What to do when you find out you’re pregnant

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve recently peed on a stick and got a few lines come up, or the word pregnant comes up on one of those fancy digital ones.
Or, you’re just reading out of pure interest. Maybe you’re planning on having kids one day. By all means, read on.
Finding out you’re pregnant
I had suspected for a few days that I was pregnant, but I was visiting family over the New Year and didn’t want to be seen with a pregnancy test, just in case it was negative. So I waited until we got back to England.
I had a spare and cheap test in the bathroom, so used that but the line was very faint. So after a very sleepless night, I went to Sainsburys the next morning before work, bought one and used it in the toilets. I ran out to the car and waited the painfully long 3 minutes.
Seeing the word pregnant on the screen was a total shock. Even though we had planned it (as much as you can plan of  course), there was just a moment of “oh crap – this is real now”.
Once you have got your positive result, first thing you’ll want to do is most likely tell your partner.
Recently there has been a surge in popularity of videos on youtube of women telling their partners they were expecting and filming their reactions. Some (mostly Americans in all fairness – sorry guys!) are super elaborate and have balloons and all sorts over the room. There are also videos of woman actually taking pregnancy tests (TMI ladies!)
I didn’t film my husband’s reaction as I wanted it to be a special and private moment; which it was.
I did film my reaction to finding out and what I put out on the bed as a surprise.
After you have processed the news (it may take a few days or even weeks to sink in) you need to start planning for the next few months ahead.

So here is what I suggest:

Do start taking folic acid
I started taking folic acid in the three months before I got pregnant as it is recommended for conception. I also had my hubby take vitamins and we tried to reduce alcohol intake and be healthier in general. At a minimum you should take 400mg of folic acid once you do get pregnant. They also recommend Vitamin D.
You’ll likely be bombarded with a whole host of pregnancy vitamins with packets stating they are for eye and brain development (hold on, if I don’t take these, my baby will have issues with their brain or eyes? Not the case!) If you have a generally healthy diet, avoid alcohol and smoking and take your folic acid you should be ok. I did take some pregnancy multivitamins at an early stage but they ended up making me feel sick, so I returned to just folic acid.
Do book an appointment with a community midwife

Where I am located you can do this online via the hospital website. This was new to me. I thought I would have to have to wander off to the GP, have my pregnanyc confirmed and be referred on that way (in some places, this may be the case).
It is important you see your midwife before 12 weeks if possible so you can be referred on for your first scan and be offered the choice of certain genetic testing.

 

Don’t buy a ton of baby clothes

Ok so you’re excited, and every baby shop you walk past will be screaming for you to come in.

Try and resist if you can. The first trimester is the highest for miscarriage risk (a staggering 1 in 4 pregnancies end in a miscarriage) Although in saying that I did buy two outfits before our twelve week scan.

Our custom baby vest (this was used to annouce our news to some family members)
Don’t shout it from the rooftops
Card from Sarah Burns Prints (Etsy)

The first 12 weeks are the toughest and carry the highest risk for miscarriage sadly. So I would say try to avoid instantly putting it on social media. Though by all means tell some of your closest family if you like. Should you lose your baby then you’ll need support more than ever. We waited until our 12 week scan to tell both sides of the family, and then slowly told friends in person, finally announcing it on social media well after our 20 week scan.

Do keep a journal (if thats your thing)

So I started writing a journal, but didn’t manage to keep it up, which surprises me being a blogger. It mostly consisted on me saying ”I don’t feel pregnant” as I wasn’t being sick. Some people will find it helpful to record symptoms and look back on things (perhaps put them off having another!)

Don’t google everything

So what did mothers pre internet do? Probably chatted to other mothers about signs and symptoms and what to expect, or maybe read books. Nowadays you can input into a search engine and you’ll get a bucket load of information, and not all of it is helpful. In fact a lot of it made me feel totally paranoid. I joined a private group through an internet forum of mothers expecting at the same time as I was and it was helpful to talk symptoms and get advice. However, again these constant chats left me feeling a little uncertain as some of the group were paying for early reassurance scans from 6 weeks plus for about £70 each. Added to the fact that a number of members dropped out of the group due to loss of their babies. So when my pregnancy symptoms subsided during some weeks, it left me thinking if I had had a missed miscarriage. In the end, I had to step back from it.

The only accurate info you’ll get is by talking to your midwife or GP, so if anything is troubling you speak to one of them.

Do openly discuss how you’re feeling with your partner

So there is being tired, then there is next level growing a human tired. I’ve been fatigued before after having shingles and surgery some years ago, but this was quite different. I was working my standard 37.5 hours per week and getting home needing to sleep. Meaning my poor husband was left to cook, and clean and do all the extras, as well as renovate the house following a roof leak, and doing his regular work. There were days when we (I) had a good cry (those darn pregnancy hormones) with each other. What I found helped was effectively communicating how I was feeling. If I needed to stop or have a nap in the afternoon, I told him. No one is a mind reader. Talk to your partner and help them understand what you’re feeling.

Do sign up for some freebies

There are a whole host of apps and baby sites that you can take advantage of. One thing I did pretty quick was sign up to a few of them. Yes you will most likely get a ton of daily or weekly emails, but you can unsubscribe if you wish.

You’ll often get good offers in the email and discount codes.

Two apps I found helpful were the Bounty app, and Emma’s Diary. Both of these apps offer free packs which can be collected from a few supermarkets. Included in the packs are little samples of things like nappy rash cream and multivitamins as well as a full pack of newborn nappies and wipes.  So it is worth a few spammy emails every now and again.

At the end of it all there are a lot of do’s and do nots thrown around in pregnancy, so you can take this article with a large pinch of salt if you wish. Everyone has an opinion, and its not always what will suit you. These were just a few things I found that I wanted to do/not do.

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