to think the usefuness of home pregnancy tests is outweighed by the grief they cause?(90 Posts)
as most people have-i have used pregnancy tests and found it much easier tha going to the doctors.
However i am reading so many threads where people are testing all the time at different times of day and different times in their cycle and getting upset and stressing and i am wndering if they ar worth the heartbreak?
in my mums day you didn't go to the doctors until you had missed 2 periods and by then it was pretty certain.
now we are testing before we are even late.
apart from making the test manufacturers rich, who is this benefitting?
people who in past times would never have known they has miscarried-just had a heavy period at the usual time-now have the heartbreak of that knowledge. People with 'chemical pregnancies' get the grief of that-when previosly they wouldn't have known.
what do you think?
My doctor has said this to me ... he said he wishes he could stop people testing because otherwise they would just think they were having a heavier period and there would be none of the trauma of knowing exactly what could have been. They would just think they hadn't 'caught' that month.
Exactly! I do them because I quite like the excitement. (we are not even trying properly!!) But, alsways save it for when period is due.
I know others take it seriously. Oh, the good old days.........
Did not mean to offend anyone there. I know having a child is a VERY BIG DEAL and I know that trying/ mc is horrible.
I never got the testing early thing - either you are and you will be still later on, or you are and you won't be later one, but so soon that maybe it is better not to know or you aren't and your period will arrive.
I've only ever had positive pregnancy tests because of this (tested two days after I was due). And when I later misacarried, it WAS useful to know, but that was at six weeks pg so not really soon.
But it is very easy to get such cheap tests now from ebay that the temptation must get over whelming.
I know one MNer who hasn't tested once in 18 months of trying because it's a waste of money (and hope I suppose) (search messages fromt he CLearBlueFairy for further musings on this!)
I think you are right, but as one of those obsessive people the lure of the ebay '20 tests for £4' is too much of a temptation to ignore.
i'm not at all sure what the point of my post was ....
i know how hard it-i was trying for 2 years for my son and i went through a lot of tests so i am not being heartless-i am coming from a position of experience.
I think people need to grow up a little tbh .. just because it is possible to get obsessed with something they should demonstrate some self-control and not test until at least monring of due period, and then not again until 3 days afterwards
I say this as someone who has experienced the obsession that comes with secondary infertility too (although luckily I have the distance of time so am probably using my newly-fitted 'rose-tinted spectacles' .. they make it all look shiny and easy )
Remember that things in our mothers' day were stressful in other ways. My Ma was born during the war. My poor Gran must have been terrified....
Did they sometimes not even realise they could get preg too. my gran told me you just never did it until marriage.End of!!
We live in impatient times - when you can get an email in seconds, capture a moment instantly on your mobile and send it across the world, pay bills and move money instantly... then why on earth does it take so long to find out if you are pregnant???!!!
At least women now know about chemical pregnancies, since they are recognised more widely. Surely the more we understand about the nature of conception and pregnancy can help?
I had 13 m/c back in the 80's and early 90's, my dr in the end told me NOT TO TEST, till after 2 months, as I was just breaking my heart each time.
I think that it would be alot easier emothionally if I had waited each month till I was late,
but the stories on here of 'i got a + 4 days earlt' ect just make you think 'oooh maybe I could too'
and makes you want to at least see.
I know that when I tested early and got a negative I always just though , ah well maybe its too early, will try again tomorrow.
And each negative test does break your heart, but you keep doing them in hope of getting that +
And in my case I never really considered a chemical pregnancy. I just wanted to see that +.
but what good does it do knowing about chemical pregnancies? seriosly? what good does it do?
If tests didnt exist and you couldnt find out till later on then people would wait till longer to stop drinking/smoking
Plus if it wasnt a planned pregnancy and unwanted then it could be too late to have a choice if you had to wait to find out...
Obsessive testers would just do the am i...arent i? thing obsessively instead of testing and be checking cm or looking for symptoms etc if they culdnt test..
Benefits outweigh the heart ache imo!
I come from the school of 'knowledge is power'
I want to know everything about whatever my current 'project' is!!
If I ever had a chemical pregnancy I would want to know I think.
But in terms of fertility it does make a huge difference to know if you conceive and then lose the baby early, or can't conceive at all. So for the one in six (?) of us that have problems it really is useful because it takes away a lot of possibilities and lets you get going with working out what's going wrong much faster.
what is a chemical pregnancy??
