There are moments that will forever be etched in your mind. It’s different for every person, and no two moments are ever the same. For the better part of a year, the image of what seemed like an endless line of negative pregnancy tests could now be replaced with the single image of a positive one.
I am pregnant.
In quiet moments – driving in the car, answering emails, as I try to sleep – that statement continues to astound me. I’m thrown back into that moment of first discovery. A pregnancy test, for such a little physical thing, holds so much meaning and it can be so different for the women that hold it – shock, disbelief, joy, anxiety, confusion, fear, dismay, and everything in between. For me, because we had been trying, I was obviously and eventually ecstatic, but I would be lying if I didn’t say that shock and disbelief were my first emotions. As I sat there, purposefully alone in the bathroom, I let the feelings wash over me and my new reality start to take root. I went to wake up my husband to share the news – as we stared at each other, still in shock and disbelief, it dawned on us that we were no longer a couple – we were becoming our own little family.
For the next two weeks, we held the news close. It was our not so little secret. There are many reasons why people don’t share their pregnancies in the early days, each one as valid as the next. For us, we knew once the news was out, everything was going to change, and the pregnancy wouldn’t be only ours anymore – it would also be our family’s. Having those two weeks was our own mini celebration and helped us wrap our minds around how we were going to navigate our new era.
At 8 weeks, we told our family and a few close friends that we were expecting. Everyone close to us knew this was a goal and a dream of ours, and everyone was excited and supportive. One of the things we are most thankful for is family and family-like friends. We are so fortunate that we both have our relatives near by, as well as friends and a community that we can access as a resource as we navigate parenting!
With the pregnancy test confirmed by a blood test, and the news partially out, obviously the reality of being pregnant had arrived – big time. But, surprisingly to me, I didn’t experience an overly emotional response. Overwhelmed, still a bit shocked, and anxious for sure, but I didn’t yet feel an overly maternal connection.
As we rounded the 12-week mark, I was to go for my first ultrasound. I consider myself to be a private person, but a practical one. I knew and know that my boundaries, both physical and emotional, will be tested and find new limits throughout the pregnancy and motherhood in general. When I had my first ultrasound, I was somewhat unprepared for how low they must scan, and how low the baby sits in your body in the early days. I could feel myself growing uncomfortable, as anyone feels when put in a previously unknown situation. But all those feelings started to ebb away as I saw my baby for the first time and heard their heartbeat. I was overcome with a strong and undeniable feeling of possession in that moment. This small little being is mine. My body is creating a human. My baby is now, and always will be, a part of me – even when we are no longer physically connected.
Over the next handful of months, as well as the years and life moments to come, I know that moment of connection, of maternal instinct, will be one of those points in time that will be impossible to forget.