It started innocently enough…I was in my early 20’s, my period was late, those tests are sooo cheap and I had to know: am I pregnant? I walked into Wal-Mart knowing I was going for the test, but I felt so dirty, too. It was like the first time I tried to buy condoms on my own, but worse…because the condom had broke. I filled my cart with other things: apples, a candle, bandaids, shampoo, motor oil – anything to disguise the true intent of why I’d come into the store. I got to the register, sweat pouring down the back of my neck and the guy (of course it had to be a guy) scanned it, then looked at the back. “There’s a coupon if you buy two,” he said, holding my test up for the world to see. I glanced around quickly for my pastor. My mom. My kindergarten teacher. “I’m good,” I said, willing him to throw the test into the bag where it could be hidden amongst the items I really didn’t need. “It’s no bother,” he said, reaching for the phone so he could call someone to bring another one up. “I’m in a hurry,” I said, pulling cash out. “I’ll just pay.” He shrugged, took the payment. I walked out of the store.
Confession: I Can’t Stop POAS!
Just like with any
addiction obsession, the first time is always the hardest. That time it turned out negative. I had no way of knowing then that I’d soon face major fertility issues and that my life would begin to revolve around pregnancy tests and peeing on sticks (Pee On A Stick). It’s been ten years now since I started worrying about my fertility hard core, and over the past ten years I’ve probably peed on a thousand sticks. Maybe. I don’t know. When you’re in the middle of it, you stop counting. I’m guessing people who use heroin don’t know how many hits they’ve taken, either.
And we tell ourselves it isn’t hurting anyone…us POASers. All we’re doing is taking a test. The truth of it is, every single month where there’s even a remote possibility of getting those elicit double lines, there is a two week wait (2ww) where there is absolutely nothing else we are thinking about. If you’re a POASer who already has kids? Those kids better learn to love PB&J. Married? Hubbster better find ways to entertain himself for the next two weeks.
There’s a vernacular to it, too:
POAS – Pee On A Stick
2ww – Two Week Wait
LMP – Last Menstrual Period
DPO – Days Past Ovulation
So if you’re talking to someone who is hard core about their POASery, you might hear things like, “Yeah, I’ve already started my 2ww. Right now I’m about 9dpo and pretty sure I saw a double line, but it was super faint. I mean, I used photoshop to try to enhance it, but it’s still hard to tell. I’m pretty sure I’m pregnant, but I’ll test again later.”
That’s right. Later. We POASers don’t just test in the morning. Right about at 8dpo we show up wide-eyed at the store, and ready for our fix. In the beginning we’re all convinced. I mean, our breasts hurt, we’re nauseated, everything smells funny, and there is zero doubt in our minds we are pregnant. But, we have to have proof before we start decorating the nursery. So, we buy the early response tests. They’re more expensive, but they promise early results…a way to get around the 2ww.
We ALL want around the 2ww.
Even though there is no one on earth who would ever show up as pregnant at 8dpo, we pee on that first test the second we get home. Negative. And even though we knew it would be negative, there is still a let down. Then, the crazy kicks in. People like me, people who can’t stop POAS don’t let those negatives convince us we aren’t knocked up. We disassemble our tests. Hold them under microscopes. Photoshop them. Stare at them for DAYS waiting for that line.
Later in that 8dpo evening, POAS again.
Twice a day, maybe three times, probably until about 11dpo and at that point panic starts to kick in. Maybe I’m not pregnant. But the boobs still hurt. And there’s slight cramping…which ALL the baby boards swear is what happens when the egg implants. Was that spotting you saw when you wiped?
But at this point the tests are getting more expensive, so it’s off to the Dollar Tree for the $1 a piece tests. Or, if you’re hardcore, onto Amazon to buy the tests that come in in bundles…
Two weeks of this. Every month. Until that double line.
For some women, they get it early and the
obsession addiction goes away…at least for nine months.
For the rest of us, we just keep peeing. Because surely, THIS month will be the one.