So I am a member of the August 2011 Birth Club with a popular baby/child information site. I first joined this birth club after the unprotected sex occurred. I was at first alarmed by the discussion happening on the boards. Women were talking about ovulation dates and cervical mucus and sex positions and even how many times they had sex leading up to their ovulation. Some women had been trying for years and they detailed all of the medications they were on to aid ovulation and conception. Oh and it didn’t stop at medications, there were special lubes and herbs and all sorts of other things they were trying. I was reminded of my husband and his fantasy football team- there was some serious dedication going on. These women were hardcore trying to get pregnant and here I was scared that I might be. Okay maybe scared is the wrong word, so let’s go with anxious and nervous and excited. It hadn’t occurred to me that conception could be a competitive sport in such a way.
The pregnancy test kits started at around 8 days past ovulation for some of the women. I didn’t even know you could take a test that early. The earliest I knew of was 5 days before your expected period, because that’s what it said on the First Response Early Response test kit in the drugstore. Convinced that I could find out sooner I followed a link posted to one of the threads that told you where to buy super early pregnancy tests, ones that you could use as early as one week after ovulation! Wow. Okay so I don’t actually know when in my cycle I ovulate, but I know when I did the deed and so I went with that as my ovulation date. I have since learned from many of the other women that ovulation could have occurred sooner or later, eggs and sperm have differing shelf life, did you know that? An egg lives for 12 to 24 hours after ovulation; sperm can live up to 5 DAYS! once it is in the body. I learned so much about biology from following all of these posts. So of course I ordered the tests. I was 1 week post coital. I figured they would be here in time for 10 days post coital testing, the earliest suggested testing day. The shipping was declared to be fast, the website said so.
After the testing (btw none of these early tests were positive), symptoms posts began to start. People were talking about their boobs and cramping and spotting… did you know that some women spot when they ovulate, I did not know that, now I do, hurray. Food cravings, headaches, crying, dizziness, nausea… you name it women were feeling it. Now since these are all PMS symptoms there was no way to tell if you were really knocked up or not. I was one of the ones having crazy emotions, dizziness and a metal taste in my mouth. All of these I remembered from being pregnant with Everly. I started to develop a gut feeling that there was something indeed growing in my gut after this point.
Fast forward to some of the women being that magical 10 days past ovulation, or 10 DPO in board speak (I had to look up a big list of terms as I had no freaking idea what any of these women were talking about with all of their acronyms!). Some positives came rolling in, very faint positives, but they were in fact positive, yes there were pictures to prove it of course. Many congratulations were given. Some women that got their BFP (Big Fat Positive for those not in the know), but sill continued to test every day. They would then post pictures of the tests all lined up in a row with the days past ovulation written on them. This seemed so unbelievably weird to me.
I think this is a good time to insert that I just happened to get pregnant both times. Everly was planned but I didn’t chart my temperature (who knew?!), test for ovulation or any of that other stuff. We got pregnant the first month of trying to conceive (TTC). And this one, well, um, we weren’t exactly trying. So I got being excited about being pregnant, but I guess since I didn’t pine after it for years and years it was a different feeling for me. I was happy for these women, truly down in my soul, but I did not understand them at all!
Then I reached 10 days past ovulation (or the guessed day of conception to be exact). November 23rd. My super sensitive, super early, guaranteed fast shipping tests had not arrived. BALLS! Now what to do? Well considering that most of the women didn’t get a BFP until 12 days past ovulation I decided to wait. This was my scientific deduction. Wait two more days for a more legit response. With Everly I didn’t test positive on a pregnancy test until I was 9 days late with my expected period. I wasn’t convinced that I would be an early result kind of girl but oh the agony of waiting. By this time I was pretty sure that I was with child and the anticipation of know for sure was killing me.
