Moment of Truth.

Has the suspense been killing you?

Me too. And don’t even ask about all the hyperventilating my husband has been doing.

It’s been quite the roller coaster of emotions around here.

My best friend told me that the test looked exactly like her last early BFP.

In fact, that conversation (via text) went something like this:

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And my online poll has topped out at 103 positive votes and only nine negative.

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The masses that have seen my HPT are betting that I am indeed pregnant again.

And I have to admit, since the line, although faint, came out looking completely solid and pink, it’s hard to fathom that it could be an evaporation line.

Like I said before, up until the blue-dye mayhem that occurred a few weeks back, I had never seen a real evaporation line in my entire life.

What is equally compelling is that all my truly negative tests from the same box taken weeks before have still stayed negative. No evaporation lines whatsoever.

All this evidence was staring me in the face and making me nervous. I started to feel nauseous.

Anxiety, right? Or …was it the beginnings of morning sickness?

I know some of you suggested I head straight to the doctor for a blood draw.

But, the thought of having to ask my OB for a beta was nerve-wracking. I could not face him a mere two months after giving birth to my fourth child in four and a half years to request a pregnancy test.

The possibility of Duggar jokes and “Are you crazy?” lectures made me cringe.

And forget even thinking about what I will do if I have to head back there in a few weeks for my first prenatal appointment. Especially since, at my six week postpartum visit (four weeks ago!) the doctor had warned me about the vasectomy not being immediately effective.

Oh, the shame!

I went out and bought more tests.

And then I waited another excruciating 48 hours.

Only to find out that this:copyright - suburban princess diaries

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is the most positive-looking negative test I have ever seen in my life.

Yes, Virginia. This is an evaporation line.

On a pink-dye, First Response Early Result.

Contrary to popular belief, they do exist.

Can someone tell me why now, after a decade and hundreds of non-problematic HPT’s, I have seen two crazy evaporation lines in the past two weeks?

Must be really bad luck.

Which I must have in spades right now, considering I’m sitting here typing this post with a massive head cold, a 101 degree fever and a painfully raging case of mastitis.

(un)Lucky me!

Evaporation Nation

A few weeks back, I had a bad experience with an awful blue-dye HPT.

I had never had an evaporation line on a pregnancy test before, and despite all my BFP’s, I have had many negative tests in the past.

Which is why the blue evaporation line I saw really messed with my head.

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I mean, come on! It’s even blue!

The pink-dye tests I took later, confirmed that the blue-dye monster was indeed negative.

Crisis averted.

Fast forward to two weeks later. I start waking up nauseous, I start having weird spotting issues, I start feeling like…

…like I might be pregnant?

Under normal circumstances, I probably would have pushed the ridiculous idea right out of my head. It was impossible, really. My husband had a vasectomy and we are getting farther and farther past the window of residual sperm lingering behind. I just had a baby nine weeks ago. There is no way that I could be back in the fertility game this soon.

Except, it has happened before…well, the ovulating soon after childbirth part, anyways.

Maybe it was just really improbable, but not totally impossible.

I had one First Response Early Result (FRER) leftover after confirming the blue-dye test disaster, so I took it.

Seriously, it was practically begging me.

And it looked as negative as the others, so I tossed it.

Only to go back later (I know I shouldn’t have…but rules, shumules!) and find a line.

It was way over the 3 minute time limit, so I wanted to call it an evaporation line and move on with my life.

Except, while the blue-dye tests are notorious for evaps, they aren’t so common on the FRER’s.

I have never seen one. And I’m assuming by now that I have probably taken at least a hundred of them over the past decade. And not all of them were positive.

Unlike the blue-dye tests, which before a few weeks ago, I had taken maybe three in my entire life. And all of them were positives.

I did what any POAS-aholic would do. I busted out my old tests from two weeks ago for comparison. (Why I save these things, I don’t know! It’s so weird…although I bet I’m not the only freakshow out there.)

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The bottom test was my negative from the blue-dye fiasco. A true negative test, with not even a hint of a line, evaporation or otherwise - a whole two weeks later.

At the top is my recent test, about a day after it was taken, with a faint line.

I wanted to make sure my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me, and I wanted to see if anyone else would consider this a positive over an evap. So I posted it on a HPT voting page.

Obsessive, I know.

So far, here are the results:

copyright - suburban princess diaries Same test as the one above, just zoomed in and photographed in my other bathroom with different lighting.

As of right now, 87 people think I’m knocked up.

