If I’m not pregnant, then this is a mean case of PMS.
Heartburn, breast tenderness. Bolted awake at 1:45 a.m. with the absolute certainty of it.
I’ve only told four friends so far that this is even a possibility. One, having just witnessed the two-year fight another friend my age had with infertility issues, leading to four rounds of IVF, and finally, twins, was skeptical to say the least. I told her I thought I had symptoms. That things felt… different.
I understand her response. I was saying these things barely a week after we’d done the do. And at my age… And even this morning’s certainty could be somewhere between fantasy and peri-menopause, but I doubt it.
For the moment, and to do something with my insomnia I return to the story…
* * *
In the days leading up to March 4, we talked about my “deadline.”
Scott said he thought our “wait a year” scenario meant that in a year we would start TALKING about having a baby. I realized my scenario had been that we would start TRYING.
I told him about my fear that I am getting too old to do this. I’ve read articles about my eggs being too old, men his age or slightly older having increased risk of autistic offspring… and then there’s just this FEELING. I can’t explain it. Like my job is to GET PREGNANT IN MARCH. All lit up in neon letters inside my head.
When I try to imagine it happening in April, I just feel empty.
And I admitted to him the most embarrassing thing of all. Last summer, a scant four months after our wedding, I had an astrology reading. The astrologer, a woman living at the ranch where I was staying and attending a three-week theater training, drew up my chart, and Scott’s, and the one for our relationship — based on the date and time of our wedding.
She said a lot of things. Nice things. That my chart is full of indicators that my career is in communication (theater, writing, it’s all there). That Scott’s financial picture is set to improve, probably in some way relating to his toy making or collecting; that our relationship is a good one, has a strong bond, that our relationship will be of service.
And she said she saw two children. She said we would have a girl, born in December (although she *didn’t* say what year). A Sagittarius. And she would be very wise…
Jump to — Sunday, March 4, 2007. Scott wakes up with the sexiest glint in his eye. It’s the morning after I’ve performed in my best improvisational theater show since he’s known me. I feel good, relieved, relaxed. He’s more attractive to me than ever. For about a week, this incredible gratitude/love fog has been building, curling around us, making everything, especially Scott, pretty and soft-focus and full of gooey love-ness. One of these bouts I have where all the doubts and fears melt away and I’m just glad he’s mine.
He asks me where I am in my cycle. We’ve been using natural family planning for almost three years now, glove off during “safe” weeks, and then on during the weeks before and after the average ovulation date. I’m due to ovulate on Wednesday, I tell him.
He says, “Do you want to do this?”
He says, “Let’s be brave.”
It’s some of the best sex we’ve ever had. Baby-making sex. Like all of the intention just wrapped itself around… let’s just say it felt really good.
And I got up right after and went to the bathroom, like I usually do. No lying around with a pillow under my hips. No nothing. Because we weren’t really “trying.” We were playing at trying.
And since we’d already played at trying once, we did it again that night. I think we may have joked about giving the oracle a chance to be right.
And then the doubt settled in again. By Monday, we agreed we’d wait till next month. That we needed just a little more time to plan, to get used to the idea. For God’s sake, I hadn’t even read a book on the subject yet.
That afternoon, I called my high school best friend and told her about our trying/not trying. She said, “Are you taking prenatal vitamins?”
On Tuesday, I bought prenatal vitamins and two slim books about pregnancy from the health food store near our house. I was testing myself. If I’m serious about all this business, I’d better show up and start acting responsibly. I took the first dose of vitamins as soon as I got home.
Wednesday, the glove was back on. We debated it again, briefly. Agreed that we weren’t REALLY ready.
It wasn’t as much fun as baby-making sex. It felt a little sad.
Somehow with all my fertility charting knowledge and high I.Q., I had decided that Wednesday, March 7, the big ovulation day that month — mucous and all, was the only REAL fertile day. That on Sunday, we’d just played at the edge of fire but hadn’t gotten close enough to really…
On Thursday, March 8, I started this journal and then went for a walk with a friend, grilling her on baby-related topics (her son is 20 months). How did you decide to have a baby?
She described a pushme-pullyou of one person being ready and then the other and then one feeling not so ready and then feeling ready and then the other and meanwhile baby-making sex was awfully fun and then, one time she thought she was pregnant and when she found out she wasn’t she was very disappointed and that’s how she knew and then BOOM. And voilá.
I also asked her how much it costs to have a baby. And here’s what she told me:
Hospital bill: $25,000 (insurance covers most of this, but still shows you what they did for you.)
Psychic Chiropractor appointments: $75/week
Photo processing: ???
She says you end up spending a lot of money on photo processing.
* * *
The weekend went by fairly uneventfully; except for by then I had already started trying to follow the dietary recommendations I’d read in one of my new books. I suspected something was up, and if not, it was good practice…
Sunday night, March 11, looking at a graph in the third pregnancy book I’d bought, I finally put it together.
I’m sitting in the bedroom knitting. Scott is in his office, working on his toy “displaysets” project. I have the urge to call him into the bedroom, just to let him KNOW. Just so we’re not in denial about this. That having sex two days BEFORE ovulation is like, well, umm, the optimal time for getting me pregnant.
But as is the case with most urges I have while knitting (hunger, thirst, needing to go to the bathroom), it gets subsumed by the hypnotic activity of the needles, and by the time he comes to bed, I forget to say anything.
On Monday, March 12, I go to see my psychic chiropractor. I tell her what’s been going on. She arm tests me, asking my body, if I am pregnant. The answer comes back: Yes.
(NOTE: I will occasionally refer in my posts to my “psychic chiropractor,” which is probably a very reductionist way of describing what she does. Although she does do a non-force type of chiropractic, and she is psychic. She is also a holistic healing practitioner. This Wikipedia site explains the arm-testing thing somewhat, although not quite like how she does it. This site heartily debunks it.)
I start to cry. Because we hadn’t really MEANT to have a baby yet, had we? I wanted us to be all full of INTENTION when we did it.
She explained that at this stage, all she was confirming was a meeting of the gametes, that implantation hadn’t happened yet, and might not. And so I took a little comfort. Because we aren’t ready. We don’t even balance our checkbooks. HOW ARE WE GOING TO DO THIS?
Then again, she says, most people aren’t ready when it happens.
March 15, 2007. I pick Scott up from work. His colleague walks out just as we’re pulling away, waves us down. We stop. He comes to the window to chat. He says that another colleague of theirs had emailed him today, saying she’d had a premonition about Scott and I and “a little chili, a bambino.”
For a moment, I’m confused. Our cat Bambino was eating chili in her psychic vision? What does that have to do with us? … Oh! I look at Scott’s co-worker, eyes wide, and admit nothing. As we are pulling away, I say, “If this turns out to be true, we have to rewind to this moment and tell him.”
I can’t officially take a pregnancy test, and hope for any kind of reliable result, until the close to the day my period is due. We have two tests in the bathroom cabinet. Earlier tonight, we agreed I’d take one on Sunday, March 18, 2007, our anniversary, three days before my red-letter day, which gives the test about a 70% chance of being accurate. We can always test again on the 21st.