Things that were not in the baby brochure

You'll have to indulge me a bit as I catch up on all my thoughts about this little person I'm growing. I've been keeping a private journal for months as we discussed the possibility of going down this parenthood path, as I went for "pre-conception consultations" and as I squinted at faint pink lines after peeing on them to determine if that really meant what I thought it did. And I surprised myself, in that once we realized we were pregnant Rich was the one who was happy to tell anyone and everyone and I was the one holding back. Me. Holding back. I know, I was a little unsure what to make of it too. As my father has said, "I may not have experienced a lot of things in life, but I pay attention and I'm a good listener." So while I'm new to this whole baby-making thing, I've been reading about everything from BPA-free bottles, latching issues, circumcision debates and Mommy Guilt for years. Fascinatingly, though, most ladies don't start talking about their pregnancy until that magical 12 week marker when the risk for a miscarriage is significantly lower and at that point they're at the cusp of the 2nd trimester. Their pregnancy announcement basically entails, "I peed on a stick, I told my husband/BabyDaddy, we're very excited, I puked for a few weeks and now I'm telling you all! Let's celebrate!" That's not a lot of information for three months of your life.

Also I'm not showing a lot of the typical pregnancy symptoms. I don't have much nausea and have never feared puking. I've gained 10 pounds already, but I'm not sure where since I'm still wearing all my regular clothes. My boobs look about the same (as far as I can tell) and if anything I'm taking slightly less insulin than I was pre-pregnancy. Other than one colleague last week telling me she could tell I was pregnant because my ass was wider, I'm not sure you could tell. (I hate to stereotype librarians, but they can be a little blunt sometimes.)

And yet at the same time everything is vastly different. I'm making a person! That takes a lot of work.

For those of you who are curious, I do have some of the typical 1st trimester symptoms. I'm always exhausted. I could easily compete with a housecat for the number of hours I sleep on a weekend when not burdened with a schedule. The first few weeks of being pregnant Rich actually commented that he missed me because I was either at work or asleep. That is getting slightly better, but I still took a three hour nap yesterday.

I went through a few weeks of being stupid and this had to be the most frustrating symptom, by far. It's particularly frustrating when you're so newly pregnant that you're not quite ready to share the big news but you're convinced all your co-workers think you have picked up a drug problem. I'm someone who can answer four instant messages while talking to a person in my office and keep them all going. Suddenly I would ask a co-worker to come to my office for something and by the time they got to my doorway I had forgotten why they were bothering me. Argh! Thankfully, that has also gotten better or I'm learning some coping skills. My old boss Harry always used to ask, "what do stupid people do?" and I'm learning how they live their lives now every day. It's not so bad.

The most notable thing that was not in the brochure was just how hard it can be to get a positive pregnancy test. My blood sugars were out of whack, my period (which you could set your watch by) was two days late and I knew something was fishy. But the damn digital pregnancy test kept telling me "not pregnant." Rather than believe it, I just kept getting pissed at the test. My private journal from then says:

I have been second guessing everything my mind and body has been doing all week. Convinced my husband is retarded? Signs point to PMS. Think I'm gonna hurl? Could be pregnant. Could be flu. Sick of being at work? Could be any number of things (surrounded by morons, PMS (which leads me to believe I'm surrounded by morons), trying to work while pregnant, actually being pregnant).

Because I'm me, I made some charts on that Thursday afternoon as well.

the venn diagram I made when my period was two days late the pie chart I made when my period was two days late

By Friday morning after my period was due, I managed to switch to the pink line tests and got a faint second line. It seemed sufficient to me, but certainly nothing bold and blazing a path across the stick after only a few seconds. I showed it to Rich and he said, "I'd like a little more evidence before I get excited." Fine. I stomped off and wrote in my journal:

So I peed on a stick this morning and took my shower. I tried hard not to look at it while I was in the shower but then casually lunged for it once I exited the stall and there was a second line. It was incredibly faint and not a bold pink line blazoned across the stick like the control line. Just this faint but very much there second line.

And then I suddenly felt okay. I know I'm pregnant. My body tells me that. But I keep thinking it would be easier if I had something more concrete to show for it. Like could I get an endorsement on my driver's license to carry around? I'm not sure what Rich wants but he was not convinced by my faint second line. I told him he would not be convinced I was pregnant until he actual saw a human coming out of me or perhaps the child's third birthday. He's always a late comer when it comes to getting excited about things.

But I would have preferred a test result that caused confetti to flutter about the bathroom as opposed to me standing in a towel squinting at a pee-coated piece of plastic.

By the next day on Saturday morning I had a more bold second line but still nothing like a Sharpie marker would create. I showed that one to Rich and he still was hesitant. I caught him at his own game by telling him that if we didn't want to be pregnant, he would currently be hanging his head in his hands with woe over "what are we going to do because we're obviously PREGNANT?!" but that since we wanted this it couldn't be true. With that he relented, but still wanted a doctor to tell me I was officially pregnant.

Do you know how hard it is to get a doctor to tell you you're pregnant on a Saturday? I wanted him to be excited about this and it seemed we were going to have to get a professional to get me a certificate of pregnancy before we could tell anyone else. We actually went to a "doc in a box" medical clinic that morning to see if they would give me an official test. I walked up to the counter where the big black nurse (who looked a lot like the Pine Sol lady) asked if she could help me. I told her I had peed on a stick that morning and thought I was pregnant but wanted to see if they could give me something more official so my husband would start being excited. She looked at me. She peered up over her counter at Rich fidgeting in the waiting room, and she raised one eyebrow at me. She was very kind but explained that they would just give me the exact same stick to pee on and insurance wouldn't cover it so I should just call my OB on Monday. I thanked her for her time, she shook her head and then smiled to congratulate me, and we were left to go back home.

Now in Rich's defense, this is not like the movies. In the movies, you get a big bold line. Then all the paperwork inside the box says to make an appointment with your doctor for a confirmation. And since Rich is a firm believer in "we don't get excited about things because that's just what invites bad things to happen", his stance was to wait for something more official. He did relent to telling his parents that Saturday and my parents the next day. But we had to wait three weeks for my OB appointment. He was expecting me to get some official blood test or at least have someone even ask me. I walked into the maternal fetal medicine office, peed in a cup (to check for ketones, not pregnancy hormones), had my weight taken and my blood pressure taken and then everyone just started talking to me like I was a pregnant lady. No one even asked me if I had peed on a stick. As Rich said, any lady could just walk in there and pretend to be pregnant. As my mother said, one of the secretaries where she worked would claim every month to be pregnant and then two days later claim to have lost the baby. After about six months of this everyone, figured she just wasn't good at counting her cycle.

So no confetti. I'm going to make a new type of pregnancy test that is for people who want to be pregnant and it will explain the "second faint line" concept and there will be confetti that flies out of that damn stick all over the bathroom. Perhaps a little trumpet tune will play as well for extra effect. And it will have a Official Certificate of Pregnancy for you to fill out and stick on your fridge.