I must say I have been trying for second for ages and have only tested once when I was late. I didn't know you could test early!
(I am spectacularly badly informed about all these things despite being about to embark on ivf - i just don't do the obsessive thing it's too time consuming!)
Whats a chemical pregnancy? A false positive?
(not sure why I must say!)
actually if you have had lots of very very early mcs, maybe it is good to know, because only then can you get help for it.
Same - I would much rather know, after months/years of trying - whether we had ever managed 'sperm to egg'.
There is someone on another thread with repeated chemical pregnancies. This can now be investigated as they know conception is not the issue.
And I just prefer to know!! Same as I could be regarded as obsessing for checking CM, cervix, etc. It is my body and, I damn well want to know what's going on!!
(chemical pregnancy - egg fertilised but fails to implant properly, or successfully develop beyond blastocyst. HcG is produced but then drops, period may arrive on time, or a few days late.)
I think we are being ripped off by manufacturers.
I do think it is useful to know about a pregnancy by week 5 at the latest because then you can adjust your pregnancy accordingly and also it's important to be aware of the symptoms of ectopic pregnancy. I see absolutely no point in testing before your period is late. I found testing detrimental to my health because I could never sleep the night before and my heart rate would soar before I carried out the test. This is why I would try and wait until my period was 3 or 4 days late. I also don't have the money to waste on tests that may be inaccurate.
(I've miscarried at 6 and 7 weeks and would have known they were miscarriages even without a positive test result because I saw the embryo sac in each case).
A chemical pregnancy is when the egg and sperm fertilise but it doesn't implant.
some people do have multiple chemical pregnancies possible due to a short luteal phase - and I do agree this is useful to knwo if you are having problems ttc.
i think the first response etc that offer a result up to 4 days before your period is due are very irresponsible to be honest.
their actual stats are very low-something like 50%-in which case you might as well just toss a coin and chuck 14 quid in the bin.
chemical pregnancy is when you are pregnant in as much as the egg is fertilised, but it does not implant.. IIRC
i don;t understand the obsession personally, and i see on the conception boards soooo many threads with pics of tests, asking is this a BFP/N or evap line..... testing 10 DPO etc
so, you might get a BFP,but knowing so early, just makes the pregnancy longer and also if you do then have your period, you are then meotionally and physically having a miscarriage, where as if you waited utnil you were due on or late, you would not have that heart ache
as for stopping drinking . smoking etc. i don;t thikn early testing shoudl have an impact, if you are actively TTC you should be taking folic acid and cutting down/ stopping drinking and smoking anyway.
yes, tests might be cheap, but if why so many threads about is this a P or an N? just not that accurate maybe?
it is just a way to more money for manafacturers and more upset for women
I think I agree with 2point4kids - the obsession is in the mindset, and if tests weren't there people would just find some other way to obsess over it. I broke my heart over pregnancy tests many times last year, testing ridiculously early and all that...the final time made me so sad that I just couldn't be arsed with it all anymore. Consequently when my period didn't arrive next month I didn't even bother testing till it was five days late, and then only because it was coming up to NYE and I thought I should know before embarking on a drunken celebration!
I do understand the obsession though - it is very easy to become obsessed very quickly, especially when it's something you want so badly.
i know. i used to think i was going loopy.
my dh thought I was going loopy! He would ban me from testing until I was a week late!(I usually ignored him though)
I think the addiction is as simple as for those few minutes when you are opening the box, taking out the test, peeing on the stick and waiting for results you feel pregnant, you feel like you are taking the first steps in your pregnancy. The result is merely the confirmation or disappointment.
Sometimes those moments of hope are worth the disappointment.
I remember those feelings well.
But I got to the stage where I grew up about it... and I hope other people do.. finally I realised that the disappointment was actually not worth those few moments
i used to have all these imaginings about dh leaving me when were about 40 for a younger woman and having lots of kids and me living alone with a houseful of cats....
I think the op has a good point, personally I tested at a week late with dd3 and a day late with dd2 - can't remember with dd1.
I agree that the "four days early" tests are completely bonkers. They are so unreliable at that stage. Even I could wait four days.
