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Stress Equals Pregnancy?

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One woman got pregnant when she least expected it.

woman looking at pregnancy test

Briana Mordente Franklin: You know how people say it'll happen when you're not stressed? "Oh, that's why you got pregnant ... You were relaxed, you weren't sweating the small stuff ..." I suppose that makes sense, but I got pregnant at the height of my stress. I had just been laid off from a job that I had for ten years, the economy was in a recession, making getting a new job that much harder, and I truly didn't know where I would turn next. My husband and I had been trying to have a baby, although not diligently, for the last two years, and I was to the point where I didn't expect it ever to happen.

We escaped to Hawaii for a much-needed vacation for my husband, and the plan was that I'd start looking for a job as soon as I got back. That thought consumed me; every day in Hawaii was one day closer to going home and facing "doom," as I called it. Many a night, our dinners overlooking the ocean consisted of talks about what steps I could take, usually ending in a heated conversation with my husband, due to my "I hate everything" attitude. Suffice it to say, my mind wasn't at ease.

When we got back from Hawaii, I remember thinking, "If only I were pregnant, that would solve everything." After being in the workforce all this time, and being well into my thirties, it was time. It was now or never. If only it would happen.

Around this time, I realized I was late. I had a dinner party to go to that night and knew I'd indulge in a good amount of red wine, so I went out to get a pregnancy test that afternoon. Not thinking I'd get a positive reading, I purchased the cheapest test at the drug store when I knew I should just splurge and get the one that says either "pregnant" or "not pregnant." No misreading the results with that one! I took the test as soon as I got home, and from what I could tell, it was positive. So I took another one. Positive. But, was it? So back in the car I went, to a different drug store, and purchased the one that would cause no confusion. "Pregnant," it read. Loud and clear. My first thought was, "Girls like me don't get pregnant -- girls like me drink wine! Girls like me have fun!" But there it was, right in front of me, and it was the most surreal moment of my life. Later, when I told a few people, they said, "Oh, you were in Hawaii, you were relaxed, you weren't stressed. That's when it happens!" "Yeah," I had said, not bothering to explain what a mess I had been. "You must be right."

So what did I learn? There is no explanation for how the universe works, which is unsettling. So people try and make sense of things by saying, "You'll get pregnant when your body is relaxed," because it's just too damn scary to think there's absolutely nothing you can do to make it happen [naturally] except hope.



next: Just a Guy Forgetting Everything
6 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous May 30, 2009, 1:14 PM

Yep! I was extremely stressed when I got pregnant! I thought it was the stress that made me late… hahaha!

anon May 31, 2009, 11:59 AM

I always wondered what kind of moron needed to buy the “pregnant / not pregnant” test. If discerning two lines was too difficult maybe parenting should be reconsidered. It’s crazy that you could reproduce with the stress of your vacation to paradise, on the heels of losing your j-o-b. WOW Thanks for the amazing story.

Amber Johnson May 31, 2009, 2:03 PM

I can relate to this. I’m so glad that after all that stress, you got such wonderful news. Congratulations!!!

Rebecca N. May 31, 2009, 7:19 PM

To Anon:

Such harsh comments regarding pregnancy tests. I took three tests to make sure. The first test put me in shock and the second & third confirmed what is now my joy. You on the other hand probably need to take a DNA test to find out who the father of your child is. Lord only knows the stress you’re under to write such a mean comment.

birdsfly May 31, 2009, 9:52 PM

The expensive tests never showed positive in my first pregnancy, I was three months pregnant when I showed positive on a cheap store brand! I didn’t know I was pregnant before that because my period was dodgy from quiting the pill and the stress of moving and my husband being in the army!

Cynthia June 1, 2009, 4:05 PM

I truly enjoyed this article. I can relate. And it’s true I got pregnant all three times when I was least expecting it. Hope was always my best friend.


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