Two pink lines, positive, your hunch was right, your boobs are actually sore, you’re not just gaining a little winter weight; it’s a baby. A human baby. Your baby. Growing inside of you. Right. Now. It’s big enough news to take in and process had you been trying to conceive, but a whole other wave to try to surf when it wasn’t in the plan; or the realm of immediate possibility, or in the same atmosphere as you were the minute before you took the test, but here it is, plain as day, you caught it, you’ve got the pregnancy bug. Soooooo wherever you are in your life or world, it just got much bigger. Huge. Way way bigger.
Alright so let’s figure this out.
– First Step:
DO NOT Panic.
ok ok, scroll down when you are through thoroughly panicking.
– Step Two:
Breathing. You probably haven’t done that since you read the results. Soooo, start that now. Like right now, No! Now. Breathe!— Ok, good. Try and keep that up as you read. You are breathing for two now you know so try and be real about it. Haha alright sorry for that last ‘for two’ line, if it sent you back to Step One feel free to start over and meet me here again once you think you are calm enough to read on.
If you don’t have her with you already, call your person. You know , your person, whether that is your oldest, truest friend, or your sister, or mom, or your grandma; call her. The one person who knows you better than anyone in this whole world. She is your messy tell, the one you can get on the phone with and puke out an attempt of words to mirror what it is you are really feeling. Second thought, make sure you know the person you call is the right person, because the first word explosion will be messy. So maybe if your Mom or sister is your person normally, but you know this is big news for her to hear, opt to swap her out for a non-judgy friend or a cool aunt, someone who won’t take you’re panic for more than it is, an emotion-comotion. Bounce off of her, allow her to calm you, keep breathing, got it? Alright.
Next: Telling the Baby Daddy.
Alright this one is big, and depending on your relationship with him he may be the first call you think to make; he may in fact be your person, oooooor he could be a fling, a short term boyfriend, or a ‘we are kind of dating- but not officially- but he said he wanted to be official then we didn’t talk for a week and now we have a coffee date and he has nice eyes and oh my god I am carrying his baby‘ situation. What ever the technicalities may be, either you will share a joyful explosion, or moral ‘holy shhh-t’ support, or a silence of sorts. It may be awkward and tough or one of the best moments of your relationship, and life so far. BUT either way; before you pick up the phone all scary and out of breathe like you are right now; remember that this cannot be undone. And no matter the circumstances this is a big part of the beginning of your little’s story, and a big milestone of your life together, and you will want it to be baby book, and story telling worthy. And not that I agree with the whole arrangement or anything but the women has a lot of sole responsibility for certain things in this whole pregnancy thing. We find out first for many reasons I’m sure, but probably the most important is because we are the ones who hold this wild reservoir of maternal strength and instinct of how to handle things; things like telling the father. If they held the responsibility of knowing first most of our men would have fainted a few times already and still be trying to breathe through step two. We are the more sentimental and softer of the genders, and we have these crazy mama instincts deep within us that are about to show themselves, they are there, believe me, in you, somewhere, just like that little baby you just discovered; hard to believe in but most definitely there.
