As part of the Getting My Health Back campaign that I have been waging for (against) myself, I dragged myself to yet another doctor appointment on February 25. Once again, because I had let two years go by without going, I had re-fill out forms, health questionnaires, and so on.
Migraines? Rarely. Stroke? Nope. High Cholesterol? Nope. Ever been pregnant? Yep. Pregnancy complications? GD and HG. Heart disease? Nope. Cancer? Nope.
How long is your cycle? 25 days. When was your last period? Jan 15.
At least one person in the waiting room looked at me funny as I sucked in my breath, loudly. I was gasping for air. How could they not notice there was no air in the room? Why can’t I BREATHE?!?
I stopped filling out the form, and carefully laid the pen down on the clipboard. I just sat there, staring out the window at the traffic, the apartment buildings, the retaining pond, the ice frozen on the window. No. No, no, no. I managed to squeeze air into my lungs, and they called me back. When they got me situated, I told them they might want to have me take a pregnancy test. Just for giggles. The NP looked at me quizzically, and asked why. “Because,” I told her, “I filled out the forms about my cycle and the result of mental math is a big overdue fine in the period category.” I suppose that was mixing metaphors, but hey, I’m entitled.
I peed in the cup. I waited. I sat there and took stock of my thoughts.
It’s not like we’ve ruled out a second kid. Indeed, I would say that we are fifty-fifty on it, mainly because the idea of Lis not having a sibling makes me sad. But the conclusion of all those conversations is always that (1) Now is not the time; (2) I need to be healthy again; (3) Both of us need to get over the emotional rollercoaster of Lis’s first year and a half of life; and (4) We will talk about this again later. We actually have a set date to check in serious re-discuss the issue. It is not now.
Okay, I tell myself. Now is not ideal, but you didn’t rule it out. How do you feel?
I sat there and listened to my thoughts and my pulse hammering away. I found myself trying not to cry—not happy tears, but terror tears. Oh, I realize. That’s what this not breathing, heart pounding, dry mouth, almost crying is. This is not happiness. This is terror.
So I give myself the pep talk, about how I will adjust to being pregnant, how in about two weeks I will be excited for a new baby, how the pregnancy will be different this time, how the birth will be different this time, how there will be no craniosynostosis this time. I can’t know any of these for sure, but I am going to believe it. The tears back off, and I am somewhat calm.
The NP comes in and starts to take my blood pressure. I start laughing, and she stops. “I’m not sure you want to take that now, as I sit here waiting for pregnancy test to come back.” She smiles and admits that’s good point. She wanders out and comes back in with a paper.
No. No, I am not pregnant. Negative.
Have you been under stress lately? She asks. That can affect your cycle. Again, my somewhat hysterical sounding laugh appears. I’ve missed an entire week of work because of snow days, and I am a week behind in all y deadlines. I recently got a whole ton of work dumped on me because of various unbloggable reasons. I broke two toes and its made walking hard, and I can’t work out because it hurts to damn much. My mother in law fell last week, and shattered her arm and almost all of the bones in her face. She had surgery the same day as my appointment and she as another surgery in two days. She always took Lis on Fridays so that I could work and she could chill with Lis, so now I have no child care for Fridays, leaving me even more behind on work. Vor and I have been taking random bits of time off of work to take care of her. She’s had to basically move in with us. She’s (understandably) really sensitive and in pain, and is taking offensive to things I don’t even remember saying, but I probably did and didn’t mean it the way she took it. I’m agonizing over the fact I can’t be there for our friends who have a baby in the NICU.
So yes, I’m stressed. I’m not pregnant. I have stressed myself out of having a period. That’s pretty impressive, for me. I’m like clockwork.
This is the part where people say that although they were utterly relieved, the felt a small twinge of regret, right? A slight bit sad? Wistful? Surprised that they might have been okay with it?
No. No, I am not sad, regretful, wistful, surprised by any secret longing. I am only relieved. So I guess that’s the answer to my question that I keep asking myself.