A negetive test result would make me feel sick fot the rest of the day. I much preferred my period starting as a way of knowing I was not pregnant - at least then you can start hoping for your next cycle.
TMMJ - I know where you're coming from but I think women should have the option of testing early and make up their own mind.
I have made a vow not to test before the last day my period could possibly be due because I can't take the heartache of getting negative results. But that's my choice - for other people they may want/need to know earlier.
My mum is always going on about the fact "in her day" you didn't know you were pregnant til much later, but I agree with another poster that the more knowledge we have about how conception works the better. If we didn't have early testing we wouldn't know about chemical pregnancies and various fertility issues. People would just go on forever thinking they couldn't get pregnant.
As you can probably tell, I have thought about this a lot!!
I agree with op. and twiglet.
I think all this testing early is rubbish. and is only lining the pockets of the test manufacturers. And I speak as someone who has been ttc for three years and who has never tested early. ever.
And not sure the definition of a chemical pregnancy is correct? iirc hcg isn't produced until implantation occurs? otherwise those that have IVF would get a positive result surely (and that would be considered a chemical pregnancy which it isn't.).
In fact I read somewhere that something like 10 out of twelve eggs are fertilized but just never implant, not because of fertility issues but because the human body is such that it's actually not all that easy to get pregnant.
I also agree with whoever said that there's no point in knowing about a chemical pregnancy" really. It's not a miscarriage in the traditional sense, and if people hadn't tested early then they would never know, and personally i think it's better not to know at such an early stage.
About 2.5 years ago I was late and had simptoms and tested but it was negative. My period was a week late, and when it finally arrived it was very heavy and there were clots etc. I suspect I might have had a ve early mc, but because I never had the positive test to show for it, I really don't see the point in grieving for a baby that probably never actually was, iyswim?
As I believe life begins at conception, and a chemical pregnancy is a fertilized egg thats simply not implanted I would see that as a very early mc, and would want to grieve for it as so.
I know not everyone would see it as that. But I would.
just out of curiosity, is it possible to get a false negative these days or are the tests pretty accurate?
Its completely possible to get a false negative,
you could be pregnant but just not have enough HCG to get a + yet.
I got a negative then got a + the day after. The day before I simply didnt have enough HCG build up.
Oh right,Disenchanted,and do you know if those very cheap "pee sticks" are as accurate as these mega-expensive ones you can buy? Just curious
I wouldn't want to wait until I'd missed 2 periods and then have to go to the doctor to find out if I'm pregnant.
Sure some women test too early and get upset, but I don't like the notion that women can't be trusted with knowledge.
i wasn't suggesting that-just usng it as an example.
i just think it causes so much upset.
It's not the tests which are at fault, it's the people who test several times and at the wrong times IMO. I speak as someone who has done it.
If people insist on testing early then there will be disappointment. Not to mention those people who test at the right time but get a negative so then wait and get another then ait and get another... Home pregtnancy tests DO tell you if you are NOT pregnant too, so just because you get a BFN doesn't mean there's something wrong with the test!
Well I did wait for 2 missed periods before testing, as I was freaked out by the thought of being pg, and was in denial. So when I did finally test I was almost at the end of my first trimester and didn't have all those weeks of worrying about something going wrong, and could get on with looking forward to my baby arriving.
I know where you are coming from tmmj - it is painful to watch so many people go through the wringer when trying to conceive and you are not suggesting that women as a whole can't be responsible for 'knowledge'.
But I still think it is a step forward and that we can all learn how to balance these options with our own ability to cope with disappointment or anxiety. Like Twiglett said...she learned.
I had a couple of months of obsessing over OPK's - then learned that it wasn't for me.
still peed on a stick a 12dpo though...
i agree with the op, and i've been through it all myself, 2 mc's etc. back when we were ttc i think i was quite restrained with my testing compared to some threads that appear on mn, but still, it is their choice i suppose.
in my mums day (early 70's), you had to wait until you'd missed 3 periods before the gp would do a blood test, no over the counter tests available then.
They are a PITA
Have been on both sides of the fence: frantically searching for a line that is not there and shitting myself about a line that I think is there but actually is not <thank God>
If someone has difficulty falling pregnant, even a chemical pregnancy is reassuring. At least it means that the egg met the sperm and it worked up to that point.
