What's going on in your womb now? A lot. Your baby-in-the-making is just a tiny ball consisting of several hundred cells that are multiplying madly. Once the ball of cells (called a blastocyst) takes up residence in your uterus, the part of it that will develop into the placenta starts producing the pregnancy hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), which tells your ovaries to stop releasing eggs and triggers increased production of estrogen and progesterone (which keep your uterus from shedding its lining — and its tiny passenger — and stimulates placental growth). HCG is the hormone that turns a pregnancy test positive; by the end of this week, you may be able to take one and get a positive result! (If your test is negative and you still haven't gotten your period in two or three days, try again then.)
Meanwhile, amniotic fluid is beginning to collect around your ball of cells in the cavity that will become the amniotic sac. This fluid will cushion your baby in the weeks and months ahead. Right now, your little blastocyst is receiving oxygen and nutrients (and discarding waste products) through a primitive circulation system made up of microscopic tunnels that connect your developing baby to the blood vessels in your uterine wall. The placenta won't be developed enough to take over this task until the end of next week.
2004.09.03. cycle strangeness
It seemed so right. I knew I had done the conception deed on the right days, and we're so very fertile when we time it correctly. The symptoms started. Tomorrow is the Day Of Knowledge. And I'm fiercely, madly hormonal. I'm so cranky that I've been screaming and crying up a storm.
But I took a test this morning and nothing. Not even the faintest hint of a line. Later, in one of my frequent bathroom trips, I tear apart the test - the control line wasn't where it should have been, exactly. Maybe my faint line is behind the plastic.
All I see is a very clear control line. Not pregnant. How could it be?
2004.09.04. all the wrong signs, but...
It's the day of my yard sale extravaganza, my very pregnant friend comes over a little after 8 a.m. I've seen the barest hint of blood, so I think maybe my period is starting. I give in to not being pregnant. I am not pregnant, I say.
And she is so gorgeously, stunningly pregnant, her baby is due in two months and she has trouble getting up off the bed that we sell much later that evening. Pregnant women and those with new babies come, wanting to know her, wanting to buy her cast-offs.
I sell our crib, some baby toys, bedding, little girl things my friend has bought. I want to keep them but...
My two-year-old, strong like an ox, jumps and runs and learns how to catch the football. Grabs it out of the air like he was born to play. Not every time, but respectably.
And as much as I love who he is, where I am as his mama, I badly want to get closer to that infant stage, that hip mama who walks up carrying her 8-week-old in his car seat, wants to know if he really is big for his age (we say, "yes!" at his delicious hugeness). She is so independent, so entirely new, such a first mama. I want to be her, and every mama's, mentor.
But my son is too far for her to know that I, too, understand her particular pain. He is two years past hers, ages, eons. I mourn the pregnancy that wasn't.
It's the second day of my supposed period, but there is nothing - no hint of what I was so sure was me not being pregnant. I am determined to wait, though, before taking my third and last pregnancy test I bought over a week ago.