life begins with me

Yesterday I took a home pregnancy test, and saw a very VERY faint line indicating a positive. It was so faint, however, that I couldn’t tell if it was a truly coloured dye, or if it was just a marking where the detection strip was. I may or may not have spent several hours obsessing over “squinters” online. Did you know that there is a whole online world devoted to every possible pregnancy obsession? The internet is like an unhealthy lover, giving you what you want but turning you into a shell of your former self. (Exaggerating.)

Well I won’t keep you in suspense: this morning I took another test, and almost immediately a beautiful light pink line showed up in the test area: pregnant! I’m pregnant! Whose mouth are these words coming out of? It’s hard to believe.

I didn’t really know what to do with myself. I eloquently told my husband, yelling meekly from the bathroom, “uh, I think I just got a positive pregnancy test…” He came in and did a double take. Yep, that’s a line alright! And then we flustered about a little, and hugged, before resuming getting ready for work.

I remember the first time a young person I knew died. I was 14 and my friend was 17. I remember feeling very alarmed and surprised that the world just kept going after she died and while many of us were mourning. It felt sacrilegious, in the face of such a profound loss, that the whole world was just business as usual, minus one previously alive person. I had a feeling of desperation to feel things shift, to mark the loss, but everything was the same.

Today I learned that as with death, so is life. The feeling I got this morning was similar to the one I felt when my friend died, albeit with accompanying emotions on the opposite end of the spectrum. I thought, okay, now I’m pregnant, everything is different! And then I got changed, brushed my teeth, and drank a smoothie. I took out the recycling and came to work, and checked my email. The mundane—the ordinary routine—felt so wrong in the face of such a dramatic change.

It is with joy this time that I observe that the world is the same, with one small (1 mm, y’all!) change.

***

Yet, do you know what the rate of miscarriage is? At this early stage (before 6 weeks), it’s about one in five detected pregnancies. That’s high enough that I’ve sternly instructed myself not to get my hopes up, lest I be disabled by any disappointment. At six weeks, the rate declines to about 8%, and by the end of the first trimester the odds are only about 2%. So for now, I sit tight, try not to obsess, and try not to obsess some more.

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