Changes, even when planned, can be unexpected.
Take for instance, parenthood. Or rather, preparing for the l'il tyke to arrive, from the minute the line turns pink (yup, no blue here) until the baby's actually here.
And no, am not talking physical changes to the mommy-to-be (reams has been written on that, and this is definitely not the forum), but more of what happens inside the head: first, wrapping your head around the idea of having made a new little person, and then the fact that s/he will be here sooner than you know it. Nine months, forty weeks... call it as you will. Ultimately, it all boils down to a giant clock, counting down until THE day - but with anticipation that even the biggest and brightest New Year's Eve cannot hope to match. This feels like all festivals and celebrations in one.
It's not always anticipation, though, especially initially. There's also many more A-words: anxiety, apprehension, acute (insert word here - depression/ fear/ worry...), as well as good old mixed emotions. You don't need over-worked hormones to know that last one. From happiness (or ecstasy even) one moment, to nail-biting anxiety the next, there's a gamut of expressions to run through.
What changes it all? Those first little kicks, the sheer acknowledgement of that tiny miracle inside of you - a rapidly beating heart, a small person fully formed and perfection itself... someone you can't wait to see, hold and cuddle. And shed a tear (or more) of gratitude for that snuffly little bundle in your arms.
Do you know, little one, that you already have Mommy and Daddy wrapped around that impossibly tiny finger? They don't have to meet you to know that you're what their world will revolve round. That while they're eagerly awaiting you, they're also sending up silent, anxious prayers that they should have the strength and ability to bring you up to being a good human being? That things such as gender, colour, whether the nose is too large or the hair too thin don't count? That to them, you'll always be their Perfect Little Miracle?