Since time immemorial the female segment of society has sought to manage their fertility and reproduction. Mother nature is a tricky and fickle mistress though. A woman might be under the impression that she is unable to have any more children, only to surprise, have a last-minute bun pop into her oven just to keep her on her toes.
On the flip side, she might even be a Fertile Myrtle who has decided that there won't be any more newborn wrangling in her household, thank you very much. In which case, good ‘ole Momma Nature will wave her magical wand right at her belly and remind her who is really in charge around her.
An article published on WomensHealthMag tells us that “The Egyptian pessary is the earliest contraceptive device for women. A concoction made of crocodile dung, honey, and sodium carbonate...”
Fortunately for everyone concerned, contraception has evolved a great deal since then, which is lucky because if we still had to use odorous crocodile dung, everyone at work in the morning would know what you had been up to the night before.
So, what’s it like to pee on the stick when you thought you were done having kids? I spoke to a bunch of moms who found themselves in this very position, and here’s what they told me.
20 You Can Do It
For Rachal, a mom from Richmond Virginia, the occasion was one of excited anticipation, tinged with disbelief. She and her husband, Greg, had spent over ten years trying to have a baby and had been the proud parents of a little girl for the last 18 months.
“My periods had started again eight months after I had May and had been regular as clockwork before stopping without explanation. We thought we would never have another child and then there I was, sitting on the toilet, staring at a pair of pink lines. I couldn’t believe it, and I was overjoyed.”
Now May is a proud big sister to two brothers because Rachel and Greg conceived twins, without assistance.
19 Pass Me A Bucket To Throw Up In
“I woke up in the night, feeling like I was about to throw-up.” Haley, mom of three, said. “It was exactly what happened when I was pregnant before. We thought our family was finished and had no plans to have anymore. I spent the rest of the night napping on and off, wondering if I should just give in, get up, and drive to a 24-hour store for a test kit. In the end, I waited until I had dropped the kids at school, bought a test on the way home and tried it out straight away. I was so worried I almost threw up while I was waiting and the relief when it was negative was incredible. I must have had a stomach bug.”
18 What Will My Husband Do?
What would you do if your husband had a vasectomy and three years later you suspected you were pregnant? That was the situation facing Helen when she realized she her period was almost ten days late.
"It was utter disbelief,” she said, “We had decided on the vasectomy because we were 100% certain we did not want any more children. We were warned that occasionally a failure could happen, but you never think it could happen to you. Not only was I horrified at the idea of another child, but the thought of telling my husband I was pregnant, and that he might be suspicious I had been unfaithful, which I hadn’t, gave it an added layer on tension.”
17 Happy Happy Joy, Joy
“I was surprised at how incredibly excited I was.” Said Anna, a mom of four from New York. “We had decided that three was a plenty big handful for us. Between three kids, full-time work for both of us, and church commitments we had our hands full and the thought of adding another baby to our family had been a negative that caused us to decide to stop there. I went to my doctor's office because my energy levels had hit rock bottom and she suggested a pregnancy test. I hardly had time to think about it, but when the positive result came back, I was overjoyed.”
16 No Picnic, All Panic
At the other end of the emotional spectrum was Alice whose youngest child was twelve. “Having gone back to work and built my career again, to be honest, I just did not want another child that would demand my time and cause me to take time away from what I loved doing - working.”
“My first feeling was panic, and then I felt angry at the fact that our doctor had refused to perform sterilization after our daughter was born because I had only been 22. I waited three days before taking a test, just in case my period started, and during that time I was in a hideous bad mood. Luckily for all concerned, the test was negative.”
15 A Mixed Bag Of Emotions
Riley and her husband had two children, both of whom didn't survive before the age of ten due to a rare genetic disorder. “We didn’t know about the disorder until our oldest was three. Otherwise, we would never have had a second, but by the time we found out our younger daughter was here anyway,” Riley told me.
