A wave of nausea rolls through my body. I’m a little lightheaded and dizzy. It’s about that time of the month, but is it going happen? Even though I’m in a much different place than I was before, the thought of being pregnant, especially before I consciously make an effort to plan it out, sends panic through my body. I spend a few hours trying to convince myself that no matter what, I’m going to be fine. I’m probably not pregnant; it’s silly to think about it. Then I find myself in the pharmacy aisle buying the early detection pregnancy test. I pee on the stick and wait 30 seconds to look at it. The test takes at least two minutes. I busy myself straightening up the bathroom or checking Facebook. I look back down to nothing. I’m both relieved and disappointed.

This struggle has been my reality for much of the past three years since placing my son for adoption. Having a crisis pregnancy, especially one resulting in an adoption plan, instills in you that pregnancy is about pain, grief, sadness, and depression, which is a very bad thing. I had pregnancy scares before my unplanned pregnancy, just as most sexually active women do, but they were no big deal before because I had no idea what it felt like—the feeling of seeing two lines on a test staring back at you, or coming to terms with the fact that this is literally the worst time for you to be someone’s mother. In my own situation, I didn’t know I was pregnant until almost halfway through the second trimester. So I don’t feel I can trust myself to know the difference between pregnancy and a stomach virus or a migraine.

The truth of the matter is that I want to be a mom so badly. Thinking back to the things you wanted while growing up, and how it has changed by the time you’re 25, one desire has remained, and that is to be a great mom. So part of me cannot wait until the day when I am pregnant and in a place to parent that child. However, the fear of uncertainty—of being able to handle previous trauma, of knowing I’ll set extremely high and unrealistic expectations so the child I placed for adoption and the child(ren) I parent are proud of me—makes it hard to sleep some nights.

So next month, if I’m feeling nauseous and lightheaded, you might catch me in the local pharmacy aisle. One of these times, the test will be positive, but I hope I’m ready when it does.

If you are unexpectedly pregnant and considering adoption, visit Adoption.com to view adoption profiles from hopeful adoptive parents.