Has this ever happened to you?
You’re minding your business, trying to enjoy life mid-cycle, when weird symptoms hit.
Your breasts hurt.
You have pelvic aches and pulls.
It starts lightly at first, and you think, “OK, my body waited ’til my mid-20s to participate in PMS, but here it is.”
It goes on for a few days.
Then you’re sick in the morning. And it goes on for more days. And a few more.
Then it’s two weeks of nausea, headaches, pain, peeing constantly … but no cycle. And suddenly those little barbs to the boyfriend about “maybe I’m pregnant” just aren’t funny any more. Because god damn, what if you are pregnant?
You go back and forth about how to respond. “This has happened before,” you say. “YOU ARE KNOCKED UP” your body says. “My cycle is irregular anyway, I shouldn’t worry about being a few days off my expected Day 1,” you say. “HELLO, YOU’RE PREGGO!” says the soreness. And so on.
After two weeks or so of late cycle, pain and sickness, you’re convinced that you are pregnant. Surely you must be. But you’re not. Right? You’ve charted everything. It’s physically impossible. But it could be possible. Right? Or not?
ANSWERS PEOPLE I NEED ANSWERS
So you finally take a pregnancy test. You count the seconds out loud, and watch your phone’s clock anxiously. Thirty seconds turns into three minutes turns into eternity.
And guess who’s pregnant? NOT YOU.
No, that whisper of a second pink line that you were sure was developing is still part of the little white window, and one line emerges, bold, defiant.
And your emotions plummet. There’s relief: “I’m not ready for a baby!” There’s disappointment: “My junk is so defective I can’t even get pregnant on accident!”
And for me, there’s fury. Because without fail over the last year, I’ve had longer and longer PMS weeks between cycles (a relatively new phenomenon) that not only freak me out unnecessarily, but definitely ninja my brain into thinking I must be pregnant, which carries its own complex set of emotions.
But it’s not just that. No no. It’s that my own Red Menace picks THAT DAY, the Day of the Negative Pregnancy Test — sometimes 12 hours later, sometimes 10 minutes — to arrive.
That’s right. My Aunt Flo is a horrible, prank-playing bitch, waiting until I literally flush costly pregnancy tests down the tubes before making her appearance. Theatrical skank.
Listen, Red Menace, stop karate-chopping my brain. I don’t need the stress, and those PTs are expensive, comrade. Eight or more dollars for two, sometimes three tests in a box? Just to have my cycle jump out and go SURPRISE BITCH within an hour of using a test?
It’s happened several times in 2011, and it’s getting old in a major way. Problem is, if I start to think about it, then I freak a little because I’m taking pain meds every day, and wouldn’t I need to stop if I were suddenly PG? What would I do in that situation? I’m still torn on the ethical points of having a (series of) hereditary illness(es) that could be inflicted on my unborn child. Then again, life as a doula constantly reminds me what could be if I were to be pregnant, and it’s something I’m not sure just yet I want to do without.
This is not the only change. Since my third laparoscopy in 2010, my cycles have been shorter and shorter, PMS has suddenly kicked in and is cruel, and I’m going longer between cycles. Can’t get in to the gyno for these issues and my new pelvic pain until Jan. 10, or my annual until March (both of which I should have been seen for the first week of December).
Surely I can’t be the only one getting the baby bait-and-switch courtesy of my lady bits?