In the manner of the "Editor" of many an early novel, I beg leave to remind you that occasionally otherwise-normal people can temporarily lose their minds...
Brother-in-Law’s birthday. Must remember to call him when I get home from work tonight. Idle thought: Huh, March 4th. Funny. Shouldn’t I have gotten my period by now?
Oh. My. Stars. Could it be possible? Quick! Isn’t there a stick I can pee on, leftover from when I was trying to get pregnant with Daughter? There is. So I sneak into the bathroom while the kids are cutting something or gluing something or whatever. Who cares? Must. pee. on. stick. Three minutes later: false alarm.
Still nothing. Now convinced that the test must be wrong, I email an
In the meantime, I rack my brains trying to remember exactly when my last Little Visitor arrived. Because of course all I can recall is thinking recently how convenient it was that it seems to be arriving predictably at the end of every month. Except this is March, which means February has ended with no visit—and even though February is short, we’re now almost a week into March. Only I have not been writing this down. So I backtrack to August and September, the last two months I can remember for sure when It arrived because of events that marked the occasion. I try to recall exactly when It started in each of those months. Because back then, when I was writing this down, I was doing it on the calendar. You know, the one for 2007. The one I threw away when 2008 arrived because with all the clutter in my house, who needs to keep last year’s calendar?
So I end up calculating a cycle that’s 32 days, which is much shorter than it used to be before I started having kids. But it seems right, since I do remember that little revelation about how handy it was to have this thing every month. So much easier to keep track. Hah. And then I do the math to determine when Aunt Flo should have come every month since September, in order to figure out when I should be expecting her now. (No, this is not obsessive; this is practical.) And I come up with the 5th of March.
Which. Was. Yesterday.
I call my sisters, my best friend since I was 11 years old, my best friend from graduate school, my best friend in the town where I live. I leave overly light-hearted messages on every single answering machine because none of them are available on any phone they own. Hi, me here. Nothing much going on. Just wondering what’s up with you. Give me a call when you have a chance. I am supposed to be grading papers. I spend an hour re-calculating my likely dates for every menstrual cycle since September to figure out if it’s possible that I’m actually due next week. It’s possible. If my cycle were 33 days instead of 32, that would add one day every month, which would add one week over the course of seven months, which would mean It would be due around the 12th. This does not make me feel better. Why is every single person I know in the universe not near a phone right now?!?
At dinner, I fess up my concern to Husband, who I think would rather start a circus or move to
This does not sound reasonable to me. This sounds like denial.
I decide to take a proactive approach. I spend two hours Googling “precipitous labor” trying to figure out if the child I am obviously carrying is likely to arrive as quickly as Daughter and how one forms a back-up plan to avoid becoming one of those birth-in-the-car-on-the-freeway stories on the 6:00 news. I also check out multiple Ovulation Calculators and Due Date Calculators trying to figure out when my cycle might actually be considered late. Of course, these all politely request that you "enter the date of your last period." Which. I Don’t KNOW!
I am now officially insane. I was basically the last person to check out in the line at Target tonight because at twenty minutes before 10pm I could NOT stand it any longer and put on my coat and boots and drove to the store as quickly as was safe on the dangerously pot-hole filled roads of Southeast Michigan. Why did I do this? To. buy. pregnancy. tests. Because I could not possibly wait till tomorrow morning to pee on a stick and find out that—according to the test at least—I am NOT pregnant.
Thanks goodness I bought a two-pack of these stupid, inaccurate tests. I tuck the package under the couch cushion. Under the couch cushion?! What am I, a teenager with a dirty little secret? Oh, no, wait. I am a crazy lady.
A crazy lady who was so tired yesterday in the middle of the day that she had to take a nap. One who has been completely unable to stop eating anything that’s not bolted down for the past 10 days. One who has insomnia at 3am but yawns through her teaching at 3:30pm. One who has been impatient with the children she already has. These are clearly SIGNS.
Never mind that if I am pregnant, but it’s too early for the tests to show me this, then it’s far too early to be exhibiting symptoms of pregnancy. Never mind that only one of these is a usual early pregnancy symptom for me. Never mind that the TWO tests I have already taken tell me that I am NOT pregnant.
Because when you are a crazy lady who half wants a third child and half is completely terrified to have another, EVERYTHING is a sure sign of pregnancy, AND ALL THE TESTS ARE WRONG.
I am bored. Crazy Bored. There is nothing else to Google. I have read every story on “precipitous labor” available on the Internet, including the scenarios in nursing manuals designed to help Labor and Delivery nurses cope with emergencies (thanks, Google Books). I have read every website in existence in English that has ideas about early pregnancy signs, intuition, and calculating one’s due date.
I have become resigned. There is nothing I can do but wait. In four more days, I can take another test that will prove that, while I may be crazy, I am also right.
Thank goodness there is still one unused pregnancy test left under the couch cushions! I take it first thing in the morning, which is (as everyone knows) a far preferable time of day to take a pregnancy test. It is still negative. This cannot be right. I think of one more thing to Google: I look up pregnancy test accuracy. And I find out that this particular First Response brand test, the one that brags about giving results four days before your period is due, this one measures the pregnancy hormone at concentrations of 100mIU. I have no idea what this means. But even crazy, ignorant me can see that 100 is a bigger number than 25 – and the New Choice test available at Dollar Tree for $1 measures the hormone at 25mIU. So, I kick myself repeatedly for buying the stupid, expensive, brand name test at Target. And I stop by Dollar Tree on the way to pick up the kids from daycare and buy the last two pregnancy tests they have in the whole store. Because, of course, one will not be enough.
I awaken nervous and excited about the real test that will prove who is right and who is crazy...
Don’t you hate it when relatives arrive earlier than they’re expected? And then you have to run to the store to quick! quick! pick up the things you must have for their visit that you neglected to restock earlier? Sorry, Aunt Flo, you’ll have to make yourself comfy for a short while. I’ll be home as soon as I can.
Do you suppose CVS also carries pocket calendars? I seem to need one...
Edited to add...
Apparently I am too cryptic with the whole "relatives arriving early" thing. Aunt Flo is in the houuuussse! [insert appropriate boom-crash music and stomping] She's arrived a whole day early. Yesterday. Hence this post with no photos of little sticks containing two pink lines. You can thank me now, or later, for sparing you the photos of many many sticks containing only one pink line.