The morning before our blood test, David kept delicately reminding me to take a pregnancy test. “You know, if you want to take one before the blood test, now would be the best time.” I knew he was right, but the anxiety I felt rivaled what Monk feels when faced with a communal pencil. I was absolutely paralyzed with fear. The pain I felt with the last negative was so great and lasted so long, I didn’t think I could do it again. Of course, this is silly because I would inevitably have to experience another test result. The truth was, I was pretty sure I wasn’t pregnant. Even with the last cycle, I felt all kinds of shifting and feelings and sparklies in my tummy. This time I felt NOTHING. No sparklies, no nausea, no exhaustion. Nothing.
By the time David left for work, he made one last ditch effort to get me to take a test. “We have one in there and we can just do it and get it over with and then get on with the day. Maybe it’s positive?”
I am so grateful to have a husband who knows that when I look at him and pull one side of my mouth in and to the side, it’s time to stop pushing and let me be. He gave me a kiss and went to work.
When I went to take a shower, the test was sitting on the bathroom counter. “Hey Erin. I know I might not give you the answer you want, but I promise I’ll give you a really nice delivery. Maybe just, ‘You guys tried really hard and it will definitely pay off eventually. This just wasn’t the right time.’ Or maybe, ‘You know, you slept until 7:30 this morning and you won’t be able to do that when you have a baby. Why don’t you get one more month of good rest before we try this again?’” I stood in the bathroom for about 15 minutes, trying to decide if I should take the test. Still couldn’t do it. It was better not knowing the truth.
At about 11:30 my best friend called me and asked me if I’d taken a test. “No, I haven’t. I’m not ready. I can’t deal with another negative.” We chatted about it for a while and the conclusion was, “Take the damn test, Erin.” I decided to eat lunch instead.
I was working diligently at about 1:30. I had 2 more phone calls and an inbox full of “I need”s and “Can you?”s. I was plugging away at my to-do list like Erin Brokowich on crack. Saving the world, one email at a time. It felt good to be so needed and have so many people relying on me. For the first time that day, I felt like I was on a roll. I was in a good place. And 20 minutes before I was supposed to hop onto another call, something said, “Go take the test. Do it right now and get it over with.” I don’t know who said it, but I’m sure my husband would like to know. He would call that voice all the time and be like, “Can you PLEASE ask my wife to close the cabinets that are level with MY HEAD when she’s finished putting away the dishes?”
I literally ran into the bathroom. This was a fancy-pants test. I had to pee in a cup, use a dropper to get 4 drops, then drop them into the round space on the test stick. I peed (carefully) into the cup and set it on the counter. Remember that scene in the Fifth Element when Bruce Willis has to light the last match in his book to open up the Fire Element Stone, therefore activating LeeLou’s Love Element and saving the world from the meteor? That’s exactly how I dropped the pee onto the stick. So carefully, so slowly, my eyes closer to pee than they’ve ever been. It called for four drops, I will give it EXACTLY four drops in a perfect, 2-second-delay-between-each-drop kinda way.
When I was done, I walked into the bedroom, sat on the bed, and breathed deeply. The dogs came in and sat down, staring at me breathing. Bella asked, “What is she doing?”
Charlie said, “I don’t know, but sometimes she does weird stuff like this. She’ll come out of it.”
Bella asked, “Should we lick her?”
And Charlie said, “You can. I’m just going to smell her feet.”
I looked at the clock and it had been a minute. I think I was supposed to wait 2. Or shit, was it 3? Now I don’t remember and the box is in the bathroom and I can’t look at the box without looking at the test. I guess I’d better wait for at least 2. Or just go look now, I’ll just go look now, I’m going.
I ran into the bathroom and looked down at the test. There was nothing in the square indicator box. Maybe nothing means pregnant, I thought. I grabbed the box. I looked at the two examples on the front. Nope. Empty box clearly means not pregnant. And 2 minutes was the wait time, and it had definitely been two minutes by now. Not pregnant.
I walked into the kitchen and cried. It didn’t feel good so I tried the living room. No better. I cried in every room until I was back in the bathroom, just in case it was tricking me and now read positive. Nothing. Empty indicator box. Not pregnant.
And now I have a conference call in 15 minutes. Awesome.