As a woman who found out she was pregnant almost 30 weeks ago, I’ve had plenty of time to absorb the news. In fact, now that I’m growing out of some of my maternity clothes, I feel like the news is actually absorbing me. Even though it’s been a while, though, I can still recall the moment I found out, and what some of those early days of getting used to a pregnancy felt like. In fact, I’d go as far as saying there are some things a pregnant woman should do the first week she finds out she's expecting (if she's able to, of course, because we all know the side effects can kick in right around the time the pregnancy is discovered, too).
Now that my pregnancy has progressed into the “I’m carrying a watermelon” stage, there are things I wish I would have done at the very beginning, and a few things I did manage to do that I'm pretty damn happy about. Of course, there are some specific, medical suggestions for women that are important, too (call your doctor, give up alcohol and smoking, etc.), but there’s more to it than those necessary technicalities.
If you were looking to celebrate in your own way, or for permission to hunker down and prepare to hibernate, have no fear. If you haven't really processed the big news yet, I’ve got you covered, too. Because if I were to do it all over again, here’s what I’d do that first week after learning I was pregnant:
Wear All Your Favorite Clothes
If you’re so inclined, definitely take selfies to your heart’s content while wearing those clothes. Mine are tucked away in the top of my closet in a clear bin so I can see all my favorite shirts and their patterns while I dig for a shirt large enough for my bump. I look forward to the day I can pull that bin down and say hello to my old friends.
Find Some Available Resources For When Your Doctor’s Office Is Closed
In my case, it was the nurse hotline my insurance offers, a couple of pregnancy books, and some trustworthy websites. For others, I’m sure it could be friends or family members, other experts, or any combination of the above. Either way, having those reliable sources of support at the ready was especially nice when questions arose on random Saturdays and after late-night snack attacks that led to some serious discomfort.
Eat All Your Favorite Foods
If you’re anything like me, you’ll learn of your pregnancy before morning sickness really ramps up (hopefully). With both of my pregnancies, there have been a couple of short, blissful weeks that gave me false hope that maybe, just maybe, I’d be one of those magical unicorn women who doesn't experience an ounce of morning sickness. This wasn’t the case, and I spent what felt like a solid month on the couch and in bed (again, apologies to everyone I cancelled on last November). Still, those first couple weeks when I could still eat whatever I wanted (that was safe to eat while pregnant, of course) were nice.
Stock Up On Ginger Ale
Even if you’re one of the lucky few who doesn't experience any nausea, it’s a nice refreshing treat and can make for a great mocktail base.
Take All The Naps
The fatigue I experienced in that first trimester was intense and not a joke. Trying to move through my living room was like trying to move through a muddy swimming pool. I just could not. Before I’d even taken a pregnancy test, I knew something was up. So, if the same thing is happening to you, you have permission from this internet stranger to get as much rest, and as much help, as you might need.
Indulge In The Parts Of Pregnancy That Are Exciting To You
Shortly after discovering my first pregnancy, I remember having a lazy Saturday morning spent scrolling through baby boy-themed Pinterest boards. Everything was cute and curated and #parentinggoals, and was just what I needed to settle into excitement over my pregnancy. During my second pregnancy, I've felt far less time on Pinterest, and a lot more time scrolling through baby name sites since that's more fun this time. Whatever floats your boat, as they say.
Make Time For Your Other Favorite Things
I hate to break it to you, but your schedule is about to change quite a bit. If your favorite activities are pregnancy-friendly, now would be a good time to get some of them on your calendar. It’s not that you can’t have fun later in pregnancy, or after your baby arrives, because you totally can. It’s just that making time for fun becomes far more complicated.
Cancel Any Plans You Have To Go On Roller Coasters
I’m sorry to my old camp friends that I went to that theme park with in early fall 2013. I’m sorry that I had to fib and pretend like I don’t like roller coasters and that I didn’t want to ride any of the fun rides you did. Please forgive me.
Take A Moment To Savor Your Ability To Tie Your Shoes
Now that I’m squarely in my third trimester, it’s slip-ons from here on out. I miss some of my shoes that tie, and some that zip, and I'm anxiously awaiting flip-flop weather. Any day now, my friends. Any day.
Give Yourself Space To Process The News However You Want And Need To
My initial responses were a blend of excitement and overwhelm, but I don't want to assume that's the same for everyone. Pregnancy can be a huge, life-changing experience, so of course there are a multitude of reactions that are more than appropriate. As long as you're not hurting puppies or, you know, breaking all the new rules you're supposed to be following to ensure you remain healthy, do what you need to do to absorb this information.
Tell Whoever You Want, However You Want
I'm horrible at keeping secrets, so I don't have a ton of personal insight on planning big reveals to a partner, or for whoever you want to share your news with. However, that said, immediately letting my own spouse in on the secret was one of the best parts for me, so all moms about to do the same have my total support and encouraging emojis. Enjoy it.