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A Vacation Surprise

My husband and I just took our first ever child-free vacation, leaving our daughter home with her grandparents. One of my closest friends, who knows how badly I want a second kid, gushed to me, “You’re totally going to get pregnant on your vacation!” I was forced to get clinical with her, explaining how our getaway fell during week four of my cycle, making it physically impossible for me to get knocked up — but thanks anyway for the positive thinking.

In fact, the trip brought a different kind of surprise: my period. This was bothersome for two reasons. First of all, come on! Aunt Flo has to show up during our only romantic vacation in nearly four years? That’s some cosmic bullshit right there. Second, I don’t like it when my cycle is wonky. I expect my period to show up 28 days from the last one. If it arrives early, I start assuming the worst: perimenopause. The descent from fertility into barrenness can take years, with irregular periods being a symptom. So now, instead of feeling like sexy vacation lady, I feared I was turning into an old crone.

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There was yet another problem; I hadn’t packed any period supplies, and we were staying in the wilderness, many miles from a convenience store. Our resort was able to supply me with some industrial-looking feminine hygiene products, like they might use in the Army or prison, but who was I to look a gift tampon in the mouth?

With logistics solved, I was able to put the inconvenience out of my mind. We hiked amongst redwoods, explored a secret beach and dined under the stars. It wasn’t until we headed home the next day that I realized my period had stopped. Maybe it was just on hiatus. I kept checking my undies for several more days, and nothing was happening. Only then did another possibility occur to me: the mini red tide might not have been my period at all. It might have been implantation bleeding, which can occur 6-12 days after conception. Could I actually be pregnant?

When you’re trying to conceive, you buy pregnancy tests in bulk, so I always have some on hand. I laid one out on the bathroom sink with plans to test in the morning. I thought about sharing my suspicion with my husband, but I didn’t want to make him totally crazy — one of us should at least get a good night’s sleep.

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The next morning, I snuck into the bathroom and peed on a stick. Unable to wait for three whole minutes without checking, I watched it develop, like a Polaroid. I saw one line, and immediately felt like such an idiot for even thinking I could be pregnant. It was just like my “hysterical pregnancy” from the previous month all over again.

But then a funny thing happened. A second line slowly appeared, changing everything, maybe forever. “I’m pregnant,” I whispered to my confused and sleepy husband. But after having endured six early miscarriages, both of us knew it was way too soon to jump up and down.

To be continued …

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