So this year, I want to start by taking a trip to the past- a very recent past for me, February 2015 to be exact! That’s when I found out that there was a little Squally cooking inside of me. ?
The first step is acceptance. Whether this baby was an accident or planned, that baby is a blessing, not a curse, and you’ve got some serious life decisions to make!! I choose to be pro-choice, although I like to remind my personal friends that they knew what they were doing could possibly have “consequences”. Either way, first and foremost, it’s YOUR life and YOUR body-sooooo, are you ready for the ride of your life?? ?
It is my assumption that if you’re still reading this you fall into one of 3 categories: you decided to take a trip down motherhood lane, you’re my friend or family and are just supporting my jibber jabber, or you just think I’m that dang hilarious so you wanna see what I have to say. ? (if you’re number 3,you’re definitely my fav ❣️)
So again I say, CONGRATS! You’re going to be a mommy or daddy- now it’s time to start making arrangements! As soon as that pee stick says positive, if you don’t already have one, you need to be researching somebody’s OBGYN and scheduling an appointment to get a confirmation of pregnancy and make sure everything is all fine and dandy in that little oven of yours. Due the modernness of society, you can do a quick google search to find reviews on OBGYNs in your area. Some insurance companies even offer databases on their websites for their constituents that list who is in their network and offers reviews from their patients! (Thank you BCBSIL ?) In the mean time, if you’re just too dang excited or terrified, whichever the case maybe, there are many clinic like places that you can go to to take a more legit test. For me here in Knoxville, I found this lovely little place called Hope Resource Center and they ended up being a God-send for me and my little family through their prenatal classes and emotional counseling program! Anyway, there are other places like this in most major cities. Planned parenthood does it too!
Depending on your personality and relationship with baby daddy, at some point you gotta spill the beans.. or not, that’s your prerogative and I choose not to get too into that, BUT if you so choose, tell somebody! You don’t have to keep it to yourself! It’s exciting and scary and crazy and EXCITING: I’m not saying post it on Facebook (which you can if you want, that’s fine) but it’s less stressful on you to share that information. Speaking of stress, if you’re leading a wild and crazy lifestyle, it’s time to pump the breaks and lower that stressometer about a million notches. Putting that baby in there is one thing, but keeping it there happy and healthy requires lots of effort. Although I feel like this is heavily implied, I’ll just flat out say it, drinking, smoking, miscellaneous drugs, fighting, craziness, all of that nonsense has got to go. Just for a little while.. it amazed me how much more self control I found once I realized that somebody else’s life was at stake and I’m sure it’ll amaze you too!
Main takeaways so far:
1. Get a confirmation of pregnancy from a medical professional
2. Find and schedule an appointment with an OBGYN
3. Tell somebody and breathe!!
Now that THAT is out of the way, let’s head to the store and pick up some pre-natal vitamins. You wanna make sure you’re putting the right things in your body to help that sweet, little thang grow! You don’t have to get the most expensive brand, just make sure that it has all of the essentials; I’m not going to list the essentials here because as a future doctor, I know that every medical professional has their own opinion and your doctor will either prescribe what’s best for you or give you specifics on what your prenatals need to have.
Speaking of OBGYNs.. if you see the first one and decide you don’t like them, that’s FINE. Find another one and try again for the next check in. I can barely put into words how stressful it is going to a doctors office where you don’t fee comfortable. I switched OBGYNs: partially because I moved to another city, but also because the office staff of his office was so rude and insensitive AND because my doctor always seemed more interested in whoever I brought with me than me. ? call me petty, but if you’re going to be looking all up in my no-no square, we HAVE to have some sort of relationship and I need to not dread coming to see you! You want a doctor and office staff that is understanding to what you’re going through and okay with you asking questions. For us first time moms, prior to this, we had no reason to think about a lot of the prospects related to growing a child, so you don’t want someone who’s going to make you feel stupid or uncomfortable with seeking knowledge! COMFORT IS KEY!
Next, you need to evaluate if your lifestyle is safe for a pregnant mama. When I got pregnant, one of my four jobs was at a pet store where I was a dog trainer and nutrition specialist. Being jumped on by ill-mannered dogs and slinging 30-40lb bags of dog food is NOT conducive to growing a tiny human! You need to let your employer, school, family, whatever the case may be, let them know that the bread is cooking and you just want to know what the next best step is for you. This can be REALLY hard, but it is CRUCIAL because you want to be healthy and safe. The earlier you tell, the more time you have to make arrangements and NOT throw your life is chaos and disarray. Things do tend to get a little crazy after finding out your preggers, but that’s normal and it’s okay to just roll with the punches and adjust a little bit at a time.
Now, what you DON’T need to do is go to the nearest baby store and start swiping your credit card like you’re trying to get ALL the rewards points! Just chill, you’ll have plenty of medical bills to ball out on. You never know what blessings may come your way if you just be steadfast and patient; plus, you’re like 2 days pregnant, other than some prenatals and good food, there’s not much else you REALLY need right now other than a good support group and a nice hug. Maybe a couple of books for some leisurely, “what to expect when you’re expecting” reading, but that’s about it. ?? go download some pregnancy apps- get a growth tracker. One of my favorite parts of being pregnant was getting the notifications in the mornings comparing my little squirmy wormy to peas, plums, avocados ? , and the like! It’s a less overwhelming way to learn more and more about the development of your little baby inside of you.
I think I’ve rambled on long enough for one day, so let’s recap and prepare for the benediction!
1. Confirm that you are indeed pregnant and see a doctor!
2. Shop around for an OBGYN that you LIKE and shares your belief systems
3. Get some prenatals and some healthy snacks and prepare for the pregnant munchies. ? or being sick as a dog and never keeping anything down ? (may the odds ever be in your favor)
4. Have a conversation with your employers and family and make accommodations!
5. Celebrateeeee and open your mind to all of the knowledge that will be poured into your from every direction about the dos and don’ts of pregnant, parenting, living, breathing, and existing.
Obviously this is not a hard list of what needs to be done, but if you’re as clueless and taken aback as I was, it’s a nice start. ?
Until next time my loves.. ?