The words cut like a knife as I read the tiny print on the pregnancy test in the Target bathroom stall. A heavy sigh escaped me as I slowly put on my coat and gathered my things. My heart sank.
I had been so excited about the possibilities! Our son would have someone to play with. Would it be a girl this time? Crap, what would we do with a girl? We had already picked out a few names and I had thought of countless ways to tell my husband if I really was pregnant. He would have been thrilled.
As I exited the bathroom, I sent a text to one of my girlfriends who has two boys and was considering going for the hat-trick. She had encouraged me to take the test in the first place. “You never know,” she told me.
Me: “Damnit. Not pregnant.”
Friend: “Boo. ☹”
Me: “I know right. Bummer.”
Friend: “To the coffee and wine!”
One of my closest friends had struggled with infertility. While I was almost immediately frustrated with my situation, she had struggled for years. Countless blood tests, exams, consultations, and trials – let alone the immense cost – had only proved one thing: she would not be able to give birth to a child with her own eggs. As age quickly became her assailant, she and her husband would search through a catalog of egg donors.
The process was amazing to me and I grappled to understand. I remember when I first started considering a family of three and my friend and I relished in the thought of being pregnant at the same time. As my belly swelled with the life of my son, it became harder and harder to discuss my pregnancy with her, even though she supported me throughout. She always insisted it was “OK,” but I couldn’t help but think it wasn’t that simple.
Back in college, the thought of taking a pregnancy test was paralyzing. What if someone recognized you when you bought it – what would people think? What would it all mean? And then, when we got older, we found ourselves disappointed when we weren’t.
In many ways, these small trials and tribulations are a preview into parenthood. Patience is a virtue (that I don’t have). There is constant worry about how things are going. Am I healthy? Are my children healthy? Are they happy? What can I do to make their lives better? You want them to grow up and then, simultaneously, you want time to slow down.