So, we have dinner plans tonight.

Not a big deal, except that dinner parties inevitably involve wine, and the Internets tell me that drinking and TTC do not mix. Although alcohol consumption apparently won’t slow down conception (such a relief, to know I can’t blame alcohol for the past eight months of not getting knocked up), consuming too much, and no one seems to know how much “too much” is, may somehow harm the fetus or even cause miscarriage. Fantastic.

Naturally, I don’t want any harm to come to our hypothetical child. Abstaining completely from drinking, especially during this part of the two week wait, when it’s too early to test but late enough that an embryo would probably already have implanted and started sharing nutrients, is the best option. Period, end of story, right?

Well, not exactly. The thing about eight unsuccessful cycles of TTC is that it starts to get really, really old, this total-abstention-because-of-the-(hypothetical)-baby thing. Especially as, month after month, the hypothetical baby stays hypothetical, the period arrives on schedule, the prospect of another week of arduous timed sex starts to loom. You start to think about all of those carefree college students who don’t realize they are pregnant until week 8, or week 10, who drink beer or (as would have been more likely among my college set) white zinfandel like normal and end up with perfectly healthy infants; all of those women for whom pregnancy is a surprise, who stop drinking as soon as they know, which isn’t all that soon, and for whom things turn out fine. You start to wonder if it’s fair that you should live like a nun and keep turning up empty while the carefree and condomless are rewarded with gorgeous, healthy kids.

And every time your period arrives, you sigh a little sigh of regret, or maybe a somewhat larger sigh of frustration and anger, that you are “doing everything right” and it’s still not working.

Which brings you here, to the dinner plans at the very tail end of the 2WW, plans that will most certainly include a bottle of wine. Plans with friends who don’t know you are TTC, who do know that you have never turned down a drink in your adult life.

The way I see it, I have limited options:

1. Decline any and all alcohol. Hope that this does not lead to any joking, “What, are you pregnant?” comments. If said comments are made, be prepared to feint, cover, or (horrors) reveal the whole sordid truth to yet another friend circle, widening the possibilities for gossip. Pretty soon I’ll be getting “sorry to hear you’re barren” cards from kids I last saw at junior high school graduation.

2. Accept one glass of wine. Take three fake sips for every one real (tiny, and surely harmless) sip. If possible, take glass into the bathroom and pour some down the drain. This way, the gossip will be all about how “Cityprof took her DRINK into the BATHROOM with her! Ugh. Can you imagine?!?”

2a. Accept one glass of wine. Drink it, just verrrrry slowly. Make 4 oz of wine last all night. Hope that hosts do not notice. Hope that I can actually manage to drink that slowly, given that I like wine. Mmmmm, wine.

3. Take my only remaining pregnancy test (the not-so-sensitive e.p.t.) during the day today to see if maybe I really do have a good reason to abstain. This, obviously, is the worst option of them all, as even if I am pregnant I am unlikely yet to have hCG in the right amount for the e.p.t. +/- test to catch it–leading to crushing disappointment that’s either a few days earlier than necessary (if my period shows up this weekend), or entirely unnecessary (if, miracle of miracles, I’m in the super-early days of a pregnancy).

What to do? Of course, I want to pick option #3, but somehow I’m afraid of jinxing myself. Logically I know that a negative test, if I am pregnant, won’t make me turn un-pregnant. But because early testing has only ever turned to heartache for me, I’m superstitious about it at this point. If only I had waited, been patient, maybe things would have turned out differently. If I test today, won’t I be violating some kind of sacred trust between myself and the fetus? After all, I’m testing to give myself permission to drink a glass of wine, not so I can more quickly stuff myself full of organic veggies and swear off deli meat. I can see why this might be misconstrued by my little fetus-in-the-sky.

Ah, eff it. I am going with #3. More soon.