The early days before the big reveal - Information sources, baby apps, what to expect and who you need to tell.
It's an exciting, if not secretive time. Depending on when you're set to reveal to friends and family members, it can be a delightful few weeks where only you and your partner are in on the knowledge that there will be a new addition to the family in a number of months. It's such a wonderful secret to sit on, and as tempting as it may be to tell everyone, sometimes mum is the word.
So who to tell? Well, the decision is all yours. It really is your prerogative to tell whomever you choose. I told two friends of mine when I was five weeks, then waited until 12 weeks to let my parents, sister, close friends and work know that I was expecting. I wanted to wait for chromosomal testing and the nuchal scan before letting the aforementioned circle know. There's still a bunch of people who will find out when I see them, maybe on social media or even once baby is here.
Late last year, I had a friend tell me she was pregnant when she was five weeks along, being of the traditional mindset that you wait until you're past the first trimester (this was before I knew I was expecting and told said friend at five weeks), I asked her why she'd let me know so soon, her response "I'm not telling anyone I'm not prepared to come to for support." If you sit in the same boat as my beautiful friend, let your loved ones revel in your joy also!
Where to get information
I began to suspect that I may be expecting relatively early in my pregnancy journey, finding out when I was a touch under four weeks. I didn't know what to expect about expecting at that point, so I went straight to google to find out the do's and don'ts. My lovely partner decided to download an audiobook on parenting from a dad's perspective to gain insights.
What I have learned in my journey so far is that there is so much conflicting information out there! Some websites will tell you to avoid caffeine, others say to limit it - I have taken the stance of one cup per day as I believe I function much better with coffee coursing through my system than without it. I tend to stick to official websites to gain information on my pregnancy and make decisions when I feel informed enough to do so.
I visited my GP in the very early stages to confirm my pregnancy and to be advised on the next steps. It's a great opportunity to pick their brain if there's anything you're unsure of or require assistance with.
To app or not to app
A couple of days after returning that positive test, I headed to the app store to find a pregnancy app, only to be greeted with about 100! They're all the same, but different. Some of the ones I've looked through have plenty of resources and information relevant to the week you're currently at, some make delightful comparisons between foetus size and fresh produce (I currently have a pea pod in my belly) and others have handy lists of popular names from countries around the world.
I have had some useful learnings from the apps that I chose to download, particularly around the development of your baby at any given week. I was surprised at how soon into gestation certain things occurred - the wonder that is pregnancy!
Information can vary slightly between apps, so I would advise to not treat it as your one source of truth. Although it can be amusing, if not alarming, how quickly a kidney bean can turn into a mango, and before you blink, a watermelon.
Midwives, Doctors and Medical Staff
After visiting with my GP, she informed me that it was up to me to find a midwife should I choose. A search on google lead me to the NZ 'Find Your Midwife' website - essentially like online dating to find the person who will be one of the first to meet your child. The search options allow you to find your midwife based on your location, due date, desired birth location (hospital, birth clinic or home birth) and a range of other considerations.
I was lucky enough to find my midwife after only sending out a few enquiries. It's important to note that availability books up extremely quickly, so begin your search once you've found out you're expecting (I've been told the same about daycare).
There is also the option to go private through various clinics dotted around the country.
What to expect
I guess it's difficult to know what to expect, especially considering everyone's journey is unique. As a first time mum to be (who was largely indifferent about children for most of my life), I'd painted a picture in my head about what I thought it would be like, largely thanks to American movies. Saying the positive result came as a shock is an understatement, but seeing my partner's calm and loving reaction somehow made me feel at ease.
My body changed...well just my boobs have at this stage, but I'm sure the rest will be quick to follow suit. Nausea begins, as does morning sickness and food aversions, but more on those in my next blog.
What I'm trying to say is enjoy the early days of knowing, and don't be in a rush to start planning - although I'm sure the nine months go fast (my first three have), there's time to get everything sorted! Besides, your baby won't know if you haven't put the finishing touches on their nursery if they arrive early.
Until next time, B xx
It's important to note that this is my opinion and where I'm at in my pregnancy journey. I encourage you to do what is best for you, your partner, family and personal circumstances.