Pregnancy Tests: The Only Real Magic Eight Ball

Written by Emily


It was her perfume that made me wonder, not because I could tell she was wearing it; it was that if pressed I could identify the floral notes and the vanilla finish. I could almost taste it. And her hair spray, too. It was fruity.

The next morning, I rifle through the cabinet under the sink to take a monthly test, the tests I stock up on at the Dollar Tree, the tests I take even though we’re “careful”.

It was her perfume that made me open the box this time. Another month it might have been a peculiar sensation in my gut, or an aversion to my morning coffee, or the tilt of the earth or the barometric pressure. I’ve been pregnant five times. Everything feels like a symptom if my period is 32 seconds late.

I’m so silly with these tests. My friends laugh at me. My husband rolls his eyes. The Dollar Tree employees fist pump the air when I walk in. I should stop this.

But I open the box and read the instructions. I don’t need to read them. They’re always the same. If I’m ever stranded in a Spanish-speaking country, I can recite the pregnancy test instructions by heart but probably not order lunch…except queso and agua.

Dollar Tree tests are weird because there is a cup involved, which is always awkward, and a little dropper that makes me feel like a science experiment. I am, I guess.

I notice I need to drink more water as I fill the plastic dropper and squeeze it onto the test window: the only real Magic Eight Ball with insight into the future.

I should put the test on the sink and walk away, but I never do. I’m not patient about anything, really: standing in line, boiling water, taking pregnancy tests.

With the test in my hands, I watch the wet travel from one window to the next, and I realize that I’m waiting for my future while I’m perched on the toilet. I’ve gotten some of the very best news with my cheeks pressed against the cold porcelain seat probably leaving a red impression on the back of my thighs like a brand.

The wet enters the test zone.

I need to clean the bathroom again, I think. From the looks of area around the seat, a 7yo boy peeing is the equivalent of a fireman turning on the hose and stepping away. There’s no telling where the stream might go. It just goes. I might have to use Clorox.

Sylvie starts knocking on the door. I’ve been in the bathroom for 47 seconds.

“I’ll be right out, babe!”

“Mommmeeeeee! I need you!”

She probably wants me to change her clothes because she’s been wearing the same outfit for 15 minutes. Or maybe her Anna doll’s arm is stuck in her dress.

“I’ll be right out, okay? Mommy’s using the bathroom.” Bad answer.

And then it’s Chloe.


They’re both right outside the door and if Noah weren’t at school, he’d probably need a snack.

The test is still in my hand. My rear is still on the seat. A cup of my urine is staring at me from the sink. My girls are knocking.

So I look at the test.

The girls keep knocking. I’ve only been in the bathroom for a minute, but now we’re probably late for a play date with a new friend. We should be in the car right this second. But we’re not. I’m in here. Our snack bags are on the counter instead of in the car. I need to get out of the bathroom.

Two bright pink lines.

Two bright pink lines tell me life is going to be so very different and also the same. They tell me that I shouldn’t have sold so many of our baby clothes at the community yard sale. They tell me that it wasn’t the best idea to get rid of the crib.

Suddenly it feels like someone opened the emergency exit on an airplane. I can’t catch my breath. I’m out of air.

Sylvie is yelling for me.

And I wonder how this happened: two pink lines.

My husband is working in the basement, but I can’t tell him. I don’t have the words. I’m not sure when they’ll come. In nine months?

We need to go back to middle school sex ed with cartoon pictures of how this all works.

Chloe is back.

“I’ll be out in a second,” I tell them, but I’m not sure it’s true because I don’t really know how to be.

I can’t stay in the bathroom.

I wrap the test in paper and tuck it into the box. I put the box under the sink and close the cabinet door.

I flush. And then look at my face in the mirror, but I can’t really see it because I only see two pink lines.

I don’t hear the girls anymore.

I open the door and call for them, “Let’s go! We’re late!”

I’m feeling every emotion all at once, and it makes my ears buzz and my eyes fuzzy. When they’re all finished assaulting my insides, I hope that in the end…

love wins.

“Sylvie! Chloe! It’s time to go!”

It always has.







20 comments for “Pregnancy Tests: The Only Real Magic Eight Ball

  1. Brittany Huffman Lichter
    July 18, 2014 at 8:07 am

    Uh, congrats? Be brave, my friend. Be brave.

    • girlalwaysinterrupted
      July 21, 2014 at 10:34 pm

      I know. It was a shock to say the least! I will be brave…most of the time 🙂 Thank you for the congrats! My husband is numb!

  2. July 18, 2014 at 10:56 am

    Love DOES always win. Stay strong, mama. <3 xoxo

    • girlalwaysinterrupted
      July 21, 2014 at 10:35 pm

      Thank you! I know it does. It is already 🙂 I’m 16 weeks now. The shock and the nausea have mostly worn off. I appreciate your support and encouragement!

