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No matter how many times I've gotten a big fat positive pregnancy test, I've learned there's nothing quite like those first few weeks of knowing.
Each time I've found myself staring at those two pink lines, it's the same: Initial disbelief, followed by shock.
Next comes the double-checking – and triple, and quadruple, and so on. Is this really happening? Are my eyes playing tricks on me?
Once the reality finally starts to set in, flutters of giddiness and "holy sh*t this is really happening" creep up randomly, without warning.
Yet, I can't fully allow my expectations get carried away. Not yet, at least. (Because nothing is guaranteed, after all.)
A reluctant hopefulness slowly emerges, and I'm stuck in a bizarre pregnancy limbo of sorts: I have this amazing secret that is practically bursting out of me; yet, it's "too early" to start shouting it from the rooftops.
On one hand, I'm acutely aware that I'm pregnant. (Counting down to that first prenatal appointment feels like an eternity.) On the other hand, I basically have to carry on with life as if I'm not with-child. You know, like I don't feel exhausted, constantly nauseous, or nauseated by weird smells. Like I don't need to pee every hour. And like my entire world/family dynamic won't soon be changing forever.
Nope. Nothing to see here, folks.
And yet ... I find myself subconsciously resting my hands on my belly. I shield my abdomen instinctively while horsing around with my kids. I might even find myself casually warming the kiddos up to the idea of adding to our family. "Wouldn't it be cool if we had another baby? Would you rather have a little brother or a little sister?" Little do they know (does anyone know) how our lives will soon be changing.
You'd think after the first procreating rodeo, that subsequent experiences wouldn't seem as special. But for me, at least, few things in life compare to the joyful anticipation of early pregnancy.
It's a wild ride, for sure – every single time.
Images by Michelle Stein
Opinions expressed by parent contributors are their own.