Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Pregnancy Tests, Stress and a side of Phlegm

For the last few weeks I have been feeling under the weather. Not me. Unusual. Ok, so I am unusual - this is not the point. My appetite was off. I was having cravings. Sometimes I would feel light headed. I would all of a sudden become so hungry that I felt if I did not eat right that minute I would pass out.

The last time I felt that way...I found out I was pregnant with my son.

The thought niggled at my mind. I couldn't be. It wasn't possible. There was just no way. God would not play such a cruel trick on me.

But, my family is known to be a bunch of "Fertile Myrtles" as evidenced by the 16 grand kids split between my four siblings and myself. And the close age range between many of those babies. More than one of my family members has gotten pregnant at a time when it shouldn't have been possible.

I found myself staring at the pregnancy test I had tucked away in my make-up bag. I told myself to wait. I couldn't possibly be pregnant. I just wasn't giving myself long enough. But...what if I was?

Curiosity and nerves finally got the best of me. I pulled out The Stick That Changes Lives. And then I waited...and waited. And stared as the little line slowly made its way across the screen. It was negative.

But. There was another line. Or was there? It was so faint I couldn't tell! So I pulled my mom in the bathroom to have her look at it. She told me she couldn't see the lines without her glasses. Thank You, Mother. I can't see the lines if I set it on the other side of the room. That does not mean they aren't there.

She agreed with me. It probably was just a faint shadowing. Not enough to be considered a line. But still enough to cast a doubt in even her cynical mind.

My oldest sister came by the house later that evening. I showed it to her. She looked and it and declared that I should get a digital test. None of this "is this a line?" stuff for her. Just a clearly printed "pregnant" or "not pregnant" statement.

Mom suggested that I wait it out. I thought about it. But the stress and curiosity of the test left me begging for an answer. I managed to wait just a little over 24 hours. And then, I broke down and ran to Walgreens and bought the digital pregnancy test that they had advertised on sale in their flyer.

I briefly thought about taking it there at Walgreens. I made myself drive the 3 minutes back to the house. And then the waiting game started all over again.

As I watched the "thinking" light blink...and blink...and blink. And then blink some more. A million thoughts were racing through my mind. What if I was? I could be having an April baby. Happy Birthday to me. But. My husband would miss the whole pregnancy. And the birth. And the first couple months of Baby H's life. Could I handle three kids less than three years apart? Could I handle having my husband missing so much of another of our babies' lives? How would this affect us as a family?

After what seemed like forever the answer appeared on the screen.

Not Pregnant

I breathed a sigh of relief. It was one more stressor that I just don't need right now. But, some small part of me - the part that loves being a mommy - was sad. That part had already fallen in love with the baby I wasn't carrying. It confirmed what I already knew. For all the frustrations that I have with my babies, I love being a mommy and I want more babies. I feel like I have so much love to give. I am far from a perfect mother and I have learned so much of what I have been doing wrong as I've spent time with my mother. But I can love my babies. With everything I have in me. Even when it proves that they are not even there.

Nevertheless, I still had symptoms of something that now had no explanation. I decided it was just the high heat and humidity that I was not used to after Washington's moderately cool temperatures. And the stress of dealing with a two year old who was not adjusting well to the changes that had come into her life as well as me not having my main support, my best friend, here to support me, to cuddle up to at night, to share life's special moments with. And of course the wake-up's in the middle of the night as my poor insecure daughter would scream in terror weren't helping either.

By the end of the week I had chills, a fever, some vomiting and a cough. I was sure it was the flu. It had to be the flu. I did not want to think that there could be a possible alternative. It just couldn't possibly be bronchitis. Or pneumonia. Or any of the other horrible sicknesses that I had been exposed to.

But after a week of family reunion with my large crazy family here in Wisconsin several people went home sick. One with Mono, six with Pneumonia, and four with acute bronchitis/upper respiratory viral infections. I was thrilled that I was not among those counted sick. It turned out that my immune system just held out a little longer.

By Tuesday, after my daughter had also started running a fever and had a cough hard enough to cause her to throw up, my mom convinced me to go in to see a doctor - if not for me than for my daughter.

The Little Diva turned out to have bronchitis/an upper respiratory virus and an ear infection. I had acute bronchitis. The Little Monkey (aka my son) had a new tooth - he did not go in to see the good doctor. The doctor told me to alternate Tylenol and Ibuprofen and take some cough medicine. He gave me a prescription for antibiotics for the Little Diva.

A week later I sound like Oscar the Grouch when I talk. I now understand the phrase "a barky cough."  I know what it feels like to cough so hard you feel like your stomach is going to come up through your lungs. I found out coughing gives you a great ab work out. I know why my husband hoks loogies - really, there is nothing more disgusting than to have that phlegm hit the back of your throat, cling to your tonsils and then slide back down into your lungs. I have discovered what it really means to feel exhausted.

The Little Diva is back to her normal, mostly, cheerful self. The Little Monkey has another tooth. I am finally on the road to recovery. I was even able to hold a fairly long conversation with my husband without sounding like I was hacking up my intestines.

And? I'm not pregnant! 


  1. I love you honey ! ! !


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