Pregnancy is a nonstop joyride of emotional ups and downs, tears of elation (and terror), weight gain, worry, and wishing time would slow down or speed up, depending on the day. Before Dan and I decided to try for a baby, I knew that actually having one would change our lives forever. But I was totally unprepared for how much would change in the very first second I saw that little pink line.
1. You wonder if you need to get your vision checked. Because no one tells you just how faint that pink line is going to be (especially if you’re like me and you test a day before you’re even supposed to). Seriously, I had picked up what I though was a negative test to throw it away when I saw that barely visible little life-changer.
2. You start thinking of cute ways to tell your husband. But if you’re anything like me, the words will just tumble out of your mouth while you’re cooking breakfast and getting ready to run out the door for work. (He didn’t mind. We had a lot of fun planning how to tell other people in cute ways.)
3. You want to tell everyone and no one. On one hand, on that first day I knew I was pregnant, I was thinking, “How am I supposed to get through my normal work day considering my whole life just changed?!” I wanted to shout the news out loud. And on the other hand, I loved keeping it between just Dan and me for a few days until we told my mom. I also worried about telling people too soon or not soon enough. To be honest, I don’t think it’s ever too soon to share pregnancy news, and well before the second trimester, we shared with the people whom we knew we’d want praying for and supporting us in the event of a miscarriage. Why not celebrate the little life now instead of thinking about what could happen?
4. You question the safety of EVERYTHING. Am I allowed to eat ____ (fill in the blank)? Is my deli meat hot enough? Will jumping jacks cause brain damage? Can I lay on my stomach? Can I get a massage? Can I heat up my food in those plastic storage containers?
5. You Google every single change and symptom you’ll experience in the first trimester. At this point, even the morning sickness sounds exciting.
6. You Google “When will I start to show?” Because baby bellies are the cutest. Also, a few weeks down the road, you’ll wonder whether you’re bloated or if it’s the baby, and you’ll wonder if strangers think you ate a few too many chips with that burrito.
7. You worry about having a miscarriage, and you’ll probably check the toilet paper for blood every single time you go to the bathroom. For real. At 24 weeks, I still do this, even though it’s more of a reflex than a fear at this point.
8. You feel the need to predict the baby’s gender and have that mother’s intuition or whatever. Honestly, I didn’t have a gut feeling at first. Around week 6 I started thinking that it was maybe, possibly, probably a boy, and then at week 12 I decided that Little Bear was absolutely, 100% a girl. And . . . she’s a girl! I attribute this more to a lucky guess than to a mother’s intuition, but I’ll pretend like I just knew her so well all along that I had to be right.
9. You wonder when this whole “eating for two” thing will kick in. Sad truth: Not until the second trimester, and even then, you need only 200 or so extra calories. Darn. Which is exceptionally frustrating because as soon as the nausea passes, you’re ravenous all the time. Don’t you dare come between me and that bag of popcorn (non-GMO, of course, because SAFETY).
10. You feel an intense pressure to have an emotional connection to the baby, but it may not be there yet. I didn’t “feel” pregnant until my belly started to show, and even then, it was hard to believe there was really a tiny human in there. Until that first kick at 15 weeks, I kind of wondered if I was making it all up. And even then, it wasn’t until we found out the gender that I felt like I could really start picturing the baby and connecting with her. The bond may take time, and that’s okay.
11. Your emotions supersize themselves and start spilling out of you without warning. All the tears. All the anger. All the irritation. All the joy. All the shame. All at once. Around 6 weeks, a friend of mine was mad at me, and I snapped at Dan for for taking her side (which he didn’t) and then burst into tears. Actually, maybe that was just me being me, but it sure is nice to be able to blame raging hormones.
12. You feel the urge to figure it out and make lists and decide on a name. Slow down, girlfriend. Babies take 9 months to grow for a reason (well, 8 months from the moment you find out, because that first month is kind of like the free space in BINGO). But now that I’m 24 weeks and have done exactly nothing to get ready for this baby, I’m allowing myself to panic a bit.
13. You feel intense guilt. “I should be eating more greens. I shouldn’t eat that ice cream. I should work out more. I should switch to decaf. I shouldn’t spend money on maternity clothes. I should push through and not take a nap. I’m gaining too much weight. I’m not gaining enough weight. I should breastfeed. I should pump. I should find an organic, sugar-free, humanely produced formula. I should find out about cosleeping. I shouldn’t cosleep. I should have a schedule. I shouldn’t confine baby to a schedule.” The list of things you could feel guilty about during pregnancy and motherhood is never ending. Just stop. Your baby is going to be fine. But for real, take your prenatal vitamins.
14. You become mom. I had a hard time feeling like a mom on my first Mother’s Day, when I was 13 weeks pregnant. Everyone kept saying I was a mom, but I felt unworthy, almost like I was faking it. But you know what? There’s a human baby in your body. Your motherly instincts to protect that baby have already kicked in. You’d be devastated if anything happened to that precious life. You’d lay down your own life for this child. You’re a mom.
15. Everything changes forever . . . and you’ll never look back.15 things that happen the moment you find out you're #pregnant. Click To Tweet