I’m still on the fence…

SpermCheck Fertility – Review & Giveaway

**This giveaway is now closed**

Now that my husband has had his vasectomy, and the post-op blue-dye pregnancy test panic is behind us, you may think that my bathroom science experiment days are over too.

But, you’d be wrong. I’d never pass up the chance to put on my (imaginary) white lab coat and glasses and start testing.

Although, until now, I have always had to the be the guinea pig.

Thanks to SpermCheck Fertility, that is no longer the case.

spermcheck
SpermCheck Fertility is a new, at-home sperm test for men that can detect if a man’s sperm count is within the “normal” range (above 20 million sperm per milliliter). The test is FDA approved and is 98% accurate, just as accurate as lab results!

However, being the skeptic that I am, I had to see it to believe it.

I had Matt take the test four weeks post-vasectomy. He still had another four weeks to go until he could return to the doctor for a follow-up semen analysis, and after the seven week post-partum pregnancy scare we had had just a few days earlier, we were anxious to see if his sperm count had been affected by the procedure yet.

Because, as we have learned, it can take awhile for those little swimmers to clear out after the big snip-snip.

The test is not quite as simple as a pregnancy test, and although it involves a few more steps, the instructions are easy to follow and the results are fast and clear (no ambiguous evaporation lines!)

Even though the test is intended for couples who are trying to conceive, Matt and I used the test to check if his vasectomy had started to take effect. I also thought that because of our situation, this would be a perfect way to prove the accuracy of the test results. Back in 2006, Matt did undergo a semen analysis through his doctor’s office after we spent almost a year trying to conceive with no success.
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Obviously, those results were accurate. We found out we were pregnant with our first child two weeks later.

And now, after fathering four babies, I’m pretty sure my husband is considered to be a man of proven fertility.

Which is why a result like this could only mean one thing:

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The vasectomy must be doing something…because that’s a negative, Batman.

Of course, we will have the official lab reports to back this up in a few more weeks, but I think it’s safe to say that this is an accurate result.

I was amazed that this kind of test could be done in the privacy of our own bathroom. It could be a valuable tool for couples who are having trouble conceiving. I only wish this test had been around back in 2006 when I sent Matt to the doctor for his fertility testing. It would have saved him the inconvenient and slightly embarrassing trip to the doctor, not to mention the expensive lab bill.

The test retails for $39.99 and is available at Walgreens stores, or online at Walgreens.com and CVS.com.

Or you can enter my giveaway and win a SpermCheck Fertility Test for the lucky man in your life!

To enter: Just follow me through Google Friend Connect and leave a comment below! (This giveaway is open to U.S. residents, 18 and older only, please.) I will draw a winner at random after the giveaway ends on May 1st at 12:00 am EDT.

Make sure to put your email in your comment so I have a way to contact you if you win.

And sorry, there are no extra entry opportunities. I like to keep it simple!

Good luck!

And, after you enter the giveaway, you should check out this segment from the television show, “The Doctors” featuring the SpermCheck Fertility Test.
Because, like I said before, Dr. McDreamy Dr. Travis Stork would never steer us wrong, ladies.

The Thin Blue Line.

Four weeks ago, my husband had a vasectomy.

Funny thing though. Despite what you might assume, vasectomies do not equal immediate sterility.

It actually can take a few months for a man to clear out all the remaining sperm.

Since I just gave birth, we assumed that this wouldn’t be a big deal because chances were slim to none that I would ovulate before his sperm count dropped to zero.

In theory, we were thinking that I would probably become fertile right around the same time that he became completely infertile.

So, we did something stupid.

Several times.

And two weeks later, when I started experiencing symptoms similar to the ones I had when we discovered I was pregnant with Novalee, we started suspecting the unexpected.

So I ran out and bought a box of pregnancy tests.

3 minutes later, I was looking at this:

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An ever-so-faint, but undeniably blue test line.

A line that even my husband, the doubter of barely-there lines, could see.

He stomped out of the bathroom, swearing under is breath.

I just stood there in shock. Thoughts racing.

Is it even possible to be pregnant again with a seven-week-old baby who exclusively breastfeeds and a husband who is three weeks post vasectomy?

The odds had to be akin to winning the lottery, or getting struck by lightening.

So we waited to test again. 48 long hours later I took two more tests.

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Both of which were clearly negative.

So what happened?

Those evil blue dye tests happened. They gave me the mother of all evaporation lines. One that appeared within the test’s time limit and that was blue. (In contrast, most evaporation lines are gray and appear well after the time limit.)

