Monday, December 16, 2013
A year ago I found out I was pregnant.
I had suspected that I was pregnant for about 9 days, but hadn't tested because then it would become real. What was just a late period on December 15, became a baby on December 16, thanks to the miracles of peeing on a stick.
I started suspecting I might be pregnant on December 7. It was a Friday night, and we were out with my friend Jerin. I was super-tired and wanted a nap on the drive down to see him, which was always an early symptom for me. And when he asked me to taste his homemade holiday mead, I just took a tiny sip in case I actually was preggo. When we were at dinner, I kept running to the bathroom to see if my period had come yet. Nope. On the 8th we went new car shopping, and picked out the Cmax, which we picked up on the 10th. Still nothing.
I started googling what Letrozole could do to your cycles - that was the drug I had been taking that cycle. Everything I saw said that Letrozole could actually make cycles shorter, not longer. I also started needing naps, which always seems to be the telltale sign for me. So my hopes got a little higher. But I resolved that I would wait until the following Sunday, the 16th, to test.
Saturday night we watched It's a Wonderful Life, and I bawled my eyes out. Another sign that my hormones were out of whack, in some way or another.
Sunday I went to Von's and bought organic apples, a big bottle of water, and a pregnancy test (which had been in a locked case - nothing like asking a teenage guy to get you a pregnancy test). I couldn't wait till I got home, and went right into the bathroom in the store. I knew that I should actually test first thing in the morning when the hormones are higher, but I figured that it was far enough along that a positive line would show up if it was going to appear. I've peed on lots of pregnancy tests in grocery stores. Generally because when we were doing artificial insemination, J would make fun of me for testing too soon, so I would never want to bring a test home and risk him telling me that I was just wasting money, and should wait until I missed a period the way they did before pee-sticks came along. So I'm used to the drill of peeing on sticks in grocery store bathrooms. I'm even more used to getting a negative in grocery store bathrooms. I'd strain to see whether a line would appear for several minutes, willing it, thinking that maybe that tiny little pink dot right there was a line? Can't you see it? Doesn't that count? No. It doesn't. I'd cry for a minute or two in the stall, then gather up my stuff, check the test one last time, then go out and wash my face, and go back into the world.
This time I sat in the stall tapping my feet, biting my lip, and pulling the sticker off my apple while the screen was flooded with pink - this was nothing new - the dye always runs across the whole panel before you see whether it "sticks" on the line. I tried not to look. I sat the test on top of the toilet paper holder and turned my head, and counted to sixty. When I turned back, there was the darkest line I'd ever seen. Suddenly I was shaky and nauseous. I looked down at my belly. There was a baby in there. This wasn't just a late period. There was an actual baby growing in my tummy.
I stepped out of the stall where a queue of women had been forming, and held up the test. They all clapped, and asked if it was my first. I explained that I had been pregnant twice before, so was keeping my fingers crossed for this one to work. They all said that the third time was the charm, and it was a special Christmas gift, so it would surely work out.
I put the test in my pocket, walked out to my car, eating my apple, and started talking to the baby. "Ok, baby," I said. "You're in there now; it's just you and me in this together, and we're gonna do it, ok? If you're not in it for the long haul, then you should just go now. But if you stick around, I'm going to do my best to make your environment comfy and cozy, and take really good care of you. And we'll have an awesome life together. But you have to stick. You can't pull this crap of sticking for a little while and then leaving. If you're going to do that, then just leave now. I'll let you think about it a little bit, ok? I'll check in with you again tomorrow when you've had time to think it through."
The next night I went to the Messiah Sing a Long at Disney Hall with my friend Sarah. It went late thanks to carol singing in the lobby, and J texted me: "Come home. It's 11. You're pregnant. You need sleep." That was the coolest text ever.
Hannah did threaten to leave, a month later in mid-January, when I thought I was miscarrying for three days. And again, I sat her down and had a talk with her. "We made a deal, little baby," I said. "I'm holding up my end of the bargain. You need to hold up your end, too. If you're going to go, we will still love you, obviously, but we really hope you stick around. Because we're planning an awesome life for you." Then I camped out on the couch watching Girls and playing Skyrim to keep my mind off of it.
And now here we are a year later, with me wondering whether I'll ever sleep a full night and feel rested again in this lifetime, thanks to this little goober who melts my heart when she wakes up and smiles at me. She gives me the biggest grins, and just looks like she's so in love with me. And it all started a year ago. It's always going to be a special day for me.