Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I Bought a Home Pregnancy Test

I'll warn you now: I have altered the subtitle of this blog. I am bellying up to The Change, my friends, and I'm feeling talkative. If you are faint of heart, go check out I Can Has Cheezburger.

All my life I have been highly predictable. Give me a holiday or a honeymoon: I get my period. Once, on a two-week beach vacation in Spain, I arrived in the midst of a period, it ended, and before we left for home, I got it again.

But most of the time I just had normal cycles. Not even 28 days. In fact, the two times I went longer than 28 days resulted in Baboo and Skittles.

About 7 years ago, I had my tubes tied. I'm north of 40, I have two lovely children: it was time to shut down the factory.

Fast forward to last year. While at the office of the doctor who performed the surgery, I mentioned that it was now Day 37.

"What method of birth control are you using?" he asked.

"Um . . . you tied my tubes." Doesn't he have notes?

He got a funny look on his face, handed me a test kit, and sent me down the hall while remarking, "It's probably nothing, but anything can happen."

Not reassuring, his words. And they've stuck with me.

When the Christmas holidays neared this year, I prepared myself for another vacation marred by menses. Oddly, I got this lingering, annoying cold instead. So the poor Spouse not only didn't get any, I couldn't even . . . Well, let me just say it's such a small thing, isn't it? It doesn't take very long if your heart is in it. And it makes them so happy.

But you have to be able to breathe.

My mother-in-law is probably reading this, so enuff said. You get the picture.

I have no symptoms of pregnancy nor PMS. Zip. Zilch. Nada. But I don't recall how I felt the first few weeks of pregnancy. Pretty normal, I think (until morning sickness set in). I think I had Giant Boobs, however. And PMS usually = Giant Boobs. Moodiness. A marked lack of patience with stupidity. The overwhelming urge to kill someone.

So while standing in line at the grocery store yesterday, I saw, next to the condoms and the breath mints, packages of home pregnancy tests. It was Day 37. The test was only 85 rubles (under $3US these days).

So I bought one. Call it an impulse purchase.

But I couldn't read the instructions. I even looked on the Internet, and while I found, in English, how to interpret the results, I couldn't see if there was anything special I needed to know about the test.

I showed it to The Spouse. Once his eyes returned to normal size, he dutifully set about reading the instructions to me. Turns out they were, in alternating lines, in Russian (which he could read) and Kazakh (which he could not . . . welcome to my world, dude).

Good thing, too, because I thought this was a quick and tidy process. Nyet. This test involves a stick that has to be dipped to a certain depth.


That necessitates collection.

Yeah, yeah, I know. The stuff is sterile. But still. What on earth was I going to use to hold the appropriate amount?

Before you get too worried, you should know that I found some disposable plastic cups in a cupboard. Whew. That problem solved. But my toilet is in a separate room from my bathroom. I don't have what the military would call the ability to make a surgical strike. This just isn't the best format for this type of test, okay? Get the other kind. Even if it costs more than 85 rubles.

In the end, I was able to have a shower, disinfect any contaminated surfaces, and read the results.

You guessed it: not pregnant.

I suppose if I had paid more attention to the clues, I would have known before even taking the test. Yesterday afternoon was a perfect storm of annoyances, and I found my blood pressure rising with each additional vexation.

First, I received, as a gift, the Mother of All Food Processors. Long story, but it is fantastic. The Gift Giver, in her efforts to be thorough, and assure Recipient Satisfaction, had made the shop clerks check, twice, that all the parts were in the box. A key part . . . no, the key part is missing. She'll track it down for me, but I was so excited about my treat which I had known was coming since before Christmas. So now I have to wait a little longer. Harrumph.

The same Gift Giver had included a really nice bouquet of flowers. All of this was part of an elaborate thank you for some volunteer work I do. Flowers are expensive in Moscow, and I was delighted to have some in the house for once.

So was the cat.

