Moms never forget their first pregnancy, but they may wish they could forget it when they're in the middle of the second trimester and, well, a little miserable. Between the morning sickness, and the various body changes, and the growing anxiety that you're not cut out for this "mom" responsibility...it's a lot to ask from anyone. You may look at your life, at all its sudden changes, and you may wish you were already five years down the road.
Yet, looking back, you will cherish these moments. You may not believe it, but some day, you will remember your first pregnancy fondly. In time, your fears will fade away, and you'll be left with the happy moments: you'll remember surprising your partner with the good news, or feeling your baby kick for the first time, and you'll smile just a little.
You may even miss this, morning sickness at all, because no matter how many children you have, your first is a milestone that can never be replaced. That's why it's important for expectant mothers to record their experiences in a journal or blog.
In this article, we'll take you through a couple of the most fleeting moments of pregnancy. As you pass these moments, you might not recognize their importance until they have passed. Do yourself a favor and record everything that you're feeling and experiencing when these moments come so that someday, you can remember exactly how it felt to be young and expecting your first baby.
15 When The Test Came Back Positive
A positive pregnancy test can invoke many complicated feelings in a soon-to-be mother. You may have felt startled at first, unable to believe the two pink lines were telling the truth. If you and your partner had been trying to get pregnant for a long time, you may even burst into tears and feel like it's too good to be true.
Sometimes, not all emotions that come up are happy. It's normal if you feel a surge of anxiety as you process your new pregnancy. You may feel afraid of the future and how your partner will handle this new addition, or if you'll be able to provide a safe environment for this new child to grow. Pregnancy itself may also frighten you, and you may tense up at the idea of childbirth or the months leading up to it.
From euphoria to nervousness and anything in-between, you may feel the full spectrum of emotions as you realized that finally, this was real and that in nine months, you would be a mother. Now that's a lot to take in!
14 Telling Your Partner
If reading your positive test sent shivers down your spine, telling your partner may have been enough to put you into shock. But oh, what an emotional moment. From the moment you have a child onward, you and your spouse's relationship splits into two: everything before the baby and everything after. Nothing will ever be the same again, and as you tell your partner the news, it may finally hit you just how much will change.
Whether you tell your partner in a cute and creative way or you sit them down for a heart-to-heart, neither you or your partner will ever forget this moment. You will never forget the spark in their eyes when you tell them a few months from now, they will be a parent. You will never forget how much you love them in that moment, and how you can feel the bond between you two strengthening as you realize your home is about to grow from two to three.
Remember this moment when times get hard. Think about it, and think about how much you love your spouse, and you might feel that any physical pain gets a little easier to deal with.
13 Day One Of Morning Sickness
You thought it wouldn't happen to you, but like clockwork sent from the devil itself, out goes the period and in comes morning sickness. Nausea usually hits around the sixth week of pregnancy, and it can last for a month or longer. Yet when you're curled up near your bathroom's toilet for weeks on end, you may feel like you have been dry heaving for an eternity.
Morning sickness rarely pops up in anyone's favorite parts about pregnancy but for some, it makes them realize just what is happening. Why does it take vomiting and an inability to stand up without regretting it for women to realize that they're new mothers? Who knows. What we do know is that your first day of morning sickness is a milestone that says a) your body is one-hundred percent normal and b) you're in for the long haul.
If you're feeling sick now, try to rest, hit up the saltine crackers, and pray that whatever pregnancy god is up there will go a little easier on you. But also remember to record this moment, if not for nostalgic purposes then to remember in future situations that you have had it worse.
12 Buying First Pair Of Maternity Clothes
Nothing says "I'm having a baby" like shopping in the maternity section... except maybe this shirt. Besides that, though, you may start really feeling the changes in your body as you need to shift to the maternity isle if you want new clothes. There's no denying it now: you're pregnant, and you've got the growing baby to prove it.
Some love their maternity clothes while others can't stand them. If you're part of the second camp, remember that a changing body is a sign that you're adjusting well to the pregnancy and that your child is more likely to be born healthy.
