Congratulations on getting a positive pregnancy test…
Now what? Everything is up in the air and you may be wondering what to do?
I like to be prepared… but I wasn’t when I got pregnant for the first time. I had NO IDEA.
We’d sort of lucked out of the “trying to conceive phase” and got our “Big Fat Positive” (TTC and BFP in pregnancy jargon) on our second cycle. We were muddling through and starting to learn lots of things from the internet, apps and talking to other parents. We’d got 9 months to get to grips with everything…
But we were not prepared for the NOW. Sure I’d been looking at lists such as “what to do before the baby arrives” or a “hospital bag checklist”. However, these are all 9 months in the future. I’m talking about looking after yourself right now…
Now the last thing I want to do is put a dampener on your excitement and joy… but… there are a couple of things it helps to prepare for…
1 in 4 pregnancies can end in miscarriage in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy (ref Miscarriage Association). I’m not telling you this to scare or worry you. In fact I’m hoping that you will have a healthy and happy pregnancy that puts a beautiful baby in your arms.
But I’ve learnt the hard way that two blue lines doesn’t equal a baby. Being prepared with this knowledge would have helped me when it happened at almost 9 weeks. As we went through the process we gradually heard about how common and natural miscarriage is, usually because there is a problem with the baby that means they wouldn’t survive. The body knows what to do and does it.
Here’s a few things to prepare when you get that positive test…
The “Two Blue Lines” Checklist
- Give your partner a giant hug – you are one step closer to being parents!
- Contact your GP surgery and ask how to register. Our area had a simple online “booking in” form that went directly to the midwife service at our local hospital.
- Start taking folic acid supplements if you don’t already have them in your vitamins. You do get quite a lot from eating healthily. I had 400mg tablets. This helps the brain and nervous system form correctly – all this is happening straight away and is usually complete by 12 weeks. More info here on the NHS.
- Drink plenty of water
- Stash food – everywhere! In the car… in every bag… by the bed… hunger can strike at any time.
- Wash your hands well to avoid any infections; wear gloves for icky jobs and gardening.
- Check out the NHS pages on pregnancy – lots of answers here for all your worries.
- Rest and relax if you get tired.
- Buy some sanitary towels – you cannot use tampons if you have any bleeding
- Also grab
- Panty liners – useful in a range of gooey situations
- Flushable wet wipes – great for cleaning up all sorts of messes
- Antibacterial gel – for out and about clean hands
- Overnight sanitary towels – just in case.
- Maternity pads – you’ll need them after the birth anyway.
- Be prepared for your hormones to be all over the place, putting you on a very random roller-coaster.
- Know that bleeding can occur in pregnancy and all be ok, with a healthy baby to hold at the end.
- Understand that miscarriage is a natural and normal process that happens to 1 in 4 women in the first 12 weeks. It’s not usually anything that you’ve done wrong and cannot be stopped. Often its a problem with the baby that meant it would not have survived.
- You may hear a wide variety of miscarriage figures: we did. We were told different things at different stages of the pregnancy and miscarriage.
- Miscarriage doesn’t affect your fertility and many women go on to have a baby.
- It’s ok to tell anyone, that you want to tell, when you are pregnant or if you miscarry. You know what is right for you and your situation. Don’t feel pressured to keep it to yourselves. There are lots of places that you can turn for help in any stage of pregnancy – I’m firmly of the opinion that it is best to ask as soon as possible.
As with life at every stage… it’s a journey with all the twists and turns along the way. I hope that you enjoy your journey and wish you all the best whatever happens.
Have I missed anything? Drop me a comment and I’ll update the list as things come up. I have to admit that my brain is still rather frazzled from dealing with the miscarriage, but that writing has also be very helpful. Please forgive any errors.