There’s No “Right Way” To Feel About A Pregnancy Test. Here’s How 5 Women Processed Their Results.

The act of taking a pregnancy test can mean so many different things to so many different people. No matter your desired outcome, the results can feel anywhere from entirely world-shifting to utterly inconsequential.

For some, while waiting for a verdict to show, there are moments of panic. For others, there’s exhilaration. The range of emotions is endlessly nuanced, and deeply personal. There are those trying desperately to conceive, and those for whom parenthood is not the right personal choice. There are those who don’t know what to feel — or those who wrestle with both ends of the spectrum simultaneously. Among so many other private and public factors, financial stability undeniably plays a role in the choices we make surrounding parenthood.

That’s why we partnered with First Response to explore and honor the complex, dynamic, ever-intimate range of sentiments attributed to taking a pregnancy test. Ahead, meet five real women who represent some of the many narratives that come along with taking a test, and hear how their results prompted them to reconsider the shapes of their futures.

All interviews have been edited and condensed for clarity. 


“When I was twenty-five, I got a false positive after taking a test with my boyfriend. I was hyperventilating and freaking out. In reality, I may have messed up how I took the test so it came back positive, but I had a total meltdown. He went to the store to buy another one, and when it was negative, it was the best feeling in the world.

“I wanted it to be negative because I was young and I was still focused on my career. I wasn’t ready to have a kid and I wasn’t sure I could handle an abortion — though I know it’s the right choice for a lot of women. And on top of all of that, I wasn’t sure how I could pay for an abortion — let alone a child.

“I don’t consider myself particularly traditional, but I also always wanted to get married before having kids. My partner was very supportive at the time, so that wasn’t an issue. But now in my thirties, I’m considering freezing my eggs. I’ve developed a whole new relationship with fertility. And even so, I’m still relieved those tests were negative way back then. It was the best thing for me at the time.”

Karin, 59

“I have two girls and I’d always wanted a third child — a boy. But around the time my husband and I were trying, I was nearing 40, and it just wasn’t happening for us, no matter how much time and money we put into the process.

“At one point, however, I missed my period, I was a little crampy, and I was sure something had ‘taken.’ I just had a feeling. But when I went to take a test, it came up negative. I was not pregnant. And I was despondent. It was like I’d already decided I was having a third child.

“But really, that negative test was the thing that pushed my husband and I to adopt. We filed our papers and were quickly in touch with an adoption agency. We adopted a baby boy, and I’m grateful that we did every day. I can’t imagine a more perfect family than the one I’ve got. My son is 18, all grown up, and I still feel gratitude all the time for the negative, because he’s the only son I could ever want.”
Nadeemy, 35

“When I took my first pregnancy test and saw that the results were positive, I’d been dating this guy for about a year. At the time, we were living in Melbourne, Australia. It was a very tumultuous relationship. He was very hot and cold, and he’d been sort of M.I.A. for a few days. Then all of a sudden I had this gut feeling that I was pregnant — it was a really strange intuition. I had just been getting these pains in my stomach — something felt off. I just knew. I hadn’t even missed a period yet. I avoided doing anything about it for two or three weeks. The guy I was dating was a mess — we were still together but in limited contact. So I told my mum and we went and got a pregnancy test.

“I had already looked up abortion clinics; I had already come up with a solution. I’m a planner in that way. I think I did three tests. And as soon as I saw that one was positive, I vomited and fainted. Immediately. Visceral reaction. So within 15 minutes of regaining consciousness, I had already booked an appointment. I knew I never wanted children. It’s never something that’s been in my life path. In my heart, I knew I didn’t want to end up with the person I was with or embark on this journey with him, either, but more than that, I really felt confident in my belief that kids simply weren’t for me.

“For my whole life, women have consistently told me that I’m going to change my mind — that I’ll reach age 30 and suddenly want a baby. But children aren’t for everybody. I don’t believe I’ll ever regret that decision.”

“After my second child was diagnosed with severe autism at 18 months old, my husband and I made a conscious decision not to have any more children. I wanted to focus all our attention on my child with special needs and throw myself into helping him become more independent.

“Four years later, while being on a contraceptive implant, I started fainting. For me, this is one of the first signs of pregnancy. To say I was scared was definitely an understatement. I knew being pregnant meant a whole new set of responsibilities and health concerns.

“The day I took the test our lives changed forever. Nine months later, I gave birth to a beautiful girl who has been an absolute joy. She’s a wonderful sister to her big brother. As one large unit, we’re such a happy family.

“My unexpected pregnancy turned out to be one of the best things that’s ever happened to me — and we have since had two more children.”   

“I was at Target buying some necessities and figured I would grab a pregnancy test since I was one day late. I don't know why I decided to get one, since my period is never right on time — I've always been irregular and wasn't feeling any different. I’d taken pregnancy tests before, and I thought this one would be negative, like usual. I had no real reason to believe otherwise.

“As I was getting ready to jump in the shower, I took the test not thinking anything of it. It came out positive. I was in so much shock, I was in a daze all day. I called my boyfriend, who is now my husband, to let him know. He asked if I wanted to take more and went a little overboard, buying all kinds of pregnancy tests from generic versions to First Response tests to confirm. Each of the tests came out positive. My boyfriend was so excited. He'd always wanted kids and this was our first.

“While taking the tests, I was nervous. That first positive had been so unexpected. But I realized as I was taking the second test that I was secretly hoping it would come up positive — even though motherhood hadn’t been something I’d been planning for just yet.

“It changed our future very, very fast. At the time, we were in the middle of moving into our first apartment together. Since we’d thought it was just going to be the two of us, it was a fairly small apartment…and the baby quickly took over. So eventually, we bought a house in the suburbs and finally got married.

“Our baby is now almost three years old and I run my own blog, La Vida Mom. That surprise positive changed the whole course of my world!”

from refinery29
There’s No “Right Way” To Feel About A Pregnancy Test. Here’s How 5 Women Processed Their Results. There’s No “Right Way” To Feel About A Pregnancy Test. Here’s How 5 Women Processed Their Results. Reviewed by streakoggi on August 02, 2020 Rating: 5
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