If you're having a little trouble pushing your pride away as you walk into the maternity section, remind yourself that any weight distribution changes are okay. You have a tiny human inside of you. If you didn't need maternity clothes, that would be a concern. Love them or hate them, however, write down your first experience so you can remember this big shift.
11 Hearing The Heartbeat For The First Time
Your baby's heartbeat may start as early as 4-6 weeks into the pregnancy, but it may not click in your mind that you're going to be a mother until you hear your baby's heartbeat. A heartbeat is a symbol of life, and you may become a little choked up when you hear your baby's heart for the first time. That soft, yet strong little pulse belongs to your child, and if you didn't feel a connection to them before, you may after this special moment.
If you have an early ultrasound, you may not be able to hear your baby's heartbeat right away. This is normal, so don't panic: a fetal heartbeat may not be picked up by an obstetrical doppler until 12-13 weeks into the pregnancy. If, for whatever reason, you have an earlier appointment, your clinician may not be able to locate a heartbeat.
10 Feeling The Baby Move
Fetal movement, called "quickening," can begin as early as week 15 in your pregnancy. You're more likely to feel your baby when everything's still and you're able to give a deeper attention to your body. Some pregnant women describe fetal movement like "butterflies in your stomach." Others relate it more to a tumbling sensation. Others still have a hard time describing it, and with little wonder: this is one of the first real connections you have with your baby, and you may feel at a loss.
As the years pass and you watch your baby grow from infant to child, try to remember these little moments when you could feel your baby move inside of you. Remember how, even then, you knew how much you loved them and that they meant so much to you. Use these moments to bond with your baby for the first time and reflect as the years pass on how it felt to slowly ease into motherhood.
9 Going To The First Ultrasound And Seeing The Baby
If we're being honest with ourselves, ultrasound pictures aren't too much to look at. You and your partner may think your baby looks more like ET the Extra-Terrestrial then you two, if the ultrasound picture is any indication. But even if that's true, you'll still feel elated when you and your spouse look through ultrasound pictures.
With every week and new milestone that passes, your pregnancy will feel more real, and so will your baby. This is an exciting but also a sobering feeling, and your ultrasound may make you realize how big of shoes you and your spouse are filling by preparing to become parents. Take a moment to reflect on your feelings in a journal, not only to look back on later but also to make sense of the many emotions you may be experiencing.
8 Discovering Child's Gender
As long as your baby's healthy, you'll love them whether they're a boy or a girl. That being said, though, finding out your baby's gender is one of the most exciting parts of pregnancy. Now you can finally do a little more than window shopping for baby clothes, you can more seriously narrow your list of possible baby names, and you can picture your future baby that much more clearly than before.
When you know whether you're having a boy or a girl, have a heart-to-heart with your journal or a loved one to process your feelings. Although gender is only a small fraction of who your baby will be, it is still very exciting to find out which sex your baby will be. Allow yourself to feel exciting, and think about how you want to raise your new son or daughter to make your home one that is loving and accepting.
7 Having First "Mom-to-Mom Talk" With Your Mother
If you're like most women lucky enough to grow up with a loving mom, you've come to your mom for all sorts of advice. When you had your first kiss, she was the one who stayed up with you late at night hearing all about it. During your first semester of college, you couldn't have survived without her guidance, compassion, and copious care packages.
Sometimes, especially if you're the oldest in your family, you may feel like you're alone. Know that your mom is here for you and can help you through it. Nobody knows what you're going through when you're expecting better than your mom, and she made it through: after all, you turned out alright. If you need anything from a second opinion to a shoulder to cry on, your mom is here for you.
Talking with your mother as you begin your journey to parenthood is one of the defining moments of your life. Here you cross the threshold from child to parent, and you become not only your parent's child but their friend. Use this opportunity to connect more deeply with your mother and feel grateful that she sacrificed so much time and energy to raise you. If you're lucky enough that you grew up in a loving household with your mother still alive, ask her how she made it through. You may realize you have more in common than you think.