You can get cheap tests on eBay. Surely it is for people to decide what they want to do with them and when they want to test? Before I had dd, I tested early. Once I had dd, I tested only on the expected day of period or later. But I don't go on about it with a single soul, much less mn. It is just for my reference.
I think anyone who buys Clear Blue or Response or any of the those spenny tests from Boots is nuts though. You can get early pregnancy tests for a fraction of the price.
I obsessively tested early in the first few months of ttc but now I no longer buy tests, this month I have stopped temping in the luteal phase. All I was doing by wondering about what my temp would be/thinking about testing in the morning was stressing myself out.
Am now resolved not to test until late, last month I held out longer but still tested a day or so early.
I can quite understand those who want to know earlier but I think the heartache of seeing a + then getting period would be very difficult for me to bear.
With first pregnancy I tested when I realised I was a week late and had a lovely dark line come up straight away, that is what I want to see, not a squint at it 'is it a BFP or a BFN' faint line.
Lissie and her 'step away from the first repsonse' thread will keep us strong.
as someone who has experienced an ectopic pregnancy, I think home pregnancy tests are invaluable. They saved my life. I was fobbed off by doctors on several occasions and it was only because I kept getting positive HPTs that I went to A&E and finally had the ectopic confirmed, followed by life-saving surgery.
In years gone by, when women had to wait until they had missed two periods, there must have been a hell of a lot more deaths due to undiagnosed ectopic pregnancies.
But, I do agree that it is easy to become obsessed. It took 15 months to conceive my second - now only 7 weeks pg, so it's all very fresh in my mind! - for the first 6 months or so I spent a fortune on tests. Then I wised up and stopped buying them - only using them occasionally when my period was actually late or I had some specific symptoms. Like Twiglett, I discovered that the crushing disappointment was not worth those few moments of excitement.
see for me it's not the fact that home pregnancy tests exist, it's the fact they encourage you to test early which I think is wrong. It breeds obsession.
No a chemical pregnancy versus a clinical pregnancy is simply one that fails before it is big enough for there to be ultrasonic evidence of the embryo - around about 5 weeks - an early miscarriage.
I hear that thing about failure to implant all the time & frankly it's bollocks! Implantation failure is somthing completely different & is only diagnosed after IVf i.e. where you know that embryos have been created & placed in the uterus but a pregancy doesnt result - the test is negative becuase the embryos don't implant & therefore don't produce HCG.
An embryo only produces HCG after it implants - if you have a positive pregnancy test then you have HCG in your body (either you've been injecting HCG or there is an embryo producing it).
i tried for 2 years for dd and only took 2 tests in all that time, one at about 7/8 weeks that came up neg although i was pretty certain and ended in MC a few days later and one when my period was 4 weeks late and sods law started while i was waiting for the result
when i did get preg with dd i went to the doc at 9 weks and neither he nor the hospital could get a pos and ended up scanning me as it was presumed i had MCed
with ds i did a test at about 9/10 weeks that got a faint positve (my only one ever!)
i've had lots of what i presume are early MCs but tbh am happier not knowing for sure by testing
If it brings you comfort to test, fair enough but i honestly prefer not knowing til it's close to the safe period due to my history of losing pregs and low hormone levels, obviously i know as i can feel the changes and know i'm late but until it's confirmed it's not real to me IYKWIM?
I don't think it's about the tests, I think its about an obessive mindset that the test manufacturers can exploit. The mindset would exist with or without the tests. The real question is why are they so expensive? Why can't you get cheap basic test strips in Boots? Why do you have to fork out a tenner for the wretched things?
I also totally agree with something Belgo said earlier
"A negetive test result would make me feel sick fot the rest of the day. I much preferred my period starting as a way of knowing I was not pregnant - at least then you can start hoping for your next cycle. "
Sometimes I hate the option of early testing. I've done 3 tests in 11 months of TTC - two when I was due on that day, which was one of those chemical pregnancies as it turned out, and 1 this month, which was negative and I wish I hadn't done as I felt crappy all day and then chose not to believe it anyway. I'm still waiting for my period, but won't test again now until the weekend, because the negative tests make me feel a million times worse than my period arriving does.
yes, I agree that it's irresponsible to encourage women to test early - the '4 days before your period' is based on a 28 day cycle with a 14 day LP, isn't it. So with a 26 day cycle and a 12 day LP I'm not going to be getting a +ve at that stage. But that's not on the packet, and it's not in the information slip inside, either. Just hand over your money ladies. It hasn't given yuo a +ve? Never mind, buy another...
