I thought of Lisa and said, "Oh, fuck. Do I have ovarian cancer?"
The doctor started belly laughing, sort of like Santa Clause in a pocket protector.
I looked. And looked. And then I found a number : beta HCG 826. *
And then we both started laughing but only for about two seconds because then I started to cry so hard I had to be ushered into a private little padded area to compose myself, which took hours. During this time, as I was sobbing uncontrollably, I confessed to the doctor that I'd had a few beers at my dad's funeral. And that there might have been some anti-depressants. And that - and this is the most serious thing - I had not been having sex.
In fact, I had been having so much NOT sex that this could not be true.
"You are pregnant," he said.
"Is it because of that guy at the office who always comes into the office in assless pants and a leather jacket and rides away on his motorcycle just as soon as he has picked up his paycheck?? Everyone hates him."
I pondered a moment. "But could it be?"
"Does it really matter?" replied the doctor.
"No," I said. And then I cried some more. I had fleeting moments of bringing shame and disgrace on my family. They were super fleeting. Then I had moments of terror that my child would hate me because it would be fatherless. Then I remembered being born is better than not having a father. And then I cried for several more hours because I was so happy and I wanted to be a mother so damned badly and... 826!
Now it's 9am and I am awake and very sad to think I'll never be a mother or even have a beta or a man in assless pants to unwittingly get me pregnant. Moral: dreams are mostly useless, but sometimes they tell you what you really, really want.
This post is for Ellie and Maggie, who have the guts to do what I could never even think of. And for me Julie, who has her six week ultrasound today.
Heartbeat, anyone? I'll continue smearing my family's unpleasantness all over the internet tomorrow.
* for those of you unacquainted with the world of reproductive medicine, your beta indicates pregnancy or lack thereof. A beta of 826 is very, very pregnant.