The first trimester of pregnancy is exhilarating, challenging, and terrifying. So many changes are happening and society expects you to keep quiet about it and pretend like nothing is different.
A baby goes through most of its development in the first 12 weeks.
This often reeks havoc on the mother’s body; fatigue, nausea, vomiting, anxiety. Yet, so many don’t consider you to really be pregnant. You’re just sorta pregnant; not very pregnant. It hardly even counts, really. We wouldn’t deny an expecting mom with a belly big enough to peek out of the bottom of her maternity shirt. Whether we see a full belly or not, pregnant is pregnant. You either are or you aren’t. Your baby is the same person at 4 weeks and at 40 weeks.
Those adorable features that we swoon over at the 20 week anatomy scan (tiny toes, little nose) were all developed in the first trimester. A tiny human is being knit together from scratch and that is tough on the mother and worthy of support. All of the work in the first trimester is often done without any of the “perks” of later pregnancy: baby kicks, special treatment when others see your belly, gifts, sympathy. And for those of us who have experienced loss, not feeling your baby kick in early pregnancy— when loss is at the highest likelihood — while fully realizing just how long the road ahead is can be especially daunting.
Because society expects us to keep silent, we aren’t able to celebrate the little things with others like baby’s first ultrasound or baby growing from a sesame seed to a plum (In size of course, he’s still human in there 😉 ). We also aren’t able to ask for help. Fatigue and nausea are no joke. The first trimester can often feel like fighting off the flu for three months. And if this isn’t your first baby, tending to other children can be downright overwhelming. Society doesn’t support early pregnancy and it’s costing us more than we think.
Fear should not be what drives us to avoid announcing a baby on the way.
We should not fear judgment for announcing when we are “barely even pregnant.” It is a personal decision when to make a pregnancy public. My husband and I decided to wait with our first and ended up miscarrying at 10 weeks. Those were some very trying times. With our next pregnancy, we announced at 12 weeks. Rattled from the miscarriage, we wanted to keep it private and honestly, I was scared to admit it could actually be happening. Now pregnant with my third, we announced publicly at 10 weeks. I had some bleeding very early on that terrified us, so we decided to wait until after the hematoma that caused it was healed and be sure baby was okay. Again, all of this is a personal decision. Pray and decide together what is best for you. But, please don’t let your decision be made from a place of fear of judgment.
Don’t you think it’s time to support expecting mothers, no matter how far along they are? Let’s stand beside them, offering love and help however we can. Their babies are all fearfully and wonderfully made from the time the first two cells come together and both baby and mom are worthy of love.