Well, your crossed fingers and toes paid off, friends. We got a BFP. The story is not a particularly exciting one, but I’m going to write it for my own benefit, because I think I’ll like reflecting on it in the future.
We had the strange evap line of 11 DPO, and I figured that we were out for the cycle. All of my pre-period signs were very normal, and I had absolutely no hints of a big change. Last month clomid made my luteal phase short, so I expected my period to arrive on 13 or 14 DPO. As you know from my last post, it did not. After 14 DPO passed, I figured that clomid had extended my luteal phase this time, because my nurse warned me that the changing hormones would cause my cycle to be wonky. I was curious Friday, but I didn’t have any more HPT’s. I was so confident on Wednesday and Thursday that AF was about to show, I didn’t go out and buy more. So, I used a cheapie OPK strip just to see what happened. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. It was FMU, so I figured that if there was ANY HCG floating around, it would at least give me a hint on the strip, but no. At that point, I was positive we were out. AF didn’t arrive on Friday (15 DPO), but I still felt completely normal. I started hoping that AF would WAIT to show until Monday, because we are going to be traveling in the next two weeks. If AF showed at her normal time, it meant we would have to take the cycle off. So, I found the silver lining in the negative OPK – my period might be late enough that we could squeeze a try into late November. I spent a lot of time hoping that she would hold off just another two days.
On Saturday, I woke up and googled on my phone “negative OPK positive HPT” and read that many women had gotten negative test results on an OPK, but still got positive HPT’s. I found that promising, but dismissed it as eternal optimism. I showered and imagined that if the cycle had worked, we could tell our families around Christmas, and that would be fun. Next I went to brunch with my grandma. On the way home, with no sign of anything reproductive, I decided to buy a HPT for Monday, in case my period still hadn’t come. I didn’t even remotely expect it to be positive, but I knew that if AF had not shown Monday, I would want to call the clinic and ask them what was up with my luteal phase being SO long. I knew that they would ask if I’d tested, and I didn’t want to say, “uh…no.” I planned to say, “Yeah, I tested this morning, and it was negative.” I took the tests home and stashed them in the bathroom. Later that afternoon, we went to a women’s basketball game. I was so positive that this cycle hadn’t worked, I ate a bag of that really gross buttery popcorn and a Dr. Pepper. In fact, when I was ordering it, it never even crossed my mind that maybe I should not, just in case. Now, I want to tell you that we are very clean and healthy eaters. I think my wife was a little disgusted with my splurge, but she ate a few kernels herself. I get that “treat” about once every six months or so, usually at the movie theater. Otherwise, we really never drink soda, and we rarely eat artificial foods like that delicious “butter.” As we left the game, which was crowded with obnoxious children hopped up on sugar and adrenaline, my wife made a comment about not being very inspired to have children if this is what it looks like. She was kidding – there has never been a day that we considered not having kids, but the statement was later ironic.
On the drive home, she asked if my period had ever started. I let her know that it had not, but that I truly did not think this cycle had worked, because I had zero signs of success. I then went on to explain to her how it was lucky my period was late and that if it would miraculously wait just two more days, we could try again next cycle, because our travel would be over in time for insemination. I could tell in her voice that she was nodding along and didn’t believe anything I was saying. Maybe her doubt caused me to do it, or maybe I just wanted to prove myself right, but when we got home, I went straight to the bathroom to pee out all that Dr. Pepper, and I opened the test.
As the fluid creeped across the test, the horizontal line was visible, and then the vertical line started to blur. I was angry at the stupid test for showing me an evap line like that and I knew it was faulty. My brain could literally not compute the possibility that the vertical line was positive. I said to my wife, “Hey, come in here a minute.” I asked her what she thought it meant, and she said, “that’s positive.” I still couldn’t believe her. I was staring at an obviously positive test, which showed up in seconds, and I kept telling her that she was wrong and asking her to look at it again. Brains are weird.
A few clinging hugs, a lot of me saying “I just don’t believe it!” and many smiles later, and we started to process that we have moved onto the next step of this journey. We were scheduled to meet some friends at a brewery in fifteen minutes, so we hopped on our bikes and enjoyed what was probably the happiest bike ride of my life. I was on Cloud 9. It was surreal. I drank kombucha while they tasted beers. They politely did not ask why. After we got home, I started feeling pinging, pulling, and hot spots in my lower abdomen. It was actually quite comforting to finally have some physical signal that my body was actually doing what the test said it was. Having had several close friends experience early miscarriages, I am keenly aware that one BFP does not mean we are out of the woods, so feeling signs of pregnancy, even uncomfortable ones, gives me some comfort.
I lamented the popcorn and Dr. Pepper the rest of the evening, wondering if I’d poisoned this tiny seed. I googled how much caffeine is in Dr. Pepper (not that much, thankfully) and tried to put my Rational Pants back on. I immediately increased my water intake and started planning how to maximize fresh, whole foods in our upcoming week’s menu. If TTC didn’t make me crazy, getting through this pregnancy in one piece will. And if that doesn’t do it, having a kid obviously will be the downfall of my sanity.
Thank you all so, so much for your well-wishes at the end of last week. I have a bit of survivor’s guilt, because I know the pain of waiting so well. I really, really hope that those of you still waiting for the BFP are right behind me. Keep at it, and stay positive!