March 4, 2024 | Rome, Italy

Not three

By |2018-03-21T18:47:56+01:00February 14th, 2012|Lifestyle Archive|
Beware, Dr. Izzo.

am a Planned Parenthood kind of gal. Unlike some of our mothers and most of our grandmothers, my generation was never forced to spit out litters. We had the good fortune of being born in an era where women had control over their reproductive health.

I’m 40 and a mother of two. I’m finished with the whole offspring thing and back on birth control pills (because my husband is too f*$@#* scared to get a vasectomy). I also have a to-do list a mile long.

At the top of the list are three words: Don’t get pregnant.

So when this pill-popping mother found herself thinking that she might be in the first trimester of gestation the result was panic.

That’s right… Little Miss Control of her Uterus suddenly found herself in a pharmacy buying a pregnancy test (Actually, I was too ashamed to go so I made my husband do it.)

All the signs were there… missed menstruation, flu-like symptoms in the evening, sore and swollen breasts, and the list went on.

“How could this be happening?” I thought to myself. “I am a responsible person, careful and oftentimes way too exhausted to even think of having sex!”

“Jesus!” I exclaimed, knowing that he was born under the guise of an Immaculate Conception. I felt like I practically understood poor Mary.

But then the critical (as opposed to schizophrenic) voice inside my head (let’s call her Madge) made an appearance. “Karma!” she said. “You judged your cousin for getting pregnant and she was on the pill!”

I gasped! Madge was right! I had secretly passed judgment on my cousin (Madge remembers everything). My crotchety curmudgeon of an inner voice has the razor sharp memory of women who’s never had kids (which I don’t think she has). I suddenly saw myself pregnant with a third child.

My own mind started racing.

This can’t happen. Maybe the holiday travel has thrown me off kilter! But I feel pregnant! Yikes.

I don’t think I could terminate a pregnancy, but a third kid might kill me. What if it’s a girl? Where would we put her?

What if it’s a boy? Another boy?! Two boys are like tag team wrestlers…. Three are worse than a pack of wild wolves. Not another boy!

What about my to-do list? How could I do anything with another child? How could I have let this happen?

My gynecologist had assured me that the new birth control pill I was on was right for me. I’d hemmed and hawed about putting more estrogen in my body, but my super-fertile past stared me in the face. So I opted for Dr. Izzo’s drugs.

I wanted to execute my present parenting duties with excellence… or more accurately, just be able to get through the day without a nervous breakdown.

“Now, you gotta break the news to Marco.” It was Madge again.

My husband Marco. This was his fault! He’d gotten me into this mess.

“If I’m pregnant, I’ll bomb Dr. Izzo’s House!” I told Marco.

He stared at me blankly.

“I really think I’m pregnant. I do not want to be pregnant!”

“If you are pregnant, I will help you bomb Izzo’s house,” replied Marco.

I fantasized about buying gum and Legos and nitrogen and calcium supplements. I would be the Legobomb Mom. It would be a small bomb that wouldn’t hurt anybody but that would send Dr. Izzo a message, as in: “You’d better watch how you give hormones out buddy!” Would it work? Maybe I should Google it.

But how could I parent from prison? Who was I kidding? The headline would read, “American woman driven to disaster by unwanted fetus.”

I heard Madge laughing in ridicule — until she said, “Snap out of it!” With all her faults, Madge can sometimes be reasonable.

With my head back in the game I said, “I need to take a test.”

“Okay,” said Marco.

I stared at him for way too long, hoping he would offer to get it for me.

“Do you want that I go to buy the test?” he asked.

“Yes, I do want,” I said half-mockingly.

But Marco is good like that. He’s thoughtful and sweet. He’d make a good father to any unwanted child. I was the problem in this equation. I’d be a terrible mother to all of them if we added another one to the existing pair.

Marco came back to the pharmacy in three minutes. Three minutes after that my test read negative and I was positive everything would be okay.

I could handle two kids. But we all know what three is.

About the Author:

Kissy Dugan's "Parenthood" column ran from 2007 through 2016.