Kymberli's Second Pregnancy Diary
I know that in this day and age of rampant cynicism, to some, believing in signs might be deemed sort-of hokey, but I truly feel that God gives us signs in answer to our prayers, if only we're smart enough to shut up and really look for them. Signs, coupled with gut-depth intuition, have clued me in to some of the major events which have taken place in my life. Signs told me when I was a wee high school sophomore that Frank was the man I would someday marry; signs told me that I had found a true soul mate and sister in my best friend Becky; signs let me know that I was pregnant well before I ever got a second line on a pregnancy test. With this cycle, signs, not cynicism, have been running rampant.
The first sign that I noticed was when I found my lucky basal thermometer. I know that sounds pretty lame, but I've had this basal since I was trying to conceive the first time. It was the basal that I used when I conceived the twins, and it was also the basal that I used when I conceived Jordan. I have a special relationship with that thing. It's a top-of-the-line, BD brand basal, with the extra-wide grip, large, glow-in-the-dark screen so that I can check my temp without turning on the lights, beeps constantly so that I know it's still temping, and holds the last temperature taken so that I don't have to hop right out of bed to input the data into my charting software. I caught quite the attitude when I couldn't find my lucky basal back in October when I started charting again. I didn't want just ANY basal, I wanted THE basal. If I couldn't find THE basal, then I at least hoped to find another just like it in the store. No such luck. Instead, I bought some other brand, and was very displeased because it wasn't MY basal. I used that basal for the first and second cycles, all the while still tearing my house to pieces in effort to find THE basal. At the end of the second cycle (which I knew was a complete bust because I had no mature follicles at my cycle day 14 ultrasound), I was digging around in my closet looking for some vague object which I can't remember. Tucked far back into the corner, I found a bag full of random junk, and for whatever reason, I decided to look through it. Lo and behold, at the bottom of the bag, I found my lucky basal. I just knew that meant that the upcoming third cycle would be a success since I would have THE basal with which to temp.
A few days into this third cycle, Presumptive Planning kicked in as a symptom of Preconceptia Dementia. Becky asked when I would ovulate if my cycle day 14 ultrasound showed mature follicles, and I told her that it would be on cycle day 15, since I would get the hCG trigger on cycle day 14 and would ovulate 24-36 hours after that. I pulled out my calendar that I use just for Preconceptia Dementia Presumptive Planning, and ticked off the days of my cycle. If I did have mature follicles on cycle day 14, have the trigger on the same day, then the day after when ovulated would be January 14th. I mulled that anticipated ovulation date over, and the only thing significant that I could relate January 14th to was an ex-boyfriend's birthday. That certainly didn't count as a sign, because an ex-boyfriend's birthday has nothing to do with anything relevant in my current life. A couple of days later, I was looking through the blogs that Becky and I wrote on Pregnancy&Baby during my pregnancy with Jordan. I read the entry that Becky wrote about when I found the gender of the baby. Up until that point, Becky and I were sure that I was carrying a girl. It wasn't until that very morning of my 20 week ultrasound when I started getting "boy vibes." Sure enough, I was pregnant with a baby boy. The date of that ultrasound- January 14th. Sign number two.
When I was newly pregnant with the twins, I was one of the preggos that cried at EVERYTHING with even a remotely sentimental nature. It wasn't far into my first trimester when the band Creed released the song "Arms Wide Open." The first time I heard the song, I was getting ready for work while listening to MTV. By the end of the first verse, I was a mess of tears. The song was relatively popular back then, and each time I heard it, I rubbed my belly and wailed the song to my unborn children with snot and tears running down my face.
By the time Frank and I were trying to conceive a second time, "Arms Wide Open" had faded into the realm of songs that you only hear once in a while. As I was beginning my downward spiral into the heart of the two week wait, I heard "Arms Wide Open" while at a red light on the way home from work. I realized that I was crying only when the guy in the car next to me honked is horn and mouthed to me through our closed windows, "ARE YOU OKAY?" I got a positive test just four days after. About three short months later, I heard it again while Becky was in her own two week wait, and I just knew that she would be getting a big fat positive in just a matter of days. She finally did on the tenth day past ovulation (dpo), but not before mowing down someone's mailbox on the way to work because she was too busy crying about a negative test on 9dpo to pay attention to her driving.
