So, and because I had done the research and data collection to know when I was ovulating, I started peeing on sticks mere days after, uh, conception. (Talking about sex in general is easy for me – talking about a specific instance is somehow embarrassing. Funny.)
My friend Dr. Kim explained that she bought just the replacement sticks, online, because they’re super cheap. She even gave me her leftovers, after she made her own bundle of joy (baby photos here). I bought more, from the same place (early-pregnancy-tests.com, although the site seems to be down) since they were so super cheap.*
Having cheap and plentiful pregnancy tests meant I could test obsessively. I tried my best not to. I learned that the test looks for a hormone that is produced after the fertilized egg attaches to your uterus (before that, it’s there, but free floating), which can take a while. I kept the stick peeing to a minimum, maybe once every two days.
I now know that the first sign of pregnancy I had was sore breasts, which is unfortunately also a sign of oncoming menstruation. So, totally unhelpful.
The first not-normal thing that I noticed to me was the crazy-intense cramping I started having. Usually at night, only on my left side, it was a stabbing pain low in my abdomen that would last about 10 minutes at a time and occur maybe four times a day. As someone who’s never really had bad cramps, I assumed this was not normal. I gave it a couple of days, but on the third night, when a bout lasted a half hour, I woke Jason up sobbing “this is not OK, I want to go to the doctor tomorrow”. He was alarmed, probably due to the waking-up-to-your-wife-sobbing-at-you factor, and agreed readily.
In the morning, I called my doctor. (I love my doctor, by the way. If you live in the greater Boston area, she’s Dr. Nancy Akbari.) She wondered if it was “GI related”, which I mentally translated as “fart related”, because it was lower abdomen, on the left side. I assured her that it was unrelated to gas. I told her that I was maybe, possibly pregnant, and she decided I should come in. Lower abdomen pain on one side can mean ectopic pregnancy, which is dangerous. (She was doubtful of this too, because you start getting the pain from an ectopic pregnancy later than I thought I was pregnant, but didn’t want to chance it.) I peed on a stick before I left, hoping that a positive test would mean there wasn’t something wrong with me. No luck.
I went in to the office. She said that they’d do a pregnancy pee test. If it was positive, it was probably just normal pregnancy pain. If it was negative, they’d do a pregnancy blood test, just to make sure. If both were negative, then she’s start to worry about ovarian cysts and such.
So, what I learned that day is the pregnancy test they have at my doctor’s office is more sensitive than the ones I was peeing on at home. It’s funny to say, because it’s so clichéd, but I made the nurse repeat herself when she said it was positive.
Then I had an immediate adrenaline rush. I felt my face flush red, a rarity. So, that was that. Nothing was wrong, I was just pregnantohmygod.
It was a gorgeous day, and as I walked back to the train station, I called both my parents at work. I’m not a very good secret keeper, and I was just too excited, overjoyed, and full of adrenaline to not share. My mom made an eeeeeeeee noise. It was very cute.
Long before, Jason had joked that the only way he wanted to know if I was ever pregnant was to come home to find me knitting booties. As I couldn’t wait until he came home (six hours is a long time when you made a baby with someone), I once again turned to technology. I sat down in front of my MacBook Pro, and shot a quick video of me slowly turning around in my chair, to reveal a baby booty on needles. I sent it to his email, with a subject like OMG OPEN THIS RIGHT NOW.
So, that’s how I discovered I was pregnant. The stabby thing happened once or twice more, then went away for good.
Next, I’ll tell you all about pregnancy nausea, otherwise known as “morning sickness”, but should be known as “all day sickness”.
*I still have some pregnancy sticks. If anyone wants them, email me.