The prospect of another baby was terrifying because the couple would be faced with the decision of whether or not to have the baby. “I cried and cried for a week, I was a mess,” said Riley, “I kept putting it off because if it were positive we would be faced with a horrible choice and I didn’t want to be in that position.”
14 He Could Spot Them A Mile Away
“It was supposed to prove a point, that I was right and my husband was [a fool],” says mom of two, Kelly from Oklahoma City, “I was convinced I couldn’t possibly be expecting again, but he said that I was developing ‘pregnancy boobs’ and that he would recognize them anywhere!”
Just to show him how wrong he was, Kelly picked up a test on the way home from work and waited until her husband was back. “We went into the bathroom, and I peed on it, handed him the test and went to grab a drink. I didn't need to see it. ‘Hey put down that wine, momma to be’ he called out to me, I was, for once, speechless.”
13 Happy The Right Thing Was Wrong
Concerned for her health after a difficult first pregnancy and birth Jessie’s doctors advised her not to have any more children and her, and her husband reluctantly decided that would be the right decision. Jessie has an autoimmune disorder that often plays havoc with her menstrual cycle, so there were no immediate red flags when she was late.
“You could have cut the tension in the air with a knife when I took that test,” she told me. “There was a strange feeling of elation at the thought that we had somehow cheated the system and by becoming pregnant accidentally we had dodged the responsibility of making the choice to risk my health. We’re so excited I’m expecting again.”
12 I Could Take It Or Leave It
“Shock, horror, disbelief, I felt them all in bucket loads.” Crystal had good reason to feel this way, she was 46 and thought she was going through menopause. “It hadn’t even crossed my mind I might be pregnant. I mean, at my age? All of the stories about how high risk it is to have a baby in your forties scared me witless, and my partner and I didn’t know what to do. We both had families from previous relationships and were looking forward to enjoying ourselves. Now we are checking out strollers instead of convertibles. I’m not unhappy about it, but I’m not exactly happy about it either.”
11 I Plead Guilty
Shannon and her husband were ready to move onto the next stage of their life when she first thought she might be pregnant. “My first thought was to feel guilty,” she said “We had given away all of the baby gear years ago, the kids were older, and we had plans to do more things as a couple. Now we need to buy all of the gear again and maybe buy a bigger house and car. Plus all of those plans for exciting adventures went down the pan. I felt like I had failed to prevent a pregnancy and I had ruined our lives. I dreaded telling my husband but he was over the moon, we did the test together, and his excitement made it better. Now I am beginning to look forward to the baby.”
10 Please, Not Now I'm Educated
Guilt is a common theme for many women who suspect they are pregnant when they had decided with their partner that they would not be having any more.
“I had gone back to school with the aim of getting a career going and contributing to our family having a better lifestyle all around. So now I was going to be pregnant, we would have the extra costs of another child, and now there was a giant student debt on top of it that I wouldn’t have a chance at chipping away at for years. I went to my mom's house to do the test, and when it was negative, I burst into tears of relief.”
9 Hold On Tight To Your Pee
“I felt all over the place. I was happy, sad, excited, fed-up, worried if there was an emotion, I was feeling it” Kara replied when asked about her “Am I or aren’t I?” moment. “I was surprised I could squeeze out any pee to test I was that uptight,” she joked, “When the test turned out to be negative it was a reason to celebrate.”
This is also a typical response among women facing the possibility of a surprise baby. It is not just the thought of the added responsibility of a new family member, and all of the emotional and practical impacts that has, it is the unavoidable upheaval to pretty much every area of your life that gives us the jitters.
8 Still Angry
Rachel B. from Arlington, Texas felt what could only be politely described as a bit ticked off. “I had absolutely no interest in having another baby. We hadn’t made a specific 'no more kids for us' decision, but my husband and I had three kids, the youngest was nine, and getting pregnant again was the furthest thing from my mind. We had used reliable contraception for all of that time, and there was no reason to believe it might fail. When I first suspected I might be pregnant again, I was mighty pissed. Angry even. Now I am five months pregnant, and I still feel as angry about it as I did when I did the test.”
