so. i am having a completely rotten TTC week. a few days ago, at six days post-ovulation, i took a home pregnancy test. i definitely wasn’t expecting anything that early–usually implantation doesn’t happen until at least 7DPO, & it takes a few days after that for enough pregnancy hormone to build up in the body to trigger a positive test. most early testers don’t get a positive until 9DPO.
so imagine my surprise when the test showed a very faint second line! i tested four or five more times that day, & ALL the tests showed two lines! i showed the tests to jared & even he saw them.
i tested again the next morning & got a slightly darker line. i tested two more times that morning & got two more positive tests. i was pretty much out of my mind with excitement & hope. i decided to cut to the chase & ask my doctor for a blood test. the science claims that pregnancy hormone will show up in blood before it will show up in urine, so a blood test is more accurate than a home test. most ob-gyns & midwives want blood test confirmation before they consider a woman truly pregnant. & a qualitative blood test can detect as little as two or three units of hormone in the blood, while the most sensitive home tests available need at least ten unites before they become positive. i figured that if the hormone was showing up on home tests, surely my blood test would be positive.
i had the blood draw on thursday, 7DPO. EXTREMELY early–some doctors refuse to do a blood test before a woman has missed her period. but my doctor gave the okay when i explained that i’d gotten eight positive home tests. i waited around on thursday afternoon for the nurse to call with the results, but she didn’t. i spent all morning yesterday clutching my phone & carrying it everywhere with me so i wouldn’t miss the call. i just KNEW she was going to be giving me good news. i continued to test, & all the tests continued to be positive. the lines continued to get darker (but were still very faint–which makes sense because i’m still so early).
i tried going for a walk to clear my head & distract myself from waiting for the call, but it didn’t really work. i was so anxious about the call that i finally wound up bursting into tears. when i calmed down, i called the nurse & begged for the results. my usual ob-gyn & her nurse were out of the office, so i was speaking with a different nurse i didn’t know. she told me the results were back but they hadn’t yet been okayed by a doctor. she said she’d put in a request for the on-call doctor to review them & give permission for them to be released to me. we hung up & i paced around the house frantically until she called back twenty minutes later.
after a lot of brouhaha & exposition about how clomid works & when tests become positive in relation to ovulation (i wanted to yell, “cut to the chase, woman! this is not my first time at the rodeo!”), she gave me the results: negative. they did a qualitative beta & my pregnancy hormone level was less than one. not even a whisper of possible pregnancy.
she elaborated that i was still really early in my luteal phase & that i should call for another blood test if my period is more than four days late. as if i wouldn’t, hello.
i was so stunned that i couldn’t even cry. i reported the results to jared & then i went outside & sat on the porch & just stared into space. it was 90 degrees out, but i started shaking & feeling cold. my teeth were chattering. i think i literally went into shock. after a while i went back inside & laid down on the couch for an hour or so. when i started feeling less shaky, i got up & went online & ordered another round of ovulation tests, & several different brands of home pregnancy tests. i have been testing with wondfos, & some people think they are unreliable & have a tendency to evap. an evap would be a gray or colorless line where the test line should be, a line that looks like an indentation & has no color, a splotchy & inconsistent test line, etc. every test i did featured a thick, pink, solid line. generally, an evap line that is thick & consistent will be colorless, & an evap line with color will be splotchy. ALL of my tests (& by that point, i had done around twenty) showed a perfect-looking positive line.
i did another test yesterday before bed. positive. i did two more tests this morning when i got up.
but a blood test is the gold standard. supposedly any positive urine test that is not supported with a positive blood test should be considered a false positive. false positives happen, but they’re extremely uncommon. evap lines happen, but they are also relatively uncommon. i have never heard of a woman getting twenty to thirty false positives or evap lines in a row. i used this same brand of test, & the same lot number, last cycle & i didn’t get any lines like this.
i’ve done some google sleuthing & i’ve found stories from other women who had positive home tests, negative blood tests, & were indeed pregnant. their bloodwork eventually became positive, but in some cases, it took weeks. i can’t figure out how this would work, from a science perspective. if the blood isn’t detecting pregnancy hormone, how could it possibly be in urine?
four years ago when i had my abortion, i took several home pregnancy tests. they were all positive. i went in for the abortion at six weeks & had an ultrasound done. the tech couldn’t find the embryo & insisted on giving me a blood test to confirm pregnancy. she told me the blood test came back “inconclusive” & referred me to the ER for a possible ectopic pregnancy. sometimes with ectopic pregnancies, the pregnancy hormone level is lower than it should be for gestational age (although the range of what’s considered “normal” for gestational age ranges pretty widely). i was panicked & went to the ER. they did another ultrasound there & found the embryo in my uterus right where it should be. its size correlated to suspected gestational age. i had the abortion a week or two later & never got another blood test, so i have no idea if another blood test would have shown unusually low levels or if i just had an incompetent tech or what.
i’m really confused & really sad. i can’t help testing, & my heart soars when i see that second line (EVERY test for the last three or four days has been positive), but i’m so confused by the negative blood test. my game plan for now is to just struggle through the next week or so, & if i’m still getting lines at 15DPO–especially if they continue to get darker–i’ll request a second blood test. but i’m pretty upset. i want to be excited about my pregnancy right now, not staring at positive tests, wondering if they’re real. this sucks.