You’ve been to the doctor, the bookstore, the baby store and are ready to tell the world your big news–you are expecting. While the doctor is full of wise medical information on your condition, there are also a million books to help you along the way. The stores are also packed with advice-giving clerks and fellow mothers-to-be. You may find that what you really need is to discover the lighter, more humorous, side of being pregnant.
One of the first symptoms of pregnancy that you may notice is a change in your taste buds. Aside from the “pickles and ice cream” stereotype, you may find that you crave things you never dreamed of eating before you conceived, such as anchovies, guacamole, bananas with mustard or chocolate on your burger. Adversely, you may find yourself repelled by the foods you used to love, such as tomato sauce, coffee or bacon. The key to cravings is moderation. Unless your doctor advises you to avoid certain foods, feel free to indulge yourself a bit. Unless, of course, you crave something that is obviously a no-no and might put you or your baby in jeopardy.
Being pregnant is a big job for a body to complete, and your sleep patterns may reflect this. Feel free to indulge in an afternoon nap if you have the time, but note that this is typically frowned upon in the average workplace. It’s also important that you get enough sleep each night, so your body can rejuvenate itself while it’s under production. Keep in mind that your days of uninterrupted sleep are numbered. As your baby grows, so will your need to empty your bladder every hour on the hour as your baby puts pressure on that teaspoon of urine.
Often overlooked, personal grooming takes on a whole new meaning when you are expecting. Keep in mind that in a few months you will no longer be able to see your toenails. Unless you enlist reliable help, you may be required to register them as a lethal weapon when you are admitted to the hospital to give birth. Likewise, simple grooming habits, such as shaving your legs, will become difficult–if not impossible–unless you are an accomplished gymnast. Practice stretching your legs out sideways while shaving right from the early stages of your pregnancy if you are timid about exposing your hairy limbs when it comes time to deliver.
Before you realize it, your “normal” belly button and slim ankles will be things of the past, along with your waistline. As well as an expanding abdomen, you may discover a few extra chins that you never had before as well as gobs of hair left in your hairbrush. It’s a good idea to take some photos of yourself during the first trimester, as this will serve as motivation to continue when you begin to feel as though your pregnancy will never be over. These pics will also come in handy after the birth, when you realize that loose skin near your waist is, in fact, still a part of your anatomy.
Forget those cutesy countdown calendars that commemorate the 40 weeks of pregnancy. As every woman that has given birth knows, a typical pregnancy lasts for eight months and one year. The final year (or “ninth month” to those outside your world) will be spent jumping at every twinge in your abdomen, detailed planning, packing a suitcase for every trip to the corner store, cleaning the nursery 87 times and hitting the bathroom 439 times to deposit the requisite half ounce of urine.