I have never given having children much consideration. Maybe it’s because I was an only child of a single mom and I watched her struggle and it didn’t look fun. Maybe it’s because I didn’t meet Mr. Right until I was pushing 40. Maybe it’s because I have never made a ton of money and I know it’s expensive. Maybe it’s because the world is so messed up and I don’t know if bringing kids into it is a great idea. It just seemed more important to me to do my best to raise myself and become self-actualized than to be a mom. That was until last month.
I was late on my period.
And it was weird because I’m never late. For 35 years you could set your watch to my cycle. In fact, I was so regular that for years my period came every 4th Saturday. I could plan my life around it. “Sorry, Lara. I can’t make the party because I’ll be on my period that night and I’m tired just thinking about it.”
So last month the day it was due came and went. And another. And another. Oh my God! Could it be?? A miracle! I’m 46 years old. How many eggs could I possibly have left?? And my husband–let’s just say there’s reason to believe his sperm motility might be a bit… sluggish. Then there’s our patchy sex life. TMI?
I started Googling like mad.
How soon can I take a test? Will it be accurate? I ran to the store and bought an EPT. I bolted back to work and peed on the stick in a bathroom stall. I waited. It told me I wasn’t pregnant. Bollocks! Of course I’m pregnant! There’s just not enough HCG in my urine yet, that’s all.
I scurried back to my desk and Googled some more. What about these cramps I’m having? Implantation cramps, obviously. It’s all over the web. The blastocyst is hunkering down on my uterine wall!! Baby names. Baby nursery decorating ideas. Baby clothes. Baby shower ideas. Oh my God, I’m having a baby.
The amazing part was how important I felt.
My life took on entirely new hue. It suddenly seemed infused with meaning and purpose. As if God did indeed have a plan for me. I slowed down and drove safer, wondering how a car seat would look in the backseat. I was eager to get a jogging stroller, even though I don’t jog.
And interestingly I felt more beautiful. I got some fake press-on nails for $6 at Rite Aid with French tips because pregnant moms always have these beautiful nails. They made me feel more pregnant.
When my period was 5 days late I took another pregnancy test.
It, too, came back negative. Not to worry. I went to Whole Foods and bought some pre-natal vitamins and a quart of expensive, small-batch ice cream which I ate for lunch. Extra calcium is important.
I couldn’t wait to tell my parents. They’ll never see it coming. My mom will fly out and visit more often to help with the baby, I thought. I won’t have to work for at least a year. It will be like early retirement! I can’t wait. My dad will be thrilled. He’s counting on my half-brother and sister, both in their twenties, to give him grandkids. But no. It will be me. His oldest. His first-born.
On Friday I went to the bathroom and there it was.
Aunt Flo. Could it be implantation bleeding? It happens in 30% of women. I took a deep breath and told myself the inevitable. I wasn’t pregnant. Deflated, I went and bought a nice bottle of Chardonnay for myself. When I got home and popped the cork Kevin came over and hugged me.
I’m trying to still feel important.
To still feel that my life has meaning and purpose. But I feel a bit adrift at the moment. Why does God pass out pregnancies to high school students and deny them to the most obvious candidates? I know, biology. But it’s bad design if you ask me.