I am standing in the bathroom at work, staring at myself. My hair is bound neatly by a clip, strands of grey peppering the dark brown. It’s clean today. My face looks somber, just a bit pink in the cheeks and with slightly purple shadows under the eyes. I am the only one who notices that I look different.
I am sick, sick, sick from the hormones, from this constant nausea – is it me or was I less sick-feeling the last time – from exhaustion, from hating my job and loving my kid and being completely flummoxed by the concept of having Another One in 8 months’ time.
On August 29 I took the pregnancy test into the bathroom thinking, “I am just fat and bloaty. Sure hate that. I must’ve eaten something a little ‘off’ and then I walked in the hot sun and didn’t drink enough water…” but before I could finish my list of reasons why I felt the way I felt, the list of reasons that did not under any circumstances include “because I”m pregnant” I looked at the stick, still doused in urine, barely enough time for the pee to seep in and already it was appearing. The second line.
Sure, I bought the generic pregnancy test whenever it was I bought it, I guess it would be 2005, the last time being pregnant was a concern for me, so I didn’t have the little handy guide they print on the box, ie: “One line: not pregnant, Two lines: pregnant.” So maybe the test was the opposite of what I thought? Maybe it was expired, yes, expired!
I wracked the Internet for sample boxes of pregnancy tests but eventually gave up and went to the drugstore to look at one on the shelf. I guess people steal them? Because there weren’t any on the shelf. I went to a different drug store and they didn’t have the brand I’d bought (all the brands are different, right? two lines on one brand might be the equivalent of one line on another brand?) so I just bought a new test and came home.
Handily I had to pee again (this because I had had a lot of water in the past hour, not possibly because I was pregnant) so did and once again, the most positive pregnancy test I have ever seen, even in my days of peeing on the free sticks at my volunteer job when I already knew I was pregnant, just to make sure I still WAS pregnant (yes, first trimester paranoia knows no bounds) this pee shot up the stick, the line lighting up like neon, like a thermometer in the mouth of a very sick person, like the donate-a-meter at the pledge drive after the cutest kid with leukemia comes out on stage, like google loads, like lightning, that fast.
To the calendar. 6 weeks along? Is that possible? No, it’s impossible. Check the stick again; it is practically blinking at me. OK.
Where will it sleep? Will I keep working? How did this happen? Why do I have to find out on the first day of my vacation? How much wine did I have yesterday? How will I tell Saint Aardvark? And my boss?
I hate my job; I hate it so much I got pregnant again to get out of doing it.
Back in the bathroom. My face reflects calm, shock, peace. I put my hand on my belly, swelled, yes, how could I have not seen this. Rub gently. “Hi,” I say.
I wrote this on September 10th and decided today was the day to publish it. It has been 4 weeks to the day since I discovered the new inhabitant of my body. With continued good fortune, this inhabitant will become a sibling for Trombone in April of 2008.