12 DPO. B and I head to the pharmacy and if you have been reading my posts you know the rest. When that test came up positive I knew immediately that I would have been disappointed if it had turned up negative. I became one of the crazies of the birth board. I took a test the next day. And then I waited until the day of my expected period and I took a test that day. That test had the “pregnant” line show up right away, even before the “your test is working” line showed up. And then I took a test when I was 9 days late, just to compare with the test I took with Everly. Yes I took only one test with Everly. I blame the birth board for the compulsive testing. I have to admit. It was kind of fun to pee on sticks and come up a winner every time! Then I saw a digital one, had to pee on that. Wanted to see the little “Pregnant” show up in the window. And then, at Walmart, I found one that even told you how far along you were. Had to pee on that too. It said I was 2-3 weeks pregnant, which was the most you could be for that test. I knew I was 3 weeks pregnant. The handy iphone App that I had downloaded the day before told me so. The App came highly recommended by the birth board ladies. Apparently some of them had been using it to track their fertility. Now I just have to say here that I think that is pretty cool technology! This App has been handy for making travel plans and appointment bookings too. If I wonder how far along I will be I need only to open the app and it tells me. How cool is that, I don’t have to think for myself. I have far better things to do during my day than think for myself. Did you ever notice how iphones almost always cause ADD? Okay a little off topic there, but I just had to say it. I have such a short attention span now that I know I can slide the phone open and be entertained in .03 seconds.
Of course I posted pictures of my BFP when it arrived. And of course I posted a picture of all my tests lined up. Duh. I felt so successful. The women on the board congratulated me on my BFP as I had congratulated them. We were all so happy. We felt bad for the ones that got a BFN (Big Fat Negative), but said it’s not over until the lady in red sings! And then we felt bad for those who had Aunt Flo come to visit after all. But for the most part, it was a happy place to be. Women supporting women and detailing their feelings (physical, mental, emotional) of early pregnancy.
And then something really weird happened. It was almost like a bomb was dropped and people began to be against each other. People posted things about drinking while pregnant, and smoking while pregnant and bottle vs breast and circumcision and cloth diapering and drugs during labour- the devil’s candy or gift from god? My head swam. I am against drinking alcohol and smoking while pregnant, there is actual scientific research that shows it is bad for your baby. I have worked with babies affected by these very things and it scares the bejesus out of me and breaks my heart to see them suffer as they do. As for the other things, I say it’s a family personal choice. But no one could let it be. They all argued back and forth, wanting to be right. I felt like posting and saying ladies, there is no judge, this is not a lawsuit, there will be no winner; UFC is on next weekend; why can’t we all be friends again? The baby board had gone sour. It kind of reminded me of that movie Pet Cemetary… our baby board was buried in that tainted ground and it came back evil and weilding a straight razor.
The women were so quick to jump on each other. Some first time moms posted some pretty insane questions, some of which actually led me to wonder if they knew how someone actually got pregnant. A couple of my favourites… 1) If I find out I am having a girl baby and my husband and I have sex can the baby get pregnant, 2) If I have a big bowel movement will the baby come out, 3) I am 4 weeks pregnant and feeling my baby move. Yes I wanted to reply, ARE YOU KIDDING ME? to all these posts, but I refrained. These are just women looking for answers in a community of women who might know. Personally if I had such a crazy question I would have googled it to keep myself anon, but anywho… I tried to not judge. Apparently I am rare. For each of these posts there must have been over 300 replies about how stupid the woman in question must be. I felt like I was in junior high school and major drama had just gone down… you know the kind… Bob and Sue just french kissed and now she has to go take a pregnancy test this afternoon, she is such a slut, french kissing is so slutty. Yes, I was back in ninth grade all over again.
Now I would like to blame raging hormones for this shameful behaviour. I would like to say that women are not really like this. How do you really know. Maybe they are more lethal because they are typing. I know for me it’s easier to type you are a stupid cow than to say to someone you are a stupid cow, I am guessing that I am not a rarity in this. But I can also withhold the stupid cow comment if it is going to hurt someone. There is a gentle way to say stupid cow.
Is my experience unique? Are August 2011 mommies just a rotten bunch of apples? Anyone… anyone… Bueller?
So I stopped going to the birth boards for now. Next time I have writers block though… I know just where to go to get some inspiration 🙂 Oh and below is the best picture I could find when I Googled “baby board,” and this is pretty much how I felt after being on the baby board myself!