s makes a damn good steak.

I wonder what the absorbent tip of a home pregnancy test is made of? Cotton seems unlikely, but another fantasy of mine would be to pee on a stick this morning and present the double line to G as an anniversary “gift” when he woke up. Just ignore the hygienic concerns that this raises and visualize the glamour. Two years to the day after we say “I do,” we get the news that we’re expecting, via a cotton-tipped HPT. We laugh, we cry, we embrace and turn to face the bright future, arms entwined, eyes teary and aglow.

Yeah, I was thinking about how totally cool that would be as I peed away my FMU (first morning urine–I told you there were a lot of acronyms) this morning at 5am, too scared to take another pg test even though I’m not yet bleeding. The box of two First Response tests that I picked up at the drugstore yesterday is sitting in the medicine cabinet right now, waiting for the crackling cellophane wrapping to be removed, the little cardboard box to be broken open, the hermetic seal on each individual test to be breached.

Waiting in vain, because I can’t bear the crushing disappointment of another negative today. The possibility that it could be positive has occurred to me, yes, but the awful risk of a negative outweighs my hope for a positive right now. I’d rather just wait and see if Aunt Flo shows up. If I don’t start spotting by this evening Flo can probably be considered “late,” at least nominally. I haven’t had a single cycle longer than 28 days in the past ten months.

Anyway, tomorrow morning will be a full 72 hours since the last test (well, more like 63 hours, but close enough), long enough for whatever hCG that might be in there to have doubled–that is, if there is a viable little bundle of cells in my uterus at all, and if my period has not arrived by tomorrow morning. So maybe I’ll be brave enough to test again when I wake up tomorrow. That would be a pretty nice belated anniversary gift, I have to say.

As usual–

July 6, 2007

–the test was negative.

Why do I do it to myself?

So, we have dinner plans tonight.

Not a big deal, except that dinner parties inevitably involve wine, and the Internets tell me that drinking and TTC do not mix. Although alcohol consumption apparently won’t slow down conception (such a relief, to know I can’t blame alcohol for the past eight months of not getting knocked up), consuming too much, and no one seems to know how much “too much” is, may somehow harm the fetus or even cause miscarriage. Fantastic.

Naturally, I don’t want any harm to come to our hypothetical child. Abstaining completely from drinking, especially during this part of the two week wait, when it’s too early to test but late enough that an embryo would probably already have implanted and started sharing nutrients, is the best option. Period, end of story, right?

Well, not exactly. The thing about eight unsuccessful cycles of TTC is that it starts to get really, really old, this total-abstention-because-of-the-(hypothetical)-baby thing. Especially as, month after month, the hypothetical baby stays hypothetical, the period arrives on schedule, the prospect of another week of arduous timed sex starts to loom. You start to think about all of those carefree college students who don’t realize they are pregnant until week 8, or week 10, who drink beer or (as would have been more likely among my college set) white zinfandel like normal and end up with perfectly healthy infants; all of those women for whom pregnancy is a surprise, who stop drinking as soon as they know, which isn’t all that soon, and for whom things turn out fine. You start to wonder if it’s fair that you should live like a nun and keep turning up empty while the carefree and condomless are rewarded with gorgeous, healthy kids.

And every time your period arrives, you sigh a little sigh of regret, or maybe a somewhat larger sigh of frustration and anger, that you are “doing everything right” and it’s still not working.

Which brings you here, to the dinner plans at the very tail end of the 2WW, plans that will most certainly include a bottle of wine. Plans with friends who don’t know you are TTC, who do know that you have never turned down a drink in your adult life.

The way I see it, I have limited options:

1. Decline any and all alcohol. Hope that this does not lead to any joking, “What, are you pregnant?” comments. If said comments are made, be prepared to feint, cover, or (horrors) reveal the whole sordid truth to yet another friend circle, widening the possibilities for gossip. Pretty soon I’ll be getting “sorry to hear you’re barren” cards from kids I last saw at junior high school graduation.

2. Accept one glass of wine. Take three fake sips for every one real (tiny, and surely harmless) sip. If possible, take glass into the bathroom and pour some down the drain. This way, the gossip will be all about how “Cityprof took her DRINK into the BATHROOM with her! Ugh. Can you imagine?!?”

2a. Accept one glass of wine. Drink it, just verrrrry slowly. Make 4 oz of wine last all night. Hope that hosts do not notice. Hope that I can actually manage to drink that slowly, given that I like wine. Mmmmm, wine.

3. Take my only remaining pregnancy test (the not-so-sensitive e.p.t.) during the day today to see if maybe I really do have a good reason to abstain. This, obviously, is the worst option of them all, as even if I am pregnant I am unlikely yet to have hCG in the right amount for the e.p.t. +/- test to catch it–leading to crushing disappointment that’s either a few days earlier than necessary (if my period shows up this weekend), or entirely unnecessary (if, miracle of miracles, I’m in the super-early days of a pregnancy).

What to do? Of course, I want to pick option #3, but somehow I’m afraid of jinxing myself. Logically I know that a negative test, if I am pregnant, won’t make me turn un-pregnant. But because early testing has only ever turned to heartache for me, I’m superstitious about it at this point. If only I had waited, been patient, maybe things would have turned out differently. If I test today, won’t I be violating some kind of sacred trust between myself and the fetus? After all, I’m testing to give myself permission to drink a glass of wine, not so I can more quickly stuff myself full of organic veggies and swear off deli meat. I can see why this might be misconstrued by my little fetus-in-the-sky.

Ah, eff it. I am going with #3. More soon.