It wasn’t a normal day, no day for the last 30 had been normal. My nerves were shot, and I was struggling to behave like a sane person. I’d just finished the whirlwind of endless tests, procedures, and hormones shots that is IVF.
When I’m stressed, I remember odd little details. Roughly 14 days earlier, I’d been in a sterile little room, with a sliding door straight out of Star Trek. That door made the shook, shook sound as a technician entered, carrying all my hopes in her hands. In one hand she carried a vial, in the other, pictures of my embryos. All I could think about was the door.
Shortly after she told me that our embryos were healthy, my fertility specialist arrived to do the deed. In a moment of twisted intimacy, Tim held my hand while my the doctor knocked me up. After the procedure was done, they sent us away with instructions. I might feel pregnant, it was most likely the hormones. No taking home pregnancy tests because the results might not be accurate. Rest, try to relax. Come back in about 21 days for a pregnancy test. TWENTY-ONE DAYS!
The hormones and the stress really worked me over. Luckily my boss and most of my team were away, while I waited. Otherwise they would have seen a frazzled derelict wandering the halls muttering to herself, twitching, and bursting into tears for no apparent reason.
At about 10 days post-science fictiony insemination, I started obsessively researching the most effective, most sensitive, most accurate early home pregnancy test on the market. I hustled to the nearest drug store and invested heavily in First Response Early Pregnancy tests. I braved the bathroom in the storeroom, and the results were like all the other tests I’d taken over the years, crushingly negative.
I knew that I’d tested way too early, so there was this little kernel of hope that kept me going. The anxiety of not knowing was eating at my soul, but I REALLY didn’t want to be disappointed again, so I promised myself that I wouldn’t test again, no matter what. I tucked the crazy lady away, calmly welcomed my team back, and tried to bury myself in work.
Day 14 was a rare, gorgeous day. It was still technically winter but it was one of those warm, sunny Pacific NorthWest days that you can walk around without a coat on, and bask in the glory. Cracks were developing in my facade, so I decided to run an errand, burn off the nervous energy, and take advantage of the sun.
Errand complete, I rode a shuttle on the way back to my building, feeling calm, enjoying the sun on my face. The ride was a little bumpy, and I started to feel a tad upchucky, which was curious. By the time I got back to my building I was also feeling dizzy – curiouser. Still, I was calm, patient, and was not going to run to the bathroom to take a pregnancy test. My iron-clad resolve lasted maybe an hour.
I walked shakily to the bathroom, took the test, and waited. Were my eyes deceiving me, was there a faint line on the stick? Well, there might have been, but I was hyperventilating; my vision blurred. I took another, and another, just to be sure.
Ten years of trying, and I’d never seen any little lines, and holy buckets, all three had tests had dark lines. I ran back to my office with one of the pregnancy tests in hand. I don’t know why I did that, maybe so that when I woke up, I could prove that it wasn’t just a dream.
One of my co-workers stopped me in the hall to ask a question. He looked at me, looked at my hands, and graciously chose to save my dignity by ignoring what he saw. I didn’t care ’cause I was PREGNANT!
Update: Thanks for all the congratulations, but this was almost 5 years ago- I’m not pregnant!
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