Monday 22nd February 2010
Gestation: 21 weeks, 3 days
One year ago.
Suse walks in the back door, grocery bags in hand. She begins unpacking, before brandishing a box. She holds it aloft, ‘Sale of the Century’ style. Even before I can read the label, I know what it is. The pink packaging, the logo of a woman holding an infant, and the bold letters stating ‘TWO TESTS’ gives it away. The picture makes it look more like an electronic thermometer than a pregnancy test.
“Best one on the market,” Suse says.
“Great,” I say.
Four bold ticks down the side of the packet proclaim its features:
- There is an ‘Easy-read Result Line’;
- It is ‘Clinically Proven’;
- It has ‘Patented Sensorflow Technology’ (presumably to stop you from urinating on your hand);
- But most importantly: it has the ability to test ‘Six Days Before Your Missed Period’.
Suse cracks open the packet, pulling out the leaflet, shaking it like it is a thermometer.
“The woman in the pharmacy told me all about it.” She clears her throat. “ ‘In clinical testing,’ ” she starts, her voice having taken on its serious tone, “ ‘the In-Stream Pregnancy Test detected hormone levels consistent with pregnancy in 62% of women five days before their expected period, in 78% four days before their expected period, in 87% of women three days before their expected period, and in 98% of women two days before their expected period.’ ”
“And when are you due?”
“I’m not sure,” she says. “My whole cycle is a bit mucked up since the ectopic.” She pauses, thinking. “Maybe two or three days. Should I test today?”
“If you’re negative, you’ll want to check again tomorrow, won’t you?”
“Yes,” she replies, deflated.
“Then just check tomorrow morning,” I say, trying to stay bright.
We continue unpacking, lost in our thoughts.
“I’ve been nauseated for the last few days. If it’s not from being pregnant, then what would it be?”
“I don’t know, honey,” I sigh. “I just don’t know.”
* * * * *
Another box appears on the counter. This one, by the same company, is wrapped in purple. This one is called the ‘7 Day Pregnancy Planning Kit’. A subtitle lets me know that it is ‘To Help Get Pregnant Sooner’, and that it ‘Predicts Your Two Most Fertile Days’.
“You got this one aswell?”
“Yeah. Ever since the ectopic, I can’t tell when I ovulate. I just kind of get stabbing pains all the time,” she says, almost to herself. “So, I thought I’d buy that one too.”
This packet one has one bold tick. Its only feature worth mentioning is that it has been ‘Laboratory Tested’.
Not even laboratory proven.
It lacks Sensorflow technology – this one requires you to dip it in a sump of your own urine. It’s as if they’ve stripped back the features for this base model; if you’re seeking help finding your peak ovulation days, if you’ve begun to tread that path, they figure that you won’t mind getting your hands dirty.
If you bought this, you are already desperate.
A grinning mother and infant decorate the lower half of its packet. The woman holds this adorable, giggling baby up to her face, nestling in close, rubbing her nose up against her child’s.
And our nose directly in it.
Screw you lady.
* * * * *