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Why Early Pregnancy Tests Should Be Banned

I've been using a fertility app to track my cycle; it even tells you when to take an early pregnancy test. That's how I found out I was pregnant last time—I took the test, it came back positive and then I took another. And another. Then I took another a week later.

At first, I was scared that it was a chemical pregnancy or a blighted ovum (thanks Google) then as weeks went by I started to relax—but then we lost the baby, so you can imagine my trepidation this week when my app said, "Alert! Take a pregnancy test today."

I've been counting down the days and trying to stay busy. I've been doing my yoga at night before bed and I've been fantasizing about having a delicious cocktail when I get my negative pregnancy test. I've been open to talking about my miscarriage when catching up with friends. I've also been nonstop Googling early pregnancy symptoms and how women feel conceiving after a miscarriage. I'm haunted by stories of multiple miscarriages and I'm still nervous even though I know the worst thing that can happen, and that I can survive it.

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Tuesday was my day to take the test, I was crampy and felt like I was getting my period. Monday night, I cried and told my husband, "I know I'm not pregnant, I really feel like I'm getting my period." "It's OK," he said, "We'll keep trying." Tuesday morning I got up early and took out the last pregnancy test I had leftover from last time's test fest and I peed on it.

Two lines: one in the control window, one in the test result.

I looked at the instructions, but it looked so confusing. I called my husband in to the bathroom. "I don't understand, it says the lines must be going the same way, but it looks like there are two lines in there." So we puzzled over the instructions for far longer than two people with three degrees between them should puzzle. Finally, we realized we were looking at instructions for a different pregnancy test that I must have stuffed in the box last time. We started laughing and then realized, the test was positive. Positive. So of course I went out and bought another test and took it—positive again. I wanted to remain calm and present and not have a freak out. I know it's beyond my control, I know it will happen if it's meant to be, but I had a terrible feeling of doom.

I've lived a very full life, I've traveled all over the world and have had many crazy adventures, but maybe my latest adventure isn't meant to be. Maybe I'm not going to have a baby.

I wanted the positive result to be good news but I couldn't allow myself to think that everything was going to be all right. I didn't want to get attached. I caught myself thinking about baby names and stopped immediately. I had a secret name last time that I wanted for the baby and now I can't use it, because that baby is gone.

Women who have never had a miscarriage, even though you may have had your fears during pregnancy, you are so very lucky. I'm not excited. I'm not relieved that we conceived so quickly (although my husband was feeling quite proud, crowing "TOLD YOU my guys are swimmers!") I'm just kind of numb, with bouts of tears in between.

Last night I went to work and when I got home my husband hugged me and called me his pregnant wife. But right before bed I went to the bathroom and there it was: spotting. So perhaps I'm not pregnant after all. I Googled furiously all night and read far too many stories of chemical pregnancies with my exact symptoms. I may be pregnant, but spotting at this juncture means I will probably get my period, an early miscarriage. I'm not spotting at the time of this writing but I feel like I'm going to get my period any second now.

I knew it couldn't be that easy.

I hate when people tell me I'm not old or that I have time to get pregnant—it's really harder to conceive and bring a baby to term over 35 and your risk of miscarriage is increased. I think we are just fooling ourselves when we think we can have it all. I've lived a very full life, I've traveled all over the world and have had many crazy adventures, but maybe my latest adventure isn't meant to be. Maybe I'm not going to have a baby.

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I would like to say I'm OK with that, but I'm crying as I write this. It's not fair, and my heart is broken all over again. I was prepared for a negative pregnancy test but not for a false positive. I just called my doctor's office and they told me I could come in for a hormone test but my husband changed jobs and they don't know if they take our new insurance. They told me the hormone testing is just for peace of mind and that I can just wait and see if my period starts, so here I am, nails digging into the cliff as I try to hang on for a few more days.

Image via Flickr/Attain Fertility

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