So everyone knows that awesome April Fool's prank of having a pregnant friend pee on the test for you, and then waving it at your husband all casually over dinner, right? And it's so hilarious when he has a mini heart attack, and then so amusing to watch his relief/fury when he finds out he's been had?
Well, it turns out it's less funny on the other end.
The other day I bought a pregnancy test, since I'm nursing and still don't have the Monthly Reassurance of NOT being pregnant. I just like to check in every now and then, since I've heard plenty of stories (including one from my neighbor, whose girls are fifteen months apart) of women thinking they were without a period because of breastfeeding when it turned out they were actually, like, three months pregnant. Surprise!
So, it was negative, all was well, I threw it away and moved on. Fast forward a few days, and I'm out in the garage looking for something when my eye spots the white pregnancy test stick on the floor, the last remains of a whole pile of garbage bags that got ripped into and torn apart by some very determined animal when we forgot to put the garage door down that night.
I picked it up to throw it away, and... it was positive. Very positive. And then I had an embolism and stood stock still in the garage for like five minutes while my head exploded.
I told Jim, and told my friend, and they were both all "Pfft. That test is days old! You're not supposed to regard results after ten minutes!" But... this same thing happened for DAYS when I was newly pregnant with Eli: I'd get a negative, but then hours later, I'd dig it out and it would have turned positive. I finally got a blood test to confirm that I was indeed in the family way, but the experience forever made me suspicious of so-called "false positives" and also compels me to keep all tests out for at least an hour or so even if they're initially negative.
So of course I went right back out and got another test, and of course it was negative, and seeing as how it's a near impossibility that I could have been pregnant anyways, I'm going to go ahead and believe it. But holy crap that scared me. So I guess maybe a few hours is all right for an extended test observation period, but I'm going to go ahead and say PLEASE don't dig days-old tests out and panic if they're positive. It must be a fluke.
(I know you're all saying, "But maybe you're pregnant!" However, I really don't think so. I have no symptoms. And here's a classic cautionary tale about reading tests past the ten minute window, while nursing, that confirms my feeling of NOT pregnant.)