There's this reoccurring dream I have.
I take a pregnancy test. This one, out of the hundreds I've taken, has two lines. I rush out to Target and buy this package of bibs, which I've been eying since we started on this journey. I take out the "I love Daddy" bib and put it in a box along with a photo of the pregnancy test. I wrap the box in generic colored paper and swing by the liquor store to get Joey a six-pack of his favorite kind of beer. He's surprised to see me awake when he gets home from work a little after midnight. He opens the box and discovers our good news. We're pregnant! We're going to be parents.
Then, I'm standing in front of our families telling them the good news. We're pregnant! We finally did it. I cry. My mom cries. Everyone hugs us and congratulates us. They know how long it’s taken us to get here, and they couldn’t be happier.
Then, we're in the OB's office. We're getting ready to hear the baby's heartbeat for the first time. Joey is holding my hand and rubbing my belly. We hear the heart. It sounds so beautiful. We also get to see our baby for the first time. He or she is already the cutest baby on Earth, in our eyes. We get several ultrasound images and a recording of the heartbeat and listen to the recording the entire drive home.
Then, we tell our friends. They are so thrilled for us! It doesn't get old saying, "We're pregnant!" over and over again. It never will.
Then, we find out the sex of the baby. It's a boy (or) girl! We can finally go crazy at Target and Babies R' Us picking out nursery colors, cute clothes, and registering for everything we need to make Baby Boy (or) Girl the most spoiled baby ever.
Then, my family and friends throw us a baby shower. I wear a cute maternity dress and get to ooh and ahh over blankets, tiny shoes and socks, pacifiers, and stuffed animals. I'm the happiest girl in the world, because in just a short number of weeks, I'm going to be a mom.
Then, my water breaks. This is it. It's happening, and our baby boy (or) girl is about to arrive. It's nighttime and Joey rushes home from work to take me to the hospital. My mom and Joey's parents meet us there and we wait for the little one's arrival. When it's finally time, I feel like I did when I first found out I was going to become a mom: overjoyed and overwhelmed. I cry. Joey cries. We hold our baby for the very first time, and we realize that there is no better feeling in the whole world.
And then, I wake up.
Because it's just a dream. Or maybe, it’s a nightmare.