There are a number of reasons I’m glad to have given birth to my first child at this point in history, including the fact that yoga pants are widely accepted as pants, the entire Harry Potter series had already been released and is there for me to reread, and text messaging is an everyday thing. I loved sending and receiving text messages during pregnancy just as much as I love sending and receiving them now, perhaps even more so because they usually didn’t require me to move from the couch or lift my head too much.
Really, I feel strongly that texting is the most effective communication tool available for anyone gestating and/or caring for a baby. Can you imagine what our moms and our moms’ moms had to do to stay in touch with one another when they were in the same shoes? I mean, phone calls? In-person visits? That all sounds like a nightmare wherein I'm actually forced to put on pants and talk to actual human beings. I don't know how they managed.
The first trimester in particular is fraught with emotions and new side effects to manage, so being able to rely on a short, sweet, cryptic form of communication is especially helpful. For example, since I chose not to tell anyone about my pregnancy during my first trimester, texting was crucial; No one was able to guess my condition over text, as opposed to real life, where I had two different people pick up on it from my shifty in-person behavior (“No, uh, these nausea-preventing wristbands are just for...style. I love how they look.”) Basically, during your first trimester, you're going through a lot, both physically and emotionally, and you have very little interest in actually getting up and hanging out with people, so you end up texting people — especially your best friend — a lot. Here's just a small sampling of the plethora of messages we all send during those first weeks:
The Excuse: “Remember How We Were Supposed To Hang Out? Sorry.”
I was canceling social engagements right and left in my early weeks of pregnancy. Sorry, friends. I will understand if and when you need to do the same.
The Reveal: “Guess What?”
Yes, I shared my pregnancy with some close friends over text. When there is a slew of folks you want to reach before putting up The Facebook Announcement, and you're too exhausted/nauseous to see people in person, sometimes you settle for the unglamorous option of revealing your Big News via text.
The Whine: “I’m So Nauseous. I Can’t Move.”
Aka, The “I Don’t Feel Good And I Need Some Love And Attention So Please Just Give It To Me.” But because we are talking about the first trimester, we’re not going to judge.
The Overshare: “Guess Who's Dry-Heaved Like 80 Times Today.”
If you don’t have friends willing to play this delightful, sexy guessing game with you, then perhaps you may need some new friends.
The Optimism: “This Has To End At Some Point, Right? And Then I Start Glowing?”
Let me save you the agony of waiting for a response: YES YES ALL THE YES, SOON YOU WILL FEEL GREAT AND LOOK AMAZING.
The Excitement: “Whatever I’M HAVING A BABY So Everything Is Amazing!”
This one usually comes after a wave of nausea has passed, or you walk past a Baby Gap display window.
The Style Inspo: “My Son Will Wear Overalls And Tiny Converse EVERYDAY.”
I'm sure he will, friend. I'm sure he will.
The Pinterest Reference: “My Daughter’s Third Birthday Is Going To Have An Upscale Artisnal Country Fair Theme!”
I’m just not going to mention the fact that there’s very little overlap from my “pregnancy/baby” board with my actual motherhood experience, because I don't want to spoil things for those still curating their own boards.
The Very Important Fruit-Size Update: "Lime."
Produce will never be as exciting as it is during pregnancy.
The Milestone: “Heartbeat In Da House!”
Do people still say “in da house?” Whatever, true friends don’t judge your '90s slang-infused text messages.
The Praise Of Whatever’s Helping: “Did You Know Ice Cold Lemon Water And Plain Bagels Are The Best Thing In The World?”
Not sure about you guys, but I had a brief but exquisite affair with plain bagels in the early weeks of my pregnancy. I spent many a glorious hour in bed with them, and you can be damn sure my friends hear all about it.
The Belated Check In About Their Life: “OMG I Forgot To Wish You Happy Birthday And Ask About Your Job Interview And Attend Your Wedding!”
You can only blame so many things on “pregnancy brain.”
The Self-Doubt: "Ugh, I'm Going To Be The Worst Mom Ever."
Perhaps there are formerly pregnant ladies out there who never had a shred of doubt about their future Mom status, but alas, I was not one of them. Each time I caught myself making a bad decision (binge-watching How I Met Your Mother, anyone? Which in and of itself is not shameful, but when you've already done it like three times in life? Yeah, probably not the best use of time.), I would have to pause and wonder just what this meant for my motherhood skills.
The Burst Of Confidence: "JK I'm Going To Be The BEST MOM IN THE WORLD."
Every so often, I'd do something that embodied my definition of motherhood, like cleaning up some disgusting mess from the dog, or totally nailing a complicated recipe (read: one that involves three or more steps), or being polite when a stranger totally offered me unsolicited parenting advice, and I'd think, "Maybe I won't be a total failure at this."
The Blame: "I Can NOT Handle My Partner Right Now, And I'm Never Going To Let Him Touch Me AGAIN."
Despite your partner's best efforts, he or she will probably do at least one thing totally wrong during the first trimester (or more likely, something totally benign that your surging hormones will interpret as unforgivably incorrect), and you will have no choice but to lament about it to your BFF.
The Retraction: "Nevermind, My Partner Is The Best And I'm Even OK With Being Called His Baby Mama."
Thankfully, that first trimester is 13-ish weeks long, so they will have plenty of time to make up for any transgressions. Unfortunately (truly, it cuts both ways), that first trimester is 13 whole weeks long, so they'll have plenty of time to piss you off again at some point, which you'll obviously need to text your BFF about too.
The Caveat: "But If He Tries Anything Right Now It Will Not Be Pretty Because Even The Though Of That Much Movement Makes Me Feel Like I'm Going To Barf."
It's a cruel trick that Mother Nature plays: Right when you're feeling the most affectionate and turned on by your partner (which happens to a lot of women during their first trimester), doing anything about it can feel pretty much impossible. Unless, of course, vomit doesn't phase either of you, in which case, good for you guys, but I will just have to stop there because I am not at all equipped to comment on what that must be like. *silently relives morning sickness horror*
The Panic: "Wait, Is My Social Life Over Now? Are We Still Going To Be Friends When I Have This Babay? Promise Me We'll Still Be Just Like We Are Now. Or Else I Am Going To Panic And Cry Into My Anti-Nausea Wristbands."
In other words, please, please, please reassure me that everything's going to be OK and nothing will change (even though we both know that it totally is going to, no matter what either of us says right now).