The Siren Song of the Pee Stick
There are Stirrup Queens out there who bitterly add up the money they spent on birth control pills and other contraceptives back when they were trying not to get pregnant. Hmmm…little did I know that I didn’t need to be quite so careful. But I’m not sad about the money I spent on birth control–after all, it did its job. I never got pregnant. I see it in the same way as insurance–you spend all that money on it whether or not you need it.
The money I would like back are from those damn pee sticks.
There are many urban legends–some true, some false–concerning how cigarette manufacturers place chemicals in their cigarettes to make them more addictive. Though not yet proven, I believe that pregnancy test manufacturers somehow imbue their pee sticks with siren songs that call out to hormone-crazed women as they near the middle of the two-week-wait. My older sister once told me that all grates in Washington, D.C. were programmed to break when I stepped on them–somehow they were constantly updated with my exact weight, height, walking stride. Therefore, being the trusting little sister, I avoided stepping on any grate. I believe that pee stick manufacturers have somehow figured out a way to set their siren songs to only be sung when a woman with certain hormones and hopes coursing through her body steps within a few feet of that bathroom cabinet where the aforementioned pee stick is residing. Unlikely, you say? Well, I never stepped on a grate so I’m not sure if my sister was correct about how I would fall to my death. But I have walked near that cabinet when brushing my teeth and I have heard the siren song…
And I have peed.
Even when it was NOT the first urine of the day.
Yes, I would try to wait, but I sometimes I couldn’t. There was a particularly terrible evening when we were having dinner at a friend’s house and I was being very mindful of First Response’s Early Detection’s (affectionately referred to as FRED in our house) rule about evening pee needing to be held for four hours in order to contain enough hcG to tip the test. I drank sips of water, telling myself that I would not be able to urinate until I got home. I am ready to go, my bladder bursting, determined not to pee until I had my pee stick in hand. And then the friend suggests a walk. And my husband agrees!–agrees even though he knows about that siren song (when it is particularly loud, he can hear it too) because he can’t figure out a way to tell this friend why we have to go home (next time, sweetheart, just try the “we’re tired, but thank you dinner” excuse). I am walking through his neighbourhood, my knees clenched together, pausing on corners while I mentally willed messages back to the pee stick at home. Wait for me. I’m coming. Give me a positive message.
All that bladder pain and the damn test was negative.
I have tested even when I KNEW I was getting my period that day. Even when I was having a beta later that day and would have the results in hand by the afternoon. Why did I waste this money? Because of those evil pee stick manufacturers who forced me to take their tests. Made them addictive to hormone-stressed women.
I once flew out to Detroit to visit my other lady-when-waiting. I did not bring a pee stick with me, but became certain at 5 a.m. that I was pregnant. Only I couldn’t go out to get the pee stick because I had to pee so badly. My lady-when-waiting walked to CVS (bless her heart) and bought one for me. She then sat on the bathroom floor and watched the second line not appear. So much for intuition. And, yes, I am well aware that this trip to CVS goes well beyond the normal bounds of friendship.
At $8 a pop (that was about the average based on the numerous brands I tried), with 7 used during the first cycle and 1 or 2 used in each additional cycle, I figured out that I spent about $328 on pee sticks. This does not count the numerous ovulation predictor kits I also purchased (with often came with a free pee stick–one more piece of evidence that the manufactuers WANT us to be addicted. That’s like throwing in an ounce of cocaine with the purchase of some chocolate chips!).
And that’s probably a low figure.
Add it up and then write and tell us what you would do if you could have your pee stick money back. I would be currently spending it on a roundtrip ticket to the Bahamas. Thanks, First Reponse, for robbing me of my Caribbean vacation.