What you are about to read is based on true events that literally just took place in my life.
I’d like to preface this narrative by telling you all a little about myself.
I’m a planner. I’m very type A. I even have OCD, but not the kind where I wash my hands 100x a day or anything. I just love everything to be in even numbers and stuff like that. Totally normal. Ha! I have the next couple years of my life completely planned out, and everything better go exactly to plan or I’ll lose my mind. Luckily, my boyfriend is the same exact way. However, the thing about being a planner is that you have some difficulty adjusting to the fact that THINGS DON’T ALWAYS GO YOUR WAY.
Anyway, this past week was kind of rough for us. Here we were, two type A, OCD-having planners, with our anxiety threshold pushed to the absolute max…. And it all started with an amazing date night.
According to my period app, (yes, I have a period app) I was supposed to get my period on Valentine’s Day. My boyfriend only knew this because I complained about it …A LOT. I was so angry because we had this whole romantic evening planned. I had this gorgeous red dress from Zara that I didn’t get to wear yet, and my brand new Christian Louboutin Pigalle Follies pumps came in the mail just in time. We had reservations at this fancy italian restaurant and had a bunch of sweet, romantic things planned for the rest of the evening. Obviously, you can understand how my period could have ruined it all, so I was happy it never came. Valentine’s Day was absolutely fabulous, despite the fact that Astoria was a sheet of ice and it was snowing. I even wore Ugg Boots with my dress until the valet physically came and took my car. There was no way I wasn’t breaking in those new shoes.
Days 2-3: Well, this is weird.
No one freaks out if their period is 2 days late, unless they’re a total weirdo. By the time Day 3 rolled around, I started to get concerned because I’m usually pretty regular. I just thought my cycle was changing or something. Still.. no need to panic, and NO NEED to tell my boyfriend. He freaks out if I sneeze too many times in a row and thinks I’m deathly ill. He would just freak me out and get all upset. I could totally handle this.
Day 4: Anxiety building
By Day 4, I admit I was starting to panic a little. I was at school and confided in a friend about my whole situation. She put my mind at ease, as did my cousin whose currently in nursing school hoping to specialize in OB/GYN. Unfortunately, my boyfriend, wonderful memory that he has, ASKED ME if I got my period. I didn’t wanna lie so I told him “no” ….and that was it. He slipped right into panic mode. I even lied and said it was only 2 days late. A little white lie to ease someone’s mind never hurt anyone. I, myself, was starting to worry though. All my usual “period is coming signs” weren’t emerging. No nausea, no lack of appetite and my boobs weren’t even sore! Sometimes they’re so sore that I can’t even walk down the stairs or hug someone.
I decided to kind of put it out of my mind for the rest of the day because I was SURE I would wake up the next day and get my period. I’m a first thing in the morning kind of girl. Girls: You know when you wake up and you don’t want to get out of bed and stand up because you know it’ll be like turning on a faucet? Yeah, that’s usually how it goes for me. Hahaha Boys, I apologize for the graphic imagery. Just shut the fuck up and be thankful you don’t get a period.
Day 5: RELEASE THE PANIC!
Okay, so I woke up and NOTHING. Now I was really starting to panic…and my boyfriend in my ear wasn’t helping. I was now worrying about him more than about myself. And the crazy thing about that is … STRESS PROLONGS YOUR PERIOD! So when you don’t get it, you stress, which makes you not get it even more, which makes you stress even more. Do you see the clusterfuck this creates?! My god. So, I texted my cousin again.. and before she even had a chance to give me any advice, I was in the car on the way to rite aid.
Pregnancy test time.
I had a couple of things I needed to return to Forever21 so I asked my mom to come to the mall with me. I got ready quickly so I could leave the house without her to run the dreaded errand. I told her I needed to go to the bank and I would be back soon. I got to the shopping center and it was absolutely packed. It was 11am! Why was everyone and their mother in the shopping center at this exact time????? Just to fuck with me, that’s why.
Any woman who has ever bought a pregnancy test at a time when a potential pregnancy was unplanned will understand the need to get into Rite Aid/CVS or wherever, as quickly as possible and LEAVE as quickly as possible without being seen. This was pretty much impossible because my entire neighborhood was at the shopping center. I actually had to leave the shopping center TWICE and drive around the block and enter again, all the while looking for parking. By the grace of god, a spot finally opened up.
