The Tragic Optimist

thoughts from a stall

I took an ovulation predictor kit this afternoon in the college library’s bathroom – it’s where I work.  The library.  Not the bathroom therein.  As I sat there waiting for the dang thing to give me it’s answer, I thought about the fact that anyone going through the trash in this stall would probably think it was a pregnancy test.  On a campus where people take lots of tests, I imagine that those of the pee-on-a-stick variety are usually pregnancy tests.  And the women that take the tests in bathroom stalls are probably hoping for negatives.

I also thought about how these stupid tests take way too long to give you an answer and how much I hate waiting for the stupid happy face that means ovulation, or the empty circle that tells you try again tomorrow.  I don’t really spend all that much time thinking about the fact that we’re trying, it comes up occasionally, but for the most part, I’ve been keeping myself busy thinking about other things.  Like the fact that we may be trying to move to a bigger house (gah).  More on that some other time.  But when I have to take these stupid ovulation predictor kit tests, I have nothing to do but sit there and watch the stupid stick for an answer.  It’s part of the reason I stopped taking my temperature, and why will not take a pregnancy test and instead just find out the old fashioned way that it didn’t work this month.  That time while waiting for the thermometer to beep, or the test to flash an answer is time that I’m just in my head, thinking about the fact that we’re trying, steeling myself for a negative result, all the while hoping for a positive one, peeking to see if there’s a result yet, and then going back into my head and my thoughts.

It ended up being positive.  It’s the 10th (11th? I’ve lost count) time I’ve ovulated since March, so I shouldn’t be surprised anymore that my body seems to be working this time around.  But two years of uncooperative ovaries has really skewed my trust in my body.  I keep expecting that this month will be the month that the shoe falls, or that the ovaries go back to their uncooperative ways.  But no.  There’s still hope.  And in two weeks, I won’t test.  I’ll wait for my body to tell me what’s up.  Because I don’t want to sit in that space in my head waiting for a test to give me its results.



  1. I always resented women who didn’t have to temp, take OPKs, use calendars, etc. I talked to a girl once who didn’t even know what lutenizing hormone was. And she had three kids.

    Sending you lots of ovulating, fertilizing and implanting vibes in the next couple of weeks!

  2. Hurray for boring old ovulation!

  3. *hugs* wishing the best for you…

  4. Hoping your body cooperates this month!

  5. God those sticks used to make me cry. The Ov test kits cost about 40 euros here in Italy (about 50-60 dollars) and I spent a FORTUNE buying them and not getting any joy.
    But after 4 years I did keep the positive preg test stick for a memento — I think of it as my million dollar trophy award.

    I hope you get through this period (no pun because we don’t want AF showing up) gracefully. everyone knows it can really suck so I’m sending you lots of good warm vibes!!

  6. And how many of those taking pregnancy tests in the library stalls do you think got knocked up in some dark corner of the library? Eww.

    Gawd, I hope this is your month. It all really is just too, too much.

    • Oh no you didn’t! I did not need that visual. 🙂

  7. If you can hold off on taking the pregnancy tests my sense is that it would be such a liberating thing. But I was never very good at holding off. So I’d wait for the stupid thing to tell me we’d failed again. Ugh. Good news about the OPK though. 🙂

  8. You know it’s going to be a good post when the title is “thoughts from a stall.” 🙂 When I worked at a university in the counseling department, whenever I would go to the bathroom, I always thought about the day (which I was sure was RIGHT around the corner) when I would be peeing constantly or running there to puke in my first trimester. Of course IF had different plans, but your post made me think back to that.

    Anyway, wishing you tons of luck this cycle. Don’t keep us in suspense!!

  9. Claire

    Good for tests and ovaries that cooperate!
    I used to be constantly on the run at work and I would pee on the stick ( Internet cheapie ) and then put it in my pocket and forget about it. I later found them in my car and on the driveway! Hope the timing is perfect!

  10. Oh boy.
    I used to work in a university library as well. I remember standing in the bathroom stall with one leg in the air trying to see if i had any ewcm. Ah memories.

  11. Visiting from Creme de la Creme and love your blog.

    You’re right about the pregnancy test (ovulation too). It’s so hard to stay positive in this negative world!

  12. Gail K

    I’m visiting from the Creme. Thanks for writing.

  13. I get it. I’m not a tester either. Too much grief.

  14. Esperanza

    I remember when I first realized how much OPKs looked like HPTs. And I also remembering thinking, 90%, maybe more, of women would never know the difference. They might even go out looking for the pregnancy test with the smily face for a positive, never knowing that all that stupid stick told you was that you could give it a try, but that it might (probably?) wouldn’t mean squat. Oh the world of TTC – so different for some of us than for the rest. I used to stash my OPKs in a staff bathroom at my school that no one really used. It was cold and there were dead bugs on the floor. I’d wait all day to go, then pee in a dixie cup and stick one of the cheapie OPKs in, then I’d bring it back to my room because I couldn’t stand that freezing, musty smelling bathroom. It would sit next to me computer while I read blogs waiting for it to say whether I’d Oed. I’d have to throw the pee-soaked strips away in tissue paper because I was afraid my students would see. I hope all that stealing away in library stalls and peeing on OPKs is not for nothing!

    Creme de la Creme #125
    Creme de la Creme 2010 Iron Clad Commenter Attempt

  15. From Creme….I hate the tests. I am back to taking temps but mainly because my doc insisted. But I don’t do pee tests any more. Too much stress and too much time in the bathroom thinking about things I don’t want to think about. Great post. It is such a small moment but has so much significance for women TTC. Cheers Tanya

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