So…it’s been a while! HELLO! I haven’t written in such a long time for a few reasons but the primary one being….(drumroll please)…. I’M PREGNANT! My husband and I found out earlier this spring that we’re going to have a baby in December, which is to be quite honest the absolute best thing that has ever happened to me and my husband and our literal dream come true. I have a ton of thoughts and experiences to write about, but it’s been very difficult to navigate what I actually want to put out on social media because we’re very private and this whole baby thing has me feeling even more private and protective than usual. But at the same time, I want to both capture some of what’s happening in my life and also to give my best advice to people who may be trying to have a baby, currently pregnant, or maybe want one in the future. Also fun fact…when I wrote my post called “the body” I was already pregnant…but didn’t know yet! Which only makes it more special to me.
As with everything on Loving Lately, these thoughts are my own experience entirely. Pregnancy, like many experiences in life, is one of the most individual journeys possible. And I think we should see that as as strength. Every baby is unique (as they should be) and every mama is unique so why would we expect to all have the same exact experience? Take what you need from this post and nothing you don’t!
On getting pregnant:
Forgo traditional advice: people’s favorite thing to say: “don’t stress about it or else it won’t work!!!” How anyone thinks this is helpful is beyond me! If we could eliminate stressing about something by just deciding not to, no one would have any problems.
Ask for help: all that being said, when things weren’t happening on the timeline I wanted them to, I did get really stressed about it!!! The game changed for me when I (finally) asked for help from my beloved acupuncturist at The Turning Point here in Frederick. I finally decided I would go in and ask her about fertility and accept that I needed support mentally and emotionally at this time in my life. Find the help you need in a non-judgmental and loving space and open up to the idea that you and your partner don’t have to do all of this alone and that there are supports out there. Whether it was reduced stress and the acupuncture itself, being open to receiving support, or just luck of the draw, I got pregnant that month!
Have a pre-conception checkup, and take care of other pre-baby stuff : this one seems like a no-brainer but if you’re planning for baby, make an appointment with your doctor or gyn to go over your basic health numbers and all reproductive health concerns. Knowing your health information is super important and it’s great to be proactive if you find out you need to do some maintenance. Discuss vitamins and supplements with them as well, and find a great prenatal vitamin (ideally something you can setup on subscribe and save so you don’t have to remember) If you don’t have a primary care doctor, this is the perfect time to get one! I personally also dyed my hair closer to my natural color and got rid of my highlights ahead of getting pregnant so that I didn’t have to keep up with coloring it for safety (and financial) reasons, but this is personal preference.
On first trimester:
Accept the lack of control: The test was POSITIVE! Baby is in total control now! From the moment of conception, your body is essentially no longer your own. Which is wild and crazy and wonderful and uncomfortable at the same time!!
Ask for help: if you’re really struggling through first trimester and it’s affecting your ability to work (for example), talk to either your primary care or midwife/OB. I ended up needing to have a more serious plan for nausea, as that’s something I had a hard time with first trimester and I’m glad I didn’t wait any longer than I did. I didn’t necessarily need to ask for help from my partner for things like cooking and housework, as he is a complete super dad already, but I did need to accept the fact that I needed more help than usual. It triggered a lot in me of feeling like I couldn’t do anything and there were definitely times I felt useless. I don’t like feeling sick (for obvious reasons if you know my medical history), and I had to take time to develop patience for myself. You’re growing a tiny human!!! Take it easy on yourself! - says my husband always
Buy smart products to help you through: my favorites were sea bands (for nausea), crackers and dry cereal ( I had them stashed legit everywhere, my work bag, my bedside table), and a belly band for wearing jeans unbuttoned. I thought I wouldn’t need the last one until baby was bigger but bloating was REAL for my first trimester. Wearing regular jeans was super uncomfortable and having the belly band saved me from having to buy new clothes and/or from being miserable all day. Don’t hesitate to buy products that will help you through this transitional time.
Eat what you can when you can (and exercise when you can). The best laid plans for an exercise-filled and salad loving first trimester may be thrown out the window (like they were for me!). Or maybe you’ll feel incredible! I had weeks where all I ate for dinner all week was toast (maybe only 1 slice too!). This part is hard for partners too, I know it was for us because my husband wanted to be able to provide me excellent nutrition and activity. Do the best you can when you can. This is a hard one to accept. But it’s all ultimately preparing you for something so much greater ahead, and the patience and acceptance here is key because I know I’m going to need those skills as a parent. Easier said than done though, I know!
Drink 3x the amount of water you think you need: OMG YOU NEED SO MUCH WATER WHEN PREGNANT! When I get dehydrated now, I feel like death warmed over.
Revel in the magic: in the first trimester, you grow an entire human and an entire organ from scratch! Your baby has all it’s major organ systems by the end of first trimester. IT IS SO INSANE AND MAGICAL! How is this even possible?!!!!???
I’m full on second trimester and absolutely loving my journey to becoming a MOM! I hope you enjoyed reading a bit about it.