Whether planned or unplanned, once that stick turns pink or the faint little plus sign is visible, everything instantly changes. A few recently noticed changes suddenly make perfect sense, and all of our future plans are up for immediate revision. Oftentimes, the news that we're pregnant comes as a surprise but a happy one. There's something so amazing about carrying a baby inside us that we made ourselves (okay so the dad helped a little but let's be honest, we're doing 90% of the baby-making work here) is a unique sensation that sets us apart from everyone around us and makes us special.
After the suspicions are confirmed and we know for sure that we're actually for real pregnant, the flood of emotions and thoughts that immediately follow can be overwhelming, especially if the pregnancy was a complete surprise.
The very first thing to do is take a deep breath and calm down a little. In the long run, everything will be okay and we'll have only normal parenting things to worry about.
The second thing to do is decide when and how to tell the daddy that his swimmers can swim really well. And the third thing to do is get out the computer or smartphone and look up this list for ideas and some nice comforting reassurance that everything is okay and what follows is totally normal.
15 Frequent Trips To The Loo
Sometimes, one of our first cues that something might be up is our increase visits to the ladies' room. The other one is the obviously missed period. According to The Bump, throughout the pregnancy, our body will be filtering our toxins at an increased rate, the bladder will get squished and we will be upping our water intake. This all translates to an increase bathroom time and visits.
In the early stages though, we might be in there more often to retake the home test two or three times, especially if we want to be certain we get a positive.
Then, we will return once more at the doctor's office to officially confirm what those half dozen home tests already told us. Depending on how far along we are before we test, we might also find ourselves visiting the facilities due to the wonderful effects of morning sickness, which is always fun (translation: it's not really that fun). Morning sickness does not always just affect women in the morning. It can last all day or hit us sporadically. Sometimes, you may not even get sick, you may just get nauseous. You will want a clean bathroom for all of these visits.
14 To Share Or Not To Share
Most women wait a week or two after their missed period to do a home pregnancy test, which puts them around five or six weeks into the pregnancy and firmly in the first trimester. Many women do not see any signs of pregnancy until that missed cycle. Once the mother gets a positive test, a rush of emotions runs through her. This then creates the conundrum of whether to tell everyone or not. Miscarriages occur in the first trimester more frequently than the other two trimesters. This can prompt many women to curb their excitement for 12 to 14 weeks, which is a long time to hold back such a big secret.
This can offer us some comfort in case something is to go wrong. The Bump says it's safe to tell our partner, however, as he will most likely notice if something's up anyway. We can even share the announcement with him in a fun way to share with others later. Some of us may feel comfortable telling one or two super close besties and maybe our mom before we make the big announcement. They will likely understand, support us if something goes wrong, celebrate with us and definitely keep our secret.
13 Grab A Life Jacket
Remember that flood of emotions we mentioned? Well, here it comes. Reader’s Digest says we've often got shock, surprise, giddy happiness, disappointment, sadness, worry, fear, and apprehension all within microseconds of each other and all for different but similar reasons and all triggered by the little pink plus sign on the plastic stick.
After a few moments, one or two emotions will come out as dominant and these we'll latch onto as we calm down and begin the process of accepting the news and poking at it mentally. This is absolutely normal.
We may not feel ready to welcome a new baby into the world, but we may simultaneously be ecstatic that there is finally a baby on the way.
We move on to the happier emotions which then progress over to: “How do I tell the daddy?” which gives us something productive to think about and plan—distracting us temporarily from the less pleasant things we have to think about. Daddy will likely feel a range of emotions, too, but you are in this together. We will get that giddy tingly sensation in our tummies when we are super happy, which is a sweet reminder that there is a baby growing in there!
12 Break The Bank
One of the very first things we will think about in those crucial first moments after the test comes back positive is our financial situation. Most of us are probably working two jobs between us (sometimes more) and are saving up for something like a new car or a house someday, or we are just barely getting by living paycheck to paycheck. Either way, the news of a new baby immediately makes us wonder, how on earth we can afford it? Not only do we have to save to get all of the necessary things for welcoming a baby into the world, but many of us also want to start saving for their college funds.
One reassuring thought is that most of us can afford a baby. The Bump says it will just make things a bit tighter and involve dropping some unnecessary expenses. Some bill juggling will happen but in the end, it'll be worth it and we won't really miss those movie dates, expensive restaurants, or expensive coffees as often as we think we will. With coupons and sales, as well as discount and wholesale websites, it can become increasingly easy to save money while we shop.
11 Where To Put The Baby
Another thought we'll have is, where are we going to put the baby? It is a tiny thing when it's born so storage should not be a problem, but it's also going to grow and babies acquire an insane amount of junk despite being brand new. If we have a spare bedroom, problem solved and we can start thinking about paint schemes.
