Now let’s go to Crazy Town.
I don’t know if you’ve heard, but apparently, pregnancy can make you a total whackadoo.
It’s true. I speak from experience.
My own whackadoo moment began Friday morning.
It started off promisingly. For the first time in MONTHS, when I looked in the mirror, I didn’t look like a hot mess.
IVF really wears you down. Since starting, I’d gotten used to always looking like shit. My face is puffy and my skin colour can only be described dull. Against my brassy highlights, my washed out skin colouring makes me look like a tired hooker. Though naturally thin, my hair had gotten even thinner. While my body, naturally not thin, had gotten and even larger.
But at that moment, newly pregnant and relieved, I looked better and felt great. The very low level nausea I’d been having on and off was completely gone. My abdominal cramps were gone. The extra 3 lbs I’d put on since IVF were gone… they took 3 of their friends with them.
Feeling invigorated by seeing my old self back in the mirror, I prettied myself up a bit. Instead of wearing relaxed casual friday clothes, I dressed things up a bit with a silk blouse, my skinny jeans and a pair of killer heels. I even washed my hair.
I headed off to work feeling a lot more confident than I have in a while.
Once I got into the office I bumped into a bunch of people who don’t know I’m pregnant. “Ooh don’t you look nice*,” came up a few times. That felt good.
Then one of my friend’s, H, who knows I’m pregnant, said, “When I was pregnant I was exhausted and I looked like shit. You look great. It’s hard to imagine that you’re percolating someone or even twins in there!”
We all laughed. But I started to think: What if something is wrong? Why don’t I have cramping? Why don’t I look and feel tired and pregnant?
Then, someone else who also knows I’m pregnant said, “You look like you’re losing weight. Are you having a lot of morning sickness?
“No,” I said, adding, “I was a little “blah” for the first week but now I don’t feel anything.” I twisted my wedding ring around on my finger anxiously, “But I guess that’s good, right? Symptom free is good?”
“Yeah!” She said. “No one wants morning sickness.”
“Yeah,” I agreed brightly. “No one wants morning sickness!”
I immediately went into my office and started googling, ’4 weeks pregnant, don’t feel pregnant’.
Let’s just say I did not like what I saw.
Whenever I tried to work on the speech I had to finish, my mind went sideways. Why had the cramping stopped? Why did the low level nausea stop? Why wasn’t I tired and fatigued from making a baby? Why did I look bright eyed and rested today?
I texted DH: I’m scared. No symptoms. What if….
I couldn’t bring myself to say the words, still can’t now.
He texted back: You are pregnant and crazy. That’s proof enough for me.
DH: Bunny please don’t do this to yourself. It’s in your head, you’re pregnant and babycakes(es) is okay.
Me: My boobs haven’t gotten any bigger. No veins and my nipples are the same.
DH: I don’t think your boobs can get much bigger.
ME: THAT’S NOT FUNNY.
DH: Hunny Bunny I was just trying to make you laugh. So you can see how silly you are.
Me: I’m not silly. I’m worried.
DH: Take your emergency pregnancy test.
ME: I already took it Tuesday.
DH: Go to the Rexall.
ME: I can’t, I have a speech due. And a bunch of other stuff.
DH: Do you want me to bring one?
So my poor DH, who has budgets to balance and numbers to crunch, went and got me a pregnancy test and came to my office with it.
I left the office on the pretext of a meeting.
If you’re going to pretend to go to a fake meeting* while everyone is waiting for you to finish a speech, it helps to bring props. So I met him at the side of the building with a binder stuffed full of news releases and a notebook. With a pen tucked jauntily behind my ear. “Bunny,” he said exasperated with me, ” What’s all this? You know I can’t stay long!”
“Oh don’t worry, their props.”
We then raced to the museum beside us so I could POAS and show him the results. I’d peed about 30 minutes ago and already had to pee again (should have been a red flag…..)
As soon as I locked myself in a stall, my iPhone started blowing up. Texts from work started piling up on top of each other (when the fuck did we start texting for work? Let’s all stop doing that, mmmkay?). Then it started to vibrate and ring with a phone call. Then another.
