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For the last three weeks, BWB and I thought I was pregnant.

I’ll spare you the gory details — I refer to you to health class and the fact that we are happily married if you need help figuring out how we might come to such a conclusion. The important point here is that for various reasons, we had what our doctorly selves would call a high index of suspicion that there were some rapidly dividing cells hanging out in my reproductive tract.

At first is was almost a game, joking about how annoying it was that I couldn’t have wine. Then he came in one afternoon and found me cleaning the cat boxes and got very upset — I think that was the moment I realized how seriously he was taking this. Right then it became very real.

We have a plan, and it involves waiting until after intern year before we bring an infant into our carefully orchestrated chaos. A pregnancy right now was clearly not part of the plan. BWB and I were suddenly overwhelmed with thoughts of how to afford child care and baby things, whether our insurance would cover prenatal care, and if we would need to move into a more suitable house. Then there were questions of how I would be viewed at residency interviews while 6 months pregnant. One morning I found myself near tears at the realization that I was just getting used to being a wife and wasn’t ready to add on mama yet.

Despite all of the reasons for us to start panicking, we both were also excited about the idea. I was surprised, actually, at how instantly protective and engaged BWB became. I expected him to think I was being silly at least until we got some proof, like a pregnancy test, but he didn’t. Over the course of those three weeks we talked about godparents and names and how and when we would tell people.  (I wanted to send my father a birthday card that said “Happy Birthday Granddad!” and see if he figured it out.)  I would have been due at the end of March, and I thought it would be one of the best birthday presents I could have given my mother, a fellow Pisces.  I teased BWB about how this was actually a clever plot to get out of changing litterboxes, and he tried not to taunt me too much about alcohol, cheese, and sushi.  Just in case, of course.

We put that caveat on every conversation, “if” I were pregnant or “just in case”, but as time went on it became harder to remember the if part. When I got my first negative, we both cried and I was crushed. We held out hope, quoting studies about accuracy and false negatives. On Wednesday, though, the incontrovertible proof turned up and we both cried again.

I don’t know for certain if I’ve just had a long but otherwise normal cycle or if we had an early miscarriage, one which never made enough hormone to stick properly or trigger a positive test. In the end it doesn’t really matter, as the net result is that I am not going to have a baby in March.

And in the end, I’m left feeling really sad. I’m around pregnant women all day at work, and it’s been really hard.  I think both of us are trying to be positive and talk about how this was a good trial run, and it was, but there is an undercurrent of real loss which is hard to grapple with.  Rationally, I know it is silly to be upset by something (someone) who probably never existed, but my emotions aren’t responding well to rationality right now. For three weeks, I thought I was going to be a mama. For three weeks, I imagined our life turned upside down by seven pounds of trouble.

For three weeks, I was pregnant.


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