I’ve been keeping a secret . . .

. . . and it was the hardest I’ve ever had to keep.

But we needed time to laugh. Ponder. Freak out — in a good way. To hug each other and daydream and think, think, think.

But I’m ready now. And it’s time to shout it from the virtual rooftops, if you will.

The ones adorned with everything sparkly and light and uncertain.

In a way, the story starts with a fortune cookie.

Until recently, I didn’t pay much attention to babies. I prefer the fat-fisted 3-year-olds with their coloring books and crayons, their funny voices and elaborate stories, their wide-eyed innocence and crazy tantrums and little shoes. When friends’ children reach toddler-age, I’m in my element — suddenly beloved friend or makeshift “aunt,” even if only for the length of a party.

But everything changes, of course.

Sometime in mid-September, I began to feel “off.” Though physically I felt okay, my emotions seemed to reach angry-dragon level. Innocent comments angered me; silly jokes I would have once found hilarious became annoying, grating. I started tearing up at really dumb commercials. Laughing way too hard at sitcoms. My emotions were magnified, all over a map as pinpoints I couldn’t control. In my more tired and frustrated moments, I kept telling my husband I felt “crazy.”

I figured I should take a pregnancy test.

The first one was on a Thursday. I waited for the news in a doctor’s office, where I’d gone in for an unrelated issue. When she bustled into the room with the news — “It’s negative” — in a chirpy voice, I deflated. In addition to being excited about a potential baby, of course, I found myself wanting to write off my insane emotions with the inarguable diagnosis of “pregnant.”

Disappointed, I texted Spencer with the update and went about my week. Other symptoms began to crop up — some soreness, tiredness — but I wrote them off, thinking about how stressed I’d been lately and how that anxiety was likely what had delayed my cycle, too.

By Monday morning, though, I really felt something was up. I hadn’t been sleeping much; my appetite had changed. Though I didn’t feel sick, exactly, I just didn’t feel like myself.

So I took another test. Embarrassed to still be obsessing about the idea even after the doctor’s visit, I waited until Spencer left for work. I checked it with trembling hands, staring and waiting, but the “negative” line appeared almost immediately — stark and undeniable. No question. No argument.

More days passed. More waiting. More nothing. Increased soreness, extra moodiness, a desire to cry at the drop of a hat. I Googled endlessly about the accuracy of pregnancy tests, wondering if I’d somehow done it incorrectly. I did read over and over that, if taken too early, a false result could be incorrect. But I was still mildly convinced I was nuts.

You know where this is going, right?

By Saturday night, Spencer and I were out to dinner at a favorite Chinese spot. I barely tasted the chicken. Though we’d had a nice afternoon, all I could think about was whether or not I could be expecting. Every cramp and twinge was analyzed; I’d been driving myself insane looking up “early symptoms” online. I had a few, but not most — and the ones I had were easily explained away.

But I had to know.

By the time our server dropped off the check with a pair of fortune cookies, I’d worked myself into a tizzy. This is practically a pastime for me, really, but this had a shade of hysteria at the edges. I’d been worrying for days and, by the time I cracked that cookie open, I was up to my eyeballs in nerves.

The cookie knew this.

“Be prepared for a sudden, needed, and happy change in plans.”

I looked at my husband, kindly waiting to hear my fortune, and felt the breath leave my chest. “I think I need to take another test,” I said, laughing, before I passed it across the table to him.

So I did.

The cookie was right.

Pumpkin family

Our first baby is due June 5, 2015. A baby! Our baby.

Sometimes it feels incredibly real and sometimes it’s very, very hard to believe. As of last Friday, I’m 12 weeks along and feel like I’m coming back to life. The early weeks were plagued by nausea and exhaustion that had me falling asleep by 9 p.m. — or earlier.

If you’ve wondered where the heck I’ve been, the answer is probably near a restroom.

My biggest enemy has definitely been lack of caffeine. Before we found out Baby Johnson is on his/her way (we’ll learn lad or lady in January), I was a major diet soda junkie. I started my day with a cup of coffee, then quickly moved to Diet Coke with a side of Diet Coke in the afternoon. If I was having a rough day, I’d cap that off with a Coke Zero at night.

