Our Infertility Journey

The 8 Stages of Negative Pregnancy Tests

It’s each of the grief stages plus more every time you don’t see the two pink lines, or the digital “yes,” or the blue plus sign.

There are 7 Stages of Negative Pregnancy Test Results.

Stage 1: Hope

Anxiously waiting for the test results to load across the wet screen or to stop blinking. There are no faster heartbeats than the ones in your throat during those agonizing moments. All the while, still trying to “think positive,” and envision what you want to see while trying block out your powerful thoughts of doubt. Recounting every “sign” and coincidence this month that allows you to believe This could be the one… this should be the one…

Stage 2: Denial (or Hope Phase 2)

Seeing the negative result for the first time, but knowing better. I mean, you took the test two days early after all. Plus, you drank so much water today and this isn’t exactly your first pee of the day. It’s just too early to see the results. Or better, you read that twins or multiples sometimes show as negative results because the HCG levels are just too high to detect. So yea, you’re still probably pregnant.

Stage 3: Anger

Seeing the negative pregnancy for the first time, and believing it, with all the wrath you possess. Why the Fuck is a 30-something successful career woman with a happy and stable marriage Barren while every teenage addict you know just pours out babies?! What the Fuck did you do to deserve this while there are serial killers with a dozen offspring?! Why does this have to Be So Hard for us?!?!?! Raaawwwwrrrrrrrrrrr! Fuck you, Fate. Fuck your divine plan, God! (Ya, it gets bad).

Stage 4: Bargaining

Pointing out everything you could have done better. If only I exercised more and stayed within my normal BMI. If only I put down those stupid chocolates that probably pushed me beyond my caffeine limit. If only I prayed more! If only we had sex twice a day then made sure I stood on my head for 20 minutes. Then I would have been pregnant. It’s my fault.

Stage 5: Depression

Getting buried alive in thoughts of the worst of what could be. I’m going to be childless. I’m going to let my poor husband down. My poor husband will leave me. I’m going to be that old career-obsessed woman that has no children and goes home every night to her microwave dinner for one. Then when I get too old to take care of myself, I will have no one to help me, and I’ll die alone. So I lay in bed with the covers over my head and cry.

Stage 6: Testing

Eventually, the crying stops and you start to let some light in – or testing some light anyway. Maybe you start to let your husbands reassuring words past your ears that he’s happy with you regardless of what happens. Maybe you remember you have 10 nieces and nephews, and that at least 10% will visit you in the nursing home. Maybe you remember how much you like wine, and realize that you can finally have a glass (or bottle) now. It all feels better than depression and hot tears, so you find more.

Stage 7: Acceptance

You finally come to grips with reality. This is just ONE test. And yes, there have been countless others, but this ONE doesn’t define you. The doctors said you can get pregnant, and you have. It’s only a matter of time. Gods plan does not operate on man’s timetable. Something amazing is about to happen. You apologize to God for all of the terrible things you said to Him. You didn’t mean it.

Stage 8: Trying Again

You count on the calendar when your next ovulation date will be and mark it with a circle. You look up fertility diet recipes and a new workout regime on Pinterest. For the next few days, You enjoy your wine, and coffee, and sushi, and sleeping past 10am on the weekends. You enjoy leaving your sister’s house when her children get annoying.

How many times can a woman go through this? Plenty. But every woman has their limit. I may be limitless, however. I’m blessed with what seems to be eternal Hope. Maybe that’s why I am such a Cleveland Browns fan.

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