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: