The first trimester of pregnancy can be incredibly scary and overwhelming, and if you are here reading this I hope that you take my advice on the 5 things I wish I knew during my first trimester. I learned the hard way on most of these, but truly believe that every future mama deserves better for themselves.
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Congratulate yourself. Getting pregnant is a huge feat! The possibilities of everything working perfectly to create a tiny embryo is absolutely amazing and should be celebrated! It might be scary, unplanned, or perhaps long awaited for years and years, whatever the circumstances I truly believe it should be celebrated. When Mr. Rodeo and I first learned we were expecting I had some moments of freak out. “It’s too early” “It’s not the right time”, “What if people think we got pregnant before the wedding?!”. Now that I think about those thoughts I am angry I ever thought them. Sure it’s scary, but it deserves to be celebrated! Take a moment, evening or weekend to just celebrate the fact that you have accomplished something amazing.
Pregnancy Isn’t Perfect
I have always dreamed about the type of pregnancy I would have. I was going to be flawlessly elegant as I noshed on organic fat free foods and rocked the perfect wardrobe. The truth is, you can’t guess how your pregnancy is going to go. You really have little control over how your body will react to pregnancy. I was sick, horrifically sick during my first trimester. I ate NOTHING but cinnamon and brown sugar pop tarts for a solid 6 weeks, getting so dehydrated from vomiting that I was only able to sip coca-cola on occasion and even needing IV fluids at times in the ER. My perfect pregnancy I had envisioned for years was just a distant dream. Pregnancy isn’t perfect for everyone, it’s a journey that you can’t predict. Be nice to yourself as your perfect vision of what is “supposed to happen” doesn’t completely come to fruition.
I stole my own joy with a type of fear I had never before experienced.
Stop Googling Things
Since our pregnancy was not planned I hadn’t taken much time in life to educate myself on what would/could happen during the first trimester. I became obsessed with reading about what was going to happen to my body, what what happening to the baby, what could possibly go wrong, what every pain and twing meant. And that’s when it happened, I started reading comments on forums, and 90% of them did not have happy endings. There were story after story of painful loses that I could barely stomach. I became absolutely convinced that I would lose the baby because I read so many stories of babies being miscarried. I stole my own joy with a type of fear I had never before experienced. That’s when my husband intervened, and thankfully he did. Like a teenager he demanded that I stop using my phone to look up every terrible thing that could happen. Once I set the phone aside and just enjoyed the moment the stress of losing the baby, or something developing incorrectly eased away. Pregnancy is stressful, don’t add to the stress by looking up every little thing that could go wrong. Instead, I would highly recommend that you purchase one or two books and use them as a guide! Here is my favorite.
If You are Sick, CALL YOUR DOCTOR
As I have mentioned before, we were not planning on making a baby so early in our marriage, so I was a bit uninformed on what to expect. I honestly thought that being sick constantly was just “morning sickness”, I thought that losing weight, being dehydrated and barely able to drive more than 2 miles without vomiting was a normal pregnancy. Once I finally told my mother about how sick I truly was she demanded that I call my doctor right away. My OB was immensely helpful, making sure I was given medication, eating instructions, tips of overcoming the nausea and other helpful comments. The nurses in my OB’s office were sympathetic and reassured me that I should not be that sick and tried everything to make me better. If I had not called I am not sure if I would have lived, I was so severely dehydrated and weak. So ladies, don’t be afraid to call your OB over ANYTHING! They are truly there to help and want the best for you and for your baby.
Traditional “Rules” Don’t Always Apply
You will read lots of places to wait to share your news with the world once you find out you are pregnant. There is an increased chance of losing baby during the first 12 weeks of your pregnancy, and it has been advised to not tell anyone until you hit the 12 week mark. I found out that those “rules” are in fact archaic and should really be looked at on a case-by-case basis. Mr. Rodeo and I held off as long as we could to tell anyone (We found out at 3.5 weeks that we were excepting) waiting 4 weeks after a positive test to tell our parents. We waited until 8 weeks to tell a few key friends and week 10 to tell siblings. I wish we would have told our family sooner. I was so ill that I could have used the support and help earlier. And it turns out, if we would have miscarried in the first trimester I would have wanted my family to know sooner, to be more understanding, and not have to tell them after the fact.
This applies not just to family, but to work as well. I have a great boss and a very family oriented work place, I held off as long as I could to tell my boss what was going on, but I also wish I would have told them sooner. They were so understanding and helpful when it came to my illness that I suffered unnecessarily for weeks before I did tell them. Obviously every situation is different, but look at your life and really think about where you would want support from if something bad did happen, then tell people accordingly.
P.S. we chose not to do a formal “Facebook” announcement until much later in our pregnancy, but I truly felt telling certain people face to face was a huge blessing and was grateful for the support once we did tell them.
Now mama, pregnancy is HARD! It isn’t easy to grow a human from scratch, so give yourself a break. Try to take advice from a mama that suffered unnecessarily because she didn’t know. I pray that your first trimester goes much more smoothly than mine. Take time to enjoy the moment, smother yourself in prayer, and keep on with life, I promise it will be easier and the fear with ease, the joy will grow and life will turn out just as God is planning it.
This new mama bear, Monee