It all started the week before Christmas. I was crabby and short tempered and wondered why in the world I would possibly be crabby right before CHRISTMAS! Oh, dang, it must be PMS. I looked at the calendar to see when the last occurrence of my “party” was.
Dang. I haven’t been writing these things down for quite some time. I tried to think back to the last time, and I figured out it was just after our vacation to San Diego. That was the end of November, so that would be about right. Darn. I HATE PMS, but the only way to get rid of the PMS is to experience the MS, and that’s no fun, either. Why did it have to be right during Christmas? Oh, well. I resigned myself to the inevitable, and stocked up on diet coke. The chocolate and candy were no problem, since it seemed with every ring of the doorbell some yummy sugar laden goodie was being delivered.
Christmas came and went. My period, however, did not. I kept thinking it would be here the next day. Then the next day, and the next. I started to wonder when it was going to come, and there began to be a nagging fear in the back of my mind–what if it didn’t? Every weird smell started to set me off. When I took the kids and cousins to Boondocks the week after Christmas, two of the kids picked out these squishy caterpillar things for their prizes. They smelled like gasoline and plastic. Not kidding. I had to crack the windows on the car on the way home, and I banished those squishy things to the basement. Was I overreacting? I don’t think so.
Could this be the beginning of “the big M”? or was it “the big P”? Is there another choice?
I started to think about how my life would change if we were to have another baby. For one thing, would it be healthy? I’m 42, now, for crying out loud. And crying out loud is just about what I did. I CAN’T be pregnant. Can !? But we’re so past that stage now. We don’t have kids waking up every three hours, we don’t have any of that STUFF it takes to have a baby. How would we do it? I would have to take a year off of my fabulous bell choir. I would have to “start over” with one more baby. The caboose. Every day, I waited. No period. The Monday after the New Year, I bought a pregnancy test. I waited until Tuesday to take it. I didn’t want to know. But I did want to know. The stress of not knowing was killing me. What would Ryan say? I know what he would say, he’d be thrilled to have another baby. But as a man, he’s not the one who has to go through all the changes, all the work, all the crap–of having a baby.
Tuesday, after the kids went to bed, I finally took the test. I read the directions twice, then I peed on the stick. And I waited. I brushed my teeth, and I waited. After the whole three minutes, I looked. That little test could change my life. Would it?
Negative. Not pregnant. I exhaled. While a tiny part of me was sad that there would be no baby, I was relieved. Good. I get to keep my life. I like my life. I like the kids and the fun ages they are, and I don’t want to miss all of that by having to focus all the attention on a baby. And I’ve already been blessed with 5 wonderful, healthy children. An embarrassment of riches, really. Relief. I had been going through all those scenarios in my mind, calculating that when this baby is 10, I’ll be 53. When this baby graduates from high school, I will be 60. Sixty! Ack! Both of my sisters are at the moment pregnant, and I wouldn’t want it to seem like I was just jumping on the bandwagon.
But if I wasn’t pregnant, where was the period? I waited. And waited. After three more days I wondered if I should take the second test (there are two in the box, you know). I didn’t. I waited. Friday, I finally had some light activity, and I was hopeful. Seriously–hopeful, that it was indeed the start of something. By Sunday, dear Aunt Flo had arrived. And I was indeed relieved.
In the coming months, as I get older and closer to the “Big M”, I’m sure this will happen again. I’ll just keep that back-up EPT test in the closet.