Resultada del test
I could tell you wedding stories until the cows come home, but there’s something else we need to discuss. The wedding wasn’t the only thing I had going on this summer. There’s another reason I was radio silent for eight weeks.
These are pregnancy tests. Specifically, one is a pregnancy test I found in a box at the back of the linen closet when we were moving out of our old house and which I took on a whim–because I was sick of packing and wedding planning, and peeing on a stick seemed like a nice, even relaxing alternative. The other two I got at the drugstore after the first one turned positive–or possibly positive. I wasn’t sure because I was too shocked to read the instructions properly. The booklet was open to the Spanish part and I don’t speak Spanish. I was too stunned to flip to the English part so I just sat there and convinced myself that the resultada del test was no valido because I hadn’t gotten enough orina on the stick.
The result was valido, though, because I took two more tests and they were positive. So I speed-walked around the block a few times saying “holy shit!” and trying to breathe, and then Scott got home from work and I poured him a drink and showed him my little bouquet of pregnancy tests and we freaked out and took this picture.
The funny thing is, we’d been talking about whether and when to start trying to have a baby, and I must have been pregnant the whole time and just not known it. This level of disorganization is becoming standard operating procedure around here.
I’m 14 weeks along now and doing great! We’re both really excited. My belly is popping out a little. We haven’t found out if it’s a boy or a girl, but that information exists on a piece of paper at the doctor’s office, which totally fries my mind. We had an ultrasound today and Scott thinks he saw a penis, but he also thinks he saw Bono at a grocery store in Alabama once, so I have my doubts.
Now that we’ve had time to adjust to the pregnancy, I have a couple things to say.
The world is full–and I mean full–of books and articles that will congratulate you and tell you that being pregnant is the happiest, most exciting thing. Now that I’m in the second trimester, I am indeed happy and excited. But the first few months were nothing like that for me.
If you had asked me the day before I took the test whether I wanted to have a baby, I would have said yes, definitely. I wasn’t upset to find out that I was pregnant; I was thrilled. But as soon as I knew, I became paralyzed with the fear that I would have a miscarriage. I have a lot of friends who have had miscarriages. A lot. Many of them have miscarried multiple times. Knowing that a miscarriage was a non-remote possibility, I just couldn’t get excited. I’m not a negative person, but I’m logical and more grounded by science and statistics than I am uplifted by the cooing babble of the pregnancy books (e.g., “Excitement is growing along with that uterus of yours! Your soon-to-be baby has started its miraculous transformation from single cell to fully formed boy or girl ready for cuddles and kisses!”). There’s nothing wrong with these sentiments; they just don’t reflect the way I felt at all. I was scared that my body would backfire, or had already backfired, and that I’d find out after I’d told my friends and family the good news.
So I didn’t tell anyone, and that made me feel isolated.
The only thing I could do in private was (1) read up on pregnancy; and (2) go to the doctor. The pregnancy books were a little nerve-wracking because for the first two months I didn’t feel any of the symptoms they said I could expect to feel, like sore boobs, nausea, and fatigue. Going to the doctor was exciting, but I didn’t click with the doctor I’d been referred to. She didn’t have time to answer any of my questions, including basic questions about genetic testing. I was 10 weeks pregnant, which is a great time to start thinking about one test in particular, and if it hadn’t been for a doctor in a different practice, I would have missed the window for the test entirely. I don’t mind advocating for myself, but I was taken aback by how assertive and persistent I had to be in order to get the quality of care that I expected.
What it comes down to is this: I figured pregnancy would complicate certain things. I wasn’t surprised when the job interview I had recently got a little awkward. I wasn’t surprised when my wedding dress didn’t fit, or when Scott and I started worrying about money and where to live. That stuff didn’t take me by surprise. What blindsided me was the sense of isolation, the feeling that time had slowed to a nearly imperceptible crawl, and the constant fear that the pregnancy wouldn’t stick. Hopefully my experience isn’t common, but regardless–nothing I’d read prepared me for it; that’s why I’m writing it here.
Now that things have been chugging along for awhile, I’m feeling confident and excited. Truly, I am! I know the baby’s growing like a crazy little weed. I know Scott will hold my hand and make me laugh through all of this. And now I even know a little bit of Spanish.