This time, I heard "Arms Wide Open" sometime during the week before ovulation. Again, I was in the van on the way home, and cried my way all the way through the lyrics. Lots of people were looking at me as if I was crazy -- if only they could understand the nature of Preconceptia Dementia. I called Becky when I got home to share sign number three with her, and the next week, she heard "Arms Wide Open" on the way to work one morning. She cried for me.
Sign four -- this one is the mother of all signs, and by far the most bizarre. On the evening of 7 dpo, Becky and I discussed baby names in Yahoo Chat. We had previously decided with my last pregnancy that if I were to have a girl, her name would be Kaelyn Rebecca L'Faye, naming her "Rebecca" after Becky and "L'Faye" after my mother, since her middle name is Faye and L'Faye would be short for "Little Faye." In chat, I told Becky that I was considering changing the girl's name to Kaelyn Imani Rebecca, as Imani means "Faith" in Swahili, and would be in honor of Becky's angel baby who she named "Faith." Naturally, Becky immediately fell in love with it, and we realized that my baby's initials would be KIRB, which we affectionately whittled to down Kirby for a nickname. I decided that if I were to get pregnant this cycle, we'd call this mystery baby "Kirby" until we found out the gender.
The next afternoon, I was sitting in the kitchen playing a game of Scrabble with Frank while going through a new set of flash cards with the twins. The flash cards had pictures of different words for each letter of the alphabet, and some of them had animal characters with alliterative names. Kyra pointed to a half-covered card and said, "Look, Mommy -- a big rabbit!" After glancing at the card, I said, "That's not a big rabbit, honey. That's a kangaroo. Do you see the baby kangaroo sitting in the pocket in his mommy's tummy?" After thinking for a few seconds, Kyra replied, "Kangaroo starts with K, just like my name! What does that say down there, Mommy?" She uncovered the bottom of the card, and my heart dropped when I read "KIRBY THE KANGAROO" written beneath the animal. A mama kangaroo named Kirby with a baby in her tummy? Too weird.
A couple of hours later, Becky called so that we could have our weekend catch-up and our daily review of my symptoms. I told Becky about my Kirby sign, and she immediately started squealing in her excited, high-pitched dog registry. She had had a similar sign earlier in the afternoon. She and her family were taking one of their customary weekend drives to visit her husband's grandfather. On the way there, she saw a huge truck for an air conditioning business based in her city that she had never heard of before. She said she almost peed on herself when she looked out of her window and saw "KIRBY-HEATING AND AIR CONDITIONING" whizzing by. It's one thing for just one of us to get a sign, but when both of us have similar signs in a short timeframe, it's pretty much a sure-shot deal.
After having that good omen, Obsessive Compulsive Peestickitis set in in the worst way, especially because the HPT strips from that day and the day before were completely negative, indicating that the trigger was out of my system and that any positive HPT from then on might truly be the real thing.
Since we're back on the topic of Preconceptia Dementia, let's discuss some of the finer points of Obsessive Compulsive Peestickitis.
There's a complete scientific method to testing for pregnancy. First there's the almighty first morning urine, or FMU. FMU is supposed to have the highest concentration of hCG; therefore, it is usually best to test with the first pee of the day. That's great for the people who can get away with only testing once per day, but for nutcases like me, two or three tests a day is more reasonable. So to make sure we have concentrated pee, we hold it until our eyeballs float and refrain from drinking too much liquid until the moment that we can test again.
Once we've peed on the tests, the hunt for the line ensues. The best way to look for an unobvious line is to take the strip out of the plastic casing if there is one. There are many strategies used to look for that elusive line. There's the classic twist and squint, where we twist the test in every conceivable way in all sorts of light- sunlight, fluorescent light, flashlights. I've even climbed up onto my bathroom counter so that I can backlight tests against my bright Hollywood lights.
