“Paranoid of Pregnancy” Club

I apologize to the millions of couples with infertility issues who may inadvertently read this. This is not your club and though I would not want to join yours, I offer sincere empathy.

This is about my perpetual pregnancy paranoia.

I am blessed with textbook periods; arriving like clockwork every 28 days. I have two children and I knew the exact day both were conceived. However, every month, until I feel the warm, comforting trickle of blood, I can’t relax because even with firm safety measures in order, I can’t think but hear the phrase my mother always repeated as a kid, “Even a stick shoots once a year.”

“My father got me pregnant by looking at me,” my mother would say, alluding to the ease of getting knocked up. My father, hearing her say this, would take this as a sign of his machismo and flex his biceps as a symbol of sperm virility.

As a teenager working at the donut shop, the evening-shift waitress Dotty would speculate pregnancy as the culprit to any of my teenage over-dramatized physical symptoms I hung on her ears as we wiped down the Formica counters with bleach.

Even something as ordinary as, “I have to pee” would yield a, “Maybe you’re pregnant.”

“I have a headache,” I’d say.

“Sounds like you’re pregnant,” she assured.

“My boobs feel sore,” I’d confess.

“Girl now it definitely sounds like you’re pregnant.”

I never had the heart to confess I was still a virgin at 15 while her daughter, following in her footsteps, was a teenage mom. She was the third generation of red-headed, freckled, loud-mouthed, buxom women who were inaugurated into the motherhood club at 15.

I’m 42 years old and happily finished with procreating. My family is complete with a 14-year-old boy and 6-year-old girl. “You have one of each assortment,” my grandmother often points out in the same breath as she says, “With children like yours, you should have a dozen.”

Yet every month, I hold my breath on expected period day, vigilantly visiting the bathroom waiting for the reassuring stain.

Earlier this month, I took a momentary sensation to an extreme “Imagine if…” scenario. (See  Worst Case Scenario Club, which sometimes should be called “Impossible Scenario Club.”)

I was lounging by the rooftop pool enjoying the last days of summer, trying to read a book but I was distracted by what felt like a baby kicking inside my belly. I’ve had two full-term pregnancies and I distinctly remember the feeling of a baby fluttering.

“I know this sounds impossible,” I say to my husband, “but I really feel a baby moving in my tummy.”

“Can’t be. Must be gas,” he says.

“Can’t be gas,” I insist. “I don’t feel like I have to fart.”

“You haven’t missed a period; everything has been status quo.”

“I don’t want to end up being one of those ladies who doesn’t know she’s pregnant for six months or worse ends up popping out a baby – in a public bathroom no less!”

Our idiotic illogical conversation lasted 10 minutes before my husband opened his book and abandoned CrazyLand.

I wandered off into the worst case scenario club for a little, even going as far as Googling how early in a pregnancy you feel the baby kicking. When I read it was 14 weeks, I looked down at my belly and realized it would be a lot bigger, especially with a third baby. I relaxed – slightly – but didn’t actually relax until I got my period a week later. Last week on a run to the dollar store for a microfiber cloth, I noticed they have pregnancy sticks at just the right price for paranoia; appeasing my neurosis is totally worth a buck. 

11 thoughts on ““Paranoid of Pregnancy” Club

  1. Do you have OCD or something? You can have OCD thoughts about your worries. For example, I had thoughts I would get aids. I worried so much that I kept getting blood test done.

  2. Oh yeah, being someone who isn’t interested in having children, I definitely have this paranoia. It’s worse when your periods are irregular! And now I’ve been on the contraceptive pill for so long my periods are so light sometimes I don’t even get them. Paranoia central. I bought a bunch of super cheap pregnancy tests off eBay. I hear ya sister!

  3. Yeah, I understand-I tried to go without HRT but ended up back on a super low dose to keep me “bitch free” lol

  4. Also, I’m perfectly healthy, especially in reproduction. To have an elected hysterectomy for safer sex is not my MO. Also, I don’t think there’s anything out there to make me bitch-free!

  5. Haha, well, me either sometimes! It’s not about safe sex, for me it was to stop the bleeding (I was full of fibroid tumors) and not having a period anymore was such a bonus-I never missed it! It meant sex more often, not dealing with a monthly mess or pain anymore. Best. Decision. Ever.

  6. Of course when you have complications, you have to handle it medically and thank goodness for the technology to get you repaired! I will just work on repairing my brain! 😉

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