But if we are crammed into a studio apartment, a mobile home, or have a roommate situation, then things will get a bit tight—especially if moving or kicking out the roommate are not exactly viable options.
Love To Know says one option that works for some people is to co-sleep with the baby and rearrange the bedroom to squeeze in a compact crib for when the baby gets older. For the first few months, many of us want to be as close to the baby as possible, especially to try to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. As the child gets older, a room of their own may be best. This can wait until they are about a year, giving plenty of time to sort out options. Swapping out outgrown gear, clothes, and toys instead of holding onto them also keeps space freed for current needs.
10 Going Cold Turkey
One of the causes for feeling sad during that initial flood of emotions is that we have to give up adult beverages for the next eight to ten months. If we have been trying to conceive, we might have already given up booze or if we have suspected that this period will be missed then some of us might drop the drinking as a precaution. The Bump says the rest of us will have to go cold turkey on partying it up. Even if we are not chronic drinkers, losing that occasional treat of a cocktail or glass of vino can be sad and hard to adapt to.
The good news is we can keep eating chocolate, and depending on which source we decide to go with, we can have one or two glasses of wine toward the third trimester—you know, to help with preterm labor. Instead of drinking booze, we want to drink things that will hydrate us. One of the main recommendations is to increase water intake. The Bump recommends switching it up with sparkling water or fruit infused water to prevent your palette from getting too bored. These healthy habits may help us postpartum as well.
9 Calendar Checks
Once that initial flood of emotions starts to calm down, we might exit the bathroom or settle in for a short stay and whip out our phone calendar to do some quick math. Most healthy full-term pregnancies are about nine months, or 40 weeks, long.
Many of us want to find out what life events we will be pregnant for and when we will be due, especially if we think it is close to the holidays. The Bump says
first-timers tend to go over the due date so tacking on an extra week or two is a safe bet.
Typically, a due date is calculated from the date of the first day of the last period (even those the first two weeks are non-pregnant weeks) and goes forty weeks from there, give or take a day. Sometimes, as per The Bump, it is common to add two to three weeks to the first date of the period to determine the date of conception. If the period date is unknown, then an ultrasound will be performed for measurements and an estimated due date and conception date can be given. At any rate, even knowing the month is better than winging it.
8 Start Spreadin' The News
So now that we have calmed down, have an estimated due date in our head and have probably told our man about our growing secret, we are probably going to circle back to how and when to tell everyone else in our lives. Once the core people are taken care of, that leaves everyone else. Obviously, it is more fun to plan something with the help of Google or Pinterest than to just say, "I am pregnant, how is Aunt Edna?" Some people will take pictures to announce their pregnancy, others will play games, and some people make t-shirts for everyone.
Telling our boss might not need that extra touch like telling Grandma though, especially depending on the relationship you have with your boss. And then comes the question of when we will tell. The Bump reports sometimes announcing it during a family gathering can be fun while other times we are more comfortable waiting a few extra weeks and posting something on Facebook. Waiting until we are visibly pregnant is fun, but will take a while too. It is ultimately up to each and every one of us to determine when the right time to tell the family is.
7 What's Up Doc?
One of the less fun things to do after we get a positive pregnancy test is to call up our doctor and make an appointment or (even more fun), start researching local doctors who take our insurance and schedule an appointment with them. Some of us get stressed out around doctors, especially when this may be our first pregnancy experience. Love To Know says finding the right doctor will be a fairly involved process and could take the entire pregnancy or just a week depending on our luck in finding a good one.
It is important to find a doctor that has beliefs and methods that align with your thoughts and feelings.
Avoiding conflict during pregnancy, specifically with the doctor, is super important. At any rate, getting the official pregnancy confirmation is the first stepping stone. From there, we can get picky about which one we want at the birth or decide on a midwife instead if that is what we would rather do than the standard hospital birth. We have a lot of research ahead of us in the birth options department and several months to work on it, so no immediate rush. It is great to have a plan in place early, just so we can focus on other important things.
6 Ah, Food
If we conduct a simple Google search, one of the top results will likely involve something along the lines of the perfect pregnancy diet plan. The Bump says there's some standard no-nos like booze, smoking, raw fish or eggs, excessive caffeine, and things of the like, but the finer details range from plan to plan. Most agree that limiting our junk food intake is a good idea (we should be doing that anyway), and increasing our fruits and vegetables is always a good idea. We want to focus on foods that are high in protein, as those will keep us satisfied and will minimize any nausea we may experience.
