By Heather O.
This is a guest post from Kristy Steele, who has her own blog, Rabbit in the Headlights.
Pregnancy tests had to be invented by a man. If I’m wrong, sue me. But no woman I have ever met could take something as emotional as a pregnancy test and sum it up so simply with parallel shapes: two lines = pregnant; one line = not pregnant. I have taken my share of these tests over the last five years but have not come in contact with two lines since the results of my last child were manifest. That single line has wreaked havoc on my psyche for some time now, and I’m not interested in any more abuse.
At first, the single line represented something temporary to me. Something that maybe wasn’t happening now, but would surely come about after several solid months. When that didn’t happen I was introduced to regular doses of disappointment and frustration, so I decided to experiment with some basic fertility drugs. Two months went by with no success so my doctor ordered an ultrasound at month #3 to see if the drugs were working. I met him in his office for the results. I felt like a schoolgirl waiting for the principal to deliver a consequence for bad behavior. He put on his glasses, picked up the papers to dissect their contents, furrowed his brow and squinted, and after a definitive “Hmm” my 5’ 2” Jewish OBGYN pitched my results back down on the desk, removed his glasses and declared, “Looks like you have a nice juicy follicle. I say you go home and have intercourse!”
The drugs never worked and yes, I could have gone on to subject myself to more medications, more procedures, and inevitable surgeries to find out where my body was broken. But I looked at the two great kids I already had and declined. I currently find myself in a situation where so much time has passed that a pregnancy result bearing only one pink line is met with relief instead of disappointment. Relief because I don’t have to gain fifty pounds. Relief because I will not have to exchange my current lot of six hours a day alone for increments of five minutes. Relief because I will continue to enjoy a solid night’s sleep. Relief because I won’t have to endure that two years of post-partum depression (not an exaggeration for me).
But the relief comes at a price.
I also don’t get to smell the head of my own freshly bathed baby. I don’t get to experience that kind of celebratory hug from my husband again. I don’t get to enjoy the reaction from family or share another cousin with a sibling. I don’t get to watch my friend Ganelle relish in the validation it would give her to hear me agonize over the day to day struggles of fresh parenthood. I don’t get to see the reaction from my friend Michelle, who said she would cry if I ever delivered such news.
All of the above went through my head over the weekend as I experienced yet another single pink line. The cycle of abuse continues, and I continue to search for the pregnancy test that tells it like it really is.
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