We have never been a “traditional” couple. He bluntly told me that I should be his girlfriend several hours after recovering from drinking too much on my birthday. He proposed to me in the midst of a six-hour fight as I was packing up my clothes to leave. We married each other in a hotel room in the middle of the mountains. So it was no surprise that when the day I told him he was going to be a daddy, my approach was far from conventional.
It’s common to hear women say, “You will just know when you are pregnant.” I always imagined that this sixth sense would be overwhelmingly dramatic, like I would wake up one morning with massive boobs and a newfound appreciation for my toilet. Unfortunately for some of us, it’s not that simple.
This situation was much more complicated. My fiancé and I (the mountain adventure came later) were not planning on having a little one any time soon. As he was pushing thirty, it was almost as if his biological clock was starting to tick but was being respectful of the fact he decided to shack up with a younger girl. Or better yet, was just smart enough to realize no matter how much he begged and pleaded I was going to do the mothering thing on my own damn time. Because of this, my weekend debauchery with my girlfriends was certainly not reflective of someone who was anticipating a conception … or a healthy liver at that.
After a proper Labor Day weekend celebration, I assumed it was only natural that a week later I had developed some rare form of narcolepsy. While my fiancé stuffed his face with junk food and watched endless hours of DVD’s, the only thing I could think about was how I was going to get more sleep before returning to work. I wasn’t interested in seeing Will Ferrell’s ridiculous ice skating performance. In fact, for once this actor was really starting to piss me off.
And so began the raging hormones. From what I figured, this urge to rip the head off small animals was just the lingering effects of spending an entire holiday weekend getting drunk. Everything my significant other did would make me cringe. From the way he’d drink his soda to his playful touch on my arm, it was enough to make me insane. I found every opportunity possible to yell at him, even if I really didn’t care about the dirty socks on the couch. By the end of the weekend, I was slamming our bedroom door in tears because I was so afraid of him “leaving me.”
That’s when it hit me, hard. Crying and irrationality are just two things that aren’t common for me. Even during my time of the month, I was a pretty stable person. All of the sudden I had been reduced to a blubbering idiot begging for this man’s forgiveness, like my backbone suddenly just vanished into thin air. This wasn’t right and unless I had a parasite eating the area of my brain that develops rational thought, I probably needed to go pick up a pregnancy test.
The next morning I attempted to avoid the issue. Sometimes, we play this game with ourselves that if we ignore something it might just go away. I figured, at this point if I am pregnant the kid can’t be that big, maybe it will decide to take up residence somewhere else. Once lunch time rolled around, I realized that half my students were deathly afraid of me (those raging hormones again) and if I was planning on staying employed I should probably quit pretending and go pick up a test.
I sped home and headed directly for the bathroom. Due to some scares in the past, I was fully aware the instructions tell you to wait until the morning when your hormones are at their highest. I didn’t care. All I wanted was to pee on the stick, get the little line I’d seen before and then make peace with the fact I was slowly losing my mind. No such luck. Not even a minute after I had peed on the damn thing, I could already see the formation of a second line.
If I had been accessing that rational area of my brain that was continuing to fail me, I would have accepted this test was positive. Many of the pregnancy signs were staring me in the face. Of course, I couldn’t immediately wrap my head around the fact that there was a tiny parasite swimming around in my uterus. With the way I had been drinking just a week ago, the thing would probably still be drunk! Just like in the movies, I had to take the other test in the box. It was the only way I could be sure that the deformed plus sign on the first one wasn’t a fluke.
I sat on a stool by my kitchen staring at both pregnancy tests. They both looked positive, but it was hard to be sure if the line formed a complete plus sign. I realized I probably should call the man who got me to this point and let him know what was going on. When I reached him, he was sitting in his car eating his lunch (a common practice at the time I found to be sadly pathetic). I bluntly blurted out something along the lines of, “I think I’m pregnant,” although I can’t be sure of exactly what I said. Knowing me it could have come out, “You knocked me up you bastard.” Then I proceeded to start sniveling again and being the wonderful man he is there were probably some words of comfort.
I’ve heard some incredibly romantic stories from other pregnant women about how they informed the fathers of their children. Surprising them when they came home with a little baby outfit and the positive pregnancy test or getting his family together and presenting him with a bunch of baby balloons. They’re all nauseatingly wonderful. I don’t think our memories will ever sound so perfect, but I’ve come to realize that really isn’t what matters in the end.