Urine for a treat.

We always spend our New Year’s Eves in Northampton, MA, because we only associate with lesbians and detest watching heteros suck face as we ring it in at midnight.All right, fine, that’s not true. We don’t hate heteros, but we did spend New Year’s in the western Mass. lesbian Mecca of Northampton. And, instead of hobnobbing with our own kind at a bar where buttery nipples and Dos Equis are on special, we spent our night in one of the most un-lesbian bars in town. The bartender at Hugo’s looks like a big, bearded sailor with beer belly and cigarette mouth & the patrons are locals, unfazed by the impending holiday.

While I was tracking ovulation using a temperature chart, our weekend trips were often the times I slacked in tracking. When you’re packing up toiletries for a trip it’s hard enough to remember toothpaste let alone the basal thermometer, weird graph paper and pencil. So most of the time those weekend days got skipped in hopes it wouldn’t affect the overall result of the chart. Luckily, it didn’t. Now that basal tracking is a distant memory and I’m identifying ovulation days based on pee sticks, there’s no room for slacking. So when we packed up our bags last weekend, I grabbed two pee sticks and threw them into my toiletry bag.

Since we haven’t decided on a donor just yet, and I haven’t gotten desperate enough to proposition Ryan Gosling for his seed (yet), I’m still tracking ovulation for practice. But I think it’s good to get familiar with all the business of baby-making before it’s time to actually make the baby.

Take for instance the pee sticks. In any given pharmacy or Target or Walmart, there are plenty of options. Because I’m cheap frugal, it would be my inclination to go for the budget option. Except I didn’t purchase the first box of pee sticks, Meredith did. She presented the box to me one night after work with a bottle of pink Prosecco like we drank at our wedding. It was very Bette and Tina of us. She purchased the box from Rite Aid: 7 tests for $15. They aren’t the cheapest option, but also nowhere near the highest priced, name brand options like Clear Blue Easy or First Response which I’ve seen for as much as $30.

Since I’ve never taken a pregnancy test, I was curious about how readable the tests would be. One line, two lines, happy face, frowny face, no lines … how much math is required to read the result of a pee stick? I’ve tried two different types now, and here’s what I find is key.

First and foremost, not paying more than $15 for a week’s worth of tests. I’m already panicky about the money we’ll have to spend for the sperm, the shipping, and the actual insemination. I am not Bette Porter. I do not have pricey artwork hanging on my walls, and I don’t have money to throw away on overpriced ovulation prediction kits. I find it’s also helpful for the pee stick to have an applicator, or plastic casing. It makes it easier to get close to your pee stream without getting messy. I test for ovulation first thing in the morning, which is also recommended. I’m usually beyond groggy, more zombie. Eyes as slits, stumbling to the bathroom and trying not to trip over the dogs on my way there. The last thing I need is to worry about peeing all over my hand with a flimsy pee stick.

And my last piece of advice on the pee stick would be readability. Some of the fancier brands have all these digital bells and whistles that are unnecessary. The version I favor has two windows. The control window will also show a red line. The other window only shows a red line if you’re ovulating. Easy peasy. And in case you’re a visual learner like myself, I’ve provided photos of my very own pee sticks. I hope it’s not too close for comfort. I’ve also photographed them using Instagram because I’m just obnoxiously hipster enough to do so. The first is a positive read for ovulation. The second, a negative read:

5 comments

  1. I’m totally with you on the frugality issue. I’m so cheap I buy my preggo tests at the dollar store. I’m not even kidding.

    1. Ha – I knew you would appreciate that little tidbit, Suz!

      Thanks for the tip on dollar store preggo tests. I’ll keep that in mind down the road.

  2. I wanted your thoughts on using Fenway Health. I mean …after reading all that you have to go through with that program is it really worth going through all that? isn’t researching on google and using a reputable sperm bank good enough? it seems as if you can get just as good info from you OBGYN, minus all the fluff…Of course I live in a different state and it is a tad bit more complicated.

    My partner and I are getting married in Provincetown in September, so I gave Fenway a look. Especially since I have plenty of time to get things done that they want me to before I arrive. I’ve just gave it a second thought after seeing the long list of meetings and appointments….blah…..

    I appreciate your input, and always look forward to your new entries.

    1. Hey Jayme, I’m glad you asked. In case I haven’t already waxed poetic enough about the Fenway program, I will make another (concise) attempt. First, it makes sense that, considering how daunting the idea of lesbian motherhood can be, you wouldn’t want to have additional steps added (i.e. attending Orientation, scheduling your consult with Fenway providers). And there’s obviously nothing negative to be said about doing the legwork yourself, talking to your OBGYN, and doing an Ellen-Sharon-Stone-rose-petals-and-feather-boa insemination in the comfort of your own home. Lesbians have been doing it that way for a long time, and I imagine that approach is quite common in areas of the country that aren’t privy to programs like Fenway’s. That being said, I’m a person who needs structure and guidance. I like someone to tell me: this is how it’s going to work and this is what you need to do. If the road to getting pregnant is the final exam, then the Fenway program is my crib sheet. But it’s not just the structure of the program, it’s the people – the providers. I obviously spend a good deal of time on the internet, and my wife spends even MORE time clicking around, researching, finding information on this whole process. But when it comes down to it, the nuts and bolts of getting knocked up can be confusing. So when I found that Fenway is providing one of the longest-running, if not THE longest-running programs to help little lost lesbians along their way, I had to check it out. And the result has been overwhelmingly positive. Do you know how many women don’t even know how to read a basal temperature chart? Which, you know, is kind of an exact science when you’re trying to time just perfectly ordering sperm, shipping sperm and scheduling insemination appointments. A little trickier when you don’t have a penis handy. And lastly I’ll just say, for me, it’s really comforting walking into the Fenway offices, knowing that I’m in the hands of providers who are some of the strongest and most dedicated advocates for LGBT health. Also, did I mention the Orientation snack spread? Oh, and congrats on your upcoming wedding!

  3. I can’t believe you put pee on our counter

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