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7 Thoughts Every Woman Has When the Pregnancy Test Is Finally Positive

As a woman hoping to conceive, you might dreamily imagine that you'll see the pregnancy test turn positive and instantly cry tears of joy, while running toward your partner, just like in the commercials. In many cases, this is exactly what takes place. For other moms-to-be, however, their response to seeing a positive result on a pregnancy test is unexpectedly ambivalent—and that's normal, too. Here are thoughts many women have when they find out they're pregnant.

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Is this actually happening?

When a couple decides to try and conceive a child, they enter in to what can be a very emotionally charged time. If conception takes awhile, when a pregnancy actually happens, you can feel a bit of disbelief. Once the plus sign, the extra pink line appears or the word “pregnant” appears, you might be tempted to doubt the accuracy of the test. So you take 12 more tests just to be 100 percent sure. You have waited so long to see this result, that it can feel too good to be true, and you might even doubt your own eyes, asking yourself Is that even a line? It’s faint. IS THAT A LINE? The general answer to that question is that a line is a line. If you see a line, it’s there.

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What were we thinking?

Right about the time that your brain registers that “yes, this is indeed happening” is when it might also decide to go straight into panic mode. Thoughts about much babies cry, cost, and affect your life all begin to flash through your mind-making it hard to remember why you even started down this path to begin with. Life with a tiny new roommate is different, but it’s worth it. It won’t make sense to you in this moment, but it will once you’re holding your little one. Life is going to change, and even when it’s for the better, change is hard. So take a deep breath and relax. These moments of panic and uncertainty don’t mean that you’re not cut out for parenthood, they mean that you’re normal. The fact that you’re worried about how you’re going to care for a child as a parent means that you’re going to be a good one. You’ve got this, and these feelings of panic will subside. Promise.

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Don’t get too excited

Now that the panic has passed, and you’ve embraced this beautiful truth, that you are pregnant, you begin to feel the excitement that has been waiting at the sidelines for it’s turn in the game. It’s actually happening—this thing you’ve been waiting for. You’re going to be a mom, and you are so happy about it you could scream. It’s at this point that perhaps the little voice of fear might make itself known, reminding you about the small but real chance that something could go wrong. Although this is a valid concern, take comfort in the fact that every woman has this same concern, and chances are, your baby is going to be just fine. Make an appointment with your ob-gyn to help put your fears to rest and allow yourself to enjoy these early weeks of pregnancy. Let yourself to bask in the excitement that the very moment you’ve been dreaming of is here, and redirect all the energy you’re spending on fear into love for your growing little one.

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No period for nine months? Sign me up!

There are some perks to pregnancy, aside from that whole baby thing. The lack of a period for nine whole months (longer if you breastfeed) is enough to make any woman sing for joy and do the Running Man spontaneously. For women that have had heavy periods since they were preteens or teenagers, the lack of this monthly annoyance is cause for celebration. Start making plans for all that money you’ll save on tampons. (On second thought, you’ll need that money for all the baby gear that you’ll need to purchase, so maybe plan to put it in a baby fund.) Other perks of pregnancy include: strangers giving up their seats on public transportation, eating for two without judgment from others, and wearing stretchy pants while still being considered adorable. (Related: Here are 10 things you should never say to someone who is pregnant.)

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How bad is morning sickness, really?

If Princess Kate can handle it, you can too, right? After you know you’re pregnant, you might begin to worry about that whole dreaded morning sickness thing. Your mother and her mother have all warned you about it. Sure, it’s no fun feeling nauseated. Who wants to feel sick for the majority of the day? The good news is that there are medications that can help, and certain things you can try that might take the edge off and help you keep your sanity (and your lunch). If you’re having cravings for a particular food, eating it might help to alleviate the nausea for a bit. Other women have found that peppermint or ginger candies, and wrist bands designed to relieve sea sickness have also helped to control the symptoms of morning sickness. Prescription medication is also available, but often has side effects that you may or may not feel comfortable with. Morning sickness usually begins around the fifth week and subsides around the 16th to 18th week of gestation.

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I have to tell everyone! I’m not going to say a word

Pregnancy is a time filled with mixed emotions to be sure. It is difficult to find a balance between your incredible excitement and urge to tell everyone you come into contact with (the UPS guy totally seems like he is dying to know, doesn’t he?), and waiting to share the news with close family and friends when the time is right. The time to share this important news is going to vary from woman to woman, and it all depends on the comfort level of the expecting couple. Some couples have no discomfort in sharing the news with anyone and everyone right away, while others choose to keep the information to themselves until reaching a milestone in the pregnancy, such as an ultrasound, or the second trimester when the chances of miscarriage drop significantly. While it might be necessary to let some people in on your news earlier than later (like your boss, for example) it is ultimately up to the mother-to-be to decide what she’s comfortable with.

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Will I be able to handle labor?

For nine months you’re going to carry a baby along with the excitement and anticipation of the moment that you finally get to lay eyes upon the beautiful little face you’ve waited anxiously to see. That whole labor and birth thing sure does make the record screech a little when you envision this magical moment, doesn’t it? The truth is that it is completely normal to be a bit (or a lot) apprehensive about the birth experience. If you’ve never experienced it, the unknown of it all can feel overwhelming and a bit daunting. The good news? You’re going to be surprised at what your body is capable of. Hundreds of thousands of babies are born every day around the world. You are stronger than you know, and just like everything in life, taking it one moment or contraction at a time is the best way to tackle your fears of labor and birth. If you plan to give birth in a hospital, rest assured that you will have a supportive medical team of professionals to walk you through each step of the process, and you won’t be required to remember every breathing technique they taught you in birthing class. So for now, take a deep breath, and know that you’ve got this.

Originally Published in Reader's Digest

Jen Babakhan
Jen Babakhan is a freelance writer who loves to help others through the written word. She writes about faith and motherhood at her site www.JenBabakhan.com, and loves to inspire others through Instagram, where she can be found @jenbabakhan. You can also find her on Facebook @JenBabakhan, Writer.