Tuesday, September 29th, 2009
I’ve been debating for the past 24 hours whether to write this post. The wise, practical, cautious thing to do would be keep my mouth/keyboard shut for a while. But it comes down to this: I’m terrible at keeping secrets. And also, I want to write it all down for posterity. Literally.
So here goes, from the beginning:
We bought a three-pack of pregnancy tests on Sunday, because I had a pg blood test scheduled for the following morning. I like to take one the morning I go to the doc, because if the blood test turns out negative I want to be prepared. That way when the nurse tentatively asks, “Did you cheat?” I can nod sadly and say “Negative,” then smile bravely, and she can feel guilty for even asking, and we’ll all just start the day off in a great mood.
Sunday night I laid out the test on the window sill by the toilet, so I wouldn’t forget to take it in the morning. Fat chance, but just in case.
Usually, I’m quite negative about the prospect of getting a positive, but before I fell asleep, I thought, “You know, it’s got to be positive some time. This could be the time.” I’d been having some symptoms – you know, the kind where you can find a thousand people on the internet who had them and were pregnant and an equal number who turned out not to be. Very conclusive stuff.
So yesterday morning, I woke up earlier than usual to get to that pesky early appointment. D was still asleep, and I crept into the bathroom to have my private time with the dreaded pregnancy test. I peed on the stick, and – as usual – the one, evil dark pink line immediately appeared. I felt the usual twinge of unsurprised sadness and set the test back on the window sill while I flushed the toilet and … well, did you know if you’re sleep-addled and careless, pee can bounce off a pregnancy test and spray everywhere? You have been warned.
Anyway … so by the time I got a chance to glance at the stick again, something mysterious had happened. To the left of the evil dark pink line was … another line? My mouth dropped open. Two lines? Two pink lines, one as pale pink as the inside of a kitten’s ear, the other – well, you know – dark and evil.
It began to sink in what I was seeing, and I started gulping air and screaming, “Holy shit! Holy shit!” over and over. About the time it occurred to me I should tell D, he came bursting into the bathroom. I don’t know if he thought I was dying or what.
“It’s positive!” I gasped, but he knew already by the look on my face, and he was already grinning from ear to ear. We hugged and cried and smiled, and my tears smeared on his bare shoulders. I’ve never felt that way before in my entire life. So, so happy, delighted, amazed, shocked, awed, vulnerable, stripped of all the pretense. This is what I wanted so much and could never admit it because I thought it would never come – this moment of getting to be like everyone else. This simple moment of me and my husband celebrating that we made something together.
I showed D the test and said, “See if there’s really two lines there.” It seemed far too good to be true. I was still completely in shock, shaking and smiling and giggling. He looked at the test and said, “It’s real!”
Then, far too soon, we had to cut out the celebrating so I could get ready to go to town. While I primped, we discussed who we would tell and when. We’ve always known we would never be ones to wait till the second trimester, but D thought we should wait at least till that afternoon, when we would find out the results of the blood test.
I agreed with that in theory. Until I started thinking how I wanted to text my sister a photo of the positive test (she’s a photographer – I figured she would appreciate the visual clue), and how Mom was already dying to know the results today … and basically, how I was practically bursting with the news. Finally, we concluded a positive home test is good enough for telling immediate family.
On the way to town, I called Mom and texted my sister (who would still be in bed), and then I got to the doc, where I would get my first opportunity to tell someone in person.
I went in and chitchatted with the nurse for a moment, waiting for her to ask her usual question: Did you cheat? But then it was time to go back, and she hadn’t asked yet, so I blurted out, “I cheated.”
She squinted her eyes and studied me, and cautiously asked, “What was it?”
I started smiling and said, “Positive.”
I think she was as stunned as I was. When she recovered, she dragged me back to share the news with the other nurse and nurse practitioner, and everyone gathered around me, beaming and congratulating me. I giggled mostly. And when I tried to say how I was worried something would go wrong, they hushed me and said don’t even think it.
Afterward, I had to kill time before a dentist appointment, so I allowed myself to go to the mall and shop the kid sections. I decided it wouldn’t hurt anything to buy one outfit, something that I can say, “I bought this on the day I found out.” I bought two onesies that were on sale at Baby Gap – one with a puppy on it and one that said, “I Love Daddy” in patchwork letters.
I was feeling pretty good about things, since the nurses seemed to see a positive home test as nearly definitive proof there’s a bun in my oven. Then I went to the dentist, and when they were about to do an X-ray, I got to announce to a total stranger for the first time, “I’m pregnant.” That’s when the hygienist started chatting, asking questions, and I mentioned that I didn’t even have the blood test results yet, but “you never hear about anyone having a false positive home test.” Well of course, this hygienist is the one person in the world who has had a false positive. Awesome.
So for the rest of the afternoon I was pretty much freaking out and assuming the worst, as usual. I kept checking my phone to make sure it was on and/or I hadn’t missed the nurse’s call. Back at home, I was sitting here on the couch when the call finally came.
“You’re good and pregnant, girl!” said the nurse, and she told me my levels for hcg and progesterone were normal.
As soon as I hung up, I ran – literally ran – outside to tell D. We grinned and held hands and jumped up and down and took turns congratulating each other on the awesomeness of our respective reproductive parts. It was real! Really really real! We did it!
Of course, I came back down to earth pretty rapidly and started researching miscarriage rates. Lately, we’ve had this awful pattern of good news that we announce to everyone and then it turns out completely horrible. I feel like the girl who cried baby.
So I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop – and hoping it never does. I go back in one week to see if my hcg number doubles. If it does, that’s a really good sign, and then I’ll have an ultrasound to see if the egg sack or whatever is in my uterus where it belongs. And then around 6-8 weeks, we would have an ultrasound to check for the heartbeat, and if it’s there, the miscarriage rate drops to 10 percent.
Basically, there are about a million chances for this to go bad, but there’s still that promising 80-88ish percent chance this grain of rice will turn into the kid we’ve been waiting for.