Monday, July 13, 2015

Things To Do in Your First Trimester

Being pregnant is pretty much the craziest time in life.  Assuming morning sickness hasn't taken over your day, things probably seem pretty normal to the outside world: no belly yet, no weird dark line down your stomach while in a bathing suit.  You look the same (with maybe a slightly larger chest), except there's this little being swimming around in your tummy.  
It's usually too early to tell the gender, so can't pick out a name or do a ton of registry items yet.  There's no way you're planning a baby shower so far in advance, and you're probably not even telling your work yet.  Have no fear!  There is still some fun stuff you can do in your first trimester to prep for baby, and to keep your third trimester from being way too busy.  

1. Research.  Don't go crazy; it's easy to fall down the rabbit hole of pregnancy information available both online and in a library/bookstore.  Check out a few reputable sources for the details on what happens during birth, pain options available to you in a hospital or birthing center, what's considered normal during each month of gestation, etc.  I enjoyed having a few apps on my phone to check periodically, as well as a couple of not-scary books to browse on my downtime.  The Mayo Clinic's line of pregnancy and baby books is pretty solid, and I also liked You and Your Baby .  I wish someone had told me how scary and kind-of irritating What to Expect When You're Expecting was, so I will say it hear: pass on this publication.

2 & 3. Now that you have an idea of what you want out of your birth experience, you'll need to  find a good midwife/obstetrician.  This kind of goes hand-in-hand with hospital tours, so we'll lump these together.  
I moved halfway through my pregnancy with August, so just wound up at the first ob practice I could find that delivered at the best hospital in our area.  They took blood at nearly every appointment, did a lot of (unnecessary) tests, and were very sterile.  They had a small office, though, and I had to schedule every ultrasound with a different practice, resulting in more driving and appointments.  Had I done more research, I would have found that they specialize in high-risk pregnancies, which mine was not.  I swore I would find a less invasive practice for the next time around.
When I was pregnant with Bash, I went with a midwife practice close to us, which drew blood only twice and had an ultrasound machine and technician in house.  I really liked the midwives, and the low-key approach to each visit.  However, midwives can't deliver at the hospital I used with August, so I had to use another one, which I did not enjoy nearly as much.  
The point of this long-winded story is that the midwives/doctors and hospitals you use matter.  They can make the birthing experience awesome or a disaster.  Do your research and check out your options.  If you want a water birth, make sure your hospital has the tubs.  If you want a midwife, ensure they have privileges at your chosen hospital.

4. Start a journal. I have done a lousy job of documenting my second pregnancy, and have yet to even write down Bash's birth story (which sounds silly, but I don't want to forget anything!).  Write down your partner's reaction to a positive pregnancy test, keep a list of baby names you like, jot down your fears and joys.  It'll be a hoot to compare your pregnancies, if you have more than one. 

5. It's easy to get overwhelmed and compare yourself to other moms and your pre-pregnant self, so be kind.  To yourself, to your partner, to your pet.  If this is your first pregnancy, it's all new and you're doing the best you can.  If you're too tired to exercise today, nap and try again tomorrow.  If you cry during Mighty Ducks 2 (not that I would know anything about that), laugh it off and blame the hormones.  There is enough going on, so don't add to your stress level.  Do your best to choose kindness.


  1. Hmmmmm! Is there a message here? Is some unnamed person in that first trimester??

    1. A cousin on my side and a cousin on JP's side! We are flush with cousins these days!

  2. Don't know why my comment always posts twice! It's like I'm stuttering!!!