The first time I took a pregnancy test, I was terrified.
I was 19 years old and had only been with my then-boyfriend Matt for a year. As I waited in my parents’ bathroom, staring at the lines slowly appearing on the test, I couldn’t stop thinking about how Matt would handle it.
The test was positive. I ran to the drugstore and bought more pregnancy tests—a handful, at least—and returned to the bathroom to jam them all in a cup of my pee. They were all positive—I was definitely pregnant. After I told him, Matt didn’t say much to me for a solid week.
Things got better eventually; even though we were young, we got really excited to be parents, and by the time our son Harry was born in 2011, things were downright blissful. Matt and I got married in 2013 and we enjoyed being parents so much that we decided to try for another baby.
That’s when my addiction to taking pregnancy tests began.
Courtesy of Corrine Hounslow
As we tried to conceive, I took multiple pregnancy tests each day.
I became obsessed with checking my fertility with ovulation tests and then taking multiple pregnancy tests, hoping to get a positive result. All day, I’d think about when I could test next, and I’d calculate my cycle over and over again.
Taking a pregnancy test was like Christmas morning for me.
When it was time to test, I’d jump out of bed and rush to the bathroom. It’s hard to describe the excitement I felt from taking a pregnancy test, but it was like Christmas morning for me—a head-spinning combination of excitement, nerves, adrenaline, and hope.
During the 19 months we spent trying to conceive, I experience two miscarriages, which was extremely tough.
Taking pregnancy tests gave me the reassurance that I was doing everything I could to take care of my baby.
Of course, I got anxious before each test, but it was worth the calmness I felt afterward—even if I saw negative results; at least then I knew what was going on.
I even started a YouTube channel to share my journey—and my love of taking pregnancy tests, and quickly discovered that it’s an obsession a lot of other people share.
Some people may think it’s strange to put something so private out in the public sphere, but my viewers have been with me through all the ups and downs of the past few years, and they are quick to offer me support or check in on me when I haven’t posted. They’ll also email me about their struggles trying to conceive and when they get pregnant. They honestly feel like family now.
‘You’re literally peeing on money.’
FYI: Taking pregnancy tests isn’t cheap. During an average cycle, I’d use dozens of ovulation and pregnancy tests. Each month, I’d buy a pack of 30 ovulation tests for $10 and a pack of 20 pregnancy testing strips for $6.
If the test was positive, I’d need even more confirmation: I’d buy several packages of First Response pregnancy tests (at $11 a pop) to confirm it.
I’d continue to take the pregnancy tests twice a day for a week after I’d gotten pregnant, checking to see if the lines were getting darker, which I took as an indication that the pregnancy was going well.
My husband wasn’t thrilled, and understandably so (he once told me I was “literally peeing on money”). But for me, it always seemed necessary.
After 19 months and $500, I got pregnant and gave birth to my second child. I had taken about 400 tests.
Courtesy of Corrine Hounslow
Now, my husband has even started buying me pregnancy tests.
Our journey isn’t over yet. It’s been almost three years since we had our second child, Charlie, and my husband and I have decided it’s time to start trying for another child.
After seeing how trying to conceive affected me emotionally, and the calm that I get from taking the tests, my husband understands (or at least is trying to understand) why I feel the need to take these tests—he’s even started buying them for me. It sounds silly, but it’s the sweetest gift.
To learn more about Corrine and her story, follow her on her YouTube channel Corrine & Matt.
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