7 Adrift With The Thought Of Another
“If you ever begin to think you might be pregnant again, I hope, for your sake, the thought doesn’t take root when you are on a boating holiday!” This was the position Krista was in when the possibility that she might be expecting again raised its ugly head.
“We were three day out from port, and the place we were due to stop off in was a tiny outpost where you could refuel, restock your freshwater and that was about it. We had a full eight days of nothing to do but mull it over before we reached a port where I could buy a reliable pregnancy test. We went over every possible direction our lives might take if there was baby number two on the way. It must have been stress or something because it was all a false alarm.”
6 Wow, I Actually Want This - How Did That Happen?
For some women, their shocked feelings in response to the news that they might be in the family way again are quickly overtaken by excitement. This is what happened to Ellen, she went through an initial “on goodness, that’s not good” moment which was quickly overtaken by other emotions.
“I couldn’t believe how excited I was by the prospect of another baby. We had no intentions of having more, I wasn’t in the least bid broody, and here I was, fingers crossed that this wasn’t a false alarm. I squealed like an overexcited child when we discovered I was pregnant.”
5 Relief And Disappointment Can Go Hand-In-Hand
“I was very scared to take the test. I wanted another baby, but I didn’t want to go through another pregnancy.” This was what Maria experienced when it first occurred to her that she might be pregnant again. The first-grade teacher and her husband had planned on a big family, but although getting pregnant had never been an issue over the years they had been through the ordeal of pregnancy loss a total of six times.
They decided to stop trying and adopted a brother and sister trio; then Maria was five days late, an unprecedented event unless she was pregnant. The negative result was both a relief, that they wouldn’t go through all of that again, and a disappointment, because Maria still wanted a biological baby.
4 Short-term Misery For Longterm Happiness
Not everyone who has a “guess what you’re not done” pregnancy has the advantage of support. Lisa’s husband had been adamant he didn’t want any more children, and when she first thought she might be expecting again, her first thought was how angry he was going to be. “All I could think about was how it was going to be my fault and that he would blame me like he wasn’t 50% responsible for the situation.”
Lisa put off finding out if she was pregnant or not for almost three weeks because she hoped it was stress or something and she wouldn’t have to deal with it, but during that time she became more and more distressed. When she confirmed her pregnancy, her husband packed his things and left, the same day.
3 A Close Encounter = The Tying Of The Tubes
“Nope, not doing that” was Lizzie's first response to her husband when he bought a pregnancy test home with him because she had refused to consider the possibility. “I was in denial, I knew I didn’t want any more kids, but I didn’t want to have an abortion either, so I figured if I just ignored it for a bit things might sort themselves out before I had to make a decision.”
“I dipped the stick, then handed over to my husband and went into the bedroom and laid on the bed and cried. Discovering I wasn’t pregnant was such a relief, I’m going to ask my doctor about getting my tubes tied, so I don’t have to go through that again.”
2 What Will We Tell Mom?
Having has one “bonus” baby already, Haley and Jayden thought they had been careful enough to avoid moving from the socially acceptable three children into the realms of the eyebrow-raising “big family” with four kids. Apparently not.
“We worried what people would think,” said Haley “We put off telling our families because we didn’t know what to expect. What other married with three kids, 36 year old do you know has sat on the edge of the bath with her husband, worried about how they were going to tell their parents they were having a baby?”
1 Hey, Mr. Studly
“It had been so long since we had had our last baby, even the pregnancy test was a novelty,” said one mom I spoke to about her experience. “It was all quite funny. I was in my mid-forties, my husband almost 60 and here we were squinting through our reading glasses at a pee-soaked stick. We couldn’t agree on the result of the first one so he got one of the electronic ones and when it said 2-3 he almost fell over in shock because he thought it meant two to three babies! Now he’s strutting about telling everyone he’s knocked up his wife, he’s so proud of himself.”
References: Moms and womenshealthmag.com.