[Pregnant or think you might be? Visit the resource listing on this site for help.]

I wanted to wait to have children. I was terrified I was going to be one of those girls who got pregnant immediately after getting married.

But it wasn’t long after I wed my knight in shining armor that I realized something new and strange about myself. I changed my mind – I wanted a baby.

This was a complete 180 degree turn from the weepy meltdown I had in the car on the way home from premarital counseling in March 2008, back when I was a first-year baby protester. The afternoon Josh and I decided we would not be using the pill but a (less reliable) barrier method was precisely the day I knew for sure we were going to have a baby on our honeymoon. And I was terrified of this imagined outcome.

It didn’t help that Cozumel, our honeymoon destination, was known as “the Mayan island of fertility”. The airline attendant gleefully warned us of this as we boarded our final plane. I pondered the strong possibility that this “blessing” might also apply to non-Mayans.

It felt like, in that moment, that the worst thing that could have happened to me would have been a pregnancy, a human life growing inside me, a (gasp!) baby.

So you can imagine my surprise after I got married when something changed. Suddenly I had thoughts about babies that didn’t involve me turning into a pool of disappointment and rage. This was new. I wrote about it here, about how I could feel the biological clock turned on. And I could hear it ticking. It was making me want a baby. Darn you, Mayan Cozumel water. If they couldn’t get you pregnant, they were going to make you miserable until you wanted a baby so bad you just went ahead and had one.

I started investing in those little white sticks that tell you if there’s a human growing inside of you, pregnancy tests I think they’re called. (Right, like I don’t know. In reality, I can tell you the ratings of most of them and which ones are most likely to give you a false positive. Or I can tell you where to find out.)

Every few weeks, I started paying attention to the symptoms they listed as pregnancy symptoms on WebMD. I quickly became convinced each month my symptoms indicated that if I didn’t have a horrendous case of stage 4 uterine cancer with complications in my thyroid, then I was in fact pregnant.

Cramping? Check.

Soreness in certain unmentionable locations? Check.

Cranky, irritable? Got that one on lock.

Nausea? Did you know you can make yourself nauseous on cue? Well I can. Special talent.

Fatigue? Um, sure.

Frequent trips to the bathroom? You bet.

So every month I was pregnant. Or almost pregnant. Some months I took more than one test, just to be sure. Those symptoms sure were tricky. You can get them almost any time, like after running a 10k, or drinking 2 gallons of water. Or eating week old pasta. So you just have to have a box or two of them around, just to be sure.

I took a picture of it so I could show my friend. And myself. Yup,  this one was real.

Well, one day when I had quite given up, run out of tests in fact, my friend at work gave me her extra ones. She was pregnant and didn’t need any more convincing. I took the freebie test one Saturday morning when Josh was at work, just for fun. Because at this time it was a hobbie like kayaking and scrapbooking are for some (normal) people.

But this one was positive. And wouldn’t you know it, being pregnant felt exactly the same as almost or not at all pregnant, which warranted a second test-taking venture four weeks later, just to be sure.

The moral of the story is that I am basically terrible at knowing if I am pregnant or not. So just to be safe, I always think I am.

If I ever seem a bit off, a little wobbly perhaps, or a little snarky or rude, tired or glazed over, if it looks like I had one too many drinks the night before, you can assume that I am pregnant. Or that I think I am.

But really, until I am, I am not.

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14 thoughts on “How To Know You’re Not Pregnant

  1. So funny because I always think I am prego but am definitely not. There are birth control pills out there that are a really low dosage. I was against the pill but for the medical reasons that you know about already my doctor put me on a very low dosage that I take when hubby is deployed. I believe God has used the medicine to almost completely heal my body and make it possible to have more kids down the road. Just keep in mind that it medically helps with certain things that can cause infertility issues without very intrusive surgeries. That's my two cents 🙂


  2. Thanks, Ings. That's really true. I didn't even think about that part of it, but you're right. I have several friends who have gotten benefit from the medical side from the pill. So it's not one-sided at all. It was a clear decision for us since we didn't have that element, but I truly respect all sides after the ordeals we went through talking to so many people and making up our minds. This perspective is primarily for humor's sake.


  3. ha! Lovely blog, I've totally been there! hahaha Out of the frustration of that constant could-I-be questioning and what form of family planning is right for us I found a book called Taking Charge of Your Fertility. It's the size of an elephant, but makes total sense. You might want to check it out 🙂 Got mine on Amazon


  4. Favorite quote: "because we're armed with archaic, fundamentalist science".Favorite situation: always thinking you're pregnant because your state in life aligns with what WebMD says the first few weeks of pregnancy are, which is actually how you feel all the time but don't notice because you didn't care before.


  5. Yeah, didn't realize it would leave me "Unknown"!! It's your pal Jessica Bouz 🙂 Yes Ingrid, very easy read. I learned a lot about my body too…..and to think all these years I thought 7th grade health class taught me all I would need to know! ha!


  6. Oh My Gosh! I have 6 babies and I have had my tubes tied…no actually burned…and I still carry around pregnancy tests in my purse. You never know…actually-I am 4 days late right now and I would love just one more…


  7. Thank you. Your story put my mind at ease. You see, I am facing the same question right now: Am I pregnant… My opinion is that if God wants to give me a child, I cant send it back, but that does not mean that motherhood (while full-time employed) does not scare the living daylights out of me. It is still too early for a test, but I will let you know. Thanks for listening! Elzanne (South Africa)


  8. Elzanne, thank you for sharing your story. I am a full-time working mother and there are so many sacrifices to make with that life. For most women, that is their only option. It is ours. I have to work. So I appreciate your dilemma. Despite all the fear I've felt, I have always had comfort after wrestling with God, knowing that he created that baby and it's His job, even more than mine, to take care of it. So that makes me feel better. Your baby, not mine, Father God. 🙂


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