I think this is a useful thread - and started with the right intention - to show women how heartbreaking the rollercoaster of early testing can be.
But it is a personal choice, and one that I think women should have. I don't agree that it is about being grown up,just that we each learn abot our own responses to it, and decide from there. Some women will always test early as it will always outweigh the anxiety of waiting alone.
And they are not expensive...they are ten a penny on ebay!! (well, 10 for a £1 )
i think that pg tests are pretty important for women who have ectopic pregnancies actually, and i find this whole 'you're better off not knowing' a little patronising tbh.
it's not for you to say, it's a matter of personal choice. those of you who say it breeds obsession etc are also claiming to have ttcd for a long time so... er, don't you rather disprove that theory or is it your position that you are better than people who do test early and do get obsessed?
And taking into account minster's post - chemical pregnancy is, simply, early miscarriage.
Who is going to argue that women shouldn't know that they have miscarried, early or otherwise? OKay, so some will be saved the heartache of knowing compared to a stressful, long cycle of 'what if's'.
But how does that fit into the system of "3 strikes and your out" of miscarriage investigations, where women have to have had three before referral?
Aitch - it's not about thinking you're better its about learning what is best for you, I found testing early made me feel awful because it didn't tell me anything and didn't reassure me either way. It's all about deciding what is best for you surely, like you say a personal choice.
I'm not sure what the answer is in general terms but my experience is (and no criticism to anyone here or MN in general) reading the TTC boards here is what 'made' me POAS obsessed! Pregnany tests have existed for quite a while now yet in both my previous pregnancies I didn't even dream of testing till my period was late. This time around however I got 'seduced' by all the early testing malarkey and joined in. I had one month of spending a ridiculaous amount on tests (I started off on the cheapie ebay ones then decided they were obviously rubbish so moved on to the dreaded Clearblue. I got a BFP, then a BFN, then a BFP, then a BFN... then my period arrived a day late. So whatever the definition of a CP is I think I had one. And I'm ashamed to say I worled out I had spent nearly £50 on tests beforehand trying to reassure myself. Dumb dumb dumb.
I found the whole experience much worse than just getting my period. I learnt my lesson and swore at that point that I would never test agin till my period hadn't actually arrived.
I agree, i got so sad seeing that "Not pregnant" come up so many times.
In the end i missed a period and because i'd gone 3 weeks over without being pregnant before, chose not to test.
I eventually tested at 26 days late and got my positive.
I agree with Aitch though, in terms of the tone of some posts. That is what I was trying (unsuccessfully) to articulate.
You don't 'graduate' from early testing to 'sensible' testing. You either know you can balance the anxiety/excitement or you don't.
I am a hardcore early tester!!
great, but this is a thread patting people on the head and claiming that the grief caused by hpts outweighs their usefulness... it might do for some people but not for others. it's hardly going to be a personal choice if the tests aren't available and we have to go to our docs after a couple of missed periods. i'd be dead for a start.
Well, I think women should be able to test for pg themselves. but I don't see that testing early is beneficial at all - my worry is that the number of people testing warly when TTC is normalising early testing, whereas the norm used to be testing when your period is late ... if you think you SHOULD test early while TTCing you're opening yourself up to a whole lot of (often unnecessary) stress and heartache.
We can't blame pregnnacy tests for this.
It is becasue we are so sesperate to know. But that is our problem as ladies/society and not the fault of the kit itself.
but, if these tests didn't claim to be able to give you a positive result before your period was due then people wouldn't spend as much money on them. They are only 50% accurate before your period is due, so half the time you're not going to get an accurate result, and will either, go out and buy another two/three/four tests, or your period will arrive and you'll be gutted, and will have spent an unnecessary 8 quid.
IMO early pregnancy tests have not been invented to reassure women, they have been invented for the manufacturers to make more money. If tests said "only accurate from day of missed period" less women would put themselves through that heartache in the first place.
50% accurate is not accurate.
but who all thinks that they will be one of those 50%??
50% is not bad odds, considering...
I think its just down to individual women.
I test early, I have to, I can't help it.
