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God has blessed me tremendously with an amazing husband, Doug, and two gorgeous little boys, Gavin and Joey. It has always been a dream of mine to have a large family but God may have other plans. I had a series of 6 consecutive early miscarriages when trying for baby #2. We are currently trying for baby #3 after our 7th miscarriage. I am faithful that God's plan is perfect, even when I am not happy about it. I love comments and meeting new followers so please don't be shy!

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Friday, December 2, 2011

Fertility Friday: My Lines Aren't Darker!

No.  No.  Not me.  Not this time anyway.  

There is no greater moment than when you get that second line on a pregnancy test.  Your heart jumps, your mind races to thoughts of names and genders, and you start planning your nursery!  And then, there is the others.  These are the people who like the two lined test, and while they have instantaneously fallen in love with the new life within them, they are skeptics.

Whether it is because you have a history of losses or an undying love for peeing on things (I'm guilty of both), one test is never enough.  Even if you have the big bold word pregnant staring back at you, it isn't real confirmation.  Women all over the world have figured out that there is a such thing as just a little bit pregnant, a little more pregnant, and super pregnant.  All of these determinations are made by the darkness of a little pink, or sometimes blue, line.   Then, when we have peed on a couple of different tests we do the line up.  Are they darker?  Am I a little more pregnant, a little less pregnant?  Am I going to miscarry?  Are you ready for some answers? 

Should pregnancy test lines get darker?
The short answer is yes.  A pregnancy test is designed to test for the presence of HCG in your urine.  I am sure it comes as no surprise that the more HCG you have in your urine will determine how dark the line on the test is.

My line isn't any darker.  Am I miscarrying?
There are a number of things that could impact results of any one individual test result.  First is diluted urine.  The amount of liquid you have consumed in the hours preceding a test can affect the results of a pregnancy test.  In addition, caffeine consumption and salt intake can also alter the concentration of the HCG in your urine.  Another thing to consider is that not every test is created equal.  Minute differences, such as the amount of dye in each particular test, can vary.  This, of course, will affect how dark either the test or control line will appear.  Also, any one test only has a certain and finite amount of dye in it.  While our HCG is doubling every 48 hours, the dye in the test can't continue to get twice as dark otherwise it would run out of dye in a hurry.  If you have ever done the experiment with a piece of paper and folding it in half over an over again, no matter how big the piece of paper, it can only be folded in half 8 times.  Same concept.  So even if your HCG is rising adequately, the line may only be slightly (or very very slightly) darker. 

I realize that testing at home isn't going to tell me anything scientific but I want to test anyway.  Any tips?
There are a few things you can do to help you keep your sanity when scrutinizing home pregnancy test lines.
  1. Test no more frequently than once a day.  Any more than that and you will drive yourself crazy and waste a ton of money and tests!
  2. Test at the same time of day or use the same "pee of the day."  If you test with your first pee of the day then be consistent.  Personally, I prefer to use my second pee of the day.  It has seemed to give me better and darker results than my first morning urine.  
  3. Tests tend to get darker as they dry.  I have seen too many women (myself included) cry buckets of tears because their test today isn't as dark as yesterdays.  That is because yesterday's test is dry!  Take pictures of your tests 10 minutes after peeing on them or dipping them and compare pictures side by side.  Also, whenever possible try to use the same background for you picture (i.e. same bathroom counter, paper towel, flooring, etc.) and from approximately the same distance.  That is a much more accurate representation of if the line is darker.

I have done what you suggested and my lines don't seem to be progressing.  This doesn't look good, does it?
Well, maybe.  Maybe not.  Because there are so many variables with pregnancy tests the only way to get a real, scientific, and most accurate picture of what is going on in there is a blood test.  Call your healthcare professional and ask them if they will order a HCG beta series.  You can explain that you are concerned that this pregnancy isn't progressing and the blood tests could really help put your mind at ease one way or the other.  This doesn't guarantee that they will order the tests but it is worth it to ask.  If they do order the tests, please keep in mind that one test doesn't mean a whole lot.  It is the second test that tells you if things are headed in the right direction.

I am cramping and spotting and my lines don't seem to be getting any darker?  What do I do?  
Please see this post where I explain in detail what you should do if you are spotting or bleeding during an early pregnancy. 

No matter how dark the line is, you are pregnant today!  Thank God for the wonderful gift He has given you!  

I welcome any questions you may have either in the comments below or via email!


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