It’s a moment I suspect most of us never forget: the exact second when you find out that you're pregnant. I was at home, standing in front of the bathroom counter watching the test as my partner waited patiently outside the door. I had thought pregnancy could be a possibility for a couple of days, but I knew for certain I needed to test when I realized I could suddenly smell the office fridge from my desk, which sounds grosser than it actually was. Thankfully, my nausea hadn’t kicked in, but it still struck me as strange that out of nowhere, I had this bionic sense of smell (My partner likes to repeat the story by starting with, “Did you know pregnant women have superpowers?"). It was only the beginning of the crazy physical side effects of pregnancy.
It’s a moment that happens in slow-motion, giving your mind a chance to run through every possible emotion before deciding where to land. As for me, I laughed out loud, but didn’t cry like I know many women have. It wasn't the reaction I thought I'd have, but to be fair, parenthood isn't always what I thought it'd be. I laughed because I didn’t know what else to do. Logically, I knew that life would never be the same again. But emotionally? Psh. That’s impossible to define. Obviously, depending on the circumstances surrounding your pregnancy news, the thoughts and feelings you experience will...vary. Like, someone who has been trying to get pregnant for years is likely going to have a different reaction than someone who just unexpectedly found out they're pregnant by someone they just met. But for most of us, in addition to a lot of other, more specific and personal thoughts, these are a sampling of what goes through our minds as soon as we see two lines.
Maybe I should sit down.
"Wait — Is This Real Life? Is This Actually Happening?"
It’s a surreal moment, one that felt equal parts internal and shared as my partner and I absorbed the fact that we’d never again have only each other to worry about.
"Maybe I Should Check Again."
I mean, just to be sure, right? I was the kid in school who always took the entire class period to work on tests because I kept checking and re-checking my answers. This was no different. In fact, this was a way, way bigger deal than geometry or state capitals (sorry, founding fathers).
"Am I Reading This Right?"
I lost count of the number of times I went back and forth between checking the test, and checking the instructions to make sure the plus sign meant what I thought it meant.
"OK, But Can We Be Sure?"
I was pretty certain the test was right, but part of me still questioned how reliable the information was. Should I test again? Call a doctor? Have a moment of silence to say goodbye to our carefree, childfree life? Tell everyone? Tell no one?
Little did I know it was only the beginning of asking myself questions (and having questions asked of me) that I was in no way ready to answer.
"So THIS Is What Pregnancy Feels Like."
I mean, I kinda felt different. Not in any particularly obvious way, but enough that I noticed it. Granted, some of it may have been psychosomatic but the fact remains, but something was different.
"I Feel Nauseous."
Nerves or morning sickness? Can I get morning sickness at 6 p.m.? Spoiler alert: Yes. Yes. Yes, I can.
"OMG. I'm Scared To Move."
Should I stand? Should I sit? How do I walk now? Can I lay down? All of a sudden, I don't know how to exist in my body. Is it a bad idea to slowly walk to the couch and hug a pillow? Can I let my partner kiss my forehead? Wait, maybe I should just lean on the bathroom counter and hold myself up. We'll start there.
"Who Do I Call First?"
Mom? BFF? Doctor? Wait, do I need a new doctor? Who do I call to figure that out?
"This Is So Scary."
This is the moment sixth grade health class prepared me for, and for some reason, it's just as scary now as it was then.
"This Is So Cool."
Aww, yeah. There's a baby in me, you guys!
"OK, But This Is Still So Scary."
Why are these over-dramatized scenes of women screaming during childbirth running through my head? Where did they come from? How do I get to the peaceful images of women giving birth to smiling babies in fields of wildflowers?
*Blank Staring At Stomach*
Please be quiet, I'm focusing.
No big deal, just our lives changing forever on a random Tuesday. Nothing to see here.