It is Tuesday 3rd July 2018 (when I am writing this, not publishing), and I have just taken a pregnancy test. In fact, it is the second test that I have taken in a week, and that one thick pink line showed up.
And I am disappointed. Again. Just like I was last week.
The thing is, we aren’t trying for a baby. In fact, a baby would throw absolutely everything up in the air and leave us wondering how the heck we would cope.
We have booked a wedding that we need to save hard for. A baby would stop that in its tracks.
We have a toddler who still breastfeeds and who still seems to require me to sleep by his side every single night.
We have a 2 bedroom house that isn’t exactly on the large side.
We have a car that only fits two car seats.
You see? Having a baby would literally complicate everything in life.
And yet I just can’t help but be disappointed when I see that single pink line. Or when I see the words Not Pregnant.
I had to do the test. In fact, I had to do both of them. My periods returned when Oscar was about 18 months old. He is now almost 22 months and other than one month where I had two, they have been fairly consistent. Ish. A couple of weeks ago I thought I was coming on. I had dark discharge and I got myself prepared. In previous months they had just arrived and it was a mad dash to the toilet, but this time I thought that at least I was getting some warning.
The discharge disappeared as quick as it came and then on the Saturday, a tiny bit of fresh blood in my knickers. Again, I prepared myself. But it didn’t come. On the Sunday we were due to go swimming and I felt like it was coming. There was another tiny bit of blood when I wiped, and I hurried us all to the pool before anything could fully get into swing. We swam, we dried, nothing. The rest of the day, nothing.
For a few days, I had a little tiny pantyliner in so I didn’t get caught out on the school run or at playgroup.
And then I started thinking. What if it was an implantation bleed? What if I was pregnant?
The days kept passing and I knew I had to do a test. I just didn’t know if it would be too early. I happened to have a digital test upstairs in the wardrobe so I tested on Tuesday or Wednesday last week. Not Pregnant popped up at me.
Disappointment. Relief. Disappointment. Relief.
And still my period didn’t come. Days of wearing pantyliners – just in case, and days of wondering if the test was wrong. And then the other half said something to me as I stepped out of the shower this morning (it’s still Tuesday 3rd July for the record).
“Are you still producing milk in your boobs when Oscar feeds”
“Yes”, I replied. “Why?”
“Your boobs just look different, that’s all”, came his response.
“Like how different? Like pregnancy kind of different?”.
His face went into panic!
I mentioned it in one of my private Facebook groups and they all told me that I needed to test again. One person had previously had the exact same thing happen to them and was pregnant with her now toddler daughter. Another took a test one week that was negative and the following week, positive. And so I knew I had to do another test. So I popped to Superdrug, got a couple of boxes of tests (they were on offer), and I peed on the stick.
The single pink line.
Disappointment. Relief. Disappointment. Relief.
That wave of emotions that comes with a negative test result when you aren’t trying for a baby.
Because it’s not like I don’t want one. I wrote a post shortly after I had Oscar about whether I thought I was ‘done’ with the whole having babies thing. And a year and a half on from that post, I can categorically say that I am not done. But I don’t think I ever will be.
I still ache for that tiny newborn. Those baby snuggles on your chest. The first meet. The first cuddle. I just simply can’t imagine not having anymore children. And I know some people will roll their eyes (Mum I’m looking at you!), but I can’t help that maternal instinct that I have. Yes I find it tiring, yes I find it hard, yes they all turn into cheeky toddlers and nightmare 5 year olds. But they are my babies. Born from my womb. A part of me and a part of the other half. And I just can’t picture the day I say, ok, I’m done.
And that’s why, when I do a pregnancy test and it shows up negative. Whether we have been trying or not trying, I will always be disappointed.
Because when you start to think that maybe you might be. Maybe there is a tiny little baby growing in your tummy. You start to wonder about that possible little baby. You start calculating when the possible little baby might be born. You start to wonder whether that possible little baby might be a boy or if it might be a girl. You wonder if you will deliver that possible baby naturally or by vbac (in my case). You start to wonder what it might look like. What it might be called. You don’t even know whether it is there or not, but you already love it. You already find yourself being careful when lifting and whirling your toddler round. You start to protectively cradle your stomach. Because what if? What if there is one in there and it needs you to protect it from day one.
And most of all, you start to wonder about that moment. That moment when you meet them for the first time. The tiny hands and toes. The little face as they wonder what the heck is going on. The moment they find your breast for that first feed. And you start to think about the way you will stroke their precious head so very gently. How you will cradle them and care for them, just like you do with your other children.
And the moment that you see that negative test. All of those thoughts. All of those wonders. They are all so very quickly snatched away. There is no tiny little baby. There is no need for a midwife appointment. No need for a 12 week scan. No wondering about how you will birth them, what gender they will be or what they will be called. Because all of a sudden, they simply do not exist.
And so here I am. The single pink lined test sitting in the kitchen. Those thoughts of my next tiny baby taken away. And quite simply, a period that has gone missing. A cycle that isn’t back to it’s norm like I thought it was.
Of course, we can still have our wedding, we don’t need to move house, and we can keep the same sized car – the relief aspect of that negative test.
I’m just not sure it will ever outweigh the disappointment.