Having small snacks on hand that are considered healthy can help us keep on track with our diets. Taking a prenatal vitamin is essential for women who don't eat a very clean and balanced diet, especially in the first trimester as they help baby develop and thrive, while giving us what we need as well. Pregnancy cravings will help with food selection if we know how to interpret them correctly. If we crave sweets, opt for fruit like oranges or apples, as we probably need the vitamin C from them. Everything is a balance and no diet plan should be followed without consulting with a physician first.
5 "Morning" Sickness
Contrary to the name, morning sickness can strike at any time during the day, and while it usually clears up by the second trimester, sometimes it sticks around for longer. And unless we are one of the few lucky gals who never get morning sickness, we will all have to deal with it to a certain degree for a period of time. The Bump reports that it can range from mild nausea to full on frequent vomiting, to the point where we can't keep anything down and just want to sleep.
It can drain us completely.
Celebrities, such as Kate Middleton, have experienced such extreme morning sickness that they needed medical intervention. It can be daunting. Alongside our faithful, worried man, we consume everything on the Internet that can help soothe the riotous tummy and feed us, with mixed success. What works for one mama to be may not work for all of us. Our bodies need and want different things. It is important to drink a lot of water in order to stay hydrated. We have to take it one day and one meal at a time at this stage. It won't last forever, the baby will be here soon.
4 Maternity Leave Woes
At some point, usually after the first trimester but before the third one, we have to sit down and talk to our boss about maternity leave. Love to Know says it's a good idea to look up our company's policy on maternity leave and see if they have paternity leave too, though that is less crucial than our leave for some obvious reasons. We will probably want a minimum of six weeks starting the week before we are due or the week we are due depending on when the magical date falls and how we feel. In some instances, we may get placed on bed rest early due to preeclampsia or another complication from pregnancy.
In some instances, our employer may allow us to work from home, but others may require us to start our maternity leave. Sometimes we can combine it with earned sick leave and vacation days to extend our bonding time with our baby. Many moms will try to save up all of that time and will consult with their employer about if that is allowed. Eventually, time runs out. Sometimes when that leave is drawing close, we will have to decide if we actually want to go back to work or not.
3 Books Ahoy
Depending on our prefaces and personality type, another thing we will probably want to do after finding our we are pregnant for the first time will be to learn more about this mysterious condition that we have never had to research before. Bouncing over to the local bookstore or hopping online to Ebay or another bookseller can result in a cartload of selections to further enlighten us and prepare us for the next nine months.
Sometimes we need only one or two books on hand to skim, while other times we will consume everything that looks remotely pregnancy-related.
Love To Know recommends talking to our doctor, women we trust, and doing a quick Google search to help fill in some of the information blanks. And then there are pregnancy journals to look at! Love To Know recommends looking at the American Pregnancy Association website as well as the Pregnancy Help Line to gain resources that we may not have known were there. Educating ourselves is key to a successful pregnancy. Not only do these sources guide moms through pregnancy, but also through the stages of their child’s life and what postpartum life is like.
2 Window Shopping
The knowledge that we are pregnant can change our shopping habits dramatically. While we had never had a reason for it before, now we might find ourselves wandering down the baby aisle of the store while running errands.
When to start shopping for our baby is a varied and much-discussed topic among moms and moms-to-be, but one thing we can certainly do now is window shop and start a baby registry online, as per Parents. They usually have some helpful guidelines and doing some research on what we will actually need verses what we will just waste our money on can be a fun way to occupy our time while we lay in bed waiting for the nausea to die down long enough for us to try eating again.
A baby shower is probably in our future as well. It is important to think about what we may be adding to our registries. Many people assume that they should only put newborn related things on their registry. We must remember that this child is going to need a variety of items for the next eighteen years. Registering beyond the newborn age could be greatly beneficial and can save us money in the future.
1 Savor The Moment
Finally, one of the most important things we can and should do after that stick turns pink is too stop and savor the moment. Letting the news and the altered reality wash over us and settle in can be a very calming sensation and help with that emotional flood, says The Bump. Our whole life has just changed and we are going to have a little baby before the year is over. This is amazing and exciting. It may take a little bit to set in and feel real, but once it does it hits hard.
The next step is to celebrate, of course.
We can celebrate the entire pregnancy and again when the baby comes. There are so many different elements of pregnancy for us to celebrate! We can celebrate when we announce the pregnancy, celebrate the halfway point, celebrate the end of the morning sickness, have a gender reveal party, attend a baby shower with our friends, celebrate that we are full term and due any day now and celebrate that we are in active labor. Of course, one of the biggest celebrations will come when the baby is in our arms, looking back at us. That is a celebration unlike any other.