In the weeks leading up to discovering I was pregnant, I have to say I felt fine. My period was late. My trustee app dutifully informed me each day exactly how late. “You’re 3 days late.” “You’re 8 days late.” “You’re 12 days late.” Until I was 35, I only had one or two periods a year. So I was unbothered. I ignored it, simply assuming my cycle had either returned to its erratic behavior of my youth, or I was about to start menopause. I was, after all, 45 years old. About a week before taking the test, my best friend from high school was in town and I ironically told her that my baby ship had sailed. No babies for me! Like I said, I felt fine.
At 7 days late I spotted, but then nothing after that. Unsure, I turned to my mother with the intention of getting her take on how menopause started for her. She jokingly asked, “Are you pregnant?” I said, “No way!” I mean I was not displaying any of the classic signs of pregnancy. There was no nausea, no sore breasts, no dizziness. I was fatigued, but I was working 10-11 hour days. I had a bit of gas, but I chalked that up to too many salads because I was dieting at the time. I explained all of this to my mother and then told her I spotted for a day. Her response gave me pause. She said, “HA! That’s exactly what happened to me when I was pregnant with you!” Enter Dr. Google. I googled everything. By the time I had exhausted the internet I was left with two options. Perimenopause or…dun dun dun…Pregnancy. Ok. I could rule out one by taking a test. So off to Target I went.
The Emotional Rollercoaster of Taking a Pregnancy Test
Armed with my First Response test, I got up early the next day, bit the bullet, and took the test. I left it on the bathroom counter and took a shower, fully expecting a negative result. When I finished my shower I looked over at the test, but couldn’t see the result. There it was. The feeling I was afraid of…hope. My emotions were in a tailspin and I was right back to my twenties hoping for a baby and terrified of having to nurse myself through disappointment when the test was negative. Am I pregnant? Of course I’m
not pregnant. But..maybe? Don’t be sad if it’s negative. It’s going to be negative. Am I? There was nothing for it, I had to look. I took a deep breath and…
Despite all of the swirl of emotions I was experiencing, for First Response it was as simple as Yes+. Just like that! Pregnant! Me! I looked at the test, then at myself in the mirror, then down at the test again and asked, “What do you mean, yes?” I wasn’t prepared for yes. I was ready for no. I was so sure it was no. So yes was a shock. The next thing I did was take the test downstairs and showed it to my mother. I would later regret that move because we were a month away from Mother’s Day and what a great gift to give her! Anyway, she was half asleep and just said, “How did you get pregnant?” Oh my God! Did she want details? I went back upstairs took a picture of the test, texted it to my cousin and my sister, and got ready for work. To my mother’s credit, she did text me later and ask was she dreaming or was I pregnant. When I confirmed the positive test she redeemed herself and quickly made me cry by saying “God said it was time.” I absolutely adore my mother!
On the way to work I had a joyful, encouraging conversation with my cousin and a happy text from my sister. I showed the picture to my boss, who was then, and remains one my very close friends. The rest of the day is a blur. I only wanted to finish work and call a doctor to confirm the pregnancy. After my shift was over, I sat on a bench in a Las Vegas hotel and called doctor after doctor until some could see me in four days. The wait was agonizing. Little did I know that there would be so many more agonizing waits ahead. All of the same thoughts from the day I took the test came flooding back. I was bracing for the worst and desperately hoping for the best.
I’m sure I had the clarity to film the drive to the doctor’s office. I may or may not insert that footage. The visit was quick. The nurse never actually said I was pregnant, she came into the room and said she was going to prescribe me some medication to bring my blood pressure down, not to worry it’s safe for the baby. She told me to start taking prenatal vitamins right away. She gave me a referral to see a high risk doctor and they even scheduled that appointment for me. She told me to stop dieting, but eat healthy. She then picked up her laptop, and said the doctor will be in shortly. Then I was alone again. Shell shocked. Next came another nurse who proceeded to give me a boatload of information on how to have a healthy pregnancy. Then she breezed out. Alone again. Still shocked. Then came my doctor just as cool as you please. Dr. Gregory Gex. I loved him right from the start. He was calm and pleasant. I felt comfortable and comforted. He coolly asked, “What made you decided to get pregnant at 45?” “I didn’t decide! I didn’t think I could,” was my response. We shared a laugh and then he proceeded to explain what to expect going forward. He reassured me about the high risk doctors he referred me to and that was it. I was to come back and see him in four weeks.