It Must Be the Water in Guatemala

Source: Wikipedia

It all started with a very bad idea. Maybe it was the lack of showering or the inability to cook our own food that clouded our judgment, but one morning, in lieu of fresh bottled water, we decided to make tea with tap water. My husband and I were in Guatemala at the time, living in an apartment we had rented for the month, and when the gas went out, so did our stove and shower. When we ran out of bottled water hours before the local tienda opened, we put our limited knowledge of how to kill bacteria to the test. We would microwave what was essentially rainwater until we saw bubbles, assuring us it was at boiling temperature.

A quick google search will tell you just how little good this will do. In fact, you’re supposed to boil it for minutes, not one second, something I didn‘t realize even later, as I was rolling around in bed, clutching my bedclothes and trying to figure out if I was sick enough to brave the health care queue. At the time, I had no idea why I had gotten sick.

Was it the lettuce from the night before? Was it that tortilla and fresh cheese I bought on the street? Did I get it from using tap water while brushing my teeth? It didn’t matter. The women from the language school diagnosed me and gave my husband a packet of pills. I took them dutifully, but I was still sick for most of the following week.

When I returned to the school, my teacher pulled me aside and asked, “Do you think you’re pregnant?”

No! Wait, hmm.

I counted the days. I couldn’t be sure. Could I be 5 days late? That’s not right is it? I conferred with my husband. He smiled, “You’re so pregnant.”

Shut up! I am not!

But secretly I was a little hopeful, even delighted, at the idea.

So I slipped away from class, got a pregnancy test and flashed it to my husband as I walked by his classroom. “You’re going to take it now, right?” He yelled to me in the hallway.

“Take it now! You have to take it now!”

Ok, jeez. I peed on the stick. There were no instructions. A single line came up in the C box. There was a T box but it was empty. Huh? Slightly embarrassed, I asked my teacher if she understood what this meant: was I pregnant?

She didn’t know. She grabbed the test from me and headed down to the main office. She showed it to the secretary, the school administrator, and some teachers on break. No one knew what it meant. They gathered around a computer and started looking up pregnancy test results. By this point, I slinked away, as they passed around the stick I had peed on only minutes ago.

I found my husband. “Are you pregnant?” he asked.

“I don’t know yet, they are still trying to figure it out. Are you freaked? “

“You know what, I’m not. I’m really happy.”

Later that afternoon, my husband and I and our respective Spanish teachers marched down to the local laboratory. In Guatemala you can get a blood test without a doctor’s order, so for about $15 I got my blood drawn and tested.

The result? Not pregnant.

I was disappointed. And that feeling surprised me. My husband and I are both in our early 30s and while kids were on the someday list, it wasn’t something we had planned on any time soon. But suddenly we both realized something. We’re ready. It’s time.

Armed with this new information, we returned home a month later and began the very serious business of baby-making. After our first attempt I forgot about it, until one day looking at a calendar it came back to me: I could be pregnant. We got the test, I did my thing and a very, very faint blue line appeared. Inconclusive, I announced to my husband. That had to be it, right? I couldn’t be pregnant after the first try? It’s sad to say it took me a full 4 hours to realize that you can’t be a little pregnant. I finally looked online and found lots of baby boards where wise mothers informed nervous women with faint positives, “Honey, you’re pregnant. A line is a line.” Holy crap, we’re having a baby!

My husband and I don’t do sentimental. But this changed everything. I didn’t know I could be one of those people. Just so happy. So in love. So, well, just mushy. We’d look at baby clothes together and start giggling. We’d just grin at each other about our little secret. We’d walk around town and coo at other people’s babies or notice every pregnancy bump. Thankfully morning sickness snaps you out of that within a few weeks, before you completely embarrass yourself.

Then last week, I crossed into the ever so important pregnancy milestone: my second trimester. We feel a little safer making long term plans- deciding where and when we’ll travel with the baby, how our new family will find it’s way around the world. I’m looking forward to it, sharing travel with this little one.

Until then, I’m just trying to enjoy every moment.

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