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05/25/2004

I got plenty of nothin'

You know those early pregnancy symptoms everyone's always going on about? The sore breasts, the pelvic fullness, the strange uterine cramping that some women claim they feel starting, like, five minutes after getting it on (or, in the case of infertility patients, seven and a half minutes after embryo transfer)?

Well, I have those. But so does everyone else who's ever been dosed with progesterone. I'm fairly sure my husband would if I could figure out a way to introduce a suppository without tipping him off.

I need a volunteer to create a diversion.

I used to think I knew what very early pregnancy felt like. Pregnant after my first two cycles with injectables, I was convinced to the point of smugness that I'd recognize a positive long before a blood test confirmed it. Not so, not so, as I learned after my third. I felt every bit as pregnant as I had in the past, but ended up without even a low beta to soothe my vanity, sorely bruised by my failure to predict the negative.

Instead, I knew what progesterone supplementation felt like. For me, being pregnant on progesterone feels exactly like not being pregnant on progesterone.

Because I know this, I consult my insides a million times a day, ascribing the symptoms to anything but pregnancy. But because I'm hopeful, I still want to believe. That feeling of pelvic heaviness? I have variously decided it's embryos implanting, colon blockage, embryos implanting, a deep rumble of foreboding, embryos implanting, misplaced car keys, embryos implanting, and an early indication of a summer of punishing hailstorms.

That cramping? Canteloupe-sized fibroid. Implantation. Surprise bonus orgasm while I sleep. Implantation. Uterine perforation from my IUD. (Wait, I've never had one.) Implantation. Yet another layer of plush bloody wall-to-wall ready to be shed. Im-plan-ta-tion.

A blue Christmas.

A white Christmas.

Implantation, yo!

The breasts — oh, the breasts. I can't be sure, but I suspect that sometime in the night, while I lay in dreamless wake-up-to-pee-five-thousand-times slumber, the Breast Fairy brought me implants, a procedure from which I have yet to recover. They're bigger, they're tender, and they hurt when they're jostled. I would rather believe I'm pregnant, though; I cannot think of breast surgery without remembering that they move your nipples. They take them off and move them. I must therefore assume that at some point, your nipples are sitting on a tray like hors d'oeuvres.

With all these options to choose from, I can explain away my so-called symptoms with ease. The only problem is that now I'd like an appetizer.

I believe I'll hold out for the tiny spanakopita.

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