There are two types of IVFers: those who POAS (pee on a stick, also known as a home pregnancy test), and those who don’t.
The professionals in charge like to remind us that the “trigger” shot taken right before retrieval stays in the blood system for up to 14 days (although there are different takes on this- it could be more or less depending on the drug.) So the IVF doctors and nurses all emphatically tell you not to take a home pregnancy test. They say too often people either get excited about a false positive or even worse, so distraught about a false negative that they stop taking their Progesterone.
For those of us in the immaculate conception club, we all know that in the early stages, it’s not always a simple pink or blue line, a simple yes or no on a pregnancy test. You can be a little bit pregnant. You may have been technically “pregnant” when the embryo went in, but in the days since that point the embryo may be thriving or dying. So that first “beta” gives a number, and then if that number doubles in 48 hours, the professionals may finally use the word “pregnant” to describe your state. However, if that beta number does not go up, even if the pregnancy test says “positive,” it’s not a positive situation.
I’ve never been a POASer. Although it’s tempting, I know I wouldn’t believe it if it was positive anyway, and if it was negative, taking those PIO (progesterone in oil) shots in the ass without probable cause would be even more painful.
Still, the temptation increases day by day; very similar in fact to the experience of needing to pee really badly. The closer you get the restroom, the more your bladder just doesn’t want to hold out. The closer I get to test day, the more tempting it becomes.
Since I’m a hardened veteran now, having experienced the joy of a positive test on both IVF 1.0 and IVF 2.0, I’m both more and less tempted by the stick. My routine is always the same: I wait until the morning of the test, see the result and head to the blood test knowing (in both cases so far) that I’m pregnant- at least for that day.
But in the meantime, I drive my husband crazy asking him if my boobs look bigger (he doesn’t mind considering that question at least) and debating if my symptoms are real or progesterone induced. One moment I’ll be hopeful- the next I’m not. This is what IVF is all about. Fun times.
So Tuesday morning is POAS day. Mr. T will get the official test result call from the clinic that afternoon. He’s under strict orders not to tell me what the numbers are (if positive) so I won’t obsess about what they mean and their doubling rates. My only goal right now is to maintain a shred of sanity, no matter what the results.
My dream? Just to go to sleep and wake up when ALL the two week waits are over, with my baby in my arms.