My iPhone was beeping and blurring like a possessed robot.
“Fuck my fucking life,” I hissed, tossing the phone on the floor of the stall.
Determined to proceed at all costs, even an irate phone call from “de boss”, I tried to tear open the plastic wrap for the Clear Blue digital box. I don’t know what kind of industrial strength plastic they used but I could NOT GET IT OPEN. I tried stabbing with my fingernails and tearing with my teeth. I was sweating and grunting so much you’d think I was giving birth. My fear and frustration bubbled over into a froth of rage. As I finally tore the plastic open, I sputtered out a stream of curses, ” Cocksucking mother fucker, what the fuck!”
The lady next to me made a sympathetic noise.
With the plastic and box finally opened, I throw the packaging on the ground and proceeded to tear open the individual package for the actual stick. Of course, the lid for the stick went flying, right into stall beside me. The rest of the stick clattered to ground at my feet.
I heaved sighed. Then said, “Sorry. Do you mind?” and put my hand under her stall.
She dropped the lid into my hand, and said, “Are you underage? Do you need help?”
“I’m 35. I’m just worried something is wrong.” No teen mom here, that of-sho.
“Oh! Well don’t worry then Hun.”
I’m a bit of a people pleaser, so I instead of saying: I’mworriedbecauseIwentthroughIVFandhavenosymptomsandeverythingmakedsmeparanoid, I said,”Okay.”
Hands shaking, I POAS’d. I didn’t bother to check the monitor beforehand. If I had, I might have saved myself some trouble.
Instead of “Pregnant 2-3 weeks” I got a book signal.
What the fuck? I’m pregnant with an encyclopedia?
By now she’s done and hovering outside my door. She whispers, “What does it say?”
I lean down and hand it to her, pee droplets and all. “It’s a book,” she says nonplussed. “Why would they put a book on here? That seems kinda dumb.”
Over the incessant chirping of my phone I say, “Tell me about it.” I hand her the leaflet so she can read the instructions and figure out why a pregnancy test would have a book in the indicator window, as I package up my wads of garbage.
She reads then explains, “The test was a dud. You have to do another. It says if you see that signal it was broken to begin with or you touched the stick itself.”
After I wash my hands and she washes hers again, we hug and part ways. Later, I’ll reflect on what a surprising and genuine interaction we had and how beautiful it was*. But right now I have other shit to deal with. It’s been at least 5 minutes so DH is a wreck. When he sees me, his brow is furrowed and the little veins on his neck are popping out nervously. “Well?” he demands.
I show him the test and explain everything. We run over to the concession stand where my homeboy Robin works. “Robin I need your help, it’s an emergency! I need a large cup of water, ASAP.” Robin handed me a giant cup of water and inexplicably, a bag of pop corn. I looked deep into his eyes and said, “Thank you for everything Robin.”
Robin gave me a weak salute.
DH and I ran to the courtyard and I drank the water quickly while DH, a vegan, deliberated over whether to eat the popcorn. He’s also a cheapskate, so he ate around the non buttered edges. While we waited for my bladder to fill up, DH said, “I think you’re pregnant, so I’m gonna go. After you get your results call me so I know you’re okay.”
“YOU’RE LEAVING ME?” I whinged, desperately.
“Yes, it will take you forever to have to pee.”
“No it won’t,” I say with a dismissive wave, because, uh-duh, I’d been peeing like a racehorse ever since I get my BFP, “I have to pee like every 3 seconds now. Just watch.”
As soon as I say it, we exchange glances.
Have to pee. Always peeing. No more than 30 minutes between each pee. Like a preggo….
Jackpot: one symptom! ONE SYMPTOM!!!!
Still, I need to see that positive.
Luckily for us my bladder cooperated. Within 3 minutes I had to pee. DH decided to stay and we went into the bowels of my office building. There, in a tiny windowless bathroom, tucked away in the corner I got my confirmation BFP.
*I sound like an egomaniac I guess saying I looked nice, but if you knew how haggard I felt and look you’d understand
*It’s really messed up that I work in an office where you have to pretend to have a meeting to have a moment to yourself but such is life.
*I will forever remember my bathroom stall angel.