Saturday, February 12, 2005


From the drawer -- So I'm late, right?

I remember reading once something about Stephen King. He said that he had a bunch of novels that had never been given to his publisher, and when times were lean (or, as I think the situation happened to be, he was so strung out on his addiction of choice that he couldn't produce) he would reach into his drawer and pull out something he had written eons ago and pass it off as his latest work.

I love this concept, and the reason I am a little sketchy on the details is because I read it long ago and yet it has stayed with me all these years.

Oh, and I should clarify that it's not so much that I am addled from substance abuse, but that I know blogs need to be updated frequently to be interesting and I've run out of things to say just now (stop snickering, even I shut up sometimes). So, in the interest of filling in the gaps, I would like to introduce into my blog the concept of "from the drawer." Plus, some of my fave pieces share exciting news in my life, like this one, and you get to know a little bit more about me. Isn't that cool?

Without further ado, here's one of my all-time faves from May 2003:

I'm late. Not like late for work, or late for a meeting (although that frequently happens) or late for dinner (although that rarely happens). I mean I'm late, like the big LATE, like, "Hmmmm, when DID I last have my period anyway?" And I can't believe that I don't actually know when my last period was. I have a vague idea, but I really am not sure if I am late, or if I just can't count.

Of course, I've been through this too many times before to get worked up about it. But I'm this irrepressible optimist, in case you haven't noticed. So when I figure I'm about three days late, I start to wonder. And I start to get a little bit obsessed with the toilet paper again. I find myself peeing when I don't really have a full bladder, just to check the TP. And then I find I'm really peeing all the time, and I'm not sure if it's psychological because I want to check the TP, or if I'm imagining things, and then one morning I remember that frequent urination is an early sign of pregnancy.

It's at that point that I start to get interested in my breasts, poor neglected things lying dormant since Tristan weaned himself in January. I find myself walking through the mall on the way home from work, trying to surreptitiously give myself a little squeeze to see if they're tender, which they are not. So I tell myself I'm being silly, and I wonder why I am compelled to do this in the mall, instead of say, my slightly more private bathroom at home.

Anyway, a couple more days go by, and I tell myself, "Okay, if no flow by Thursday, I'll take a test. I should definitely be late by Thursday." So then it occurs to me that if I want to take it on Thursday morning, I have to buy it on Wednesday. Now, after a couple years of struggling with infertility (blissfully ended by a successful IVF) I hate those freakin' tests. They seem to be a big red bulls-eye for the period police, and I'm really reluctant to actually buy one, as I am happy not knowing. As long as not proven otherwise, I'm still free to fantasize, right?

So I'm standing in the Shoppers Drug Mart, staring at the shelf of tests. And I don't want to buy one, because I have all these bitter, sad memories. I pick one up, I put it down. I pick up the two-pack, because it's more economical and I'm Scottish and Dutch and you don't get any cheaper than that. But I don't want that other test lying around to mock me after the first one comes up negative. So I walk out of the store. And then I walk back in, because the not-knowing is killing me. And I just buy the damn test to be done with it, and I hold it extra tight like a talisman. All the way home, I'm extremely conscious of the little bag beside me, like everyone can read the neon sign over my head, "Ha ha, look at this woman. She's infertile, and probably less than a week late, and she bought a pregnancy test! What a rube!"

So I'm watching the Sens game last night, and I start to play little games in my head. Like, if they get the goal, I'm pregnant. If they win the game, it's a sign, I'm pregnant. Beloved is teaching, so I'm all by myself, and damn if that isn't one of the best, most exciting hockey games I've ever seen! And all wrapped up in the anxiety of the game is my obsession with the little box on the end table. On my way to bed, I bring the test upstairs, and on the way past Tristan's room I stop in and touch the test to the top of his little head, for good luck.

So it's 4:45 am and Tristan has been sleeping poorly lately. I crawl back into bed after the latest soother insertion, and I have to pee but I don't want to pee yet because I want to use the first morning urine for the test. So I'm lying there, desperate to pee, trying to get back to sleep, and that's just not going to happen. So I give in. I tear open the box, and I'm taking a quick read of the instructions (it's been two years at least), doing the little "I've gotta pee" dance in my pre-dawn bathroom.

So I pee on the stick. And I remember all the negatives. And I remember my one positive, that ended in a miscarriage at 13 weeks. And I'm afraid to look, and I swear vengeance on the cruel soul that invented these blasted tests.

So I'm holding it in my hand, watching the liquid race across the little windows. There goes the test window. There goes the actual window.

Oh. My. God.

I'm pregnant!!!