Attack of the Corpus Luteum: A Pregnancy Story

A confused father-to-be’s perspective on first-time pregnancy, chickens and Star Wars.

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It’s Easter and I really want to be eating chocolate and getting drunk. Oh… and reflecting on the hardship of Jesus and God and Adam and Eve (or whatever). However, my religious experience was being denied by my wife’s incessant ranting about being pregnant.

“God my boobs are sore, I feel nauseas and I’m a week late” she says…at least I think. I was lost in a wandering mind as soon as I’d heard ‘boobs’.

Later, I find myself reading and re-reading the ‘how to tell’ instructions on the home pregnancy test. It clearly states that a red line — even if faint — confirms a pregnancy. Well this red line is seriously fucking faint. I mean, there must be degrees of faintness surely? My wife is expecting me to give her a definitive answer, too nervous to look at the little stick of piss herself, and I’m not sure what to say because the thin red line is one shade off being visible only under ultra-violet light.

I walk in the bedroom where my wife waits eagerly on the edge of the bed — happy if she is, not unhappy if she’s not — and I deliver my verdict: Inconclusive. Unsurprisingly, she isn’t completely confident in my judgment, even once I explain my theory on degrees of faintness and how the Chinese factory workers who assemble the tests are probably in highly artificial lighting which completely skews their perception of faint. In the time it takes to enlighten her, my wife has sneakily been to the pharmacy and back.

“Best of three” she declares heading to the loo with two more tests in hand.

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“my wife feels a little off color, but so far I’m feeling fine”

We’re six weeks pregnant now and my wife feels a little off color, but so far I’m feeling fine. Actually, she’s more than a little off color; suffering acute pain in the right side of her abdomen, our physician suspects a possible ectopic pregnancy and sends us to emergency. I try googling ‘egg topic’ on my iPhone as we wait in emergency and I learn a whole lot about poultry. Just then the nurse ushers us through the big doors which is great because I’ve got some big questions now I think I understand the problem, and I’m scared shitless my wife is about to give birth to a premature chicken.

The situation looks serious: they’ve stuck a drip in her arm; a machine monitors her blood pressure and pulse. Two female doctors explain they’re about to perform an internal scan. I can’t help thinking the thing about to be inserted up my wife’s clacker looks suspiciously like the controller from a Nintendo Wii (and secretly I’m glad for her it’s not nineteen-eighty when I figure the equivalent may have been the old, and very square, Atari controllers). I watch the screen as the nurse caresses the controller with an eloquent expertise and I’m certain I see a chicken amongst the mess of black and white, but I don’t say anything. The female doctors consult one another then give us some good news — there is a very slim chance of the ‘egg topic’ thing — and then some terrific news: we have a perfectly good pregnancy developing in the right spot! We are elated and relieved.

A male specialist is invited to have a go at the Wii controller to see if he can determine the source of the pain. His style is more like that of a teenage gamer and my wife looks a little uncomfortable as he lunges and parries about. The doctors trade a number of theories and opinions, however they continue to mention the “Corpus Luteum” and the “Pouch of Douglas”. Granted I’m no expert, but what the fuck do Star Wars characters and locales have to do with anything? Seriously, if they start talking about Darth Vader then I’m asking for a second (or fourth in this case) opinion.

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It’s another six weeks now since the hospital incident. My wife is twelve weeks pregnant. Mother and fetus are fit and healthy. Turns out ‘Attack of the Corpus Luteum’ isn’t the latest installment in the Star Wars franchise; it was in fact the cause of my wife’s discomfort. I won’t divulge full details, but it was a small malfunction of a girly part which just fixed itself.

I’ve learnt a lot over the past twelve weeks. Now, time to sit down and enjoy those Easter eggs. Fucking chickens.