Late on December 7th (the eighth anniversary of Rob's first letter to me), I took a pregnancy test. I stashed it in a drawer, certain I'd imagined the results, and finished cooking dinner. Twenty-four hours later, I handed Rob an envelope. In it was a stick, and a note:
Here we go again.
We weren't "trying." In fact, we were actively preventing. After many difficult conversations, Rob and I had determined that, while we both want another child, the near-constant wondering—could I be...pregnant?—month after month was wearing on us. We decided to take a winter break from living sans birth control, enjoy our holiday cocktails, and ditch the condoms again in the spring. (Spring seems like a good time to make a baby, right?) So really, the only way this makes any sense at all is that I must have ovulated a whole week earlier than usual, which seems very unlikely and WTF-ish.
We had ten lovely, excitement-filled days—rejoicing and daydreaming and eating vitamin-rich meals—before I noticed some brown spotting. (It looked exactly like the stuff that was coming out of me six months ago, shortly before an ultrasound revealed a lump of placental tissue hanging out in my uterus.) The spotting hasn't really stopped, almost two weeks later. My hCG at 5 1/2 weeks was 60,000. Off-the-charts high. In my best moments, I remember that charts and averages don't always match individual experiences. I remember the anecdotes, especially my midwife telling me that she spotted throughout her pregnancy and went on to have a healthy baby. But when the fear feels especially heavy, I suspect a missed miscarriage, a molar pregnancy, or worse.
Westley knows that I'm pregnant. He absolutely lit up when Rob told him that we think there's a baby growing inside Mommy; Westley has decided that it's a girl. I worry about possibly putting him through another loss, but it felt dishonest not to tell him what was going on when I've been so sick.
And have I been sick! Just setting foot in the kitchen makes me gag. Thinking about food is equally miserable. I can usually make myself eat if someone puts it in front of me, but preparing anything is out of the question. Rob has been shopping and cooking up a storm for me for the past week...and caring for Westley full-time, and doing all of the housework, and slipping fresh lemon slices into my water when I'm not looking. I am beyond grateful. Gratitude doesn't begin to scratch the surface of it, really. I have done nothing but sit, nap, complain, cry, watch Portlandia, worry, nap, and complain for a week. The last semi-productive thing I did was wrap Christmas presents, and that took everything I had.
In about a week, an ultrasound will tell whether we're expecting a baby or a surgery. I'm trying to be hopeful, and I want very much to be excited. There's something magical in the idea of conceiving when we specifically set out not to.