My stomach was in knots. I walked into Rite Aid right to the pharmacy and picked up a First Response Pregnancy Test; you know the one where the woman on the commercial is all “6 days before your missed period…” blah blah. So, I figured that was my best bet. I go to pay and there are 4 old ladies on line in front of me taking 7 years each to make their purchases. THEEENNNNNNNN.. I notice that one of the two available cashiers is the little sister of one of my brother’s friends. Back to what I said about not wanting to be seen…. OF COURSE I WOULD SEE SOMEONE WHO KNOWS WHO I AM! So here I am, standing on line waiting and waiting, trying to conceal the box in my hand because one of these old ladies is going to see it, see no ring on my finger and immediately think I’m a trollop.
Another old woman was standing on line behind me, an acquaintance of one of the old women in front of me, which was made apparent when she came to speak to her after she paid for her shit. The conversation went a little like this:
Old lady #1: “Oh my goodness, Did you hear about poor Sheila?” A squirrel got into her house.”
Old lady #2: “(GASP) No…Really?! What happened?”
Old Lady #1: “Yes, right into her bedroom window. So she called me and asked me what she should do. I told her to call her nice man friend that lives in the building to come help her. So she did and….”
And the conversation went on and on as I stood there, mortified, yet trying not to laugh at the thought of a squirrel running around in some old lady’s bedroom and her screaming her brains out. Oh..and their horrific new york accents were like something out of a movie! I wanted to pee my pants. You can’t make this shit up, people.
I stood there praying I would get the cashier who wasn’t my brothers friends little sister and I didn’t. God smiled on me. I made my purchase and ran out of there. As soon as I got home I ran up to the bathroom and took the stupid test.
LONGEST. ONE. MINUTE. EVER.
And the result: Not Pregnant
PRAISE FUCKING JESUS!!!!! I immediately texted my boyfriend a picture of the negative pregnancy test, thinking he would be happy and we could move on from this madness. instead he replied with “Wait what the fuck? I don’t trust that shit. It’s from a store.” Greaaaaaaaaaaattttt. We’re not out of the woods yet. I was feeling so much better, and he had me second guessing everything. Of course I started googling everything: false negative pregnancy tests, how early is too early to take a pregnancy test, blah blah blah! Well that was that. Back to panic.
Day 6 Part I: Acceptance (On his part, not mine)
On Wednesday nights, I always sleep at my boyfriend’s house and we commute to the city together in the morning. I go to my externship and he goes to work around the same time so we decided to make it a thing. On our walk to the train station this morning, he told me he had just accepted the fact that I was pregnant, like yeah that’s it. It’s done. Our lives are over.
I was like “WHAT??!?!?!” As if i didn’t cry enough last night. I took Ativan and he took Xanax just so we could go to sleep and fight off the nausea/anxiety. I knew it just like wasn’t possible and there was no way my life wasn’t going to go exactly how I wanted. It was a quiet morning commute together. I kissed him goodbye, got off the the N train and waited for the 6 train. I stood there deep in thought, like I had for the past week, contemplating my future. I was going to be early so I decided to go to occupational health and speak to someone about my situation. I spoke to two nurse practitioners who both said the home pregnancy test was most likely accurate, but a blood test would be best in terms of declaring pregnancy or not. I left the office deciding that if my period didn’t come by the end of the weekend I was going to my OB/GYN asap.
I couldn’t freaking believe this. I went to the office to sign in and hang up my coat and as I walked to the elevator to go to my office something amazing happened. My lower back started to hurt.
Day 6 Part II: Relief (On all Parts)
My lower back pain quickly became accompanied by cramping. I was so busy doing clinical swallow evaluations and Modified Barium Swallow Studies all morning that I didn’t have a chance to use the bathroom. When I got a moment, I found a vacant staff bathroom. I stuck a tampon in my lab coat before going to see patients, just in case. And good thing I did because Jesus answered my prayers and I GOT MY FUCKING PERIOD.
I was in agony the rest of the day, as far as pain goes, yet in ecstasy emotionally. I’ll take it. Sometimes the universe likes to fuck with you just to put you back in check. It’s amazing how different you feel once you realize your life isn’t going to change forever. The sun is shining a lot brighter for me now, colors are more vibrant. It’s so cliche but it’s true.
So ladies, the next time your period is late and you have to make that awful trip to the drug store, remember…. you’re not alone. I’ve been there. So many of us have. I hope my story has provided at least one person with some comedic relief. Lord knows I’m glad I can now look back on this experience and laugh.