I am not pregnant.
In case, like me, you were convinced that I was; in case you were one of the dozen people I told; in case you overheard me talking loudly through my open window about when I thought this baby's due date would be...
Just to be clear, we weren't trying to get pregnant. In fact, we are pretty consciously trying not to get pregnant. A month ago, I felt queasy, and said to Travis, "Am I late? When was my last period?"
"You aren't pregnant," he said.
"I can't remember, though," I said. "Was it a month ago? Only two weeks ago?"
And then, to save on money (because I obsessively buy and use pregnancy tests), I made myself a deal. I would not buy a pregnancy test until the first of August, because then an entire month would have gone by and I would definitely be late, and positively be pregnant.
But I found a pregnancy test under my bathroom sink a few days later. So I used it.
There was no tell-tale second pink line, but that didn't bother me. I'd taken three(!!) pregnancy tests the first time I was pregnant and they were all negative, including one when I was eight weeks along (and with twins!)
So I don't trust pregnancy tests. I think that I have magical pregnancy-test-fooling-urine. (Yet, I still use them all the time.)
And every day that passed, I became more convinced that I was pregnant. I fished out the still half-full bottle of prenatal vitamins from my first pregnancy and started taking them. I stopped myself from buying discounted shorts for next summer, because who knows what size I'd be next June? I started researching maternity insurance.
And I was sure.
I knew it.
I tried to convince Travis that I was pregnant, and he tried to reason that I wasn't, because the pregnancy test said I wasn't.
The first of August came and went. It had been over a month since I first thought I might be pregnant. I was at least two weeks late, maybe more. Every time I felt even a bit of a craving for anything, it was because I was pregnant. Every time I felt like I wanted a nap, it was because I was pregnant. Every time I burst into tears over something silly, it was because I was pregnant.
But I wasn't.
And I'm not.
I was just late.
And I let myself get so excited for her. Her. I felt that she was a her, the same way that I felt there was a set of boy twins in me the first time. Did you know that I knew I was pregnant with twins? I knew it. Every time we went to the midwife and listened to the heart beat, I would ask over and over again, "Are you sure there's only one? You don't hear another heart beat?"
The midwife would laugh and say, "No, I promise, there's just the one heart beat and you're the right size for one baby."
But she was wrong and I was right.
And I was so convinced that I was right this time, too. I would spend the entire day, telling Travis about her. I knew what I wanted to name her. How I wanted to dress her. The quilt I would make for her to snuggle up in. I browsed through baby knitting patterns and told Travis over and over that I needed to finish all these crafts for the boys before we found out for certain that I was pregnant, and I only wanted to make things for the baby.
I started planning quiet books for the boys, but instead of making plans for two books, I was making plans for three.
I fell asleep at night thinking about all the little things that we would do as a family of five, trying to decide how to help the boys understand that there was a baby in my belly, and imagining how adorable our family portraits would be.
I have four pregnant friends, and every day I thought about how lovely it would be for us to all have babies the same age. Every time I saw a child that looked like Travis, me, or our siblings, I would muse about what this baby would look like. Blond hair and blue eyes like her brothers? Or would she have olive skin like me, and green eyes like her grandpa? Would she be chubby and round like her mama, or tall and skinny like all my boys?
I was so sure that this was meant to be. Did you know that my IUD came out a few months ago? It fell out, people. (Not normal.) At the time, I said to Travis, "This better not be a sign from God that it's time to get pregnant again."
We couldn't afford another IUD, so we are on a different kind of birth control now, and all last month I kept thinking, "If I'm pregnant now, when we are so actively trying to prevent it, it is meant to be. It's time for our family to have another baby. This baby wanted to come and there's no stopping her!"
She isn't real.
I can't get over it. I can't figure it out.
I keep thinking, maybe this period is a fluke. Maybe it's not really a period. Maybe it's "spotting," although I feel like I could tell the difference.
Maybe it's a miscarriage and I was pregnant for a few weeks, and now I'm not... but again, I think I would probably be able to tell.
I think, really, all it is - is a late period, and a woman who is not pregnant after all.
And even though we didn't think that we were ready for another, and even though it's scary and the boys are so little and we are so poor...
I find that I am heartbroken over the fact that there really is no baby inside my body.
And if you have a new baby, I would like to come hold her and make myself feel better, please.