In the days after discovering my first pregnancy, and after the initial shock wore off, I had work to do. Some of the things I did for myself right after I found out I was pregnant may not be mandatory, per say, but they helped ease me into the mindset of, "Oh, I'm going to be a mother." On that life-changing day I experienced a whirlwind of emotions swept through me. I didn't know if I was happy or sad, or where my life would go from there. I'd only recently decided to go back to school and my partner and I were struggling as it was. One thing was clear and that's how much I wanted to be a mother.
After letting things sink in, I told my partner when he came home from work that we were going to be parents. I was scared, unsure of how he'd react, and questioning the sharp turn life had taken. Not surprisingly, he reacted pretty much the same way I had. Once we got on with it, I sunk into the routine of a few things that helped the mom thing feel "real" and even exciting. Here are some of the things I did to prepare (aside from tossing all the alcohol, belts, and thongs in the garbage).
Told My Partner, Obviously
I was scared to take this step because it made everything so official. I guess it had to happen because he was, you know, the father. Once it was out there, we sat, cried, and we figured out the next steps (which would definitely include chocolate).
Bought Some Books
If there was a pregnancy book written, I owned it. Immediately. I didn't know what the hell I was doing so I hoped the books would tell me, to be honest. Also, they gave me something to do when I was bed-ridden from the all-day-every-damn-day sickness.
Gathered All The Stretchy Clothes
It seems the moment I peed on the stick, I felt too bloated to wear anything in the front of my closet. Weird, right? Naturally, I bought some fancy new maternity gear and dug out all my favorite sweatpants. I may not have been sexy (sorry, honey), but I was comfortable!
With my first pregnancy, everything was so new I wanted to capture all the feelings. I bought a small journal that asked pregnancy-specific questions as well as dreams for my baby-to-be. I wrote in that thing every day and, sometimes, it was the only thing that saved me from a hot-mess hormonal meltdown.
Asked For A Hamburger
I was vegetarian for a long time before this pregnancy but once I knew, I had an innate craving for meat. I didn't want to. I fought it.Then I asked my partner to get me a hamburger right away. I haven't been vegetarian since. No regrets, dear reader. No regrets.
I took the classic "before" picture with the plan of taking them regularly to see how my body changed through the months. I didn't do this with the pregnancy of my youngest because, honestly, my body's been through hell and I don't need any more reminders.
List Everything We'd Need
Oh, the lists. I made tons of them. What we needed for the house, what we needed for the baby, and, of course, what we needed for me. I registered for things we never really used and forgot stuff we probably would have used. The lists still haunt me but I guess that's part of the excitement in being pregnant (I hear).
Called The Doctor
Because of my prior health concerns, I called my doctor almost immediately (even before telling family). I didn't know what to expect and figured at the very least, the doctor would steer this ship of uncertainty towards something tangible. On the first visit, we heard the heartbeat so I guess it was a success.
Told Loved Ones
There were mixed emotions going into the first pregnancy because my partner and I weren't married. We knew my family would be excited (they were) but were afraid of how his would (not as excited). We didn't wait nearly as long as we should have with the first because we never considered I could've lost the baby. Thankfully, we didn't. With two miscarriages after, we learned our lesson and by the time I was pregnant with our youngest, we knew better than to tell anyone until our baby was growing and healthy. He did just that and was born five years to the day after our first.
Despite the initial confusion, finding out I was pregnant was one of the best days of my life. I didn't yet know all the ways our baby would change me, and us, for the better. Besides, it would've been a real shame to never know the sheer joy of maternity pants.