Between online pregnancy message boards, your doctor's orders, and advice passed down from been-there-done-that mom friends, the list of things you're going to have to shelve for awhile -- definitely sushi, probably heels, definitely cocktails, probably caffeine -- is likely giving you a surge of oh-my-goodness-how-am-I-going-to-survive panic. (Full disclosure: Skipping tuna rolls for nine months had us bummed out, too).
With such a long list of "lasts" (at least for now), it's easy to forget there's a whole bunch of "firsts" you're about to experience, too. Most will have you feeling complete glee, some will have you belly laughing, and a few will have you asking, "How many more months of this?" But all of them will be memorable. Here's to the next crazy-amazing-wonderful-emotional nine months, and the pregnancy milestones that will mark them.
The first time you see a positive pregnancy testLong before the days of deeply staring into sonogram photos to determine if it's a boy or a girl (oh, those days are coming!) you'll first find yourself hunched over a pregnancy test looking to see if there's one line or two. And just like that -- there are two! Things that are completely acceptable to do when you see your first positive pregnancy test: scream loud enough for your neighbors to hear, do a full-on happy-dance, cry ugly tears -- and repeat. You. Are. Pregnant!
The first time you get to say: "I'm going to be a mom"Nothing beats letting your partner know that he's going to be a dad, or calling to tell your mom that she's going to be a grandma. And when you're confident enough to gush to your closest friends and family that you're having a baby, your happiness level reaches an all-time high. Hello, cloud nine hundred. No tuna roll, what?
The first time you understand "morning" sickness is "all-day" sicknessAll of a sudden you can't keep down breakfast, lunch, dinner -- or even your go-to mid-day smoothie. Blah. Before you call up your friends with kids and wail about why they didn't clue you in on this whole morning sickness business, just try to keep in mind those waves of nausea generally subside after the first trimester, and then it's all "hello, fried pickles!"
The first time you can't fit into your jeansYou go to throw on your favorite pair of pants and all of a sudden that zipper won't go up even an inch, and your trusty hair-elastic-around the button-hole hack is no longer cutting it. Before you try to awkwardly wiggle yourself into them anyway, only to realize they still won't go on and you end up in a hormone-surged breakdown, remember: maternity jeans are actually cute now, and they don't all have that yucky above-the-belly stretch thing going on. Feeling stylish and comfy? Date night is totally back on again.
The first time you Facebook a bump picThis isn't your mama's pregnancy! Posting your first "I'm expecting" update to social media is exciting -- and seeing the comments of support rolling in from friends and family both near and fear will give you even more fluttery feelings of happiness. (May we suggest "I'm growing a human" as a status update?) And looking back at your weekly bump photos to see how you rocked everything from a basketball-sized bump to an I-swallowed-a-whale belly is fun.
The first time you buy something for your babyWhether it's an itty-bitty pair of shoes or a stuffed lovie, bringing home something special for your soon-to-arrive sweet pea will have your heart pumping with love. It drives home that wonderfully giddy feeling that you're actually going to have a little roommate soon. But consider yourself warned: Those little rompers are so cute, you'll be tempted to buy one, five, or thirty! Just remember that you will have a baby shower where you'll be totally spoiled. Not to mention the fact that your baby will probably live in an all-in-one or sleeper for the first month.
The first time you get to hear your baby's heartbeatWhen your doctor hooks you up to hear that little heartbeat for the first time, the room will fill with a pulsing thump that's sure to overwhelm you with feel-good emotions. It's true, mama -- there's a little person waiting to meet you in there.
The first time you can no longer see your feetYour barely-there bump is now protruding out far enough that it's tough just to get a glimpse of your toes or touch up your pedicure or to even see if you're actually wearing matching flats. Sigh. It may feel like a bit of a drag, especially when your feet are so swollen you can barely get your shoes on (or -- eek! -- you discover you've outgrown them), but just remember, if your belly is growing, your baby is getting stronger and healthier -- and you're one step closer to meeting your little love.
The first time you have a weird cravingYou plop down with a pint of mint chip ice cream, and before you know it, you're craving chocolate-covered bacon on top and maybe some French fries to dip in it, too -- because, hello, pregnancy cravings are real. This is what DVR was invented for. Pause your Orange is the New Black binge-watching session and send your partner out on a Code Red mission to hunt down your crazy cravings. Just make sure he doesn't leave without his phone because right now it's bacon and French fries and in ten minutes it will be vinegar-flavored potato chips and chocolate sauce. Trust us.
The first time you have an awkward convo with your doctorYou used to be turn slightly red when your doctor asked specific details about your period. Now you're unabashedly candid about hemorrhoids, discharge, and everything else that comes with pregnancy. Yep, been there. You may wish you had your filter back, but being open with your physician about your health is important.
The first time you hear the gender of your babyTeam Blue or Pink? Many parents count down in anticipation of finding out what sex their little bundle of joy is going to be. And with all of the new gender party reveal ideas, it adds a whole new level of fun and excitement.
The first time someone touches your bellyWe won't lie -- strangers are going to want to rub your belly. If you aren't comfortable with someone handling your bump like they're picking out a watermelon, give a quick smile and make a beeline elsewhere. Or wear a maternity tee that says "Hands Off."
The first time you feel your baby kickIt will happen when you least expect it -- when you're folding laundry, walking down the street, or in the middle of a work meeting -- but around 20 weeks or so, your sweetie will give you a little nudge to let you know she's there. Stop and appreciate it -- that's called magic.
The first time someone comments on your size"Are you expecting twins?" "Are you sure?" "Whoa, any day now, huh?" Cue the eye rolls. Actually there's just one baby in there. And since you mentioned it, you just entered your third trimester. Ugh. We get it -- it's totally annoying when it feels like you're wearing a sign that says, "Make rude and inappropriate comments to me." Whether you feel indifferent, pissed off, or you sort of like the attention (hey, sometimes people just say you're glowing!), try to keep in mind that when someone comments on your pregnancy, it's usually coming from a place of them wanting to bond over the experience with you.
The first time you can't get up on your ownYou go to get up from your chair and -- nothing. It's like the weight of your bump has you glued into place. Don't freak out, mama-to-be! Once you reach month seven (or even earlier, we don't judge), the awkward size and heaviness of your belly can make it hard to even stand up. This goes for getting out of bed in the morning, too. You might need your partner to give you a little push to get enough momentum to crawl out of bed. Just roll with it -- literally.
The first time you feel a contractionYou've been warned that towards the end of your pregnancy you'll experience pre-labor pains. And suddenly, dang! Menstrual cramps have nothing on these babies. Ouch! Take a deep breath and try to relax. You'll likely experience a few more of these Braxton Hicks contractions before the big guys kick in.
The first you realize you're oh-my-God in laborYeah, you've had a few spaced out contractions before (see above), but you start timing how far each wave of pains is coming and seriously -- it's time! Ah! You might feel teary, overjoyed, ready to go, or in complete disbelief. But don't worry -- you've got this! Next step: Meeting your beautiful bambino!
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