Navigating the First Trimester
So, you’re pregnant! Depending on which pregnancy test you used, that faint pink or blue line that marks this most momentous of life changes has made its undeniable appearance and probably filled you with a rush of adrenaline that left you reeling. Whether this is your first pregnancy or not, you may be feeling any number of emotions right now. There are a minefield of different circumstances that those faint lines can make their appearance under. Perhaps this is an incredibly joyous occasion for you – a longed for positive result after months of trying – and you can’t wait to share the news with loved ones. It’s easy to assume that for everyone, the start of the first trimester is met only with this unbridled joy, which is wonderful, if that is the case. However, it may not be, and that is okay too.
Perhaps it is the first positive test following miscarriage, or baby loss. Perhaps it is the first positive test following many losses. Perhaps, for now, you cannot allow yourself to dare to hope, and that is all okay.
It’s important during this time to take care of yourself and allow yourself to feel whatever it is you’re feeling. The first trimester is defined as the period of time from conception to 13 weeks. For anyone in the first trimester, it is advised that you only disclose your news to those closest to you, as, sadly, the risk of miscarriage is significantly higher during this stage. At the same time, bear in mind that, if you don’t tell anyone and do suffer a loss, it could be lonely to go through without having anyone to support you who knew you were pregnant in the first place. There is no right or wrong way to do this, and every woman should do what feels best for her, but these are all important things to consider.
In addition to deciding who to confide this special news in, be prepared for pregnancy sickness and sheer exhaustion to raise their ugly heads! Or you may sail through this trimester and be totally symptomless – and this is okay too! Hollywood has done its part in filling us all with pre-conceived ideas and expectations of what pregnancy will be like, but women all experience pregnancy in a variety of different ways.
If you’re hiding your pregnancy from coworkers or family members during this time, it can be hard navigating scenarios such as saying no to alcohol without raising suspicion or simply hiding your new squeamishness around certain smells or foods! It can be helpful to find a chat forum online to talk to other Mums who are going through the same thing, or perhaps even keep a journal of your feelings and experiences to help you process everything as you toe the line between overwhelming happiness and trepidation. All in all, this can be a special time, and the thrill of harbouring this most cherished and precious burning secret can be like a small but fierce flame of hope, lighting your way and guiding you through the fog of those first trimester anxieties.