So take a moment and make a plan to tell your man, (or your whatever he may be/have been; see above) you probably know him better than most do so take a calm moment and think about how he feels most safe, how you will be able to make this a real, pure, happy, and most of all safe and secure moment for the both of you. And this goes for you mama’s who don’t know if this is or will be a thing, if you will you will carry out the pregnancy I mean, to be beyond blunt. But that is a big part of it especially if you aren’t in a full relationship, maybe haven’t even had contact with him lately, or are on a ‘break’. All of these are very real scenarios and they shouldn’t decide your overall feelings. Either way, even if you don’t know his reaction (or even your own yet) treat this with the same advice I gave above, no matter the outcome that is the start you need to attempt to put in place. A safe, happy, comfortable one. This part is about you two as a whole, and as individuals making a huge life decision, one that should be shared. It is so far from being about your current ‘relationship status’ or lack there of, it is about treating this moment and decision with the love, respect, and decency it deserves. It is the most intimate thing two people can share, you know, your d.n.a., this moment, this news; and it needs to be handled as such. With out factoring in possible outcomes. Even if you’re terrified, try to operate as though you are calm and collected and those attitudes will anchor themselves within you, and, subsequently in him. After the initial shock wears off, if you allow him to feel whatever his out right feelings are and work through his initial wave of emotions (and what is often panic) he will most likely mirror your calm and controlled nature if you maintain it. Try to remember in the moments after you first tell him that this is a big thing, try to take your mind back to your own step one, and understand he is at his, give him a moment to panic and control his breathing and try not to take his reaction too personally, of course it isn’t a complete free card, the crazy show should wrap up after a few minutes of course and he should be able to join you at this new-found zen of decision-making and moment handling I have brought to you here by reviewing my own pregnant revelation in hind site. You have a surge of hormones coming alive within you as well as completely justified emotions brewing because of this life changing news. It is easy to take every action and word coming from him the worst and most sensitive way possible, try to hear him and tell your side without getting too emotional, reacting too hard will do just the opposite of the above and make him seal up and that won’t help anything. Just as you have your reactions and emotions so does he, and just as you want these to be respected and treated softly (and for good reason) so does he. The treat others how you want to be treated rule comes in to play here, which isn’t always easy with the weight of everything I know, but it is so so crucial to set the theme and try to keep it safely in the calm while figuring this out.
– Now: Moving Forward, remain sane while finding your way too parenthood.
This part is insanely overwhelming at first, and it can truly make you a little crazy, ok maybe a lot crazy. So don’t feel like you are the only one who has ever felt like they were drowning while trying to stay afloat in the flood this news brings to your world. When I found out I was pregnant with my first I was scared out of my mind, and extremely unsure if I was even ready for such a huge thing; you know, being responsible for a whole little life. I also didn’t have ANY pregnancy symptoms and that made it really hard to fathom it as real, that in just nine months there would really, suddenly be a baby. It is so huge and so hard to even begin to process, let alone decide the first steps with any sort of confidence. My boyfriend was beyond calm and supportive and for that I am so grateful. We didn’t find out until I was almost fifteen weeks along. My periods had been so irregular a lot of my life and though I had taken two pregnancy test early on, both came back negative, not to mention my periods had continued as normal through out this time. Anyways, this meant that by the time we went to the first doctors appointment to confirm the at home pregnancy tests’ positivity, they had us do an exam as well as what would have been the third, and in most every other woman’s case, the final ultrasound. It also meant that we were able to tell the sex at that first appointment. So within just a few days not only was there suddenly a human growing but it also had a little identity beginning to sprout, a female one. So my point is it is A LOT to take in on any scale but as a woman you were literally born to do this, you are beyond equipped even if everything inside of you is screaming that you aren’t, the tools and answers you need are inside of you. They may just take a bit to come out of hiding, but when they do, woah! You are woman and they will hear you roar. Ok, its more of a scream, definitely a scream as you get all primal and push this little human out and in to the world. It may take some time and it may not come all at once but I promise you will find your footing. Your fabulous, fabulous, super woman footing. And you will be all that your little one needs. For no one could love them the way you do. The only manual for your particular baby is inside of you, and it may be a whisper at first but soon that voice will grow loud and confident and strong. And suddenly you look up one day and holy shhhh- it really happened. You are a mom.
