Remember this moment in Legally Blonde?
Apparently this is not true when you are 22 weeks pregnant. Yesterday, I finished my upper body workout, huffing and puffing away, drank a glass of water, and then began bawling on my yoga mat for a solid three minutes for no good reason. Mascara was all over my face and I felt like a total beauty queen. Ahhhhhh pregnancy hormones. What's not to love??
On Monday morning, February 13, 2017, I took a digital pregnancy test and it came back with the word PREGNANT. I had taken a few tests over the past year and they had always come back negative. Seeing the word POSITIVE was a bit hard to believe.
I spent the whole morning at work in a daze, convinced this was just a fluke. I had read about false positives before. My test had to have been one those, right? So on my lunch break, I went off to CVS and purchased a control test that wasn't digital. I went into the bathroom, peed on a stick, and waited as I watched the plus sign show up. This time I laughed and sent my husband a text that we were definitely on our way to being parents. And then I called my doctor, scheduled a blood test for Wednesday, and got my results on Thursday. According to the level of hCG in my blood, I was around 4 weeks pregnant!! In four days time, my life had changed drastically and I had gone from scared to confused to kind of giddy.
So how did I find out so quickly? From what I have read, not everyone finds out they are pregnant as early as four weeks. In fact, my doctor said his wife didn't know until she was almost 5 months! For almost a year, I had tracked data in a free app called Ovia Fertility so I knew my period was barely overdue and my symptoms were slightly off. Thanks to this app, I knew exactly when my last period had started when the doctor asked me. I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in tracking their cycles, regardless of whether you are trying to conceive or not.
What's the point of sharing all this with you? From the moment I saw the word POSITIVE on that first test, I was unsure what to do. I quickly snapped into high gear and moved things along at a rapid pace and I think it helped me feel a bit less panicked to have some structure. In just four days I took two at home tests, got blood taken to confirm, received a referral to and scheduled an appointment with an amazing OBGYN in Encino. If you get a Big Fat Positive on a test too, definitely schedule a blood test with your doctor as soon as possible. Getting everything confirmed and in order gave me a sense of control in a world full of chaos (yes, I just quoted Clueless). After all, isn't knowing half the battle?
Let's start at the very beginning. A little background on me. My mother calls me a "party in a box." I love dancing, drinking, and general rowdiness. I have fortunately been able to balance responsibility with partying and turned out to be a reasonably responsible adult. But even as I get older and less interested in spending a day hungover on the couch, every few weeks or so that 19 year old party school kid feeling bubbles inside my ribs and I just have to get out and socialize...and something about warm weather gives that feeling extra power. I guess what I am trying to say is I am a party girl.
Right alongside being a party girl, I've also always been a "I do not want kids" girl. The idea of snotty nosed, loud mouthed, tantrum throwing kids around all the time made me shudder. I wouldn't say I'm as cold hearted as that last sentence sounds. I just like doing my own thing without answering to anyone else but myself. For a pretty decent amount of time, being perpetually single and childless seemed like a damn good deal to me.
But then the party girl in me went out one hot summer night to The Whaler in Venice and I met the man who would eventually become my husband. He had a son already and I broke my unspoken "never date a man with a child" rule. I didn't meet his son until things were getting serious and I was grateful that we eased our way into that for everyone involved. And guess what? I liked having this kid around! He was fun and cute and developing a relationship with this five year old wasn't so terrible after all.
FAST FORWARD A FEW YEARS and I was now married, partying less, becoming more domestic, and all I could think about was babies. The clock was ticking and suddenly "I don't want to have kids" turned into "I want a baby!!" So my husband and I decided I would quit my birth control and we would start trying.
And so we tried. For about a year. Nothing happened. I would get sad over it because I would fall into the comparison trap (DO NOT EVER FALL INTO THE COMPARISON TRAP!!)- why were women getting pregnant so easily and nothing was happening for me? My husband already had a son so it couldn't be him. Maybe it was me. Maybe I was too old. Maybe I was infertile. Maybe all those years of saying I didn't want kids had sealed my fate. I would get so sad about it that my husband very wisely informed me that if this was something that made me so depressed, I should try to stop putting so much emphasis on it. And he was right. Something clicked. I never wanted kids before. Why was I so caught up in this? So I began to create my new life plan. I was going to go back for my Master's. I began researching schools earnestly. I felt like myself again. I would dive headfirst into my career. I felt renewed.
And then one January weekend, I was constipated for three days. THREE DAYS. Do you know what it feels like to be constipated for THREE WHOLE DAYS? It is not pleasant. (This is child's play compared to the first trimester but we will wait for that blog to elaborate.)
My husband told me I needed to take a pregnancy test and off to CVS we went. I woke up the next morning and peed on a stick. And wouldn't you know...that little digital test said that one very big word: PREGNANT.
WELL HOLY SHIT THEN.
It was a Monday morning and my husband was about to leave for work. I held out the pregnancy test to him as if it was contaminated. His face lit up. I cannot explain how happy he looked. He said "Am I allowed to be excited?!" I nodded and started crying and said, "I'm scared." He hugged me and kissed me and went off to work while I cried a bit more in our living room before starting my commute.
What was wrong with me? All this time I had wanted to be pregnant and now that I was, I simply felt fear and confusion. I took two more tests because I was sure the first was a fluke. They all came back positive. And so began the journey that has inspired this blog. The rollercoaster had just begun...