Fed up of symptom spotting? Here’s a guide for the ladies who’ve googled it all.
1. Check your calendar, even though you are absolutely 100% certain beyond all doubt where you are in your cycle. If using the one on your phone or any other touch screen device, curse every time your hovering finger touches the screen and opens up a particular date because this makes you lose count. Vow to print off a paper calendar that you can circle and annotate with a red pen.
2. Get paranoid that a friend or family member will find your annotated fertility calendar and hide it in the wardrobe.
3. Unable to make sense of your annotations, switch to a fertility app. Find that it contains old data from a pre miscarriage cycle, which skews this cycle’s data.
4. Consider deleting the old data. Feel very guilty because it’s like deleting the memory of your baby, in your crazy head.
5. Get a grip and delete old data. Find that there is not enough historic data in the app to give you any useful clues about current fertility status.
6. Give up on app and decide to go with gut feeling.
7. Realise you have absolutely no confidence in your gut feelings.
8. Google ‘Early Pregnancy Symptoms’. Find you have hardly any of them. Google ‘Very Early Pregnancy Symptoms’.
9. Wonder whether last week’s hang over was morning sickness.
10. Concentrate on boobs to assess whether they hurt or not. Run up and down a few flights of stairs. Jiggle a bit and poke them when no-one is looking.
11. Become convinced that you are pregnant because your boobs hurt.
12. Review the week when you think you ovulated in forensic detail in your mind. Convince yourself that you a) must be and b) cannot possibly be pregnant.
13. Determine that you are 8 dpo (days post ovulation). You are therefore way too early to do a pregnancy test.
14. Do a pregnancy test. Reassure yourself that the inevitable negative result is only because you tested too early.
15. Decide to take your mind off things by booking a holiday or going clothes shopping. These activities also have the double effect of making you pregnant, because Sods Law is more effective than sex.
16. Take the fact that the cat sits on your lap as a sign that you are definitely pregnant.
17. Take the fact that the cat runs away from you as a sign that you are definitely pregnant.
18. See someone else’s baby/bump, cry and decide that you are never, ever going to be able to have children. Ever, ever.
19. Decide to take another test on 10 dpo. Spend at least 10 minutes holding it up to the light to see if you can see a trace of a line.
20. Pop back to the bathroom, fish the test out of the bin and check it again through out the course of the evening, see an evaporation line. Panic. Do another test. Be relieved that it’s still negative, because actually getting pregnant would scare the sh*t out of you. Repeat steps 19-20 for the next 3 days.
21. Notice some light spotting. Wonder if it could be the fabled implantation bleeding. Become convinced that it isn’t. Test again.
22. Get full period. Become convinced that it definitely is implantation bleeding.
23. Spend 24 hours in despair. Drink (because it doesn’t matter now anyway).
24. Get a hang over. Become convinced it’s morning sickness. Immediately regret that drink.
25. Get signs of new cycle, new ovulation, new hope. Have sex. Return to step one.