Getting Pregnant With Michelle Tea: Implantation Bleeding!

I do not believe I will just KNOW when I am pregnant. I think I am more like the women who have no idea they are pregnant and wind up giving birth in a Greyhound Bus Station bathroom, thinking they had only eaten a bad hot dog.

Because it is the first time in my life that I might be pregnant, I begin to act as if I am.

I don’t really realize I’m doing this, I just cut my coffee down to one cup a day so I don’t miscarry. This lasts for 24 hours, until I speak to my sister who assures me I can continue to drink coffee until I get a positive pee stick for pregnancy.

I can test for pregnancy in about a week. There are all sorts of tests that promise early resuts, but I am determined not to be -- in the words of the online TTC Commuity -- a POAS-Maniac! That would be a Pee On A Stick Maniac, a woman who pees on sticks with maniacal frequency.

My sister is a POAS-Maniac. We call each other all day and compare our ovulation sticks. It’s fun to be trying to get pregnant together!

“We’re like those teenagers in Massachusetts who made a Pregnancy Pact,” she says.

My friend Sandwich comes to visit me from Eugene, Oregon. My plan is to convince her to move to San Francisco, but when I learn she is living in a Zen palace in the woods with a hot tub and a redwood deck plus is having romantic intrigue with a straight girl who owns a horse, I give up. It is Sandwich, at my breakfast table eating yogurt, who I announce my miscarriage to.

“Sandwich, I think I just miscarried,” I tell her. She looks confused. “I just bled into the toilet, it was weird,” I elaborate.

Sandwich continues to look at me. Sandwich is a Libra, a gentle sort. Her style is neat and timeless, classy, but I think she is one of those reserved people who enjoy the antics of people who are more disgusting.

I tell her about the reddish-orange splash of blood that fell into the bowl as I sat atop it. My period isn’t due for nearly a week, but my period has become increasingly mysterious recently. Instead of coming on with terrible gusto, I spot for a couple days and then, nothing.

Then -- PERIOD! Wild, heavy, clotting, wombon river rafting! I bleed through tampons, I ruin underwear! Then, it’s gone. All this willy-nilly bleeding has made it hard to know when to begin ovulation testing. And now this new blood.

I did not know what to make of the little crimson splash. A miniature miscarriage? Of course, you have to be pregnant to have a miscarriage, but I don’t let that stop me from making miscarriage jokes all day.

“Sandwich, will you hand me my coffee cup, I just had a miscarriage.”

“Sandwich, will you put my contact lenses in for me, that miscarriage exhausted me.”

“Sandwich, I don’t know if I can make it to the afternoon soul music dance party, what with this miscarriage.”

I phone my sister, who knows everything. She knows everything about fertility, ovulation, pregnancy. She knows everything about my own personal pregnancy cycle, as she keeps better records than I. Our mother has ceased to phone me for updates about my TTC goings-on, and now calls my sister instead. I tell her about my bleeding.

“Well,” She says, “It could be a lot of things. It could be implantation bleeding.”

Implantation Bleeding? What is that? Well, it is when your little fertilized egg finally reaches your womb, sniffs around a bit, rubs its finger along the countertop, searching for dust, bounces a quarter off the bed sheets, decides it is up to par and then hooks itself into your uterine wall with a teeny, tiny little barb that, despite it’s miscroscopityness, produces a bit of blood.

My sister has other information about bleeding whilst pregnant, such as some women bleed through their whole pregnancy and it’s no big whoop.

I am so happy I have not had a miscarriage, but decide to still work it with Sandwich and ask her to do everything for me because I am Implantation Bleeding so can’t, you know, bring my breakfast dishes to the sink and whatnot.

I also make her Google "Implantation Bleeding" and read it to me, even though it grosses her out a little because she is a Libra. I disregard most of what it says, because actually it does not sound like I am implantation bleeding, but I want to be. It would mean I have been implanted. With a BABY.

My sister phones me back. “I have to ask you a question,“ she says. “Don’t think about it, just say ‘Yes’ or ‘No,’ whatever pops into your mind first, okay?”

