It’s 2019 and you’re reading this online; odds are good you’re a social media user. Facebook was all fun and games for me until I had a kid. Thinking I could learn from more experienced parents, share funny stories, or even make a few friends, I joined a few Facebook mom groups. Before I knew it, I was in a dozen groups of various sizes - all filled with parents (mostly moms). I’ve seen it all: modmin drama, ban hammers, and worse. Few posts fill me with more dread than the ubiquitous, “Do you see a line on this?” pregnancy test pictures.
Please stop posting these pictures, people. Just stop. No one can see the line (or lack thereof) as clearly as you can in person. Find a way to invert the image or wait 24 hours and pee again! Look, this is probably a very first-world problems kind of rant. I get it. I need to find something bigger to worry about. If I’m being completely honest, these posts DO worry me!
Some of my closest friends are people I only speak to online. Most of these people are friends I simply haven’t seen in years; others are women I’ve never met in real life. Yes, I met these stranger-friends in mom groups. Good things can come out of these groups - and I’ve seen social (media) support change peoples’ lives in such amazing and positive ways! But a healthy social life isn’t lived exclusively online. These women who are posting pictures of their pregnancy test pee sticks always make me wonder: do they have anyone else to send this picture to? Is there a reason they aren’t showing their partner this test yet? Do they have a partner? My heart breaks a little to know some of these posts don’t have a happy backstory.
On top of the potential social support issues, pregnancy test posts are an exercise in futility. Lighting will always make the same test look fifteen different ways! Do yourself a favor and wait before you post that picture. Take another test later in the day or the next day with first morning urine. This way, you’ll have two pregnancy tests to compare and might be able to see any changes without asking for another (three thousand) set of eyes.
Not all tests are made equal either. If you’ve spent more than a few weeks in one of these mom groups, you’ll learn many women have a tried-and-true pregnancy test personal favorite. One group I’m part of has a “mandatory” welcome kit that includes a box of pink-dye pregnancy tests.
Pro-tip: skip the blue dye tests! They give more false positives and are more likely to create “evap lines”. Evaporation lines can look like a faint or incomplete positive result on a pregnancy test. This can happen on pink dye tests as well as blue dye tests, but is less likely to happen on tests that use pink dye. Remember, evaporation is why the pee stick must be read within the given test window - usually five minutes - to get an accurate result.
If you’re the kind of person who takes a pregnancy test when your period is two hours late, consider stocking up with clinical pregnancy tests. (No shame, by the way. I’ve taken lots of tests just to reassure myself that my period was on its way!) The tests you take in the doctor’s office doesn’t look quite as fancy as an at-home pregnancy test but they function exactly the same. A smart bargain hunter can find pregnancy tests for less than a dollar each if they buy in bulk packages!
If you think you might be pregnant, the internet cannot confirm the potential pregnancy for you. Period.
Uncertainty can really make life uncomfortable, I get it. If you think you see a line but aren’t sure, the only way to know anything with more certainty is just by waiting and trying again. Remember the first rule of Facebook: Don’t Ask For Medical Advice On Facebook. Keep your pee stick private.