A week ago today, I had decided not to go to my fitness class. I came home, cooked a nutritious meal and went to bed early. But I could barely sleep. I woke up in a raging sweat in the middle of the night. I wrestled with my mind for the next 48 hours.
For those couple of days I was both pregnant and not pregnant. Psychologically, at least. Even though I’ve been dancing to this merry tune for years now, I amaze myself with the feats of imagination that this brief period invokes. It honestly feels like a kind of madness.
My period wasn’t late, it just hadn’t arrived yet. It’s known commonly as the Two Week Wait, but two days is plenty of time for my mind to spiral out-of-control. Suddenly anything can be attributed simultaneously to pregnancy and period. Raise in temperature, ache in the lower back, feeling tired. But, rather than reacting rationally and calmly to events as they unfold, I find it impossible to stop my mind from whirring.
I wonder whether I should exercise, or not. How will I explain not drinking on Sunday night? Will I be able to go to the Spa in May? Thank goodness I didn’t apply for that job, because who knows what will be happening in the next few months.
At the same time, my mind was preparing my imminent future for both elation and grief. Every minute detail of those few hours was split in to ‘I know I’m not pregnant’ and ‘I am definitely pregnant’. Which stories do I listen to? Those that tell me that you just know when you’re pregnant, or those that didn’t realise until months down the line (I have had both these examples from close friends).
I could not stop thinking. That’s the worst bit. My mind would not switch off from the push-me-pull-you, the superstitions and expectations. Desperate for an answer, but not wanting reality either way.
Needless to say, I’m not pregnant. The moment my period came, my mind came to an abrupt halt. I couldn’t even conjure up the speculations of moments before. But I know, despite having done this for months (and months, and months!) the torture will return every month. No matter how unlikely conception is that month, or how certain I am one way or the other, this spiralling insanity is an unstoppable surge. It’s exhausting.
Just another pleasant side-effect of trying to conceive.