“Too much” caffeine was never a thing for me; I can drink coffee and go straight to bed. It did prevent me from getting headaches — withdrawal symptoms, likely! — and kept my energy levels up at work, but I really just love the taste of diet soda. I took it for granted.

I’ll never do that again.

I’m all about water and herbal tea these days — the former something I tried to drink regularly, and the latter something I never drank at all. Going basically cold-turkey on caffeine has been tough, but remember that I’m a fearful first-timer. I’ve read countless articles online about the effects (or lack thereof) of caffeine and artificial sweeteners on pregnant women and their little ones, and though moderation seems to be key? I’m totally afraid of screwing something up.

I mean, I legitimately have no idea how to grow a human . . . I’m just glad my body does.

There are times I think this is really happening!, and other times it seems completely unreal. We’re just barely beginning to wrap our minds around the idea of a newborn, this shift from our “someday baby” to the one we plan to hold, God willing, in just six months.

I’ve felt every emotion under the sun about 10,000 times. Often in a single hour.

Utter joy.
Utter fear.

But more than anything? It’s definitely happiness. To pull out every cliché in the book, it does feel like a miracle. We had a second ultrasound last week and saw Baby J kicking, stretching and flipping like a gymnast. Seeing movement — actual movement of a moving baby — really blew our minds.

So that it’s it! My big, fat, crazy secret that I am so relieved to let out of the bag. I’ve been dying to tell anyone — everyone! — since we took the first positive test, but prudence, fear and rational thought kept me in line.

We’ve told our families. We’ve told our friends. And it was time to unleash all this upon you.

Oh, baby.

And now I can freely write posts again. Needless to say, well . . . pregnancy has occupied most of my thoughts for the last few months — and not being able to share that here has been strange and almost torturous.

In fact? I wrote the original draft of this post on Oct. 6 — you know, just to get it off my chest. Even though I knew I wouldn’t post it for more than a month, I couldn’t bear the thought of not cataloging my thoughts in some way.

The writer in me.
Or the OCD blogger in me.
Or the mom-to-be in me.

Oh, heavens.

Baby Pumpkin

80 thoughts on “I’ve been keeping a secret . . .

  1. Ahhhhhh! This was the BEST NEWS EVER to wake up to this morning. I absolutely loved reading this story and am so happy you’re finally able to share. I can’t wait for you to document this journey in Write Meg fashion. Just amazing. So happy for you and Spence! Congratulations! xoxox


  2. Congratulations! Such a fun post to read and I look forward to many more as you begin this most exciting and rewarding journey of your life!!! Hugs!


  3. How exciting. I’m so happy for you. I can’t believe you kept getting negatives. I love that you just knew. Congratulations sugar!


  4. Yay! So happy for you! I hear you about giving up caffeine. It’s tough and not easy, especially on top of the horrible first trimester nausea and general tiredness. I’m looking forward to following along on your next journey and biggest adventure! Parenthood is the best. 🙂


  5. Congrats, Mama! Our first baby (a boy named Caleb) is due at the end of January. I, too, took several negatime tests before getting the positives. My husband made me take about three momore after the first positive! I also gave up diet coke. I have always had the caffeine free kind anyway, but I didn’t want the artificial sweeteners. Going on almost 8 months without it and while I do get cravings, it hasn’t been so bad! Congrats again! It’s the most exciting time ever!


  6. Hi Meg,
    Just found your blog via WP Reader suggestions. What a GREAT first post to get to read about you. Congratulations to and your husband. Love the fortune cookie ending. Saw the post below it about your new mortgage and hosting your first Thanksgiving. Brought a smile to my face and a brief pause…. remembering back to the first Thanksgiving I hosted as a newlywed, nearly thirty years ago (where does the time go??). A new post is now floating through my Monday brain….

    Now following you – looking forward to reading about your journey into motherhood. As an auntie to LOTS of kiddos and a HS teacher aka mama to LOTS more kiddos, I love hearing the stories! Happy Monday. 🙂


  7. p.s. ~ I’m also a foodie, writer, and reader … you had me at, “Another take on writing, reading, loving — and eating” 😉


  8. Congratulations! I hope you are keeping a journal & including posts like this in it — some memories get foggy later & your kid(s) will love hearing about this part of their lives.


