Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Ectopiad, part I

I should first invoke a muse, no? Which one covers oligomenorrhea? 

Sing to me of the woman, Muse, the woman whose fallopian twists and turns
have driven her time and time again off course. And the people and things that have plundered the hallowed depths of her womb-iness.

We'll begin, as you're s'posed to, in medias res. 

Last July, I stood at my washing machine with the remnants of an old bar of soap, trying to scrub blood stains from the crotch of ten to twelve pairs of cotton underpants, thinking "Is this as bad as it's going to get?" 

I began 2008 free of birth control and ready to spawn. I had just turned 28 and I wanted three children. I soon discovered that periods could be unpredictable and that cycle day counting is harder than calculus. After years of being told that any missed birth control pill could immediately land me pregnant, suddenly I felt that the rules had changed. The same people impressing upon me that no method of birth control was 100% effective were now cautioning that it could take some time to become pregnant. Bizarre.

In May, after two negative pregnancy tests, I got the two blue lines. And I was happy. My husband, on the other hand, is basically Your Superstitious Grandma from the Old County. He has an evil eye charm, for reals. He expressed very few opinions on the subject, didn't want to tell his parents, the whole bit. I thought, as we all do at first, and as I never will be able to again, that I had no reason to be afraid. I had no reason to think that I wouldn't have one of those perfect, uneventful pregnancies. I felt like a healthy hoss of a girl - exercised four or five times a week, drank tons of milk, popped a prenatal vitamin every morning. 

So I got to feel that way for about three weeks. And honestly, I never will again. I feel like that might be the worst part of this whole experience - that I'll never be able to look down on a pee stick, see two blue lines, and feel secure or optimistic, because now I know that two lines don't equal baby.

One night, I showed the husband something that I'd bought at Target - a three-pack of receiving blankets with little ducks on them. And not just ducks - ducks wearing snorkels.

Me: "Look at this! How adorable are the ducks with the snorkels?"
Him: "Put that away!"

I dismissed his worries - why shouldn't we be fine, like so many of our friends? Like every other person we knew, in fact? Why shouldn't we be lucky? 

The next morning, I woke up early, needing to pee. I stumbled into the bathroom and screamed for my husband when I saw the bright red blood stains in my underwear. It was Father's Day.

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