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How to Enjoy Your...

How to Enjoy Your Pregnancy: The First Trimester

Ah, the first trimester. I remember it well (despite trying my best to forget). There’s the nausea, the exhaustion, the constant fear of miscarriage, and the fact that you’re not yet allowed to get a prenatal massage. Add to all that the total mindfreak of keeping the biggest event in your life a secret from almost everyone you know. For me, the first trimester was the worst trimester, and as a result, I think I adopted a “let’s just get through this” attitude in order to cope.

But now that I’m nearing the end of this whole experience, I regret taking any moment of the last eight months for granted. Even the first trimester has some positive aspects, like the excitement of finding out, and the fact that you can still wear your normal clothes. Plus, I think there are things you can do to squeeze more enjoyment out of the whole thing—or at least make it less depressing. Such as …

Celebrate! While I wouldn’t say our pregnancy was unplanned, the timing was still a big surprise. I took a test on New Year’s Eve, almost as an afterthought. We were hosting a big party that night and had guests in town, so my husband and I barely had time to process the plus sign before moving onto the next thing. Looking back, I don’t think we ever did anything to acknowledge the huge event that had just occurred, and it’s definitely something I would do differently next time. Celebration can mean different things to different people; for us it would probably be a nice dinner out or a weekend away.

Get to know your new tenant. Inevitably, the one person you do tell about your pregnancy will give you a copy of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Unless you’ve got nerves of steel, I’d recommend setting that aside until you need it for reference (and even then, Google works better). Instead, get an app or a book or an email subscription that provides a lighthearted week-by-week guide to pregnancy. Focus on the miraculous process and the cool photos rather than all the things that can go wrong. Remember, odds are, everything is going to be great!

Make home your favorite place to be. Between illness, exhaustion, and trying to hide your newfound sobriety from friends, your social life will likely suffer during this time period. Since you’re going to be spending a lot more time chez vous, you may as well enjoy your time there. Stock up on books and magazines that make you happy. Fill your Netflix queue with a new-to-you series. Research some fun new pregnancy-approved teas and keep a few in rotation (my favorites are Cornucopia and Fig de Blanc from Crown & Crumpet here in San Francisco). And be sure to surround yourself with creature comforts: your favorite mac and cheese, yummy bath oils and body creams, basically whatever makes you feel spoiled.

Any other advice for surviving the first trimester?

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