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The next week passes rather quickly. In addition to the Pre-existing Conditional Insurance Plan, I decide to apply to Medicaid. Not sure if I’ll qualify, but it’s worth a try anyway. Since I’m still waiting on any insurance to take effect, I haven’t been to the doctor.

The first time it occurred I was at work and didn’t know what to think. I wasn’t sure what was happening, and it scared me. I was fine throughout the day. Then around 6 pm, it happens. As I’m walking around at work, I feel the pain. It starts with just a little uneasiness in my lower abdomen area. Then it comes to a full force cramp that refuses to go away. I don’t understand why I’m cramping on my right side, as though I’m about to start at any given moment.

I’ve never heard of pregnant women cramping. Then it dawns on me like I just hit a brick wall. Oh…my…gosh, don’t tell me….that…I…may…be…hav-ing…a…mis…carriage.

Why else would I be cramping? I’m definitely not about to start. I can’t think of another reason for it. My almost panic combines with my fear, as I rush to the bathroom. I sit on the toilet and notice there is no blood. That’s a good sign. I just want to get this off my chest. I just want to talk about it with someone…anyone. I don’t have a friend at work to confide in, because I haven’t told anyone here yet. So what do I do?

As I hold back my tears, I know I don’t have many options right now. I endure the off and on pain and continue working. It keeps playing over and over in my head, Jessica you are 37 and this is your first pregnancy. You could miscarry. That thought frightens me. As much as the pregnancy was unplanned and unexpected, I don’t want to miscarry. But even as little as I know about babies, I know that combining my age with it being my first, the chance of miscarrying is higher.

I hurry home, and the first thing I do is research information. I know it’s not as good as a doctor, but when you don’t have that option, you go to your next best source (or so I think)…Google. I cross my fingers and hope for the best. I read what I already knew. That with my age and it being my first pregnancy, the chance is greater I will miscarry. What I didn’t know is that my chances doubled after I reached 35. Wow! That’s startling.

To make sure I’m informed and know what to look for, I read the warning signs of having one. The main thing I want to do when I cramp is watch for bleeding. Okay, I didn’t bleed earlier today, so I should be okay. My eagerness to go to the doctor increases. It will ease my conscious just to know that everything is fine. That what I’m experiencing with the cramps is “normal.” That’s there isn’t anything to worry about. Just to get the doctor to say, “Yes, everything is okay,” would relieve so much stress, tension, and relief. I don’t know how much I’ll be able to relax until I find that out.

The next day, I’m at work and around the same time I feel a harder, more compact cramp…again just on my right side. I panic and think, What the heck? Why am I having cramps again? Am I having déjà vu? I go to the toilet and immediately check to see if there is any blood. YAY! Success, there isn’t any. I don’t want to keep having these cramps.

The cramping persists for not much longer, which pleases me. Yet I have no idea why I am cramping so often. What does it mean?

When I leave work this time, I call a few friends that have had kids and ask them about the cramping. All of them say they never had it, which doesn’t bring my any comfort.

The cramping continues like clockwork. Every day I feel fine, and then about 6 pm, I start cramping. It’s as though my body knows the precise wrong time to bring on the pain. Yet even though I’ve almost come to expect and anticipate it, each occurrence brings sheer panic. I just have to make sure no bleeding follows. I wait for each following day and the next set of cramping. And thankfully no bleeding ever comes.

After a week of this routine, I’m sitting on my couch contemplating the cramps and thinking I’m ready for that to be over with, when I realize my symptoms are just beginning. What will I experience next?

My eyes find a small pile of Jason’s things I forgot when I gather his belongings together, which have now have found their way to the corner of my living room. What should I do with them? I guess I should return them. It’s time…time to get them off my floor, time to give them back to him, and yes, time to face him yet again.

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