10 Pregnancy Milestones The Parenting Books Can't Possibly Prepare You For
When I was pregnant with my son, I tracked the various stages with careful precision and intensity, like how I follow rumors surrounding each season of The Bachelor. I needed updates. I was constantly checking to see what fruit size my baby was. I was absorbing practically every parenting-related newsletter in my inbox. Still, despite my Hermione-esque behavior, I realized there are some pregnancy milestones that you can't possibly prepare for.
To my credit, there are so many constantly, unrelenting changes that it's difficult to prepare for anything and everything. Plus, pregnancies do feel about 3,576 weeks long, so it's no surprise that a lot of things that happen don't get a ton of attention. Books only have so much room to cover it all, so I get why they spend more time on things like kicks and contractions, and less time on the not-so-pleasant little stuff.
However, that doesn't mean the other milestones don't count or don't deserve at least some recognition. Besides, there are some points of pregnancy where every little accomplishment or development is worth a freakin' parade because, really, pregnancy is long and hard and taxing . Every little bit of growth and effort counts, including but definitely not limited to the following:
The First Wardrobe Malfunction
Don't be fooled, friends. The first time you think you can still wear your normal pants with the fly open and a long, loose shirt over them, is also the first time that the wind lifts that shirt up.
The First Doctor’s Office Pee
It's one of the few times in my life that I've been super-excited to be at the doctor. Then I was handed a plastic cup. By the end of my pregnancy, I was a total pro at the whole peeing-in-a-tiny-cup-with-little-or-no-way-to-see-what-is-actually-going-on-down-there thing. But at first? Yeah, at first that process takes some, um, getting used to.
The First Slip Of The News
During my first pregnancy, I made it roughly two days before I leaked to someone. OK, technically, I didn't actually leak the news; this particular person figured it out based on my shifty reactions to otherwise reasonable questions. However, it still counts, since I wasn't even six weeks along yet.
Spoiler alert: it wasn't the only time the news came out early.
The First Time You Mistake Bloat For A Baby Kick
When kicks first start appearing, they are really hard to tell apart from various digestive processes. It took me a long time before I could confidently say what was a kick and what was a gas bubble.
The First Surprised Reaction To Your Pregnancy
I can't say who it was, but someone I know took a visible step back and away from me, then inhaled a giant breath while maintaining a stunned look on his face, after I told him I was pregnant. It was not the reaction I expected. (No, it wasn't my son's father. That much I will at least clarify.)
The First Time You Go An Extended Length Of Time Without Thinking About It
In the early weeks and months of pregnancy, I couldn't barely go a few minutes without thinking about the growing baby inside me and the impending changes he was going to bring. As the pregnancy continued, I could barely go a few minutes because my giant belly served as a constant reminder. Either way, it can often be a welcome relief to let your mind go elsewhere for a short while, even if it's to simply watch a movie, read a book, or absorb some particularly juicy The Bachelor gossip.
The First Time Symptoms Get The Best Of You
I vividly remember having to leave my desk and go outside for fresh air. After that, I remember I could only step so far away from the building for fear of being too far from a bathroom. It was, well, not awesome.
The First Time Someone Guesses
Not counting my five-and-a-half week slip-up, my nausea wristbands gave me away early in my second trimester. Thankfully, she was a trusted friend so the news went no further than that couch (as far as I know), but it still caught me off guard.
The First Time You're Overwhelmed
To be fair, there was lots of overwhelming moments during my first pregnancy. However, I remember it really sinking in when my lovey, generous friend sent me the spreadsheet she'd used when setting up her registry. It was a glorious treasure trove of details and information, including prices from multiple retail outlets. I could barely get through it. The amount of things I'd never even heard of was what set me over the edge.
The First Time You Talk To The Baby And Get A Response
I was about 20 weeks along, just relaxing with my husband, and I jokingly said to my belly, "Kick if you like [ the-name-we-ended-up-using]" and he did. While it wasn't the only factor we used to decide on his name, it was on the list of reasons. I don't think I'll ever forget that moment.