Like a man possessed, he was after that bouquet. I put it on the piano. He climbed up. I put it on a bookcase (that is, more or less, blocked by the drying laundry . . . yeah, my living room is very Russian-y). He leapt over to get at it. I even set the container on the floor so he could smell and rub to his heart's content, but all he really wanted to do was chew on the leaves. No amount of yelling or startling noises could dissuade him. Finally, as I was leaving to go get the children from school, I shut the vase of flowers in the dining room. The door doesn't have any sort of latch, but I wedged it closed with a doorstop.

When I returned home, I found the door had been forced open, and the vase was lying on its side on the dining room table. Nothing was broken, but the water was soaked into the place mats and lying in puddles on the wooden tabletop.

Then, poor Baboo inadvertently brushed up against a car while walking home. Her winter coat was covered in слякоть (say SLY-ah-kot. Great word, eh? Exactly the sound of your boot as you pull it from muck). Okay. It's washable. I had just washed her coat, but no matter.

As my blood pressure began to spike, I thought I detected, ever so slightly, a hint of a back ache, the very sensation that usually heralds my period.

All the signs are there.

I can just wait, I guess.


valentina said...

Well I am relieved. As for the cat knawing on the flowers, Valentina does this. I always have a bouquet of flowers on my desk in the office here and she climbs up and tries to chew on the leaves while I work at the computer. During the holidays I had roses and holly from the tree in the border and she loved those sharp green leaves.

I am forever shooing her away but she always returns and then, more often than not, ensconces herself in my desk drawer which I keep open to rest my arms and elbows on. It is hard to type over a cat. Even a sweet and sleek and slender one like Princessa Valentina, aka Marie Antoinette of Kitties.

Sometimes she will knock the entire vase of flowers onto the floor which is annoying but she has gotten more adept. I only notice her doing this chewing when I am at my desk so I wonder if she just likes to have company while she snacks or cleans her teeth or whatever she is doing, or if she only wants an audience and to annoy me... Considering she is a cat it is probably all of these...

Enjoy your new food processor and your flowers! xov

Susan said...

I did the same thing at about your age,(a long time ago!)
I worked in the labor room at the time, and mentioned to a doctor on call that I was "late" He asked what my form of BC was. I told him, and he said "oh, your using nothing"
Turned out that I was in pre-menopause. That same doctor told me later that tubals are still about 99% effective. Thank you so much Dr for the scare:)
I am Katherines mom. They are moving to Moscow soon. I enjoy reading your blog!!

Avray said...

I so enjoy reading your blog, it is funny, informative and endearing. We are currently sitting around waiting for HR to decide where to post us and I will admit your blog has aroused a lot of curiosity about possibly moving to moscow that we might not have considered otherwise. Thank you!

Tina in CT said...

Be happy that the test was negative!

As for the cat... How about growing some indoor grass (not the kind that people smoke) so she can munch on that? I've seen little kits in the local Petco but of course that's here in the US. Perhaps a friend could send you some grass seed from the US.

Anonymous said...

Louis Vuitton,LV Luggage,LV Wallets,LV Agendas,LV Belts,LV Shoes,LV Accessories,Gucci,Gucci Wallets,Gucci Shoes,Marc Jacobs handbags,Marni handbags,Miu Miu handbags,Mulberry handbags,Prada handbags,Thomaswylde handbags,TOD handbags,Bottega Veneta handbags,D&G handbags,Dior handbags,YSL handbags,Coach handbags

Anonymous said...

Louis Vuitton,LV Luggage,LV Wallets,LV Agendas,LV Belts,LV Shoes,LV Accessories,Gucci,Gucci Wallets,Gucci Shoes,Marc Jacobs handbags,Marni handbags,Miu Miu handbags,Mulberry handbags,Prada handbags,Thomaswylde handbags,TOD handbags,Bottega Veneta handbags,D&G handbags,Dior handbags,YSL handbags,Coach handbags