  9. Congratulations!!! Things really do get better in the second trimester, so hopefully now you can actually enjoy this crazy ride!


  10. You know… I had a feeling with your peppered in comments about how your home would accommodate your “someday family”. Hmm… 🙂

    A huge congratulations to both of you. What fantastic, exciting and happy happy news!


  11. Oh Meg!! I couldn’t be more excited for you and Spencer. I may just be sitting here silently sobbing with happiness for you. And this: “I mean, I legitimately have no idea how to grow a human . . . I’m just glad my body does.” This sums up EVERYTHING about parenthood. You’ll be brilliant! Can’t wait to hear more and more and more.


  12. Congratulations, Meg! When I read your post this morning, it brought back similar feelings when I got pregnant with my first child. So excited for you. Your life will change, literally, from the ground up once the baby comes.

    If you’re ever interested, check out my parenting blog, Growth Chart (thewriteedgegrowthchart.wordpress.com) for my own adventures in raising two children. Have a wonderful week, and congratulations once again!


  13. Such lovely news, it’s a crazy ride isn’t it – we are expecting our first baby next April and I am still getting used to it – congratulations 🙂


  14. Major congratulations! I never expected I’d have 4 children, but I love every moment of it (mostly). However, writing for children, I officially have my own focus group, and extra bonus, now you can review more great kids’ books!


  15. OH MY GOSH! I’m so excited for you! Congratulations!
    Oh my days, a first time Mommy…wow 😀
    Hope that everything goes well, and I look forward to reading some more posts on the baby! This is so awesome! Much love, babies do adore.


  16. Congratulations! What wonderful news. The fortune cookie thing is so cool.

    I must admit, when I saw a post from you a few weeks back where you were saying you were feeling a bit off, I totally called it!


  17. You are going to be amazing parents…………because you are amazing people………..both in your own right and together as a couple. Congratulations and I am saving a hug for you when I see you in December! Much Love!!!!1


  18. Congratulations to you and Spencer! It is an exciting (and fearful and emotional) time! Hang in there, before you know it you’ll be holding your baby.


  19. Congratulations! I remember the magnified emotions, especially at work, when I’m usually very level-headed. At a time it seemed everyone around me was completely incompetent!


  20. Congratulations Spencer and Meg! Such happy news in an otherwise sad old world. I wish you all the very best for the rest of your pregnancy and we all eagerly await any news. From Australia, Cathy xoxox


  21. CONGRATULATIONS!! That’s the absolute best news, and what a wonderful way to announce it! Wishing you all the best and I look forward to your post throughout your pregnancy and soon to be motherhood!


  22. Megan,

    I loved reading every detail. What a wonderful and fun story, which I’m certain you will tell over and over and over again. I’m so excited for you both and look forward to reading more about your adventures in mommyhood. Glad I finally found your blog too!!


  23. Congratulations, Meg!!! It IS exciting news and should be foremost in your thoughts. It is scary and wonderful and horrible all at the same time. You are going to make a great mother. Just remember to relax and enjoy it all. That cliche about it all passing too quickly is so terribly true.


  24. Congratulations! I’m a newlywed as well. No babies yet though, but I share your prior sentiments towards babies. I guess this is what I should expect in the future, for the “mom gene” to kick in 🙂


  25. Congratulations!! I’m pretty late coming by here, but I’m so glad I stopped by. This is a great great news! Enjoy the second trimester. I know how bad the first one is! ~wink~


  26. Congratulations! Here’s my advice based on personal experience: Get your hair cut and styled about two weeks before you expect to give birth.
    … This will allow you to admire the precious little being you’re holding when you look at the pictures instead of focusing on how terrible your hair looks!
    Shallow? Perhaps. But true.


  27. What a wonderful post! So well written and a lovely documentation of this event in your lives – I am sure your baby will love to read about how you discovered they were coming when they are grown up! Congratulations!


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