One of the first rules of writing is write about what you know. If there is one thing that in the last 13 years I have become somewhat of an expert on it is the blissful state of pregnancy. I know a lot of new moms who are anxious, excited and generally crapping their pants about not only becoming a mother but having their body taken over for the next nine months. Over the next few Tuesdays I will take you through the wondrous process of pregnancy, delivery, and breastfeeding. This is all the things that I wish someone would have told me before I got pregnant.
The first doctor's appointment
Congratulations! You have officially discovere that you are pregnant. With technology we can now find out within days that indeed your are with child! Your mind is buzzing. You find people talk to you and your mind is off somewhere calculating dates, thinking of baby names, and every time you think of that little creature growing inside of you a secret smile comes to your face. You may already be experiencing morning sickness, bloating, and the sense of smell of a drug sniffing airport dog. I got caught by my next door neighbor the second time I was pregnant because of this interesting early side effect of pregnancy. I opened the door to her house and walked in to the most amazing smell from the kitchen. I exclaimed, "that smells so amazing!" She replied,"How many months are you?" I have always been a lousy secret keeper but she saw through me instantly and I told her I would have to go home and break the news to my mom since I hadn't told her yet! On the other hand things that smell yucky are also amplified a million times. With my last pregnancy everything smelled like armpits, butt and dog pee which only aggravated my weak stomach.
If this is your first pregnancy you will probably run to the doctor the day after you pee on the stick. It seems a bit less urgent with subsequent pregnancies as you realize no matter how soon you go you are still going to be pregnant for the next nine months. Going to the doctor that first time when you are pregnant is a bit overwhelming and is a lot like going on a first date. You think to yourself as you are preparing.....do I wear the socks or take them off? Do I shave or don't I shave? You may think this may be a good place to drag your husband but trust me he has done his part and won't be any good to you now at least until your first craving for ice cream and burgers at midnight. Prepare yourself for some poking and proding including a breast exam, pelvic exam and being weighed and measured. Only a few of those things usually happen on a first date but all of them happen on your first doctor's exam. If this is not your first pregnancy I would suggest taking your other child to a sitter for this appointment. We walked into my first appointment and Carson asked the doctor, "are you and my mom going to make a baby?" I found it is hard to explain to a two year old why I was peeing in a cup and is he allowed to do that when you get home, (at least he was able to pass me toilet paper under the door because there wasn't any in the stall), why I was taking your pants off in public when you have told him over and over and over to leave his pants on, why on earth I was on that table and what is that guy doing to me with that popsicle stick!
My advice is to enjoy every stage of pregnancy. I have been guilty of announcing to the world two minutes after I was pregnant but there is something wonderful about you and your partner sharing in that knowledge that your entire lives are going to change in unexpected and wonderful ways over the next few months and for the rest of your lives. It is fun to have that secret just between the two of you. When I found out I was pregnant with Ellie, Pat and I kept it to ourselves for quite a long time and when we finally did tell our families my brother didn't have much to say other than, "you know you can do that just for fun."
Here is one of my favorite quotes:
Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.
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