Me to my boyfriend: “Norm, I don’t think I am going to have a period.”
Norm took a deep breath. “Whatever, you are paranoid, you always think you are pregnant.”
Me: “No I do not.”
Do I? I wonder to myself. I must do. Norm doesn’t make stuff up, even to help him win an argument. He is quite honest and principled. The bastard.
As Norm had clearly already washed his hands of the baby I decided to ignore him and do a test. I went and fished through my box of girl stuff and found a cheap old Boots pregnancy test that came in a twin pack. I am 30 and there have been scares before. I don’t have the instructions anymore but I remember that it tells you to wait until the morning as your hormone levels are the strongest then so I put it in the bathroom – Norm ignored it. The next morning I weed on the stick.
A symbol came up in the window. What does that mean then? Am I up the duff? I try and remember what the instructions said but it was years ago that I used its partner. I realise that I have no idea what the result means. I decide that I can’t be pregnant. Norm has been away a lot and I have been on the pill forever. Although I did run out in March and decided to have a break from it. We have been using “other things” in the two months since – namely condoms and the rhythm method (I am catholic after all).
Hey ho. Off to work I go.
Three days later
I still haven’t had a period and I am starting to feel a stirring in the pit of my stomach. I have these intuitive moments from time to time. They are usually wrong so I take some comfort from this. Nevertheless I buy a pregnancy test at lunch time at work.
I get the Clearblue one that says the word “pregnant” or “not pregnant” on it so that there can be no mistaking what it means. I may be a bit slapdash sometimes (as my sister frequently tells me) but no-one can say I don’t learn from my mistakes. I do the test in the office toilets. I am a few days late by now so I decide that I don’t have to wait till morning. I wee and then I wait….. Pregnant
Well there is no mistaking that. The word stares at me accusingly from the white plastic tube. “Look what you have gone and done,” says the test.
“I know,” I say. I give myself a few minutes and look again. It is still there. I am still Pregnant. I cram the test, the wrapper, the instructions and my increasing sense of panic into my bag and I go back to my desk to ring a man in Saudi Arabia about solar power. I am like a professional machine. I am very proud of my ability to keep working through this crisis.
When I get home I break the news:
Me: “Norm, I think I am pregnant,”
Norm: “Oh God Dette, what makes you think so now?”
Me: “This stick that says pregnant on it,”
I show him the test.
Norm: “Oh,” Then he looks at me with a twinkle in his eye and says “Is it mine?”
He saves himself from being murdered on the sofa by laughing out loud. He is joking and I am quite glad that he is already laughing about it. I have had the whole afternoon to digest the information and this is the first time I have smiled. I am a total worrier. The baby already has a conjoined twin in my head – and comes out sideways at 96 weeks. I make a doctors appointment. He will know what to do about this Siamese twin pregnancy.