Finding Magic in Motherhood, Part 7: I Should Have Known Something Was Going On

Despite my husband’s reassurances, I was prepared for the long wait for another positive pregnancy test. The doctor had said to wait 3 months, but we had decided to not follow his advice. Still, there was no guarantee I would ovulate any time soon, no guarantee I would get pregnant again right away, no guarantee that my body was actually ready, or even capable of, carrying a child.

After the miscarriage, I had to go in for blood work to make sure my hCG level was going down. Fortunately, it did, and I stopped getting positive pregnancy tests. I was nervous, but it was time to try again.

The end of the Fall semester was rapidly approaching. I was too busy with papers, reading, and studying to think too much about getting pregnant. We let ovulation tests dictate our lives. My husband changed up his diet, and he’ll tell you all about it if you ask. Or even if you don’t. He’s like that. I took the opportunity to indulge in cold sandwiches packed with deli meats and my favorite Chinese sausage. I made and ate mousse until I was nauseous. I didn’t know how long it would take to get pregnant again and, since life decided to give me a chance to indulge in the foods forbidden to pregnant women, I was going to enjoy myself. Silver lining? I can’t tell you how badly I craved a cold turkey sandwich during my first pregnancy. I even forbade my husband from eating a sandwich in my presence, and from telling me whether he’d had one at work.

Life gave me a chance. I took it. No matter how much my heart ached for my lost baby. No matter how jealous I was of the ladies around me who were pregnant. They already had a child, and were now expecting a second. Why couldn’t I even have my first? I locked my pain into a box and buried it beneath my studies.

Still, whenever I had a moment, I would scroll through trying to conceive boards, would look at how many days past ovulation women would test and get positive tests. It was like a secret obsession I couldn’t shake. The one thing I’ve ever really been addicted to in my entire life. I’ll read two more pages or I’ll write one more paragraph and then I’ll take another look at that site…

I kept a quiet count of the days in my head, but I tempered it with practicality. There was no telling when I would get pregnant again, or even if I would at all. I hate disappointment.

We’d lost our baby at the beginning of November, a date that’s etched into my brain. My mind does funny things on that date, 6 years later. Just before Thanksgiving, my husband started gently, and then not so gently, prodding me to take a test because I was complaining of headaches and exhaustion. I kept putting him off. It was too soon. I didn’t want to be disappointed. I needed to wait at least two weeks past ovulation. I was going to wait a few more days past that. I was so scared of taking another test and seeing either no line or a faint line that I wanted a lack of a period to tell me what was going on in my body.

I should have paid attention to other signs as well.

We went to my mother-in-law’s for Thanksgiving. She prepared a lovely meal, and I couldn’t get enough of green beans mixed with stuffing. I hate green beans. I tolerate stuffing. I kept wondering if it would look weird if I went for more. On our way back home the next day, I had a massive headache.

With my first pregnancy, I was dizzy, almost incapacitatingly so. I expected more of the same the next time I got pregnant. Instead, I thought I was becoming stressed out with the end of the semester. I was getting headaches and hot flashes. I was feeling irritable and hungry. My husband kept poking at me to take a test. I just wanted to make a box of stuffing and eat it all by myself (which I did do a couple of weeks after taking a pregnancy test).

My concentration started to waver. I kept finding myself looking at the TTC boards instead of focusing on my History of Psychology readings. I got frustrated reading the same sentences over and over. Nothing was making much sense anymore. I thought I was just stressed out like all of my classmates. We were achingly aware of being just over a semester away from taking our comprehensive exams that would turn us into doctoral candidates. Stress was high.

In early December, I couldn’t take it anymore. My period was only a day late, assuming I would have one after a miscarriage. It was about 4 weeks after that dark day. My husband was irritating me by asking yet again if I would take a test.

I remember muttering darkly to myself as I went to take my shower, pregnancy test in hand. I had planned on waiting a few more days. I really, really, really wanted a dark line. With heavy and irritated sighs, I took the stupid test, fully expecting that my period was just delayed and that the miscarriage had scrambled my insides.

I had never seen a line that dark before. With the first pregnancy, I had immediately run out to tell my husband. This time I was an irritated, but happy, pregnant lady who wanted to make her husband suffer a little. I took my sweet time taking a shower, and then I told him.

Yeah, pregnancy was going to be fun.

For more about my journey into finding magic in motherhood or some of my parenting posts, be sure to stop by the Mother’s Corner.

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