Trying to conceive can be an incredibly stressful time for couples. It’s not hard to get swept up in the charting and timing and planning and testing. When you want a baby, you want it as soon as possible! But it can be a slippery slope, as one mom discovered. Corrine Hounslow and her husband Matt have two children, and Corrine says she became addicted to taking pregnancy tests when she got pregnant with their first. From there, the addiction spiraled, and Corrine estimates she’s spent hundreds of dollars over the last few years. While trying to conceive their second child, Corrine says she took around 400 tests.
I could totally see getting addicted to taking pregnancy tests. When you’re in that frame of mind, it’s pretty much all you can think about.
Corrine shared her story in an essay written for Women’s Health. She says, “The first time I took a pregnancy test, I was terrified. I was 19 years old and had only been with my then-boyfriend Matt for a year. As I waited in my parents’ bathroom, staring at the lines slowly appearing on the test, I couldn’t stop thinking about how Matt would handle it.”
Corrine continues, “The test was positive. I ran to the drugstore and bought more pregnancy tests—a handful, at least—and returned to the bathroom to jam them all in a cup of my pee. They were all positive—I was definitely pregnant. After I told him, Matt didn’t say much to me for a solid week.”
Matt and Corrine welcomed son Harry in 2011, and married in 2013. Shortly after, they decided to try for baby #2. That’s when, says Corrine, her addiction to pregnancy tests started to take hold.
During that TTC period, Corrine took multiple pregnancy tests everyday. “I became obsessed with checking my fertility with ovulation tests and then taking multiple pregnancy tests, hoping to get a positive result”, says Corrine. “All day, I’d think about when I could test next, and I’d calculate my cycle over and over again.” The couple spent 19 months trying to conceive, and sadly, they suffered two pregnancy losses in that time. But the tests gave Corrine reassurance. She says that even when they were negative, she at least knew what was going on.
After 19 months and two miscarriages, Corrine finally got pregnant. But her addiction to pregnancy tests only grew.
“If the test was positive, I’d need even more confirmation: I’d buy several packages of First Response pregnancy tests (at $11 a pop) to confirm it”, says Corrine. “I’d continue to take the pregnancy tests twice a day for a week after I’d gotten pregnant, checking to see if the lines were getting darker, which I took as an indication that the pregnancy was going well.” During this time, Corrine even started a YouTube channel to help other women trying to conceive.
Corrine and Matt’s second child Charlie was born in 2015. She estimates that they spent $500 on pregnancy tests, and says she took around 400 of them trying to conceive Charlie and during her pregnancy. They’ve decided to start trying for a third child, but Corrine says she and Matt have a better understanding of what she calls her addiction to pregnancy tests now.
“After seeing how trying to conceive affected me emotionally, and the calm that I get from taking the tests, my husband understands (or at least is trying to understand) why I feel the need to take these tests—he’s even started buying them for me. It sounds silly, but it’s the sweetest gift.”
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