I wanted to be pregnant for a long time before it actually happened. Obviously I wanted to be a mom, but I also just really wanted to experience the physical sensation and changes of pregnancy itself. I fantasized about rubbing my growing stomach and, yes, had my maternity photo shoot all planned out way before I held a positive pregnancy test. I was super excited about the whole experience, which means there are things I'm so glad I didn't know about the first trimester before I got pregnant. If I had known then what I know now, I have a feeling I wouldn't have been so, um, thrilled.
Now, don't get me wrong: I don't think this particular batch of knowledge would have affected my decision to have a baby. It certainly would have caused me to worry way more than necessary, though, and probably would have stifled how excited I was about simply being pregnant. After all, the symptoms I was sure to experience were unavoidable, but that didn't make them less intense, overwhelming, or terrifying.
The 40 weeks (more or less) of pregnancy can seem like a long time, but when I look back I swear it went by so quickly: especially that first trimester. There was always a new stage to complete, with its own developmental milestones to chart, and before I knew it the whole thing was over and it was time to meet my baby. So with that in mind, here's what I'm so thankful I didn't know about the first trimester. Sometimes ignorance really is bliss, my friends.
How Hard It Is To Keep A Secret
I have never been known for my ability to keep a secret. I get so excited, especially if it's good news, that I just can't help but share.
Shortly after I found out I was pregnant, I went on a beach vacation with my family. Keeping this life changing news from them was so difficult. I mean, there's only so many excuses you could use as to why you're not indulging in a few cocktails before people start to catch on.
How Tired I Would Be
I am not someone who is usually able to nap in the middle of the day. If I do manage to sleep when it's not my normal bedtime, I find I wake up groggy and grumpy.
When I was pregnant, though, I experienced an overwhelming exhaustion the likes of which I had never experienced before. I would fall asleep on the bus on the way home from work. Regularly. Once I let go of my ridiculous feelings of guilt for resting in the middle of the day, I realized how amazing taking a nap can really be. Needless to say, now I'm a big fan.
How Unforgiving Some People Would Be
The problem with keeping your pregnancy news under wraps (which you don't have to at all, by the way) is that nobody cuts you any slack for feeling tired or needing a little break or running to the bathroom every few minutes to throw up.
I would have really appreciated that seat on the subway, especially at times when I felt a little faint. But because I had no bump to speak of, no one was offering.
How Obsessed I'd Become
There are so many pregnancy apps, calendars, and weekly updates via email at an expecting woman's disposal that, well, I must confess I got totally obsessed. I knew the exact size of my growing baby, from one week to the next. I knew when my next OB-GYN appointments were coming, and exactly what I should be asking the doctor when we were face-to-face.
How Nauseous I Would Constantly Feel
During the early weeks of my first trimester, I smugly told my mom that I wasn't experiencing any morning sickness. It literally arrived the next day. I couldn't even drink a glass of water without seeing it for a second time. Some aromas were enough to set me off, and most of my husband's favorite foods became huge up chuck triggers. I had to breathe through my nose until about 10:00 a.m. when the nausea would start to ease off.
How It Would Affect My Career
Just about the time I was rounding out the first trimester of my pregnancy, I was laid off. Almost overnight my stomach popped out and the notion of attending job interviews and not addressing the bump in the room seemed preposterous.
I wasn't able to secure another full-time job, and I am pretty sure it was because I was pregnant.
How Often I'd Compare My Pregnancy To Other Pregnancies
I joined all sorts of online pregnancy communities where the women were all in similar stages of pregnancy. It was almost impossible not to compare myself to these other expectant moms when we were all pregnant at the same time.
When things were going well this was a great support network and one I truly cherished, but if any of us had scary symptoms and shared them, it seemed to make the whole group panic. Each of us were unique, and so were our pregnancies, so it wasn't always helpful to compare.
How Much Planning I'd Naturally Do
I was only three months pregnant and I had a name picked out, the nursery planned, clothes bought, and had imagined various different stages and milestones in my child's life. In retrospect, I was just so excited, but I may have gone a little overboard in my planning.
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