The miscarriage files : luteinizing hormone strips

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it’s probably worth noting that after having a miscarriage, i kiiind of went off the deep end as far as conscious baby-making research is concerned. i think before experiencing a miscarriage, i knew that some women, a lot of women, have a hella not-fun time conceiving when they are ready for el bebes.

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i’m a huge nerd reader of the ny times style section and as i get older, modern love and the wedding story columns hit me in different ways than they would have ten years ago. like, for example, this story  in last week’s paper (it’s always a little realer when a celeb is involved. it reminds me that shitty shit can affect anyone). this couple struggled for years because dude had a sperm count of zero. ZERO. i can’t even imagine how frustrating that must have been for homegirl. but they worked through it and are now changing not one but two poopy diapers several times a day!

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the struggle is definitely real but i used to be fairly oblivious to it. and now I’m not. and if that’s something that can viewed as a positive outcome of having a miscarriage, than I’m okay with that. so. too much reading of message boards combined with up for trying new things and i found myself late night purchasing a pack of luteinizing hormone (LH for short) pee sticks. basically, LH is a hormone produced by cells in our pituitary gland and a sharp rise in its presence triggers ovulation, which, for most women, happens once a month. someone smart realized the popularity potential of allowing women to track their own hormone levels, indicating to her the prime time to get it on and invented these pee sticks. they work like pH level strips, if you’ve ever used those before. pretty straight forward – you dip a LH strip in pee in a cup you’ve sacrificed for the cause and wait for specific lines to show up. since I’d already decided to drive myself bonkers with ovulation calendars, I started LH testing for the added hell of it.

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and I’m here to report back: 1. pee-testing was a pain in the ass 2. it stressed me out even more than I already was and 3. it didn’t work (see photos for visual aid). i tested twice a day, every day, for a week, starting on day 8 of my cycle (so, 8 days after the first day of my last period). still with me? okay, good. mow, peep the photo of the strips and the little lines on them. the darker line on each strip is the control line. that sucker’s showing up no matter what. it’s to let you know the strip is functioning properly. the second, equally faint line on each strip? that’s supposed to be the LH level. it never changed. it drove me crazy. i even coerced baby daddy into coming home from work in the middle of the day (like in the movies y’all) by pronouncing (through a text message), that

I’m OVULATING COME HOME NOW RIGHT NOW TO HAVE SEX WITH ME AND WHAT? I DON’T CARE THAT YOU’RE HUNGRY AND HAVEN’T HAD LUNCH YET.

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after beginning to curse the stupid little same amount of darkness faint lines, i decided to curb the madness and stopped dipping sticks in my pee. this month, the husband and i will just have sex when we good and gosh darn feel like it and see what happens. not that i won’t have the infamous sperm-meets-egg theory in the back of my mind (we can dish about that later). i mean, i can’t shelve all my crazy. that would just be silly. also, i can’t stop thinking about how many bubble teas i could have bought with that $20 pack of pee sticks.