I know that you're supposed to throw away tests that are negative after ten minutes. I do throw them away. But I'm also a trash-digger, and I know I'm not the only one. We trash tests, only to go dig them out a few hours later to see if a hint of a line has magically appeared. We're sick, sick creatures, cured only by a solid second line or by a PREGNANT on one of the new digital tests.
Which finally brings me to MY pregnancy testing for this cycle. After getting complete negatives on cheapie hpt's that I used to watch the hCG trigger leave my system, I went completely nuts with wanting to test. I tried to convince myself that I would wait until at least 11 days past ovulation to test so that I could be SURE that the trigger was completely gone. No such luck there. On 9 days past ovulation (dpo), I had Frank go out to the store and get some HPT's. He came home with two 3-packs of EPT plus or minus tests and one 2-pack box of First Response Early Result (FRER) tests.
Not being too familiar with EPT's, I immediately went to scour the Internet for information on the reliability of this brand, and was disappointed to see that they are notorious for VERY convincing evaporation lines which come up well within the ten-minute time limit.
Though the overall reviews of the tests were pretty dismal, I still decided to use them -- "have test, will pee" is the motto of those afflicted with peestickitis. I immediately took one test, and after about 5 minutes, I thought I could see the faintest of lines appear. A few minutes later, I took the test apart so that I could analyze the strip from both the front and the back, and there was surely a very faint, but visible second blue line. This gave me a bit of hope, but I didn't feel like jumping for joy. After all, this brand was known for evaporation lines and technically, it still could have been detecting the last remnants of the trigger. So to confirm, I used one FRER with the same urine sample, and there wasn't even a hint of a line to be found, no matter what desperate measures I took to find one.
The next morning on 11dpo, I woke up nearly an hour before my regular temp time (remember the Temping Anxiety I talked about in week 2), and went straight to the bathroom to test with both a CBE and the last FRER. FRER still showed nothing, but the line on the CBE came up quicker and was a hair darker than it was the evening before. I felt like that was surely a good sign even though FRER was still snow white.
A Tale of Preconceptia Dementia with Obsessive Compulsive Peestickits Gone Way Too Far
All day long at work, all I could think about was the moment when I could test again. I scanned my previous tests and sent them to my friends so that they could join in my obsession. I held my pee all day long, and near the end of the day, I made the decision to stop on the way home from work and by a New Choice test from the Dollar Tree. Lately in online Preconceptia Dementia circles, these tests have been all the rage, because for just a buck you can purchase a reliable test with a good reputation for detecting pregnancy early. Knowing that I wouldn't be able to wait the ten-minute drive from the Dollar Tree to my house to test, I decided to do the most obsessive testing that I've ever done.
Before leaving work, I cleaned out my styrofoam cup from lunch, went into a bathroom stall, and gave a donation of only my second pee of the day. I walked down the hall, praying to God that I wouldn't be stopped by another teacher or a student as I walked out holding a cup of hot pee in my hands. I was fully prepared to tell someone that it was lemonade leftover from lunch should someone be nosy enough to even care.
I bought two Dollar Tree tests and practically ran back to my van, already tearing into the package before I even had the door open. Dollar Tree tests are of the cassette type, so I sucked up some pee into the dropper and counted four perfect plops into the circular well. I took a moment to make sure the test was working, and only then did I begin driving home. After about three minutes, I saw a line begin to appear. Excited, I pulled over on the side of the road and waited to watch it get darker. After a full ten minutes had passed, there was a pretty, but pale pink line there. For 10dpo, it was the prettiest thing I could have seen. I sped the rest of the way home so that I could show Frank. I was jumping with joy. Frank, with his ever-calm, steady personality, was not impressed. "I'll believe it when I see a good line," Ooookkkaaaayyyy -- I expected that from him. So to get the over-the-moon reaction that I wanted to get, I called Becky, and she immediately started squealing when I told her about my line. I tested with another CBE from the same sample, and the line was even darker than it had been in the morning. I finally began to believe that I was pregnant.
Of course, that was not the end of my testing. I used the other Dollar Tree test and the remainder of the CBE's over the next two days, and finally, on the evening of 12dpo, I tested with a digital, and got the best sign of all -- PREGNANT.
Kym and Kirby :)