Three Tips for Getting Through Your First Pregnancy
I’ve been pregnant just once — but it was a twofer. I welcomed boy-girl twins in the sweltering mid-summer of 2014. At birth, they weighed a combined total of 12 pounds, two ounces, but who’s counting. I’d call my pregnancy extreme — for the reason alone of my bump’s formidable size. (In fact, thanks to excess fluid, the docs told me I measured like I was carrying triplets. Cool, cool.)
All of this is to say that yes, I was physically uncomfortable (sciatica, ice-pick-stabby feet sensations, back pain — the whole deal). But it was an emotionally trying time too, as I struggled to cope with both adjusting to my first (and last) pregnancy, and also to deflect the many, many unwelcome comments strangers felt inclined to make, given that I was such a visually arresting spectacle.
Whether your first pregnancy feels sublimely serene or downright dramatic, my hard-learned tips might help you get through those long, intense, thrilling, terrifying weeks.
Accept every kind gesture and preferential opportunity you’re offered.
When people give up seats for you on the bus, take them. When they offer that you can cut in front of the bathroom line, do that too. You are more than entitled to any preferential treatment you’re offered when you’ve got that baby on board. People who don’t offer were raised in a barn and deserve major side-eye until they do. Also, those motorized carts at big box stores? They’re there for you! If it hurts to walk, scoot around in one of those suckers, proudly, like you own the joint. (I did.)
Come up with a ruthless zinger.
I know that my third-trimester twin bump made strangers on the street do a double-take — and that’s fair. But there were plenty who took complete leave of established social etiquette practices, offering all manner of unsolicited and often insulting comments. Chief among them: “You look like you’re about to pop!” (I started hearing this around the 24-week mark, and it got real old real fast.) I’d just say, “Nope.”
Tons of people also wanted to know — with obvious and intrusive subtext — “Do twins run in your family?” And I’d say, “Yes.” Period. In other words, how fast can we shut down this little heart to heart?
My one-liners were more practical conversation enders than epic takedowns, but I was inexperienced. In hindsight, I’d go back and work on a go-to clap-back until it was the sickest burn ever, ready to be dispensed liberally to prying strangers.
Compare and despair.
Blah blah, social media has made it impossible not to compare our worst days to other people’s carefully curated highlight reels and blah blah. Yes, we all know this is true, even when it is hard to take to heart. But a first pregnancy is absolutely the time when you must internalize this message to keep from driving yourself nuts. That pregnant fashion blogger’s posts about how she’s just buying all her regular stuff in a size up for maternity fashion at 38 weeks? Cool idea, sis, but at that point, I was wearing bedsheets (OK, caftans, but very voluminous ones). Also maybe that blogger barfed all morning during that breezy-looking shoot. You just don’t know. We all have our issues. Every single pregnancy is different. You got this. Godspeed, mama!
Written by: Alesandra Dubin