There are a lot of pregnant women in my life right now.
So, it’s not really a surprise that I would begin to find symptoms of pregnancy in myself.
Over the years I have probably taken fifty, well, at least twenty, maybe as high as thirty, negative pregnancy tests. I am notorious for thinking I’m pregnant when I’m not. The rule is that when I start feeling the glimmerings of certainty to the point that I start forsaking the coffee or alcohol it’s time to take the test. Yesterday morning I forsook a cup of coffee. It was time to take the test.
There are very few things more awkward than purchasing a pregnancy test, except maybe, purchasing one while your three children are knocking down the store shelves around you. You should’ve seen the look on the clerk’s face yesterday when I asked if he had any behind the counter. I saw a whole lot of condoms, but no pregnancy tests.
He blanched. He counted my children. He then made a thorough search to no avail.
“I thought I had some,” he said.
“Well, they are the ones everyone steals, right?” I joked.
He laughed halfheartedly. He’s probably still worried about me.
So, this afternoon I tried again at a different store. I surreptitiously tossed the box between the bread and the bananas on the conveyor belt. The checker boy passed it over the scanner quickly. I snagged the box before my son could read it only to realize it was empty.
“Um, is it okay if I grab another since this one is empty?” I asked.
The boy blanched and poked his finger into the empty box.
“Uh, yeah, that’s odd…” he said.
“They’re the ones everyone steals, right?” I joked.
He laughed halfheartedly. I am nothing if not original.
I then dragged my three children and three bags of groceries home through an ocean of whining and a growing storm of my own emotional turbulence. Four?!?!!? One way or another I had to find out soon.
I took the test and waited as my all-knowing urine climbed the uncompromising stick of certainty.
I have often thought it would be amusing for a pregnancy test company to change its indicators from “pregnant” and “not pregnant” to “sorry” and “congratulations”. What face would the women of America make when faced with this ambiguous empathy?
I, for one, would’ve breathed a little easier as my “not pregnant” today meant “congratulations”. I mean, sure, I would have been glowing tomorrow. After all, I do love my babies. But, I also might have shed a few tears tonight.
This means that now it’s time for my post-negative-pregnancy-test tradition, because after twenty, maybe thirty tests you know I have one, that is, a stiff drink.
So, huzzah! Pregnant ladies I drink to you!