Beginnings

I wasn’t a super-attentive audience in the first few minutes. I’d been up late the previous night, saving the world or something. At such moments the culmination of a year’s procreative ambitions and the continuance of a night’s sleep have similar appeal. So we held each other for a few minutes, then Beth went to work and I went back to sleep for a bit. When I got up, the test was still there, the faint pink line was still there, and of course, our baby was still there.

This wasn’t the real beginning, of course. There’d been another beginning a few weeks previously, part of that incredibly old animal activity that a billion years of selection and evolution hopes will result in some mystically-endowed, liquidy syzygy. After almost a year of “working on it,” ancient unions were starting to lose their mystique, a little. We hadn’t employed any more medical science than a thermometer and a calendar, but were starting to think we might have to make a few of the simpler doctor visits. This time around, Beth’s temperature stuck stubbornly where it was, refusing to bob downward into the region that indicated we’d done all we could biologically do that month and that we, and biology, were at our respective leisures for the next week or two until we’d find out where we stood. Good humor somehow prevailed. And so, it seems, did biology.

And there was another beginning a year previously, when we’d actually started all this business of evolutionarily prescribed prodding, poking and hoping. That did, at least, feel as special to us as thirty years’ upbringing had promised, even if those particular zygotes didn’t end up being the right nows.

And another beginning, a month or two before that, in a first-class cabin on an overnight train from Belin to Paris through a terrific thunderstorm, where our baby was not conceived but which we still think it would be cool to say s/he was.

Another beginning a few more years before that, where we were reunited after I returned from a job in Seattle, moved back in together and mutually realized that was how we wanted to be, for as long as either of us could see in the future.

The signs of this particular beginning stayed on the bathroom sink all day; I kept going in to check on it. The little stripe stayed there.

We’d been hoping before, but now we had to hope differently — hope for nothing to go wrong. For the first several days I tried to keep us from getting too wrapped up in it — we were only a few days overdue, we’d been disappointed before when it felt like things were going just right, and it was going to hurt a lot if we were wrong again. It didn’t last — we were wrapped up in it and whether things went well or badly was just something we’d have to deal with up close.

That became another beginning.

– Devin

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The beginning

It all started with this:

It\'s positive!

Devin and I had been trying for about 10 months to conceive. I’d been charting my temperatures and all that other good stuff for more than a year. And then, last Sunday, instead of the temperature drop and cramps I expected, I noticed my temperature had gotten higher. It was higher the day before, too, but we’d been in the middle of a heat wave so I blamed the weather. This time it was cold — and I was staring at 98.8 on the thermometer. It was time to go through the “pee on a stick” routine.

At first I saw nothing but the standard control line. And then I thought I saw very faint coloration on the other side of the results window. It seemed to come and go as I tilted it, but after a few minutes it was definitely — if faintly — there. Results of google searching (yes, I went straight to the Internet) assured me that a faint line meant “yes,” no matter how faint. So I went to wake Devin and show him.

I took another one Tuesday, just to be sure (that’s the one you see above), since my ob/gyn’s office said a home test was enough and I didn’t need to come in just to verify it. My first prenatal visit is July 30. I can’t wait.

By my figuring, as of this writing we conceived three weeks ago, and our baby is due sometime between late February and mid-March. We’ll know much more on the 30th.

This week has been all about mental adjustments — excitement, longing, impatience, deep thoughtfulness, lots of reading, lots of talking, and trying to be amused as new signs of pregnancy show themselves: nausea, fatigue, soreness, sensitivity to odors, food cravings like I haven’t had in ages, weepiness at sappy things on television (like seeing Hillary and Obama on stage together yesterday). Part of me feels like a walking stereotype. Part of me feels like I’m following a pattern that’s been in place for thousands of years.

Okay, so maybe cave-women didn’t make themselves extra nauseated by playing too much of a video game that induces a kind of motion sickness.

— Beth