“Okay,” I say.

“Are you pregnant?”

“Yes!” I squeak.

“I think you are, too,” my sister says. “I could totally feel it when I got pregnant.”

OK, first of all, I have no idea if I am pregnant. None -- nothing physical, nothing psychic, nada. I do not think I am like my sister; I do not believe I will just KNOW when I am pregnant. I think I am more like the women who have no idea they are pregnant and wind up giving birth in a Greyhound Bus Station bathroom, thinking they had only eaten a bad hot dog.

Tali also asks me if I’m pregnant. I try to listen to my body. I take note of every cramp and gurgle.

“Maybe,” I said, “But I think it’s just gas.”

Still, I like that I might be pregnant, and I tell everyone, an at the Afternoon Soul Music Dance Party, “I might be pregnant! I might be pregnant! Isn’t that crazy?!”

I make Sandwich fetch me my Red Bull -- “Could you? I’m Implantation Bleeding and I can’t handle the crowd at the bar.”

Dashiell arrives at the dance party, which is the whole point, to go soul dancing with Dashiell, and for Sandwich to meet Dashiell.

“Not crazy,” is Sandwich’s immediate opinion.

I don’t even ask her. I don’t even mention that I had been worried Dashiell might be crazy, a worry I had stopped worrying about. But, Sandwich has known me for a long time, and knows that most of my dates are crazy.

“I know!” I exclaim. “She’s totally not crazy, right?”

“Yeah, she’s normal,” Sandwhich confirms.

I am overcome with joy. I finally am dating a normal person. That must mean that I myself am almost normal. And I’m implantation bleeding. What an awesome day!

Quentin arrives, climbs onto a little pillar and begins to go-go dance. “Look, look!” I grab Dashiell and Sandwich. “That’s my sperm donor!”

We coo over Quentin for bit, and Dashiell becomes obsessed with Quentin’s adorable, punchy dance style.

“He’s got some moves!”

Dashiell too has some moves. Dashiell looks like she just danced through a tear in the space-time continuum, like she started the evening dancing in a high school gymnasium somewhere in the Midwest, circa 1958, and wound up here, in the back patio of a dive bar in a cluster of queers.

It is our first time dancing together and we both mentioned in a fake-casual way that we do not like to dance with other people. Like, we like to dance around other people, but we do our own thing. No touching.

“No freaking,” I say sternly. “I hate being freaked on the dance floor.”

Within a few songs we are all over each other. Dashiell is such a good dancer it makes me swoon, and then I fall into her, and then she has to hold me up. With her mouth.

It begins to rain, lightly at first but then hard, and no one stops dancing. I am splashing in a puddle, sure that my purse is lying in a pool of rainwater and spilt beer somewhere, but I d not care. Quentin has busted out a frilly pink umbrella and continues to go-go dance. Everyone is soaked, and the dance party takes on the energy of a wild celebration, like something remarkable has happened and we are here to mark the moment, rain be damned.

I dance with my hands wrapped around my abdomen, like I’m dancing with my fertilized egg. I hope my dancing doesn’t dislodge it! I try not to bounce too hard.

But, guess what? I’m not pregnant. There wasn’t even ever a possibility that I would GET pregnant. Know why? I STOPPED inseminating when I got a positive pee stick, but that is when you are supposed to START inseminating!

The ovulation tests look for the presence of LH hormone in your pee-pee. When you get an LH surge, the egg is on it’s way! It is your job to get as much sperm up there as possible! That is not what I did. I called it all off, thinking my egg had plunked down in a nest of ejaculate, and was hopefully being invaded. Duh! Doy! LaDoya Jackson!

I want to get knocked up while I am still 40 years old. I just wasted a month, and now have only had three or four months left. I buy another box of ovulation pee sticks, and throw away that little sprig of jasmine, which my cats have stolen from the bottle beside my bed and were batting around the floor like a dead mouse.

Next Week: Take a dip in the Vaginal Pool!