The Week I Took 50 Pregnancy Tests

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The Week I Took 50 Pregnancy Tests
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My husband and I want children one day. This is something that we have both known since we began dating. It was never a question of whether or not it would happen, we just assumed one day in the far future we would become parents — far future being the key term here.

After about a year of being married and me struggling with my mental health, I was put on anti-depressants and began to feel a lot better after a long-haul struggle. I had been having issues with my stomach as well, having been diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis but the medication I was on had started to help.

I was on the climb.

I decided to take it one step further and finally tell my birth control to kick rocks. It had been a long ten years of yo-yo’ing with that little pill package and I finally felt confident enough in my income, age, and relationship status that if an “oopsie” occurred, we would be alright.

I threw the last package of my pills into the trash and went to bed. No plans of having a child in the near future and no worry or thought that coming off the pill would be a true mind game.

But, something happened that first month that I wasn’t on the pill that I genuinely never saw coming. 

For some reason, once I had stopped taking the pill, I was convinced, after years of being told to be careful, that now I was going to get pregnant whether I wanted to or not.

I started to read articles about how easily you could get pregnant right after just coming off the pill. But other articles contradicted, saying it took months for birth control to completely disappear from your system.

I wasn’t sure which article to trust.

For someone who essentially has ten years of schooling in medicine and health, I didn’t know a whole lot about the female menstrual cycle. But that first month I came off the pill, I learned more in four weeks than I had my entire life.

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I learned that, no, I likely wasn't going to get pregnant right before, during, or after my period. This isn't always accurate, of course, but chances were low. You only ovulate — if you do ovulate — once a month. Post-getting-off-birth-control, you’ll likely have withdrawal bleeding, and your cycle could be skewed for the first couple of months.

The game was simple: don’t have sex during ovulation, and you'll seemingly be safe.

But, the more I dove into learning about my body, the more my brain began analyzing all the possibilities, the outliers, the anomalies, like: Did you know that sperm can live in a women’s body for up to 5 entire days?

I was going to get pregnant, I was sure of it.

I’m healthy, young, and have a regular period.

Fast-forward to the week I was expecting my period.

The hospital I worked at stocked pregnancy tests for patients. A couple of days before my period was meant to arrive, I decided to take one — what could it hurt?

I had never peed on a stick before. I was probably pregnant. After all, I had been off the pill for an entire three weeks now. I was having sex, and surely, I was fertile. 

I peed, I waited, I looked.

Negative.

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I shrugged, honestly unsure of how to feel, and carried on with my day. I’m sure it was just early and the test couldn't detect my pregnancy yet. I was even a little bit nauseous that morning. I had no doubt I was with child.

This little peeing-on-a-stick habit I created, however, started to occur every day. Then a couple of times a day.

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Before I knew it, my period was three days late, and I had taken a total of at least twenty-five pregnancy tests.

Where was my second line? I was late, obviously, because I had to be pregnant. I mean, I had to be, right?

My husband had no idea this was going on. (I can only imagine him reading this now, rolling his eyes.) We weren't even trying. But, for some unknown reason, I couldn't stop obsessing over the fact that I might be pregnant.

My period ended up arriving six days later. Up to that point, I had taken fifty pregnancy tests — all negative.

It is now almost a year later and I've finally returned to my normal cycle. My husband and I are not pregnant. We're not trying, but we're not not trying. If it happens, we'll be thrilled but we're continuing to live life and not think about it too much.

I also haven’t taken a pregnancy test since. (Okay, that's a lie. But for sure less than three tests a month.)

I feel wholeheartedly for women who are trying to get pregnant and waiting each month for two lines to show up.

In fact, I'm quite certain that when you're obsessing over it, those couple of days before your period you can magically make a second line appear with your eyes.

Getting pregnant is, quite frankly, a cruel game.

RELATED: 32 Things I Never Expected When I Was Expecting

By day (and those dreaded on-call shifts) Sara Becker works in Anesthesia. By night, and with pure happiness, she writes about whatever she feels like brain dumping that day. 

This article was originally published at Medium. Reprinted with permission from the author.