Monday, July 10, 2006

A Really Nasty Case of Strep, or, How I Found Out I Was Pregnant

Back around the holidays, Hubby and I had a conversation about the amount of sleep we were getting. Ultimately, we decided that 8 hours a night is just too much, and that the only way we could ensure that peaceful stretch of slumber would be shattered thoroughly was to have another baby. So, we threw caution to the wind.

In February, I thought I might be pregnant. Now, I had often laughed at the commercials for the early home pregnancy tests. It's not that I think a woman's being a little hyper if she wants to know if she's pregnant 5 days in. It's that the commercials feature smiley, happy-go-lucky women. Now, if you want to know if you're pregnant that soon, chances are you're going to be really, really anxious because you either (a) desperately want to be pregnant, or (b) desperately want NOT to be pregnant. Either way, I think the women in this commercial should probably look a little drawn, a little tense, pace the room, whatever.

Having said that, I think I fell into the former category. I'm a scheduler by nature, and a whole host of conversations, doctor's appointments, plans, etc., need to happen depending on how many lines show up on a piece of plastic. So I took the home pregnancy test. And it came up negative.

Oh well, I thought. It could be a false negative. Guess I'll find out for sure in two weeks when nature takes her, um, courses.

Well, I was right that I would find out, but not the way that I thought I would.

About three days after I took the pregnancy test, the Boy came down with roseola. And then I came down with a ridiculous case of strep throat. You can read all about it here. (How narcissistic is it to reference one's own work?) A couple of days into my strepitude, I went to the doctor, 'cause that's how I roll. The in-house throat swab came back negative, so they did a souped up throat culture that needed to be sent out, but the results would take a couple of days to come back. So I loaded up on antibiotics, and took to my bed. Or couch, as the case may be.

When the throat culture came back, it was ALSO negative for strep. So the doctor made me come back to be tested for MONO. So there I was, on a Friday night, in one of those prompt-care-but-not-an-emergency-room joints, waiting to have my blood drawn. The doctor I saw that night asked me if there was a chance that I could be pregnant. That's when I realized I was a day or so late. I guess I'd just figured my body was giving me a break because it was riddled with the pox, so why chuck menstruation on top of that?

My answer to the doctor? "Um, a slim chance." I explained that we'd just started, uh, not preventing conception, but that a home pregnancy test had come back negative. Since a slim chance is still a chance, and they were going to draw blood anyway for the mono test, I decided they might as well do a pregnancy test as well.

It took FOREVER to get the results back. I was hanging out on an exam table, feeling woozy from whatever was lurking in my system. The only reading material available in the exam room was a brochure on the chain of physician's blah-de-blah, one of which I was patronizing. I read it about three times. Despite my anticipation, I seriously debated taking a nap. I was seconds away from laying my head down on the papered table when I saw a shadow, and then sneakered feet, under the curtain. When the doctor drew the curtain back, I sat up straight.

"Well," she said, "your mono test came back negative."

I let that piece of good news wash over me. It was like the opening act for the band you're really interested in.

"But," she continued, bursting into a smile, "your pregnancy test is positive!"

She immediately thrust a sheaf of printouts at me -- the positive pregnancy test results, a, uh, helpful three paragraphs on what I should do now that I knew I was pregnant, and a prescription for a safer antibiotic for what had to be strep throat, despite all of the negative tests.

The whole drive home I was smiling. When we found out about the Boy's imminent arrival, the Hubby and I were hunkered over one of those pregnancy tests, waiting for the hands on the clock to scissor off the proper amount of time before we checked for the telltale lines. But this time, with this baby, I got to know first. There's something delicious, and appropriate, about being the one to tell your husband that he's going to be a daddy again.

Minutes after telling him, we told the Boy. I still don't think he quite understands, but that'll come in time. I'm sure it'll only happen once there's a squalling infant stealing his parents' attention, but hey, that's OK.

And that, my friends, is how I found about about my second baby.

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