My friend waited till she was 2 weeks late until she tested, that would have killed me!
i have always had a positive test before or on the day my period was due, dd was 9dpo. and yes, i know when i ovulated.
50% is even money by the way, that's good odds, and ime it's higher than that. from what i understand of hpts they are obliged to understate their accuracy because they can't guarantee that their production methods will put the same amount of reactant on each strip.
the fact is, if you're pregnant and you know when you ovulated and had sex, you'll probably get a positive before your period but sometimes won't.
if you're not pregnant you definitely won't. it's not being pregnant that causes the pain, not the tests themselves.
as i said with odds of 50% you might as well flip a coin
that's utter nonsense, for precisely the reasons i've just stated.
Have stopped buying em. Que sera, sera. Fuckall chance of me getting pregnant anyway, so HPT not going to make a whole lot of difference anyway. Having them in the house was justing playing on my nerves. In the old days, you used to have to wait to about 3 months and then have your pee injected into a rabbit and you wouldn't even know for sure until about 13-14 weeks. Were they any the worse off? (apart from the poor bunnies of course?) I don't think so...
just look at what people have posted on here... 'happier after i stopped testing early/didn't get hopes up etc'. they weren't pregnant every month and getting negative tests, they were Not Pregnant and getting negative tests. if they'd had a positive test they'd have been delighted.
and for me, twice, those early tests quite literally saved my life and my future fertility.
oh duchesse. if they'd had an ectopic they'd have died long before they'd have got near the rabbit.
I didn't even know you could test before your period was due until recently. Certainly, I think the availability of tests in general is a good thing. I'm old enough that for my first two pg's I had to wait until I'd missed two periods then trot along to the Dr for confirmation (or not) and I welcomed the ability to test at home.
But I think testing at earlier and earlier times is a blank cheque for mfgrs. Nor had I hadn't heard of chemical pregnancies until I read about it on MN, but surely it's possible that such pg's are part and parcel of human physiology, and have always occured. I suspect that, according to accounts here, I may have had dozens of chemcial pg's/mc's. I don't think it would have been of any benefit to me to have known at the time, partly because of my assumption it would take a few months to get pg anyway. (Hence my surprise when dd2 first made her presence felt! )
Aitch- yes, you do have a point. I don't know much about ectopic though, but I rather thought that the only way an HPT could help in an EP situation would be to alert the women should she have any unexplained bleeding/ pain after doing an HPT. I'm sure that ladies of old "knew" that they were in the early stages of pregnancy, just hadn't had it confirmed yet.
if you've done a pg test and had a positive result you are ahead of the game and can insist on further investigation, which might allow you to get metho and keep your tube, rather than have an emergency op where your future fertility is rather less of a priority than saving your life. and once you've had one ectopic, beleive me, those pg tests are your best friend. highest maternal killer in the UK, don't forget.
If I did an early pregnancy test and it was positive I would get a period a few days later anyway. So defo not worth the heartache for me...
there you go...two excellent examples of why women shoudl be allowed to make up their own minds about testing v not testing!!
gutted for you, duchesse, i know someone who had ten (i swear to god) miscarriages and somehow her dd stuck around to be a full-term preg no 11. although i bet people tell you that sort of hopeful story a lot and it gets right on your tits, so i'm sorry if so. i hope that lightning strikes for you some day soon.
Not looking very likely for me alas Aitch- Its been 4.5 years of chemical pregnancies every 2-3 months, with only one pregnancy that lasted long enough to be confirmed medically (and that miscarried at 13 weeks). I am now 40, so really not very likely any more... GPs not interested/ willing to refer me.
very sorry to hear that, truly. the person to whom i refer was i think 39 when she got pg with dd, but i know it doesn't really mean anything in the scheme of things. i hope something wonderful happens soon.
...whatever that is.
this is a very interesting thread. I no longer test before my period is due because i have been ttc for 2.5y now and have had 7 early mc's. if i hadnt tested those times then i may have just thought that it was taking me a long time, in which case the treatment is very different. i have to test on the day my period is due because of my ep. i cant risk my fertility further, and often dread getting a bfp. however, the odds of getting an early bfp arent great. like aitch i often get early bfp's and ive reached the point now where i would rather not know, but i understand the desperate need to test, and KNOW. especially if you have been ttc for a long time. that hypothetical baby becomes the be all and end all.
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