During the agonising two weeks that followed the embryo implantation, we had a number of ups and downs. Having committed to being positive and trusting in the universe to bring our little bundle of joy to us, we tried not to focus on the downs, but sometimes that was easier said than done.
I had occasional sharp pains – similar to period pains – which caused panicked moments for both of us. We consulted a number of blogs and forums, absorbed every bit of information we could find, hoping to find solace in knowledge. A lot of the blogs and forums said post-implantation pain was totally normal and that it could be the embryo burrowing its way into the lining of the uterus, creating a more permanent home for itself. We took this to be a good sign and tried to keep ourselves distracted with our day-to-day lives.
Twelve days after the embryo implantation date – the day we’d been told to go for the blood test – happened to be my mom’s birthday. Wouldn’t that be an awesome birthday present for my mom?! I had a series of meetings in the morning, which meant I’d only be able to go for the test at lunchtime. Knowing we’d likely to die of anticipation if we had to wait until the afternoon to find out, Becs had bought a stock-standard pee-test for the morning before we left for work.
As you would on the day you’re due to leave for holiday, I woke up early, thanks to the excitement the day promised, and could barely contain myself. At about 05:30, I decided I couldn’t wait anymore and Becs woke up to the sound of me scratching in the medicine cupboard for the pee-test. She immediately knew what I was up to and eagerly perched herself on the edge of the bed to wait for the results.
In case you were wondering, peeing on a 1cm wide piece of plastic in near-dark with half-open eyes is no mean feat, but I managed. I placed the stick on a piece of toilet paper on the bathroom counter, washed my hands and went to wait the instructed 5 minutes. Let me tell you, that was the longest 5 minutes of my life!
Becs and I read and re-read the instructions and eventually, unable to contain ourselves, went back to the bathroom to check the results. Negative. What? My world crashed down around me. We consulted the instructions again to make sure we’d read the results correctly. How could it be? We’d been so sure this was it. We were totally convinced this was our time to get it right, so how could the test be negative? But there is was, as clear as day, only one little red line. We were devastated. We crawled back into bed, curled into one another and cried in each other’s arms until the alarm went off.
The rest of the day passed in a blur, the tears never far from my eyes. I sat through my meetings, adding little-to-no value, barely managing to keep it together. But, the doctor still needed a blood test to confirm the results – after all, she hadn’t seen the pee-stick. So at lunch time I got into my car and drove to the hospital.
I walked into the hospital, across the reception and down the stairs to the pathology labs in a total daze. I walked in, half greeted the sister and handed her my form. She called me through almost immediately. Sensing my apathy towards the process (and possibly seeing my puffy red eyes), she didn’t make the usual friendly banter with me. Having filled the vials, I thanked her and walked out, up the stairs, across the reception and out to my car. I don’t even remember the drive back to the office, I was on some other planet.
About two hours later, my phone rang. It was the receptionist from the doctor’s office to give me the results. Worried I’d burst into tears again; I went into a private meeting room to take the call. Dejectedly, I answered, “Hello?”
“Barbara, it’s Muneerah from Dr Patel’s office. Your results have come back and it’s positive. The reading should be more than seven and yours is 103, so it’s definitely a positive.” It took a while for her words to wash over me, to sink through the blur of my heart-broken psyche and into my consciousness. When they eventually did, I sat straight up.
“Pardon Muneerah, could you please repeat that?” I asked, barely willing to believe my ears.
“It’s positive – congratulations! Now you need to go for another test in 48-72 hours to check the levels have doubled, but it’s definitely a positive.”
I thanked her emphatically and immediately dialled Becs’s number. She answered in much the same way I had answered Muneerah’s call – half-heartedly and with a tone of abject dejection. I asked her how her day had been. “Terrible,” she replied. When I asked her if I could make it better, she hardly perked up, the possibilities unlikely to have even crossed her mind. “Sure,” she said, “you can try.”
“Muneerah just called, the blood tests results are positive – we’re pregnant!” She was silent for a second before almost screaming down the phone, “I knew it! I knew that stupid pee-test was wrong!”
The rest of the afternoon passed in a blur of who-knows-what. We were pregnant, nothing else mattered to either of us! That night we were going to be able to give my mom the best birthday present ever!