Pregnancy scares on a budget

Hazel Evans
Feb 26 · 3 min read

Reading in my notes app every day:
“Buy pregnancy test”
Not doing it.
Thinking about it
All the time
Texting friends, and the father-to-be
Going about life with a troubled look on my face
A woman possessed with a dark secret.
Increased hunger, foggy head, slightly-larger-than-usual stomach, tiredness
Clear signs that I must be pregnant.

Googling:
“Is abortion free in Denmark”
(Yes.)

Buying groceries
Looking at the pregnancy tests hanging by the cashier
Not buying them.
Not scared of judgement in the supermarket
But the price.
I can wait a few more days.

Spending what I would have done on a pregnancy test
On oat milk and dates
(As if the two are comparable.)
Going back into the shop
Standing in front of the pregnancy test
Taking it off the hook, looking at the price
Putting it back.
I can wait another day.

Cycling home with groceries
Stopping at a different supermarket
Perhaps they’re cheaper here
(Pregnancy tests, that is)
They’re not, they’re more expensive.

Going back to the original shop
Where I got the oat milk and dates
This is getting silly.
Walking determinedly in
Taking the pregnancy test
Putting it on the cashier belt
Buying nothing else to disguise it with
Feeling the judgement
Of the people in front of and behind me in the queue
Acting as if I’m a hopeful wannabe mummy
Not a petrified teenager
Who forgot to use a condom during ovulation.

Home, at last.
Putting it off
Eating dates, making tea
Worrying that dates and tea might affect my urine
“Morning urine is most accurate”
Say the instructions
Then the test would be a waste of money
After all that.
Leaving the tea
I piss on the pregnancy test
Only for a few seconds
It says 10–20
In the instructions
I could barely muster 3
Leaving it in the bathroom.

Five excruciating minutes, I wait
Afraid to look
Eating dates, sipping tea.

Returning to the bathroom, I see
One line on the test
Looking back at the instructions to see what this means
Looking back at the test
Looking back at the instructions to see what this means
Looking back at the test
Looking back at the instructions to see what this means
Looking back at the test
It’s either invalid or negative.
Re-reading the instructions to double check what negative means
Looking back at the test
Looking back at the instructions
I don’t think I’m pregnant.

Taking celebratory selfies of me with the test
Sending to friends who are aware of my plight.
And to the would-be father-to-be
“We have cause for celebration!”
Not revealing whether I’m pregnant or not
(Ha, that’ll teach him!)

I should be overjoyed
I’m not pregnant!
But I’m too busy thinking about how
I needn’t have spent my money on a pregnancy test
After all.

Written by

UK export, wordsmith, artist, designer (sometimes) and mermaid.

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