6 Your First Weird, Inexplicable Food Craving
Here you thought they were joking about the pickles and ice cream thing. No, it is not a myth: you really do develop strange and seemingly-inexplicable food cravings after your morning sickness days are over. Why? Your new and, er, exotic food tastes may come from a variety of sources, but most likely, your body is responding to nutrition deficiencies and hormonal changes in odd, mysterious ways.
While you may feel perplexed and maybe even a little embarrassed when you develop a taste for random foods and combinations, but listen to your gut. Find out what nutritional deficiency you may lack, and get it taken care of ASAP for you and your baby's sake.
In the mean time, let yourself laugh a little when you send your spouse out at three in the morning to pick up bacon-covered maple bars at the gas station because you need it. Write it down so you can look back later and laugh with less blushing.
5 Finding A Name That Fits The Baby Perfectly
Now that you know the gender, you and your spouse need to start picking the perfect name for your baby. Will you go traditional and find a name from your family tree? Or will you go a little more modern, perhaps relying on a certain culture or with an eye towards the unusual?
No pressure, but picking your baby's name is kind of a big deal. Regardless of the name, your baby will grow into it. Even so, though, you'll want to make it right. Pick a name that means a lot to you and spend lots of time thinking it over to make sure you have the right name. When you've got it, you'll know after they're born: you'll look into their eyes, and you'll realize that you can't imagine calling your baby anything else.
4 The First Contraction: Not The Most Pleasant Milestone, But Totally A Memorable One
Brace yourself: contractions are coming. As you near the end of your third trimester, you may begin feeling contractions as your body warms up for childhood. Now, now, don't act too thrilled about it. Contractions are painful, sometimes as much as labor itself, and you may be in a lot of pain while worrying about what your labor will be like.
But despite all the pain, these contractions are a good sign. Look at it as your body nearing towards the finish line and getting ready to bring your baby into the new world. The pain will pass, but the memories of these last days before the baby comes will remain important in your mind as long as you live.
Remember how these last weeks felt. Remember how anxious and, yet, a little excited the contractions made you. Take care of yourself and remember to time your contractions as the weeks draw nearer to your birth date.
3 Going Into Labor And "It's Finally Time."
There are convenient and then there are inconvenient places for labor. Monitor your body carefully to avoid getting yourself in a sticky situation without a quick way to the hospital. No matter where it happens, though, you will remember the moment that your labor began. Your panic and excitement will stick with you long after it's over.
Naturally, you can't write in your journal on the way to the delivery room, but try to capture the moment later on. You'll thank yourself later, years after the delivery is over and all you have are fading memories. This moment will be one of the scariest yet most exciting times of your life, and you'll want to look back on it often.
2 Checking Into The Hospital, Knowing You Will Come Home A Mom
On the day of your delivery, you and your spouse enter the hospital a couple and leave parents. If there was a moment where you could have gone back, you passed it long ago. In what will feel like a few moments for you two, you will begin the bumpy, rewarding road that is parenthood. All you have to do is survive until your labor's finished.
During your labor, you will feel so many emotions: you will be afraid, you'll be euphoric, you'll feel pain, but you'll also feel great joy. As you look back and wonder how you made it through your delivery at all, remember how excited you were for this baby and the rush of adrenaline you felt as you came into the hospital with your partner. This pregnancy was far from easy, but you know it changed your life for the better.
1 Holding The Baby In Your Arms For The First Time
How can we begin to do justice to this moment? Holding your new baby is like saying hello to an old friend that you feel like you've known forever. You will love them more than you have loved anyone else in your life (besides maybe your partner). You will love everything about them. You will marvel at how tiny, yet strong your baby is and so grateful they were born into your family.
Holding your baby for the first time can be an overwhelming feeling, and a feeling you have earned. As you cuddle your newborn for the first time, think of all it took to get them here and the fleeting moments leading up to this moment. Here begins the next chapter of the rest of your life.