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Pregnancy Test Strips & How to Buy - A Guide For First Time Dads
One of the very first things I wanted to share was a story from my very distant past. Years ago, my wife and a friend split the cost on a package of very expensive, very top of the line pregnancy tests. It was a double pack, so this seemed vey logical. My wife kept the box and the instructions after unpacking the groceries and her friend simply put one of the tests in her purse. That night her friend took her test and a lesson in mistaken verbiage ensued. I swear it was right out of “Who’s on First”! As a spectator, and not actually being on the phone call myself I found it to be quite amusing. Apparently my wife had to read the directions over the phone to her friend. Ok so not the actual directions, as that’s pretty obvious, but the results part in particular. It turns out that “across” and “a cross” are two completely different things. Apparently neither of them actually thought to use the words plus, minus, dash, etc. So because they were unable to communicate a line “across” the screen, her friend actually hopped in her car with the test in hand and made the hour long trek back to our house, only to find out that a line “across” the screen actually is a minus sign, meaning no baby this time! (I sure hope she washed her hands...) Nowadays, they could have simply just “Face Timed” each other and saved a ton of hassle!
Now that I have that story out of the way, lets talk a bit about the actual pregnancy test. Are they all the same? Is one brand more reliable than the others? Should you have your possible baby’s mamma just go to her doctor’s office or clinic instead? These are all great questions, and here are actually a few answers:
The marketing on tests would all have you believe that their test are superior to the others, one will tell you quicker than the rest blah blah blah.. Lets just get down to the nitty gritty here shall we? If your Mrs. has missed her time of the month that is the first indication a little one might be brewing in the oven. If it’s a genuine concern, feel free to pickup a test at a local drug store. It’s a nice thing to do, and if your woman is apprehensive, do the manly thing and actually buy the test for her. I promise it’s not that embarrassing and if you get a female cashier, she’ll probably even swoon and think that your quite the sensitive guy. You may want to even get her number in case things don’t work out with your current romantic situation. Ok scratch that, probably not a good idea... If you’re embarrassed about it, just buy a variety of items, such as a 12 pack of Bush Light (preferably in a can), condoms, and a camcorder tape.. That will certainly deflect attention away from the pregnancy test. At least you can crack a joke about having an interesting night planned.
So do you go the cheap way out or get the mega expensive, ultra deluxe test? It’s up to you, but it all boils down to one thing... PEE! Your gal will actually be Peeing on the test strip and that little indicator window will be testing for hormones in urine that indicates she is working on your new progeny. We were anticipating a new addition to the family so we didn’t go all out on the test, but we did decide to actually do multiple tests. She used a cheap test as a preliminary indicator, and waited a week and actually took a “higher quality” (cough cough, more expensive) test. Yes they were both positive. On a side note, all joking aside, I did actually see a selection of pregnancy tests at the local Dollar General store, so if you don’t want to break the bank, it’s a good start.
Alright, what if you just can’t afford a test? First, don’t panic! There are plenty of community resources that are available. If you’re reading this, you probably have internet access, so bookmark this sight or open up another window and simply google it! Odds are your local County Health department either will conduct a medical grade pregnancy test at little or no cost to your gal. It’s important to at least offer to go down there with her.. She may or may not take you up on the offer. Just remember that she is probably just as freaked out about all of this as you are. While you are googling, also check out local “Pregnancy Crisis” centers in your area. These are usually organizations within the community that are run by non profit groups such as churches or other groups to help folks that don’t know where else to turn to. We have multiple locally where I live, and they don’t charge a dime. If you’re not a wildly religious person, you generally won’t get bombarded with religion, but they do usually try to persuade you to make the right choice and actually see your newborn through the process. I know it’s old school, but you can even crack open a yellow pages and look for local resources as well.
ONE PLACE NOT TO GO:
Unless there is physical pain, or you suspect a problem it’s usually not a good idea to go to the Emergency Room for a pregnancy test. If they have a screening program, you might wait for an hour or more just to be told this is not a medical emergency, and be handed a list of community resources. It’s a bit embarrassing, and can greatly add to the frustration all around.