The thing that’s bothering me most is: how will this affect my charts? I am poised with a Basal Body Temperature thermometer (don’t panic, it goes under your tongue) and a sheet of graph paper to track my every hormonal move this month. But, during my training session with the charming fertility nurse, no provision was made for false starts.
Was that a period? I am wondering. Do I count that as Day One? I gaze at the pristine tracking sheet in front of me, which I am loath to ruin. I do love a chart.
Perhaps it was my cervix bleeding? We did, after all, have sex on the last night of our holiday, only for the blood to dutifully appear the next morning. I thought I’d put all that behind me. But maybe not.
What’s more, I had spent the whole week in slight trepidation, not wanting to kick back too much and overdo the booze, but feeling frustrated at my own timidity too. The arrival of my period was a huge relief. I could, finally, have a proper glass of wine. Or three. And maybe a little nip of frozen vodka to send me to bed. I was not going to miss this one guilt-free opportunity of the month.
Perhaps this is why I take a pregnancy test. Sheer guilt. Sheer uncertainty. A quiet, unexamined thought says: If it’s positive, at least you’ll know where you are in your cycle. As if positive pregnancy tests are of no significance at all, and crop up all the time in this household.
I dutifully pee in a plastic cup, dip in a testing stick and then get in the shower. I get out, dry myself, and then think how stupid the logic of my test had been. Nevertheless, I glance at it, and think I see something.
I squint. A faint pink line, so pale it’s nearly invisible. I hold it to the light. Yes: definitely something there. I put it down on the sink, and walk into the bedroom, where I find H propped up, watching TV.
‘I’ve got a second line on a pregnancy test,’ I say, in a flat voice.
Before he can even answer, I’ve walked back into the bathroom to look again. Still there. I return to the bedroom.
‘What does that mean?’ asks H.
‘I don’t know.’ I go back to the bathroom again, and so on: back and forth a dozen more times until H suggests I bring the test in to show him.
He squints, just as I did.
‘Hardly anything there,’ he says.
‘Yes, but my ovulation tests were all like that.’
‘Hm,’ says H.
‘And they say you never get a false positive.’
‘So I think I might be a tiny bit pregnant. Not properly. Just sort of on the verge of.’
‘Is that possible?’
‘I don’t know. I wasn’t really prepared for this eventuality.’
It is only the next day, after we’ve umm-ed and aaahh-ed and felt generally confused, that it all sinks in. I turn up for my weekly acupuncture session, and say,
‘Before you start, I’ve got a faint second line on a pregnancy test.’
‘You’re pregnant, then,’ says Emma the acupuncturist, grinning. ‘Am I the first one to say congratulations?’