But you have to carry her for nine months, and lord is it work, the key, I believe to surviving this whole beginning pregnancy part is to take it day by tiny day and to view each day passing as a small win. Really as a step closer to your body being done with this huge job lol. Another day down of this hard-core training that god puts us through in order to toughen us up for the even bigger job that is motherhood. You have to tally it as one day tougher and closer to your full potential bad ass new self. And it will be hard. You will hurt, every part of you in new and exciting terrifying ways. You might feel sick; morning sick, car sick, sit sick, stand sick, smell sick, again, new sicks you have never felt. And you will cry, a lot. About real fears and feelings and about ones your prego brain created in its’ hormone frenzy of fun. You will cry at commercials, sometimes because they are touching and some times just because they are for peet’s shaving cream and ‘awwww my dad used that when I was little and I can remember the smell now and oh my gosh I miss my dad, he was so amazing what if I can’t be that great for my baby, and honey you should use peet’s shaving cream because the smell is just so important to me and I want our little girl to have that and- Oh! An ice cream commercial, brownie batter what? I won’t be able to think of anything else until I have that heaven in my mouth.’ You won’t sleep totally sound for months, you suddenly realize you were sleeping soundly before, and peeing regularly, and eating normal meals.
You will have a hard time remembering what normal is like, and an even harder time believing anything will ever go back to whatever normal can survive after such a huge change in the make up of your life. Trying to imagine what that would even look like after a human who relies on you solely enters your world is hard, but I promise you will find your new norma one day. We never can tell when that day will be; it could be weeks after you bring your little nugget home and find your ‘routine’, it could be months of trial and error finding a system, or it could be the second you bust that thing out. Suddenly you will rubber-band back to yourself, well a shell of the woman you once were, now much stronger and more grateful. You will be scooting along in your new little life and I promise you will snap into your new role of being a mama, probably without even truly realizing it; as I don’t think it’s an exact moment. More an accumulation of little moments and tasks that fill you up drop by drop. Moments of diaper changes, worried thoughts, bursts of love, and sleep deprived drunk happiness. Of spit up dripping down you, cracked sore nipples, bottles washed, dried and sanitized again and again. And sweet, sweet little baby moments full of sleepy smiles, tiny hands gripping yours, little faces nuzzling in to you, and of the spark in their eye when they begin to recognize you beyond all the other faces. You will begin to collect and track these moments, their every move, meal, and milestone and it will be a whole new world. A new world full of more joy, pride, and gratuity then you could ever envision before knowing the sensations of parenthood first hand. It will be an absolute and utter mess at times, but it will be yours. The little monster finally sleeping in your arms will be yours. The looks you share with your man when your eyes meet as you experience it all; a knowing look of shared aw, appreciation, and just pure, pure love that only you two can decipher.
I promise, after god knows how long of being scared, and huge, and sore, and just exhausted from your pregnancy and then new parenthood, after all the madness you will suddenly look at this beautiful little piece of you. This little soul whose breath sinks up with yours as she sleeps, who needs you so heavily, who smells like heaven and boob milk and you will have the thought, the inevitable realization. Yes, you will look around at what used to be your house, and see that it is still under there, somewhere, just as your old self and life is still there, some where under it all. You will see all the tiny clothes and toys, and that mean breast pump staring at you, and all the laundry and dishes standing tall, and in the midst of it all you will feel a burst of desperate love and thankfulness that every piece in all its beautiful dismay is yours. Every little smudge and stain and precious speck of the new life you have made is all yours, and I am telling you, it may be a totally love drunk thought but it will come. And by the time it does nothing but this new-found love, this cherished new level of precious life and beauty, different from anything you have ever felt or known, nothing but that will matter. You will see your precious little world all your own and sigh as you absorb that burst and think to yourself, ‘ha, pregnancy, it wasn’t even that bad, look at all I got, I could totally do that again.’ And you know it is true, in all its ridiculous irony, that you would do it all again without hesitation, and you probably will, now that you know what comes after. This priceless reality that comes after all the discomfort and craziness.
As you enter this crazy journey to your due date just keep breathing, and know that this storm won’t settle in to a perfect little glowing christmas card of a reality but it will land as it is supposed to, and the beautiful, beautiful wreckage of love that comes will be all you never knew you wanted, all you never knew life could be. I know that isn’t exactly a perfect promise at the end of the tunnel but it is better than perfect, it is real.