Preggers: It's Official

I just found out that I’m  pregnant today. I knew it. I was aware of a shifting in my body from about the first day after ovulation until now. Not that I was exactly sure of my ovulation date, however, but I do remember the shifting feeling like uncomfortable travellers in hard-backed, bus station, poured-plastic chairs when they have to wait too long. My belly was twisting like that. One leg over the other, switch, looking one way, looking the other, no place to really lean and no place to really go.

My gut has no place to go except out.

And I have been waiting too long. It’s been nine months of trying and so it’s no wonder that I am getting twitchy. The day after ovulation (or my predicted, non-scientific ovulation), I felt a tightening in my gut and a surge of extreme emotions that made me feel like I was stoned on the largest pot brownie known to human kind. I was ready to burst with tears and laughter but it came out in the unfortunate angry liquid form (i.e. yelling that liquefied into tears). I was inconsolable after I let it out. My partner was the lucky recipient. He, at least, didn’t blame me for it. He walked away. Hormones make a good excuse sometimes.

Since then, I’ve had waves of nausea (although nothing has stopped me from eating), lots of hunger, incredible fatigue at night, moodiness, bloating, blurry mind, etc. I looked online and I was sure that I was experiencing the early symptoms but you have to technically wait until you’ve missed your period. On the day I was supposed to bleed, I took the test and made him stand by only to be presented with a big fat negative and the sobbing that oozed out of me as a result.

I was a mess. He held me. He said we could try again and that it would happen when it happened. Grief is sticky plastic cling wrap and it clung fiercely to my eyes and weak smile for the next couple of days.

Then, another week went by. The symptoms continued. He kept saying that it was probably a faulty test. We bought another one and planned to test it on a morning when we had nothing to do. The trick was to plan some celebration or mourning time to follow. I’ve learned now that emotions are part of the results. They’re clearly sourced from a little window in a white plastic stick that glows either a pink or an absentee line; the pink line triggers celebration in multi-coloured plastic blow horns and streamers; the absent line triggers sobbing in tear rivers of blues and indigos.

We took the test this morning and it said nothing. Not even a test line. It was broken, I suppose. We both went back to bed. Luckily, the blank results had a blank emotional equivalent.

But we had a contingency plan.

We woke up and headed to the hospital for a hospital test. We live in Beijing, by the way. I forgot to mention that. There are choices here for foreigners that cost ten times more and then there are Chinese hospitals that are confusing but just as technically sound. We chose the latter and spent a total of $4 Canadian on all the layers of services we did today. That included opening a file ($0.75), going to the gynecology department and then being told to pee in a cup, heading to the laboratory and peeing ($2.00), and then the cost of parking ($1.25).

The gynecology department wouldn’t let men past the threshold. I went in alone and the curt female doctor who read my report asked me in super speed Chinese if I wanted the child, if it was my first pregnancy (at the confirmation of which she guffawed and asked me again as if a woman in her thirties must have certainly had a child before), and then she marched out to the threshold with me in tow, handed Guo Jian my paperwork, told us not to have sex for three months, ignored my question of clarity and spun on her heels and was gone. Not the best service, I have to say. Luckily, that’s not where they do prenatal care. Gratefully.

But, yeah, no sex? Yeah, right. Chinese methods and foreign methods are totally different. I looked online and it says sex is fine. They say here that it could cause a miscarriage. I think it’s suggesting that sex is rough and upside-down, hanging from a chandelier while my hands are simultaneously tied to the bedpost in the other room. We’re not going to have sex like that anyway. Ridiculous. We both agreed that gentle is best. I think we were both relieved to agree with the other on that point and find a happy compromise.

This kid will be the compromise between two cultures, after all.

We left the hospital with my instincts confirmed, holding hands, and he proceeded to phone his parents who were really happy. Then he drove in the completely wrong direction while blabbering about it and I realized he was a bit scattered by the news and I laughed and told him to turn right towards home. He did. We both found it kinda funny.

It wasn’t news to me, though. I wasn’t really rattled or even surprised. I have known. I guess the difference now is that it is officially confirmed.

Then I phoned my parents and sibling overseas. Everyone was really positive and congratulatory.

I haven’t told anyone else yet. I think I’ll just tell two good friends. I’m told you’re supposed to keep the news under wraps until you know for sure that it’s going to be okay, but it is nice to know that there are a couple of people besides my partner who I’ll be able to talk to–and in English. That’s key. Sometimes I just need to speak English about it. Anyway, a person should make it through to her twelfth week before spreading the news freely. I am fairly confident this pregnancy is going to be okay. I think everything will be just fine, actually. Another gut feeling.

The bus will come.

But how do I feel? Irritable, perhaps. A little righteous about my supersonic ability to read my body. A little scared, I’m sure. Slightly bewildered about what the future holds. A little anxious that people aren’t going to support my working overseas in the fall when I’ll be 5 months pregnant. I say it’s no problem, but I hate the idea of people saying I shouldn’t go and being hyper protective. I’m going to go. I want to go. It’s happening. Period.

I guess I’m feeling a little feisty and bitchy.

By the way they calculate pregnancy duration, I’m officially five weeks and one day pregnant. From the time of conception, I’m fifteen days pregnant. Silly, really, that they just round it up. It doesn’t matter, I suppose. I prefer accuracy, though, for the most part.

And so here I sit, uncomfortable, twisting and turning, with a ticket to Motherhood on a bus that won’t come for another eight more months.

I have dull cramping right now. It’s a drag.

But I’m officially: PREGGERS IN CHINA!! And that’s worth having the jitters for.

Week 6 (or is it "Weak 6"?)

©2024 Ember Swift. All Rights Reserved.
Design by Janine Stoll Media.