Pregnant - Episode One
I was nearly 6 weeks along when I found out I was pregnant. I had no idea. It really was one of those, I didn't have any symptoms at all and then boom, one day they all sprang up on me.
In september 2016, we were booked to fly up and shoot a wedding in Johannesburg. The day of the wedding, I remember feeling lethargic and not at all myself, but I put it down to travelling and lack of sleep. By sunset when we started shooting the bridal couple session, I was ready to keel over. I pushed on, we wrapped up the wedding and headed back to our accomodation.
It was close to midnight, we were still on the road and that is when I felt the nausea suddenly hit me.
Dillon pulled over on to the side of the road and I let rip. It was horrible. I had no symptoms previous to this vomit episode and I had been spotting and bleeding the entire month, although it wasn't my regular sort of monthly woman visit. I had also had very tender breasts that whole weekend. I couldn't remember exactly when my last proper period was, so the next morning I took a pregnancy test. And it was positive!
Being pregnant is not as Instagram makes it out to be. I heard tale of glowing skin, gorgeous hair and (glory glory!) no periods and period pains. I guess my skin did glow from all the extra sweat I was working up when walking up the stairs and my hair did look gorgeous... I'll give pregnancy that. However I'm not sure trading period pains for pregnancy pains was an entirely fair trade.
Now that baby has arrived and I've finally found a bit of a routine for myself, I thought it'd be nice to write up a few blog posts about my experience. This series is for those of you who are sitting on the edge of your bathtub, staring at that stick you've just peed on and wondering "That means positive right? So what do i do now?"
For today, let us start with home tests.
when to take the test?
If you think you might be carrying precious cargo, it is best to try figure out when your next period should be before you pop down to the nearest pharmacy to purchase a home testing kit. You want to do the test after you have missed your period. It'll save you some cash and from having to hover over the loo, trying to (unsucessfully) pee on the stick instead of your hand more times than you need to.
If you think you have hit the jackpot but have irregular periods, or you are just not that type of woman who charts her cycle (BECAUSE WHO HAS THE TIME FOR THAT?) then you should take the test roughly 3 weeks after you've had sex. This will be the most accurate. If you take a whizz the day after you've done the deed - you, little eager beaver, are bound to get a negative result.
When you get pregnant, your egg burrows into your uterus lining causing a hormone called HCG to be released and it can be detected in your urine. According to most home pregnancy tests, their products can detect this HCG hormone a few days before you've even missed your period. However, the most reliable results are after you have missed your period. This is because the HCG hormone increases in your system day by day.
TOP TIP: take the test first thing in the morning. Something about HCG being most concentrated in your urine when it's had an overnight stay in your bladder.
how does the test work?
Home pregnancy tests typically come in a box, either in singles or doubles. When you open up the box you'll find the test sticks sealed in individual foil packets. Make sure the packet is sealed and check the date to make sure it hasn't expired.
These tests are single use only, for obvious reasons. The stick has a cap on one end and a little results "window" and a control "window".
Once you've opened the packet, you need to uncap and dip the stick into your urine sample immediately. Once you've done so, you can replace the cap and wait for the results. The test cannot be used again. Some instructions ask you to pee into a cup and dip the test stick into that, or to simply pee directly onto the stick. Do whatever is most comfortable for you, either way, you should only be getting the uncapped end of the stick wet.
Most tests say the results will show within 3-5min. My results showed up on the window almost instantaneously. Well done concentrated morning pee. Check the box to see what symbols mean positive, what symbols mean negative AND what symbols mean that you've done the test wrong and it has failed. Again, keep in mind that it is a home testing kit - so if it is positive, congrats and schedule an appointment with your gynae to confirm. If it is negative and you still think you are pregnant because of any symptoms you may have, then schedule an appointment with your GP to make sure everything is good in the hood. If the test failed - oops. Open up your second test and try again, making sure not to get anything other than the intended part of the stick wet.
where to buy the test?
I used the clearblue pregnancy test, because youtube ads and their subliminal messaging clearly work. These retail for around R60. However there are plenty cheaper brands out there that do exactly the same thing. Any pharmacy such as Clicks or Dischem will stock home pregnancy testing kits, and if you don't have the time to go hunting for one, simply purchase them online and have them delivered to you.
That is it for the first post of this series. I hope I made sense. Feeling super rusty at this blogging thing.