Easier to mistake for a false positive than an evap.

I have heard rumors before about the blue dye tests being notorious for evaporation lines from hell, but I had never seen an evap look like that.

And the last time I thought I was looking at evaporation lines, I ended up actually being pregnant. The lines had been ridiculously faint positives.

Although, those had been pink-dye tests.

The moral of the story is that blue-dye tests are obviously capable of lying and can’t be trusted.

If you find yourself in a bathroom with a box of those little tricksters, proceed with caution.

Shutting Down the Factory. Forever.

The last time I wrote a post like thisplans changed.

I meant to take those birth control pills, I swear.

I am happy I never got around to it, though. If I had we wouldn’t have been blessed with our little Novalee.

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And who knows? Maybe we never would have had a little girl if I had went on those pills.

Maybe it was luck…or divine intervention.

Whatever it was, Matt and I had made a deal with each other when we found out we were expecting our fourth child.

If it was another boy, we would (eventually) try one more time for our elusive girl.

And if it was a girl, I’d let Matt get a vasectomy.

When the ultrasound revealed that we were having a daughter, the fate of Matt’s sperm was sealed.

An hour after she was born, Matt was on the phone with the urologist’s office, making an appointment.

Much to my dismay, four weeks later, I drove him to the clinic for the procedure.

Crazy as it may be, I tried to talk him out of it.

I know I should be relieved that I will never have to endure another rough pregnancy or another excruciating labor and delivery.

Actually I am, but…

there is this small part of me that is sad about closing this chapter of my life. I’m not even thirty yet. I don’t feel like I should be finished having children already.

I don’t feel like I am ready to be done.

Especially since little Novalee is growing so fast. It’s bittersweet knowing that she is our last baby.

Then again, after spending the past five years in a sea of poopy diapers and spit up, a huge part of me is looking forward to what lies beyond the baby stage.

My husband is right. We have to be done.

After all, there is no more room for car seats in our van and I refuse to drive a bus.

Naming Novalee.

copyright - suburban princess diarieshttp://www.etsy.com/shop/BabybyBrittany

Since a few of you asked how little Novi got her name, I’ll share the story.

Back when I was pregnant with our first, we decided on both boy names and girl names.

That was, of course, before we found out we were expecting our first son.

So, a few months later, we came home from the hospital with Kamryn Tristan.

And our two girl names…

Aurora Novalee 

&

Alexia Berlin

…went back on the drawing board.

What’s interesting (or perhaps even lame, really) is where those names originated.

Movies. All four are straight out of Hollywood.

If you can’t guess where they came from…

Aurora - The princess from Sleeping Beauty.

Okay, that was an obvious one. Especially if you’re a Disney fan.

Alexia - One of the sisters in the movie Wish Upon a Star, starring Katherine Heigl and Danielle Harris.

This one is more obscure, but still a Disney movie.

Novalee - Novalee Nation, the girl who lived in Wal-Mart, in the book-turned-movie, Where the Heart Is.

If you haven’t seen this film, rent it now.  Better yet, read the book.

Berlin – Kevin Spacey’s student in The Life of David Gale.

Despite the fact that the character in the movie was a scandalous liar, the name still struck me as quite pretty. And we already had ventured into place-naming territory when Bronx was born, so Berlin didn’t seem too unconventional for us either.

And let’s face it, bad connotations don’t really hold much weight for us. Especially with locations.

After all, Bronx isn’t known for being the nicest borough in New York.

After we had two more sons, it didn’t look like the girl names we’d chosen had much of a chance of ever getting used. The odds were against us, as Matt’s family hadn’t seen a girl born on his father’s side in almost 35 years.

But then something amazing happened.

We had a girl.

After the ultrasound confirmed the good news, Matt assumed we were going to go with one of the names we had originally decided on.

I, however, was ready to crack the spine on the half of the baby name book that had remained pristine for the past five years.

I didn’t want to overlook any possibilities.

I spent hours pouring over the crisp, clean, white pages in the girls’ section, highlighter in hand, determined to find the perfect name for our princess.

Only to come to one conclusion.

I really, truly loved the names we had already decided on.

Except, I loved the middle names a little more. They were more unique.

It was then that our baby girl became Novalee Berlin.

We also discovered, thanks to my baby name research, that Novalee means “new field”.

Appropriate since she was our first girl after three boys.

It also, in some books, means “butterfly chaser”.

I love how ridiculously girly that is.

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