Friday, January 25, 2013

euphoria tempered by utter terror: a retrospective

I wrote this on Wednesday evening. I was living in a state of euphoria tempered by utter terror. Because of the overwhelming feeling that was the latter, I couldn’t post in real time. But, after the fact, when things are different, here you are. I wrote something this morning, too. That’s up next. Then we’ll be back to real time.

Well hello big, bad interwebs. There’s something I’ve been keeping from you. The last week has been, in a word: surreal. 

On Friday evening, anxious and being the reckless dolt that I am poorly attuned to timing and, um, math, I took a pregnancy test. It came back negative. C and I went out for sushi and frozen yogurt to commiserate.

I promised myself that I would wait until my blood test on Wednesday and not act rashly – that I would not go out to the store and buy another three pack of pregnancy tests so that I could take one each and every day until then. Of course, this being reality, I could not keep such promises. After all, I already had one extra pregnancy test stashed in a bathroom cabinet and I began deviously plotting when I would take it – secretly, under cover of night, etc.

As it turns out… at (approximately) 4:22 am on Tuesday morning, I awoke with a start.  (I didn’t tell the doctor this next part because it makes me sound unhinged sounds made up. But since the interweb audience is primed for my candor…) Where was I. I awoke with a start and sprang from the bed to see what was the matter. I had just had the most vivid pregnancy dream. In the dream, I took a pregnancy test and it came back positive (forget the part where I was 19 and living at my parents’ house – that’s obviously irrelevant). I stayed in bed until 4:35 when I decided I just had to do it already. Calmly and quietly, I got out of bed and I peed on that stick. <Anticipation builds to a virtual crescendo. >

You guys: I got a faint positive. A positive so faint I googled so many iterations of “faint positive and clear blue pregnancy test” that by the end, I was sure I was giving birth to twin leopards, breech (thanks Yahoo Answers!). Oh, also – of course I woke up C. I had to. Only his (incredibly sleepy, bewildered and confused) doctor eyes could confirm whether this was, in fact, a faint positive or merely a middle of the night, dream induced aberration of my pregnancy-hungry eyes. He confirmed the former, though not without pausing meaningfully to consider the latter. Even the dog came to take a look – at which point C patted the dog on the head and said dreamily, and I quote “Oh Luna, you’re gonna be a papa.” (Luna is a girl dog and we’re pretty sure C is the father. It was early.).

The next several hours are pretty much a blur – although apparently I went to work and did, like, important “law” stuff. I had a meeting that afternoon with the doctor to put a plan in place should I wind up not knocked up. Of course, subtle that I am, the moment I walked in the door, I blurted out some words resembling “I got” and “faint positive.” He was actually visibly thrilled. Of course, he then backed up and did his objective doctor thing, and we can’t be sure and so on and so forth. We moved up the blood draw to that afternoon, though I still had to wait until Wednesday for results. I even insisted on sketching out a plan in the event that I was not in fact pregnant because, you know, JINX.
For the next 24 hours, I lived in a world of extreme excitement tempered by utter terror. Finally, today (Wednesday) around 1:30 pm, I got a call from the nurse to confirm that yes, my HCG number indicated that I was, in fact, against all odds, pregnant. Apparently we tested a day early and yet, she was relatively happy with my number – a respectable 65.9 (they like to see between 50-100, but given that I was a day early, 65 seemed fine). For the un-initiated, this number is supposed to double every 72 hours for the next little while in order for the pregnancy to be viable.

After calling C and my mom – and okay fine, crying – I took a deep breath and calmly returned to my desk to continue preparing for a trial next week as if this completely insane thing had not JUST HAPPENED.

Now, I’ve had a hot minute to reflect. On one hand, my infertility has suddenly taken a dramatic turn – I am pregnant (even if it does feel like a hoax to write those words). Euphoria doesn’t even begin to describe it. The idea that I could give birth to a healthy baby who grows up to vote Democratic and has the good sense not to get her lower back tattooed is completely unreal.

On the other hand, my joy is tempered by overwhelming terror. Terror that spikes to levels unimaginable but generally manifests as a low-level but constant anxiety, just beneath the surface, at all times. It’s the anxiety that gas pains are actually something-else-pains and then, that a few hours later, the absence of these pains is a grim harbinger of some other unmentionable catastrophe. This whole thing feels so precarious – fleeting, ephemeral.


  1. This is awesome.

    It's Friday, not yet 9pm. My wife is asleep on the couch (has been for at least 45 minutes), the kids are in bed. And so, since I can't jump up and down in celebration, I'll simply raise my glass to you guys and hold my breath.

    (And since we're on the topic of maybe-silly omens, the glass I just raised is an Irish whisky on the rocks. The whisky brand is called Two Gingers. If you guys have redheaded twins, well, I need to start believing in something more creative than shit-happens-the-world-is-chaos.)

    Sending good vibes your way.

  2. Ha. Redheaded twins would be a heck of a genetic throwback. Thanks for the toast and the good vibes (and I fear I am about to put my readers through the same roller coaster I have endured the last 72 hours - just somewhat delayed. cringe.)