It was finally Friday night, two weeks into the new school year. At nine o’clock, I was already exhausted. I had also realized that day that my period was late. Very late, in fact.
I figured that the stress of a new school year had thrown off my cycle. But I also knew that months ago, I had used megadoses of vitamin C and ginger essential oil to start my cycle several days early in order to have a hassle-free honeymoon. (Worth it, by the way.) Now I was ready to do the same thing. But just in case since I was so late this time, I got a pregnancy test.
Driving back from Wal-Mart, I found myself thinking fleetingly, “Huh. what if it’s positive? Guess I couldn’t do that modeling instruction workshop next summer.” (Don’t know why this was the first thing I thought of. I think we’d been talking about the workshop at school.) But that was just impossible. We used protection and my cycle was both predictable and rather vocal about my fertility status.
Back in our apartment, I told my husband I was going to the bathroom. I unwrapped the pregnancy test and if looked just like it did in movies. Awkwardly shifting my weight on the toilet seat, I got it where it needed to go and hoped I wouldn’t pee on my fingers. Y’all know what peeing feels like so I won’t go into detail.
Almost immediately, three blue lines appeared, one single and two cross-hairs. It may seem overly cinematic, but I really did feel the outside noise of my life fade away as my vision telescoped onto the plastic stick in my hand. I bellowed my husband’s name. Not romantically. (Can one even bellow romantically? I digress.) “Tell your adviser you need to graduate right now!”
I cried. Not prettily, and not with joy. True, I had wanted to be a mom since high school, and my husband and I had already planned to have children. But not less than two months after our wedding. Not before he finished his dissertation and I figured out what to do with my life. (Spoiler alert: almost four years later and that hasn’t happened yet.)
My husband managed to be both soothing and excited at the same time. He was confident everything would be fine. I wasn’t so sure. I called my friend Nancy, a mother of three splendidly well-adjusted children.
“You’re pregnant, aren’t you?” she guessed when I greeted her with a charged silence.
“Yeah,” I sniffed.
“This is a good thing. It’s normal to be scared, but this is a good thing.” She paused, letting the words sink in. “And remember, not that long ago, this might never have been possible.”
She was right, as she always is about these things. Not three months before I met my now-husband, I’d seriously considered marrying a man who did not want to have more children. I’d spent a month trying to convince myself that I could live without my heart’s desire before leveling with him and myself that it wasn’t going to work.
Two years later, there I was. I knew the course of my life was changing permanently. There was mourning, for the just-the-two of us time we would not have. (At least not for eighteen years!) There was fear of the unknown. But eventually there was also much joy and gratitude. And the best is still yet to come.
Disclaimer: this story did not take place in the bathroom pictured above.
My friend Virginia is hosting the #OrdinaryStories project over on her blog. If you have a story to tell but are too scared or busy or perfectionist or whatever, check it out and join us.