My day off yesterday kicked off with a dubious start.
I had just sat down at the computer and was ready to finish up a project I’m working on, when MJ started to tell me something and then stopped short. I know that means she really wants to tell me something but she’s nervous about it, so I asked her what was up. She hemmed and hawed and said she didn’t want to bother me, but I told her my attention was all hers.
“I took a pregnancy test and it came up positive,” she said.
My heart sank into my feet and then immediately skyrocketed into my throat. A loud siren — similar to the ones that go off just before tornadoes hit — was going off in my head, yet I knew this first reaction was crucial to the well being of my marriage.
“Well uh…wow…that’s just…are you…so how do you feel…” is all I could manage. Smooth Aaron, smooth.
I immediately went into reporter mode peppering her with questions. What time of day did she take the test? What kind of test was it? Did she take any other tests? How effective is Mirena as a birth control method? I figured if I could keep thinking of questions maybe I could somehow make the news better. But that didn’t work.
Obviously it’s not that I’m against having more kids. I want to have at least one more. But not yet. Definitely not yet. We have no room to put him, we don’t make enough money and I’m not mentally strong enough to even remotely consider the idea of two kids 17 months apart.
So MJ went on to explain that she took the test two days ago because she had been craving pizza and tomatoes, the same foods she couldn’t stop eating in the early days of her pregnancy. The test she took was one of those ones that needs to make a + sign if pregnant. I immediately asked to see it. For about 20 minutes I studied that thing like the Zapruder film. The vertical line was faint and off-center, but it was definitely there. And the other three tests she had taken immediately afterward were all negative. Being the crazy Google freak that I am, I immediately started searching for answers.
I found that Pee On A Stick is the unofficial holy grail of pregnancy tests and so I began digging. I searched out the brand MJ used and clicked on “issues and problems.” After a few minutes of browsing, I found a ray of hope. It told me that sometimes women get a false positive where a faint vertical line shows up to the left of the display window, off center. Same as what happened here. But it also said false positives are VERY rare.
Still without a definite answer, MJ suggested that we go to the mall and wait for her to fill up her bladder. Apparently that’s the best way to get a result. Plus, we had planned on introducing Will to Santa (more on this in another post). So the plan was to get lunch, go to the mall, have Will visit Santa, have MJ pee on a stick at the mall and then find out if our lives would be thrown into total upheaval.
The following three hours were torture of the worst kind.
My defense mechanism is to joke about things, which I proceeded to do at length much to MJ’s chagrin. I told her at least our money problems would be solved because our impending lawsuit against the Mirena people would be enough to last us a lifetime. I also told her that the state of Vermont is an evil, evil place because our little getaway at the end of October was the only time this potential pregnancy could’ve been possible. And the only other time we went to Vermont together was when Will was conceived. So consider this a warning, Vermont is an incredibly virile and dangerous state.
And when we got to the mall, it was like God was taunting us. During the day, the mall is FILLED with moms and babies. Here we were, terrified of becoming parents a second time in less than 18 months, and the only things we can see are babies. Moms pushing around twins, moms with double strollers consisting of newborns and 1-year-olds. And all of these moms looked MISERABLE. Like life just keeps punching them in the gut over and over again.
We were definitely rattled.
Finally it was time to take the test. MJ went into the ladies room of the Independence Mall in Kingston and I held Will. In that moment, I stared at him smiling back at me as he tried to touch my face. He’s so beautiful and even though he drives me nuts, he’s such a good boy and he’s completed our lives like I never thought possible. And all of a sudden, a crazy thought entered my head.
“Maybe another one wouldn’t be so bad,” I thought.
MJ came out of the bathroom skipping and walking on air. This time the test was definitive: “Not pregnant” were the digital words on the test.
We exchanged high fives and made our way to Santa’s Village. Someday we’ll be ready for Baby #2 and it’ll be great. But I am relieved someday wasn’t yesterday.