  3. July 18, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Love always wins. My second baby was a surprise, and I can’t imagine our family without her. She’s a joy in ways my first never was. She’s exciting and funny. No one ever regrets an addition to her family. You’ll come around.


    • girlalwaysinterrupted
      July 21, 2014 at 10:38 pm

      Thankfully, I know it does! The initial surprise was so overwhelming at first, though. Yikes! Truth be told, love is winning already. I’m 16 weeks pregnant with this little one, and I can’t help but feel flutters of excitement with the baby’s flutters. Thank you for your support and encouragement, Tara!

  4. Kate @ Did That Just Happen?
    July 18, 2014 at 11:17 am

    Wait – what – are you for real? Cereal? I can’t tell if this is brilliant story telling or a brilliant true story so I don’t know how to react yet!
    And it’s not like your Pinterest feed has given this away… Off to stalk you on Twitter!

    • girlalwaysinterrupted
      July 21, 2014 at 10:39 pm

      So for real and so very shocked at first. The first trimester kicked my rear in more ways than one. I was a mess! Now, the nausea is over and the shock has faded, so it’s uphill from here (I hope!).

  5. July 18, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    First congratulations!! Second, I love this post! And third, I swear I could have written this 10 years ago when I found out i was pregnant wit baby 3!!!! For me it was this strange pulling sensation that I had only felt two other times in my life. I could barely talk and my mind went in a million directions! So excited for you!

    • girlalwaysinterrupted
      July 21, 2014 at 10:42 pm

      Thank you so much, Kathy! As I mentioned in the post, I’ve taken many tests. When I saw the two pink lines this time, I just couldn’t believe it. It was surreal. I’m in the second trimester now, and I’m feeling much more at peace with everything (and everyone!). Thank you so much for your support! XO

  6. July 19, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    Congratulations, sweet Emily. Our last 2 lines was the surprise of my life. I could feel it all again as I read this. Thank you.

    • girlalwaysinterrupted
      July 21, 2014 at 10:44 pm

      Bethany, thank you so much for commenting! I’m so glad you could relate! The initial shock has worn off–though seeing my growing belly in reflections is sometimes a shock now. Thank you again for stopping by!

  7. July 19, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    Wait, are you joining me in the oops club?!?

    • girlalwaysinterrupted
      July 21, 2014 at 10:48 pm

      Yes indeed! I was pregnant at the conference and feeling not at all myself. There’s nothing like rebranding a blog and then being pretty much unable to write for the next 3 months! Ugh! I’m feeling better now that I’m in the second trimester. Uphill from here…I hope 🙂

      Congratulations to you!

  8. Alison
    July 24, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    Love wins x infinity.

    I took my first and only pregnancy test alone in a Sheetz bathroom off route 81. I was driving back from a Christmas party, happened to stop near a drugstore to use a bathroom, and thought I may as well pick up a test to set myself at ease before the holidays. I pulled back onto the highway, but 5 minutes later pulled over to be sick (yet again!) and for some reason decided that as long as I was in the Sheetz bathroom…

    Two minutes.

    There’s the control line. Wait. That’s not where the control line should be. Oh. Theeere’s the control line. The second one. Magic eight-ball indeed.

    I had broken up with my long-term but not great boyfriend exactly 10 days before. He was already seeing somebody else (to be honest, I think we overlapped) and felt really serious about her. Sometimes blessings are in disguise.

    Anyway, this month my daughter turned three. In 2011 I had my baby, then finished my PhD. Student loans paid for her child care. I’m now a professor at a Maryland college near the beach, where the two of us happily live with our giant dog, Henry. Life is so, so good.

    Love wins x infinity.

    Congratulations Emily!! xoxox.

  9. Natalie
    August 4, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Congrats! I have 7. And I always buy the tests online that you can get in bulk. And everyone laughs at me. I’m done having babies (I hope) but I still buy the tests. Just to be sure. Ya know? 😉

  10. August 4, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    I read this on Scary Mommy just now and had to come over and comment. I am six months past giving birth to my second, and well within the stage, much like I was after my first, of ‘whoa that was painful and I’m never doing that again.’ But your article? Well, your article is the first moment in six months that I thought about how much I love those 2 pink lines and how I’m definitely going to need another newborn again.

    • girlalwaysinterrupted
      August 4, 2014 at 10:14 pm

      I am so glad that you had this reaction to my post! I’m thrilled! I hope you do add another to your family, and congratulations on your already blessed family. Love wins 🙂 Thank you for reading and commenting!

  11. August 4, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Also – congratulations! 🙂

  12. August 5, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Best announcement EVER! I love this post, even though it made me super anxious. In a good way, of course. Congratulations!!!

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