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Tuesday, January 29, 2008


I took a pregnancy test yesterday.

We've been practicing natural family planning since D arrived (and by "we" I mean me, I suppose, because I've not once seen The Coach charting temperatures or measuring cervical mucus in the past three years . . .). I thought I had gotten to know the usual signs pretty well, but evidently not as well as I thought.

According to my calculations, a certain long-lost visitor should have shown up last weekend. When she was a no-show, I decided I'd better toss a test in the cart next to the birthday candles and the rice cereal and the Diet Coke. It's funny, really, how many times both the grocery checker and the grocery bagger will ask a mama (with one baby strapped on her in a Mei Tai and another koala joey riding shotgun in the cart) who has just purchased a home pregnancy test, "are you sure you don't need help out to the car with these?" Seriously, it's funny. I laughed.

So anyway, the test was negative. I was relieved.

And disappointed.

And as The Coach and I talked about it last night, I became aware of something else . . . how fearful I was feeling. Not the fear you would think. Not the fears that speak of "how can we afford it? where would we put another? how will the girls respond?"

No, instead, this Fear traces its finger over the now smooth scar at the base of my belly and whispers in my ear of two uneventful pregnancies, two sets of chubby cheeks and bright eyes, two times that two slender pink lines yielded two wardrobes fat with pink.

Then Fear lifts my eyes to that shoe. That shoe that swings recklessly over my head.

When will it drop?