It sounds slightly better than “I found out I was pregnant in the girl’s locker room in high school.”
January 20, 2011. I was notoriously late, for both my morning meeting and my period. I had taken a pregnancy test for about two weeks straight and every time I was disappointed at the blankness of each response. I was moments away from popping a pill in my mouth, a hormone prescribed by my OB, to bring on mother nature to kickstart my friend again (she isn’t really my friend, she is an awful bitch).
For some reason, I just had this big feeling way down in the bottom of my stomach whispering “pee on another stick it’ll be fun.” The tests I bought in bulk from a website that sells them for like twenty cents in bulk, so trying to find out if I was indeed pregnant became almost as fun and routine as looking for the cheap prize in the cereal box. Except this prize…this was going to be the motherload.
I peed on my stick nonchalantly, kind of like turning on the burner for tea and jumping in the shower. No big deal. My husband was asleep and clueless and it was going to be negative anyway. That’s the way it had read for months so DUH, this was simply just a waste of time.
I returned from the shower, glanced at the stick. And saw this:
Yeah, whatever line you THINK is the result line is…you are probably wrong. Look closer. Put on your bifocals, take out your magnifying glass and then put that in front of your binoculars.
It’s THIS line:
I just stared at it. I even tilted it toward the morning sunlight coming through the window, as if shifting it back and forth slowly in the light in my fist was going to tell me a secret.
I put it into the medicine cabinet, kissed my sleeping husband and went to the grocery store.
I casually walked in, and quickly grabbed the following two items:
The first item was to chug down to get my caffeine going for the day once the second item confirmed that the quarter machine test from home had a factory piece of lint embedded into the cardboard.
And then I went about my day.
I drove to the location where my consulting meeting was to be held for the next three hours. As I sat there, trying my best to be an interested participant, all I could think about was how I needed to drink as much as possible so that I would have to pee again once I arrived home.
My bladder could hold less than I thought. To top it off I was so antsy I already downed the coffee. Double fuck.
I then thought about how utterly freezing cold it was outside and how the test I just bought was sitting patiently in the grocery bag.
What if it had some kind of temperature stability requirement on the back of the box?
I just paid like $12 for the damn thing and it better not be fucking wrong because I left it in the car in below freezing weather.
I called my girlfriend.
“So, if there is a faint line, like a really, really not even there, like you can’t even see it hardly, like it’s that NOT THERE, what does that mean?”
Her response was simple.
“It means your pregnant dumb ass. Congratulations Mama!”
I quickly diffused her excitement. She, no one, not anyone could know what was happening until the single most important person in the entire world knew the possibility: the potential baby daddy.
I sprinted to my car. Grabbed the bag. Sprinted back into the local YMCA. Ducked into the first bathroom I saw. Sweet. Single stall, no one else around to hear the silence of my “trying to pee” under pressure.
I read the directions. About twelve times. I had two tests but only one shot of peeing and getting it right or I was going to have to chug a case of water.
My hand was shaking so bad I peed all over myself. I stuck the purple cap back on, set the test on the sink and vowed NOT to look at it for a solid three minutes.
I think I circled that 7×7 bathroom about 72 times. I wrung my creme color scarf around my hands till they turned blue. I talked to myself out loud. I kept promising whoever was listening that I was not going to be upset when I saw that it was negative. I mumbled about how other people have tried far longer to get pregnant and it’s no big deal if we never have kids we will just breed dogs and live on a farm and play Yahtzee. We will travel and have sex on every surface in our perfectly kept, always clean, organized house because their won’t be toys to accidentally sit on, or juice to slide on or animal crackers to step in. We will sleep in on weekends and buy all kinds of expensive unnecessary things while our friends save for college and buy diapers and stay up late finishing school projects. And most importantly, I will not cry.
I don’t know how much time passed. But I walked over to the sink. And there…there it was.
Something about seeing the word made it so much more real than the invisible line I saw a few hours earlier. I felt so stunned I didn’t know how to react. I felt frozen in this moment, alone in some dingy bathroom in a building I have never been in, finding out one of the most exciting pieces of news I will ever have.
I left my meeting early. I wasn’t even at my car before I was dialing the doctor’s office to make an appointment. Of course, they were at lunch. I would soon come to find over the next 37 weeks that they were always at lunch. I drove home, bursting to tell my husband. I dialed the doctor’s office about 85 times. Still at lunch.
What the fuck is the secretary EATING for God’s sake? People are getting pregnant!
I pulled in the driveway to find his space empty.
Pregnancy hormones set in.
I went from beaming, nervous, excitement to…where the fuck is his ass? I have important things to discuss!
I paced around my house.
I had a little book I bought months ago in hiding, called “1,001 things it means to be a Dad.” I put it into a gift bag with a card, which in so many words spelled “I’m knocked up.”
When he walked in the door I was busy calculating my due date and scheduling an appointment for the following week (that damn bitch finally answered the phone).
He came over to me and I thrust the bag in his hand. Meanwhile, I asked him where he had been.
“I was cashing in a lottery ticket.”
As I saw him open the card and read the hardly legible scroll that changed him forever…as I watched him touch the card stock, mouth starting to hang open, a smile in his eyes, shock in the lines of his cheeks, and a little quiver in his lips that were quickly turning upward I knew…
He’d never have to play the lottery again.
Because he already felt like he won.