Thoughts from EPT Limbo
As the liquid raced across the test strip, the dye bled red, slowly painting its palette with my answer. I stood staring at the blank window, remembering the dozens of other times I'd stared at other pregnancy tests, willing that second line to appear with just the strength of my gaze.
I had also tried reverse psychology on the test kits, giving them the cold shoulder and leaving them alone in a darkened room before casually strolling by them five or ten minutes later to see the result. I'd held the tests up to different types of light: sunlight, halogen and even fluorescent, hoping to spot the hint of a line. Each time, regardless of my technique, I had been praying with all of my might for that magical line to appear. But not today. Today I was holding my breath, terrified that a definitive red line would form a plus sign, indicating that our family would become plus one more.
One more mouth to feed, one more diaper to change, one more body to bathe, one more back to scrub, one more coat to put on, one more head to untangle, and one more pair of knees to band-aid. One more child.
Continued on the next page
Of course, I knew that if that line were to appear, my heart would stretch again to shower this new person with love, just as had happened with the three before. I knew that the plus sign would also mean one more chance for cuddles, caresses, and sticky kisses. One more chance to witness the miracle of the first tooth, the first step, the first smile, and the first belly laugh. But while my heart fluttered at the thought of experiencing those delicious moments again, it also shuddered in fear.