“I think you’re pregnant,” my husband told me last month, a
few days before my period was due. Maybe
it was because my bod looked more voluptuous than usual. Or maybe it was because I’d just snapped at
him for no good reason.
Swollen breasts, fatigue, irritability, lower backache,
cramping, spotting. It is nature’s
cruelest joke that early pregnancy signs mimic PMS symptoms. When you’re trying to conceive, it’s all too
easy to misinterpret reality. Then
again, I could have been pregnant. We’d
certainly tried, just as we had every month for the past two years.
I peed on a Clearblue stick. Negative. It was probably too early to
test, I rationalized. All I could do was
wait and follow my standard maybe-I’m-pregnant
protocol: decaf, no more cocktails, ‘round the clock obsessing.
When you’re trying to conceive, it’s all too easy to misinterpret reality.
By the next day, my boobs were killing me and I was so tired
I had to take an afternoon nap. All signs pointed to pregnant. So certain was I, that I dug into my medicine
cabinet and unearthed a half-used box of progesterone suppositories left over
from our failed attempts at IVF. I
figured if I wasn’t pregnant, a little progesterone wouldn’t hurt me, but if I was knocked up, the hormones could help
my pregnancy stick. So I self medicated.
My symptoms worsened, and I remained convinced of my
with-child status, despite daily negative tests showing one sad, lonely
line. There had to be a logical
explanation. Maybe my morning urine had
been diluted by too many overnight trips to the bathroom? Maybe the tests were expired? I had to be pregnant. Not only was I achy and tired, but now my
period was late. What clearer sign could
I used an online due date calendar to find out when our
little bundle of joy would arrive. Then,
I mentally redecorated our apartment: could the baby share a bedroom with our
preschooler, or would we have to move? Naturally,
I started thinking about names. My
96-year-old grandmother had just passed, and while I couldn’t saddle our child
with “Gertrude,” maybe we could still honor her with Gavin or Gabrielle.
While all this was going on, I continued to test
negative. A real mystery. Finally, I turned to my frenemy — the Internet — for answers. You know what can
delay your period bedsides being pregnant? Dosing yourself with progesterone. It took me a week and a whole bunch of expensive, wasted meds to figure
this one out. I really, truly wasn’t
pregnant. As soon as I stopped taking the hormones, Aunt
Flo came a-callin'. But my husband and I
were left with this uneasy sense of having been misled by the universe.