Stick People: Obsession Is An Art Form

Babymaking can be a full-time job if you make it one. No, I’m not speaking of thaaat part, the BD or “babydance,” as it’s dubbed. I am speaking of the fertility cycle tracking, ovulation monitoring, and pregnancy testing in which some of us indulge.

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Pregnancy test on AF due date

We know who we are: the “pee-stick ladies,” who can be found investing in pregnancy tests, like we’re stocking up for a pending ban. We’re the ones who know what all those silly acronyms mean–BFP, DD, DS, AF, and the evil BFN [see below]–because we spend hours on blogs and medical sites, reading about how to get pregnant, track our cycles, and recognize changes in our bodies that signal ovulation. We’re the ones who scour websites with pictures of pee stick tests and vote “yea” or “nay” on them. Truth be told, we have little–if any–scientific/medical training, just loads of woman’s intuition and wives’ tales, top-layered with the hubris that comes from reading a few WebMD articles and swapping gynecological notes with other women.

Despite all the tests (aka money) I wasted and the crazy-making behavior (“Does my cervix feel like a nose or like lips?”), it was no surprise to me in the end that simply charting my body temperature (no fancy thermometer, just a basic digital one) at the same time every morning worked best. It was the least expensive and least emotionally exhausting method.

I did enjoy learning about my body, and it became obvious to me, too, that each woman is built differently. While some women’s cervixes “**SHOW,” others–like me–do not, at least not on the standard timetable. Many of us do not fit the timetable at all. I ovulate about one week after my period, *CD 11-12, as I menstruate for five days in a 30-day cycle. The concept that our bodies vary was further cemented when I returned a BFP at 5 *DPO, even though 77% of the voting ladies on a popular stick-pic site told me that my faint blue line was a figment of my imagination.

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Pregnancy test at 5 DPO

By 11 DPO, I got an obvious line, and I was already experiencing symptoms. The dead giveaway was unexplained crying. I may be sensitive, but I’m far from a sap, and I found myself weeping about a pair of birds flying in unison, as if it was the most wondrous thing I’d ever seen.

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First ultrasound at 5 weeks

While others said it was too early for a positive result, I have the doctor’s office results of my BFP that state “3 weeks pregnant.” Perhaps I had it down to a science afterall. Each ultrasound (and I’ve had six of them) shows my baby to be right on target for His due date.

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Pregnancy tests at 11 DPO

I was glad to graduate from the ranks of “stick lady” and get on with my next obsessions: fetal growth and pregnancy milestones. Compulsivity does not stop with sticks.

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Further evidence of compulsivity, my experiment: Pregnancy test at 23 DPO, dipped in the toilet instead of direct stream

*Acronyms–BD: Baby Dance (intercourse), BFP: Big Fat Pregnant, DD: Dear Daughter, DS: Dear Son, AF: Aunt Flow, BFN: Big Fat Negative, CD: Cycle Day
For an entire list of acronmys: http://www.fertilityties.com/topics/ttc-lingo-learn-ttc-acronyms-and-abbreviations

**SHOW: Soft, High, Open, Wet–the position of the cervix during peak ovulation
For more on signs of ovulation: http://www.whattoexpect.com/preconception/fertility/five-ways-to-tell-you-are-ovulating.aspx

My favorite women’s site: “The Beautiful Cervix Project” http://www.beautifulcervix.com/

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