Well, now I am really, officially pregnant. I needed a clinical test to submit to the state as part of getting insurance, so I went to a place a friend had recommended to me to get tested. It was weirdly suspenseful; for the last couple of days, I’ve been entertaining the possibility that the test would be negative, and that I’m just sick or having a hysterical pregnancy or something. But no. And after I got the positive confirmed, I just wanted to cry. Isn’t that strange? I had spent the bus ride out thinking about the visit I made to a crisis pregnancy center with my mom in Illinois back in the day.
It was a similar situation; when you apply for state insurance, instead of mailing them a still-dripping home test, you have to get a doctor or someone else to test you, and since most people applying for state insurance can’t pay out of pocket for a doctor’s visit, many of us end up at places like Planned Parenthood or slightly icky crisis pregnancy centers. My mother made an appointment for me in Illinois, since I was wanting very much to just wait and get medical care once we’d moved to California—there are valid reasons why this was a dumb plan, but I’m often extra stubborn when I’m kind of scared. We showed up at the young women’s health center, I peed in a cup, and then we waited and filled out forms. The nurse called us into a back room and handed me a picture of the food pyramid (funnily enough, I got an updated version of the same handout today), then started talking about when I could come back for a follow-up appointment, and then I blurted out “So—am I pregnant?”
The nurse froze for a second and said, “I’m sorry, I thought you knew . . . yes.” And I don’t really remember the rest of the day after that. I had taken a home test and gotten a positive, but that didn’t seem official in the same way that a nurse telling you the same thing does. I remember getting there while they were closed for lunch and sitting on their steps with my mom, looking at the parking lot; I remember sitting in the waiting room, especially because it was the first time I’d ever seen that special waiting room programming which is half fake/lame health content and half ads; and I can’t even remember what the nurse looked like.
Once nice difference is that this place is focused on creating “capable, confident mothers,” and the staff seemed warm and helpful. I may be going back to learn to sew. (I knit and crochet, but can barely sew. Free lessons would be good.) It looks like more like a home than a plasma donation center. They encouraged me to come back for an event on Saturday, and I just might.