The Tragic Optimist

My Positive

A year ago today, I saw my first ever positive pregnancy test.

I had no reason to expect a positive test. By the time February 27, 2006 rolled around, we had been trying for 22 months. I had seen my doctor countless times before she gave up and referred me to a fertility specialist. This was our 7th month using the drug Clomid, the third month trying an IUI with clomid and a trigger shot. There was nothing different about the month, except that my uterine lining was at its thinnest (thicker is better), and I had only produced one egg this time. I had even met with my fertility doctor the week before to talk about what our next steps would be when this cycle failed. Sure, he phrased it differently, “maybe none of this will even be necessary if this month works for you.” (spoken with a thick Chicagoan accent). But I could tell he wasn’t particularly optimistic. So that morning when I took the test, I really didn’t have any expectations of seeing anything but the “Not Pregnant” phrase show up in the results window.

. . .

In the trying to conceive world, there are two kinds of women, those who love the home pregnancy test, and those who hate it. The women who love to take pregnancy tests will test early and often – even multiple times a day – and spend all their time on message boards telling the rest of us to test! test! test! I’m pretty sure that the women who love peeing on sticks are those who are used to seeing positive tests, or at least those who have not yet been beaten down by negative after negative. Those of us who are not so lucky tend to avoid taking pregnancy tests and their inevitable negative results. There’s something about the simple act of testing that gets your hopes raised up just enough to really hurt when they were inevitably dashed. The sad thing is, those of us who hate the tests are often the ones who have to take them the most often. I rarely took pregnancy tests because I thought I might be pregnant, but rather because I had to take some medication or undergo some test that would be detrimental to an existing pregnancy, so my doctor would require a negative test before allowing me to continue. Even the test a year ago was not because I had any signs of being pregnant, but because I was taking progesterone supplements, which can keep your period from showing up so long as you take them. I needed to take the test to find out if I could stop the supplements and move on to my next cycle.

. . .

It was a Monday morning. I woke up first, as was and is our routine, and stumbled into the bathroom. After peeing on the appropriate end of the test stick, I carefully placed the test where I wouldn’t accidentally see it. No need to see a “Not Pregnant” before I was ready for it, particularly not first thing on a Monday morning. I was continuing on with my morning routine when my gaze swept across the test. I tried desperately not to notice anything about the results window, except, wait a minute, it looked like there was only one word in the window. It was like the movies when the background music screeches to a stop. I grabbed it and confirmed that only the word “Pregnant” was showing up. I ran into the bedroom and woke Chris up, demanding, “Does this say what I think it says?” Which is probably an unfair way to wake someone up. He looked at the test groggily, gave me a big hug, and then said, “I’m going to go back to sleep for a few minutes before my alarm goes off.” (To be fair, I would have done the same thing.) Less than a week later, I started posting semi-regularly to this blog.

. . .

A year ago today, I was excited, thrilled, terrified, and optimistic.  And I still am today.  Crazy what can change in a year, and what things still remain consistent.


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