Line, singular

Let's see if we can't knock out the two most important topics at once here. No point in beating around the bush, really:

1) I am, at last, on vacation.
2) I'm not pregnant.

I am scheduled to catch a flight out of Atlanta tomorrow … uh, okay, in about fifteen hours. (Perhaps I should go sleep.) I'm winging out West for close to a week of enforced peace, quiet, cooking, and shopping. I'll have my cell phone on me, but I'll likely not be allowed near any of the computers in the house where I'm staying.

You want me to get back to #2, don't you?

Hush. I'll get there.

Okay, fine. I confess. I've spent a good portion of the past week growing increasingly more concerned that I had perhaps brought home an unintended 'souvenir' from dragon*con. No matter how much I reasoned with myself, or checked the calendar, or reminded myself that I'd stopped working out this month and had major issues with my eating habits…nothing made my silly obsessive mind let go of the nasty screaming you're-a-week-late worry with teeth.

I'd done a lot of quiet thinking a few months ago and decided that as soon as we could come up with a feasible time to do it, it was time to finally get the tubal ligation Jeff and I had been talking about for, oh, about the past six YEARS.

Instead, I've spent most of the past week thinking, "And wouldn't you know it, you silly git, you finally make up your mind to get the surgery you've been wanting ever since you found out such surgery existed and less than three months later you have a slip-up and boom, you're stuck with the one consequence you absolutely did not want…."

The other half of my brain, the half that likes to sing "I Like Traffic Lights" when no one is looking, countered that with a nonstop chorus of "Shutupshutupshutupshutupshutup!"

After about four days of this, it was getting really noisy in my head, and it was starting to get pretty hard to get any planning for my so-called vacation done.

Meanwhile, nothing happened. I grew later and later. I would write down a perfectly normal item in my to-do list and follow it up with twenty minutes of sheer and utter panic.

Yesterday, in a bout of desperation, I performed my first instance of an act that virtually every adult female does at least once in her life: I bought a pregnancy test. I felt vaguely dirty doing so; I tucked it behind the frozen pizza I also needed to buy and quietly excused myself from the store using a self-checkout lane, so that I wouldn't have to meet the stare of the cashier and have to say, "Oh, no, I'm hoping that I'm NOT pregnant, but thanks for asking!"

I ripped open the box and read the directions at stoplights on the way home, in between massive mental drowning-out choruses of "La la la la la la la la la!"

I mean, knowing had to be better than not knowing, right? I'd go home, submit myself to the indignity of the pregnancy test, suffer through the longest minute of my life, then look at the little line - or lines - and know. At least I wouldn't be up all night worrying. I'd either breathe easy and laugh about it the next day, or …

"Shutupshutupshutupshutup … I like traffic lights … I like traffic lights … but only when they're -"

Oh. Light's green.

I drove home. I shoved the frozen pizza (for my poor abandoned spouse, who will be vacationing somewhere else and won't be leaving for another couple of days, thus needing pre-cooked sustenance) in the freezer, vowed to myself that in five minutes this would all be The Funniest Event Ever and sprinted to the bathroom with a pregnancy test in hand.

I read the directions - again - just to make sure that there wasn't some magic way that I could pee on the stick wrong, and took the test.

Pee on stick.
Put cap back on stick.
Rest stick on flat surface.
Do not touch stick while stick is figuring out if you are pregnant.
Examine after one minute.

This, my friends, is a load of crap. Who in the world is going to take a pregnancy test and look away for the next sixty seconds? To hell with that, people, I'm staring at that stupid stick from the moment I put it down, just daring that son of a bitch to give me the wrong answer. I'm not just staring at that stick, I'm bloody well glaring at that stick.

Two pink lines means you're pregnant.
One line means you aren't.

Twenty seconds into the longest minute of my life I yelped as a swath of pink swirled across the 'pregnant' indicator. Panic. Sheer panic. Where were my directions?

Oh. In my left hand, where they'd been for the past twenty seconds.

"You may see pink bands swirl across the indicator. This is normal." (Yeah, but does it mean I am pregnant you stupid set of directions?)

Thirty seconds into the test, the first pink line appeared. Hurrah! I had proven that I was responsible and intelligent enough to pee on a stick as directed…but had my birth control methods worked?

I waited one minute. Just one line.
Two minutes. Still just one line.

I put my head down on the counter and took a few deep breaths, then quickly raised my head up and stared at the stick, making sure that it wasn't fooling or teasing me. Nope. Still one line. I was in the clear.

Suddenly I realized that I was about to leave for vacation, and that I had a lot of stuff that needed to get done before I could do so.

I made a note: "margaritas in the hot tub."

Tomorrow night, I'll do just that…with a clear conscience.


Wow... That's a great story. That needs to be published! I think it kind of lets other women know what it's like to go through... and say... "hey" it's okay to feel that way. But... Why doesn't Jeff just get a vasectomy? It's cheaper, an outpatient procedure... and easier clean up after sex... (oh yeah... I went *there*. I am Dick Schtrong!!)

Congratulations! (I bet no one can pee on a stick like you do.)

Patrick: Amy and I discussed that. It was her decision, and I'll let her explain it the way she wants when she gets net access again (she's traveling at the moment, so that will be a while).

What if in sometime she DOES want a kid? I don't know her, but isn't what she wantsto have done reversable? Anyway, Amy, i think you need to get SOMETHINg published. you write so well!

I remember when I went through my first pregnancy scare, it was a terryfing thing, and I did it in the local shopping mall toilets.