Note: These tests were done on a cycle in which I miscarried. Apparently really late implantation (like I had) can be associated with a loss rate as high as 86%. Here's hoping my tests on my next pg are darker, sooner and faster. Nevertheless, this may still be helpful, so I 'm leaving most of it up.
I took a lot... these are just the ones I kept. I ditched *all* the cheap internet tests which were awful. Either huge evaporation lines showing up hours after the "valid test time" or no positive when other tests were picking it up just fine.
Here are most of the tests, arranged in order from top to bottom by date. They're next to each other if I took more than one on a specific date. The rectangular tests with green or blue half-dots are ovulation tests and pregnancy tests, respectively. Yes, ovulation tests will pick up low concentrations of pregnancy hormone earlier than an HPT, but not early enough to be useful or clearly enough to be trustworthy. But interesting, nonetheless! There is one "late" test (taken toward the end) which is negative. This was our "control" test, which I was able to do with the help of a certain brave person who donated for the cause while saying, "Ew, mom. Can I see the test?" She got a neg during normal reading time and evaporation lines "around" the place a positive would show up, but not on the test line itself.
The most interesting discovery is that there are two different "box pictures" for the Dollar Tree New Choice brand tests, and two different tests, but the picture on the box does not necessarily match the actual test inside. The actual test above came out of the box with the picture of a test with red printing on it. Another test just like it came out of a box like the one next to it. But I got tests out of those boxes on other occasions that looked like the picture on the box. Confused? Me too. But I like the "mismatched" box/test sets best--those tests have the strongest line, even when used on identical urine samples, even though they actually need less urine. Go figure!
4/27/04 Dollar Tree New Choice, negative
I think this was the day I implanted. This test had the courtesy to develop an evaporation line on the OTHER side of the control line, which was nice, as it didn't make me turn my brain inside out trying to figure out if it was "really" a line or not.
4/28/04 FRER, negative
This is a First Response test. You may or may not be able to see a faint line. This line showed up 3 hours after I took the test, 13 days after ovulation, 1 day before my "missed" period, which, according to FR's box, should have gotten a positive. But FR does not take into account late implanters... I implanted on day 12, we think, according to my chart. Note the *huge* dip on day 12. Might have implanted on day 11, that's when the dip started. And I thought that meant my period was coming... teach me to believe a silly chart before my own body! First Response, by the way, is "top rated" by Consumer Reports. I think I'll cancel my subscription.
4/29/04 Dollar Tree, POSITIVE
Yes, really. There's a line. And it showed up within 3 minutes. Faint. Really faint. But a line. Here I was, by this point sort of resigned to negatives, sure my period would show up that day (14 days after ovulation), so I peed in the cup, started the test, and got in the shower. At about 2 minutes I got out, looked at it, blinked, rubbed my eyes, and got back in the shower. I got out a minute later, looked again, and sure enough, there was that line, still. Got back in the shower, finished up, got out about 10 minutes after the test was started, and stared at that faint line until my daughter started hollering at me that it was time to go to school. My first stop after going to her school was my husband's office, where I told him. Then I went back to the school to tell my daughter. And my friends online.
4/30/04 Dollar Tree HPT+, Dollar Tree OPK(faint), FRER (evaporation late line, very, very faint.)
I started to hate the First Response tests at this point. 2 negatives when I knew I was pg, after spending $18 on a pack of three tests. Note the faint line on the ovulation prediction test in the middle...darker actually than the positive HPT above it, but not "positive" for an OPK, which is only considered positive if the test line is actually as dark as or darker than the control line. You'll see that later. So the $1 tests were doing better than the $6 tests!
5/1/04 Dollar Tree HPT, positive
This line, still faint, has actual color and definition compared to earlier lines.
5/3/04 Dollar Tree, positive
You can see this one more easily. hCG doubles every 2-3 days. See the chart at the bottom for more on how this manifests on pregnancy tests.
5/4/04 Equate, FRER, Dollar Tree OPK (all positive)
In the morning, I took a First Response test and was happy to see, at last, a faint line, but annoyed at how faint it was. The OPK test was, I believe, taken at the same time. Reassuring with the other faint tests to see this one MUCH darker than it had been! Tired of seeing faint lines, I splurged and spent $7 on two tests from WalMart. In the afternoon I took one of the tests and was delighted to see a strong line (more easy to see in person) show up quickly. Yay! The morning urine was supposed to be "stronger" for a pg test, but apparently I got a really lousy batch of tests from First Response. Bad.
5/6/04, Equate, OPK
Note that the line on the equate is actually about twice as strong as the previous Equate test. Good news for testing 36 hours later! And the OPK is clearly positive.
5/10/04 Dollar Tree New Choice positive
Same style as the previous tests I took, yet the same urine produced MUCH stronger results on the "other" Dollar Tree test, below. But note how very much darker this was than the darkest previous of this brand. Encouraging!
5/10/04 "Other" Dollar Tree tests.
Mine is positive, my kiddo's is negative. Good thing, too, since she hasn't gotten far enough into puberty to ovulate, let alone get pregnant! (Said she,"Ew! But Mooommmmm... I'd have to have SEX to get PREGNANT. EWWWWW!") Note the evaporation lines "near" the test area on hers. These showed up maybe 4 hours after the test was started. My result came up FAST. How fast?
This is from 5/13/04:
Each 2-second "stage" in the image represents about 10 seconds. The last two bits last longer because they took longer. Yes, the test line was coming up before the control line was finished! I did an OPK and HPT side by side. Here they are, without animation:
Note the top test, the ovulation predictor... the control line actually ends up lighter than the test line...
...by quite a lot!
Now THOSE are what I call positives. They're what I kind of expected to see at 14 days post ovulation (4 weeks pregnant.) But on 5/13/04, I am actually 6 weeks pregnant, 28 days after ovulation!
Here's a chart I designed that shows why it can take "so long" for a pregnancy test to get really dark.