I was in a good place when I boarded the plane to Mexico. I had just lost 20 lbs. —thanks to my go-to low carb diet. I was feeling confident, alive and the best I had felt in a long time. I had a good thing with a handsome, army guy. Things couldn’t have been better.
I spent two very hot weeks in Sonora, Mexico. I loved this place! Dancing in the streets all night long, the authentic food and shopping was a dream come true. Yes, I said the food. I had gained 10 of the 20 lbs. I had lost within the first week but I didn’t care. The people were so welcoming to the “gringas”. Some of the family even tried to help me speak Spanish. God help them. “Como Estas” sounded more like “Coma sauce”. But hey I tried…and they laughed.
There were some not-so-great parts about Mexico. The heat and the bugs were unbearable. Cockroaches the size of a baseball and mosquitos that seemed to enjoy my particular type of blood. And the heat. The heat and the humidity was awful. You step outside and your hair and body were drenched in sweat within seconds. Nasty. But what surprised me the most were the people. They didn’t have much. Dirt floors and houses that were less than well-built. But that didn’t matter. They were more concerned with family. Family was more important than anything and this would be something that I took away from this trip.
I came back to the states looking like a hot mess. Mosquito bites head to toe. I did however get a great tan, so that was good. I was feeling a little sick. Not sure if it was jet lag or just all the mosquito bites. It could have been the many stops at the little taco trucks after a night of dancing and drinking. Or maybe it was the water. Wait? Did I drink the water down there? No I don’t think so. Luckily I had a few days of vacation left to rest before going back to work. Maybe I just needed to sleep it off.
I returned to work the end of July. I was still feeling sick. I couldn’t shake it. No, maybe sick isn’t the word. Just different. A little off. Ben and I had been in contact. While I was on my vacation down south, he had gotten orders to go out into the field. Meaning, he had to go to military training in Eastern Washington. So I had to wait a week to see him. I was ok with that. Maybe by the time he came back, I would be feeling better. And he wouldn’t have to see these bites all over me. I looked like I had gotten a case of the measles. Yeah, that’s real attractive.
A week went by and he came back. But I still wasn’t feeling better. Maybe I got some deadly disease when I was down there. Maybe it was a tapeworm? Am I going to die? My overthinking everything doesn’t help. Now I am planning my funeral and sending out invites. After a few days of keeping my “illness” and dying thoughts to myself, I find myself in the pharmacy on my lunch break. It was just a precaution before I went to the doctor the next day. I bought a pregnancy test. I really didn’t think I was but I just wanted to rule it out. No big deal right? I find myself in the bathroom stall at work. I was wearing my smiley face blue Wal-Mart vest while sitting there. I am reading the directions for the pregnancy test.
1. Wash your hands thoroughly
2. Place the stick under the urine stream
3. Let sit for 1-2 min
4. 1 line—not pregnant
5. 2 lines—pregnant
Ok, then. This should be quick. Take the test and clear the conscious. So, I followed the directions to a T. I am sitting there impatiently waiting the results so I can get back to work. 1-2 minutes felt like forever. Ok there is one line. WAIT. Is that another line? It wasn’t dark but I could just barely make out another blue line. Did I read the directions right? I pulled them out a reread them. No it was right. Clearly, I got a defective pregnancy test. I threw it away and made my way back up to the pharmacy. The girl working there gave me a funny look as I placed 3 pregnancy tests up on the counter. Just in case I got another defective one, you know? I had about 15 minutes left on my lunch break. I had to make it quick. I ran back to the bathroom stall with my 3 pregnancy tests in hand. Ok, now I would definitely rule it out. Following the directions, one by one, I took another test. Waiting, waiting, waiting. I look down. Two lines again. Except this time they were both darker. This can’t be right. I ripped open the next package. Wanting to get this over with. And two lines again. This can’t be right. And again. My last pregnancy test. This one had to be right. Follow the directions, I tell myself. Ok. Once again, I read it and follow the directions. Waited 2 minutes. Look at it again. My heart stopped for a moment. Time seemed to stop as well. I felt all the blood rush out of my body. 2 LINES.
I couldn’t move. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t think. I find myself sitting on the floor of the bathroom stall. This can’t be happening. I just barely turned 22. I can’t have a baby. Oh, dear God what was Ben going to think? What would he do? What was I going to do? I don’t know how long I sat there. It seemed like forever. Way past my lunch break, I know for sure. It literally took what energy I had left to get up off the floor and compose myself. The rest of the day was a blur. I didn’t see or hear anything or anyone. My co-worker Val even showed concern. “Chris, are you okay…you look pale” “Yeah, still recovering from my trip” She didn’t look convinced. I couldn’t convince myself either. I even ran into Jen at work. I wanted to grab her and pull her aside. I wanted to tell her everything. But I didn’t. Things were still a little tense between us. I got home that evening. I knew there was one call I had to make. I grabbed the phone and dialed the number. My hands were shaking. I tried to keep my voice steady.
“Hello” “Hi, it’s me. Ben, we need to talk”