I took a pregnancy test earlier this week, after being seven days late. I stayed in the bathroom the entire time as I waited for the results.
Julia Childless: It was freezing in there, so I had the electric heater on. This is the same apparatus that, two years ago, I burned my right butt cheek on after a shower. The grid-pattern scar is still there -- resembling a waffle iron that attacked my ass. I stood with my back to the heater again, careful not to get too close, and simultaneously watched the plastic stick -- willing it to produce a double line. After the first two minutes, the tiny bit of hope I had been holding onto drained out of me, and I knew what I had anticipated the other evening was true -- negative. No baby for me. Again.
Then it dawned on me that I had a bigger problem -- why wasn't I getting my period? A bunch of reasons floated in and out of my mind -- I just got off Clomid, I've lost a few pounds recently, I had been on all kinds of weird hormones and my body needed to readjust ... then the big question, the-one-that-shall-not-be-uttered, crept in. "What if," I thought, "I can't get pregnant?" Everyone I know who has had fertility issues had at least conceived before, even if they didn't carry to term. Suddenly I realized I was wishing for a miscarriage, and how utterly messed up that was.
I guess I had been in there for a while because my husband asked how I was doing. That's when I came back into my body, felt the heater blowing on me, and took one last look at the pregnancy test. Still negative. (I'm aware you shouldn't believe a positive result after 10 minutes, but part of me just wanted to see what one looked like.)
When I branded my backside two years ago, I was afraid to turn the heater on again for a year. I'd had second-degree burns, horrible blisters, and was unable to wear anything other than sweatpants for a month. The following winter, when the weather necessitated its use again, I kept my distance. Nowadays, I still exercise caution (especially when naked) around it, but I don't allow my fear to keep me from using it.
As I stood there in the bathroom, feeling some palpable solace in the warmth this contraption now provided, I found my fertility worries melting away too. I got through the rest of the day okay -- though I did wind up crying a little last night and this morning (I'm blaming the progesterone pills my doctor prescribed to reboot my cycle for that). The less power I give these things that hurt me, the sooner I can get back to business.
|Julia Childless is a working actress living in Los Angeles without fertility insurance who has been trying to produce a bun in the oven for over a year.|