Seeing the positives in yet another negative – Dealing with negative pregnancy tests

seeing the positives in yet another negative

3 days late and 4 negative pregnancy tests later

It’s been 5 months since we started trying to conceive (TTC). The month we spent in Asia saw the end of two fertile windows, and with the constant travelling, time changes, going in and out of airports and irregular sleeping schedules, I didn’t get my hopes up.

But when we got back and readjusted to the local time, I figured it’d be easy. Yet, 3 months later and still … nothing. It’s hard not to get discouraged when ‎you’ve been actively trying for a few months, but I’m trying to see the positives in yet another negative.

This cycle, I was 3 days late. I had already assumed I wasn’t pregnant because I took a home pregnancy test (HPT) 1 day before my period was due. The tests claim to be able to detect pregnancy up to 5 days before a missed period, so I assumed I was giving the test ample time to work. The day it was due came and went, and so did the next. In the days that followed, I took a total of 4 pregnancy tests, all with the same answer: a Big Fat Negative. And yet, my period hadn’t come yet, so I started to entertain the thought that maybe my hormone levels just weren’t high enough yet to be picked up and that I actually was pregnant.

A total of three days passed until my period finally came this evening. I have to admit, I was slightly relieved. Not because I suddenly didn’t want a baby, but because I hated being in the state of limbo – am I or am I not pregnant? When my period finally did come, I tried to keep the disappointment at bay by focusing on the silver lining.

Dealing with negative pregnancy tests

I’ll be the first to admit – they can be hard to deal with! But we’re trying to stay positive by focusing on the 8 silver linings in this negative HPT cloud:

#1. At least he/she won’t be a Christmas baby.

If we had gotten pregnant this cycle, the baby would’ve been due right around Christmas. When I first told my husband, he jokingly exclaimed, “Noooo, not a Christmas baby!” He didn’t want our baby to have to share his/her birthday with the biggest holiday of the year, and I see his point.

#2. It gives our Doberman more time to mature.

He’ll be 2 later this month, but he’s still very much a rambunctious puppy who loves to play rough. While it’s great fun for us, it can be dangerous for a newborn baby. We’ve noticed him slowly starting to mature in some areas but he could probably use the extra time to grow up a bit.

#3. He/She won’t be an end-of-the-year baby.

It’s tough being a December baby when you’ve got January babies in the same class. They’re almost a year older than you, yet you’re expected to perform at the same level academically. This doesn’t end up being a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but I can see this being a challenge in the early childhood years.

#4. I get another month of sushi.

Okay, this one is totally selfish, but I have to ease the disappointment somehow right? This evening, right after I got my period, we went out and got takeout sushi. Who knows, it might be my last for another year (or more!)

salmon avocado sushi

Salmon avocado sushi – yum!

#5. I can still work overtime.

I’m sure when I actually do get pregnant, I’ll be so fatigued, even working normal hours will be like running a marathon for me. Since I’m not pregnant yet, I can still try and take advantage of overtime whenever it’s offered. I don’t anticipate it being offered much (or at all) after this coming week so at least I’ve signed myself up for the 7 hours available on Monday and Tuesday.

#6. I don’t have to cut out the Modafinil entirely just yet.

Going on and off Modafinil (the medication I take for my sleep disorder, Idiopathic Hypersomnia) is hard on my body. When I get off Modafinil, I have to spend a few days sleeping hibernating before I feel like I have enough energy to make it through half a day. Making it through an entire day of work without Modafinil can be challenging, but even more so if I take overtime. Since I’d already signed myself up for 11.5 hour work days on Monday and Tuesday, it’s slightly relieving to know I can fall back on my Modafinil if I absolutely need to.

#7. It gives us more time to pay off our debt and save up for maternity leave.

This is the most important one. In preparation to do our taxes (finally!) we came across some tax papers which showed we had owed some money for over-contributing to our Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) last year. I had known about it – it has been listed as a liability for awhile – but for whatever reason, I was so focused on paying off our HELOC that I’d completely ignored it. In hindsight, we should have paid that off first as I believe the over-contribution penalty is 1% per MONTH. In contrast, our HELOC interest rate is only 3.2% per year.

Because we’d already paid off $1,000 to our line of credit on Friday, I had to transfer money back from our HELOC to pay for the penalties, bringing our balance back to $10,888.10. So much for 4-digit debt huh? At least we’re no longer owing the government any money, and now that we’ve finally submitted our paperwork to our accountant, hopefully in a few weeks, we’ll see a nice tax refund.

With all of our extra money going towards getting ourselves out of debt, we don’t have anything leftover to save for maternity leave, nor will we until we get ourselves out of debt. We’ve been doing really well the last few weeks with all the overtime we’ve been picking up; in the last 3 weeks, we’ve paid off $2994.58 – just shy of $1,000 per week.

How much will we need to save up? How long will it take us to save that much? I don’t have the answers to those questions yet, and now I’ll have an extra month to figure it out.

#8. It gives me more time to focus on my CSC.

I haven’t put much energy into my Canadian Securities Course which expires in August. Time is ticking, but I’d been picking up so much overtime, I haven’t had the time or energy to devote to studying. Now that overtime (probably) won’t be offered and I won’t be distracted by a pregnancy, maybe this month, I’ll be able to see some good progress in my CSC.

Mrs. Unchained 55


  1. I am in the same boat as you right now. its such an annoying feeling for me because I am such a planner and I can’t plan this and it makes me frustrated. actually its really humbling me and teaching me alot right now.
    wishing you future success in growing your family.

    • YES! It baffles me when I hear some women talk about timing for a summer baby – I just want A baby! It is definitely frustrating but like you, I’m learning a lot about the whole process.
      Best of wishes to you too!

  2. I’ve been in your situation and I understand it is tough. And very frustrating as you can’t really control it.
    #7 definitely worked in our favour as it literally did allow me to have longer maternity leave.
    And I missed sushi too – probably more than alcohol!

    • Yes, I have yet to do the number crunching to determine how much we’ll need to save up for a full year’s maternity leave but if it takes us another 5 months to pay off our debt, that would give us only 4 months to save up for an entire year if I got pregnant this month! We don’t want to stop trying but every month that we get another negative just turns into an “extension” on our deadline to save up. Looking at it this way makes it a tad less disappointing!

      I don’t know if I’ll miss alcohol except for big events (like open-bar weddings!) but I’ll DEFINITELY miss sushi! I’ve already done quite a bit of reading up on if ALL sushi is strictly forbidden during pregnancy and it seems to be a bit of a mixed consensus. I’ll probably just end up playing it safe though!

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