Nobody knows for sure, but that expression – don't let the cat out of the bag – is said to derive from the old market fraud of substituting a cat for a pig. I suppose it's a swindler's proverb, and a very valuable one at that, since it applies to anyone with a secret to keep.
Why do I mention it? Because I, dear reader, in an attempt to keep my very public private life from influencing a graduate school admissions decision, owe a few cats their freedom. I don't yet know if I've been accepted at the school of my choice (more on that later) but I do know the decision has been made, and the letter will be in the mail to me today or Monday.
In the meantime, There are five blog posts, dating back to December 27th, 2007 (ten weeks ago) that I've kept under wraps.
So, without further ado, I'll begin at the beginning:
Time Capsule #1: Here We Go Again
December 27, 2007
This is how it went down: My period was due on Christmas day or the day after. I did a pregnancy test on December twenty-third. It was negative. J~ and I went to sleep, breathing easy. After all, I am applying to graduate schools now, and he is gearing up to enroll in a yoga teacher training program. Our lives are expanding and moving on.
But an hour later, I was up again to pee, and I took another look at the test. There was an unmistakable but very faint second pink line. When I returned to bed, I told J~, who smiled without opening his eyes. "I don't know what it means," I cautioned. "You're not supposed to read the test after so much time has passed." In the morning, I felt crampy again. J~ looked at the test. The second line was gone.
The only other test in the house was one of those stupid electronic ones which I don't trust, with the blinking digital read-out, but I did it anyway: "Not Pregnant" it insisted. I tried to let go of what, at this point, seemed like silly, false hope. But by midday, my cramps had subsided, and I found myself calling J~ at work to ask that he make a stop at the drug store and pick up another two-pack of pregnancy tests. "Just in case." And, "Nothing fancy please."
When I woke up Christmas morning, I felt crampy again. I resisted the urge to do a test.
By bedtime, I still wasn't bleeding, but was convinced I would be by morning. J~ climbed into bed. "Just to clear the air," I told him, as I broke into the new pack of pregnancy tests and made one last trip to the bathroom. I brought the undeveloped test back to bed. We watched two lines, blue this time, rather than pink, develop. We stared in disbelief. We stared at each other and shook our heads. We laughed. We looked at the test again, just to be sure.
Yup. I'm pregnant. Again.
This is my fifth pregnancy. This is my fifth chance. It feels like a bonus round. It feels extra-lucky. Especially because I am so ready now to let go of it entirely. We both are.
I can't broadcast the news yet because I know how slim the chances are. I can't jeopardize my graduate school applications. If I don't get accepted somewhere, I don't want to be wondering: Is it because they know I'm pregnant? And if the pregnancy doesn't stick, I need that alternative plan in the works. Life must go on, one way or the other.
For now, this post will go into the "Drafts" folder, where I'm sure it will soon be accompanied by more updates on pregnancy number five. In a couple months, when all the applications are done and I've heard back from the schools, when I'm either still pregnant, or no longer pregnant, or somewhere in between, I'll share this little time capsule with all of you. In the meantime, all I can say is this: Wow. And this: Here we go again.