Pregnant. I looked at the test again... and there it was, two lines indicating that I was pregnant. Now what?
Well, despite having the evidence right in front of me, I was still in denial. So here's what I did...
- Go to the doctor. I made an appointment with the doctor the next day just to confirm that the results of the test were correct. After all, there is a such thing as false positives. It's also good to go to the doctor once you get a positive test to see how far along you are. I found out on a Sunday that I was pregnant. On Wednesday that week the doctor told me I was 9 weeks pregnant! Wow... I knew I missed my last period, but the one before? Nope! I definitely had a period. This news definitely shocked me.
- Share the news (if YOU want). The first person I told was Baby A's dad via Facetime. You can imagine how that went. I then told my siblings and a few of my close friends. I sent my mom flowers a couple weeks later because I really didn't know how to tell her. I told my dad that same week. Everyone else pretty much found out when they saw me and I was noticeably pregnant. I never posted the ultrasound or much of any pictures of me being noticeably pregnant until I was 9 months pregnant and even then it was just a picture of me at my baby shower and a maternity shoot photo. I had no interests in sharing my news with anyone outside of my circle simply because from the moment I heard my son's heartbeat, he was my everything. This was sacred for me and I didn't want anyone to take away from the joy I felt. Tell who you want when you want, but a good rule of thumb is to share once you've cleared week 12.
- Find a midwife or doctor. We ultimately decided to have a home birth and went with a midwife. I will do a post at a later time on how we came to that conclusion. My very first prenatal appointment was with a male OBGYN in the DMV area. The entire experience turned me off. I knew when I was in the office that I would not be returning. I then scheduled an appointment at the hospital with some midwives. I went to the appointment and was met by a closed office. I was livid. I met and talked to multiple midwives before ultimately deciding with the midwives at Birth Care. They were so welcoming and very informative. I felt a connection right away. I also liked that they offered extended hours.
- Check your coverage with your insurance provider. I needed to know what was covered under my insurance policy. I have heard too many stories about people owing money for the birth of their child(ren). Not me... wasn't happening. I contacted my insurance company of the time and they broke everything down for me. I was able to find out that my provider would completely cover my home birth, all of my prenatal care, and my breast pump. I was also given information about a prenatal program that the insurance company offered. You want to make sure you do this because your prenatal appointments start at the start of your pregnancy.
- Check your job's maternity leave policy. mentioned here that I was super sick during my pregnancy. I found out I was pregnant about a month into my new position. My job offered 12 personal days to be used throughout the school year. Maternity leave was 6 weeks for vaginal birth and 8 weeks for cescerean. (Not nearly long enough) The union offered a maternity leave bank that would give me an additional 30 days and a sick leave bank that offered another 30 days if I opted in. There's Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) time offered as well, but only to employees who had been employed at least a year...which I had not. It's important that you know your options because with pregnancy comes a lot of other things that you may not have had to consider before such as appointments, feeling sick or fatigued, etc.
- Get a prenatal vitamin. A prenatal vitamin is a must! You're literally sharing the body that only you have used with someone who relies on you to grow and develop. Prenatal vitamins have all of the important things you need such as folic acid. Your doctor or midwife may prescribe you one or you can get them over the counter. If you struggle with or are unable to swallow pills then you can get a chewable prenatal vitamin. Keep in mind that chewable prenatal vitamins may not contain iron which is a necessity during your pregnancy. You may have to pair it with an iron supplement.
- Consider your options. You have so many decisions to make within the next 10 months and beyond. Make sure you are informed and know your options so that you are able to make the best decision for you and your baby. Do your research and ask questions!
- Take care of yourself. Finding out you're pregnant can hit people in different ways. Take time to process this news and make sense of your feelings. Think about your eating habits... do you need to alter them? Think about your vices... do you need to let some go? Think about your overall health... are you "healthy"? Could you benefit from talking to a professional? More sleep? Do you need to get active? Change your eating habits? You have to take all of these things into consideration. You want to be the best you for your little one.
Pregnancy seems super long long when you're going through it... it's 40 weeks, but you're little one will be here before you know it. Motherhood is a lot to adjust to, but it helps to be prepared. Let me know how your first trimester is going or if you have any questions in the comments!