Friday, September 16, 2005


It’s that time again. Cycle day 23 ( but only post-O day 7) and all 500 square feet of my little corner of Manhattan are dizzily wondering whether I may be pregnant. And I do mean dizzily. Cause damn if those supplemental progesterone pills aren’t good for a mighty impressive case of the bedspins. Should you happen to wake up in the middle of the night, worrying, say, about whether progesterone supplementation is really a good idea, you will soon find yourself lying awake with your head spinning—literally and figuratively.

As I mentioned over at Thalia’s, we have gotten to the point that even my husband has started to monitor my pee frequency. “Gee,” he’ll say slyly and casually, glancing over the morning paper for a bored 2.2 nanoseconds as I do my usual, damn-I-slept-in-again morning dash around, “Gee didn’t I hear you get up a few times last night?” Translated this means, “You are under professional surveillance. My beeper went off at precisely 0300 hours last night indicating that you tripped the new digital volumetric urine analyzer I surreptitiously installed under the toilet seat.” To which I reply, “Um, maybe, I can’t really remember right now. I’m going to be late for work.” Which, translated means, “Would you STOP it, you moron, the progesterone that is making me pee is synthetic. Or it comes from a horse. Or something. Anyway, it does not originate in my body. It is being secreted by my stomach, not my ovaries. This sign and symptom seeking is pointless.” Then I self-righteously huff off into the bathroom to check if my nipples feel sore one last time before I leave. Even the dog has gotten into the act. This morning I caught him sniffing my crotch. His thoughts need no translation: “Mmm! Horsey!”

So, after evading the husband and the dog, and surmounting my own addled ineptitude, it’s a serious relief to let the apartment door slam behind me and head for the elevator. If the elevator’s empty when I get on (and it often is cause I live on a high floor), I’ve found the cozy windowless cabin to be an excellent spot for a quick nip at the nipples just to, you know, see if the old buttons are more or less sore than they were two and a half minutes ago in the bathroom. It turns out that this diagnostic procedure can actually be performed in any empty elevator. So, say, if you find yourself rushing from meeting to meeting all day with no time even to pee (which you don’t need to do in any case, the effects of the previous night’s progesterone pill having fully worn off by mid-morning), you can give yourself quick checks without even stepping into the ladies room. I’m sure I am the delight of security-camera men all over Manhattan.

The one early pregnancy sign that I have actually found most accurate I am going to have to patent. The test is both uncannily accurate and sinfully fun to perform. It’s called the HDCT Test, the “How Does Chocolate Taste?” Test. As a certified chocoholic, I regard pre-menstrual chocolate consumption as a basic human right, medically indicated for all cases of PMS. As a pregnant person, however, I find I develop an almost immediate aversion to chocolate—and unfortunately to sweets generally—during the earliest weeks of the pregnancy. This aversion is then followed by many others until I find myself with my head in the toilet hourly, usually sometime in week six. So, long before I start peeing on sticks, I start opening foil wrappers, and, let me tell you, the chocolate test has yet to let me down. Survey says, I am not pregnant again this month. But I will report back with the “scientific” results when they’re in.