Jessica Florio pregnancy tests

Why I'm Glad I Took Some Time to Myself After Learning I Was Pregnant

As I think back to when I first found out that I was pregnant, this famous John Lennon lyric comes to mind: "Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans." The plan my husband and I came up with was to start trying for a baby, but place zero expectations on the outcome. We were shocked when it happened much sooner than we had anticipated.

It was exciting and a huge reality check. After years of trying to prevent pregnancy, I had developed a mental disconnect between intercourse and conception. I knew how the whole process worked, of course, yet I was somehow very surprised that it actually did. Nonetheless, I was filled with immense gratitude as I realized how incredibly lucky we were.

I remember the week I found out so vividly; I just felt so off. I was extra tired as well as cranky and emotional. I was getting upset over the smallest slights. We had just returned home from a vacation and my period was due soon, so I chalked up my emotionality to an intense combination of PMS and jet lag.

The first pregnancy test I took, about two weeks post ovulation window was negative, further solidifying in my mind that I was not pregnant. Then, a few days later with my hormones raging, I got into a fight with my husband. I angrily went to shower before bed and decided to take another test.

This was the moment we'd been waiting for. It comes in many forms: two lines, the plus sign, or just the wonderful word 'pregnant,' right there on the stick.

This was the moment we'd been waiting for. It comes in many forms: two lines, the plus sign, or just the wonderful word "pregnant," right there on the stick. I shrieked at the results, and my husband ran quickly into the bathroom to make sure all was OK. I showed him the test and the fight was over—it was no longer important. To this day, I still don’t remember what it was about. 

After that initial delight, my emotions were overwhelming and all over the place. It felt surreal, but I was comforted by the fact that everything I had been feeling over the past week finally made sense. No wonder I felt like crap! I was having a baby!

But what was next? As I hadn’t exactly planned this, I didn’t know where to begin.

First, I called my mother immediately to tell her the news. After that, I decided I wanted to sit with the pregnancy myself for a little bit before telling any other family members. It was a great way to really take in the pregnancy mindfully. It ended up being one of the best things I did for myself.

Once you start telling people that you're expecting, you can’t take it back.

Once you start telling people that you're expecting, you can’t take it back. There's always the small chance that your very excited friends and family members will accidentally spill the beans. Next thing you know, your whole extended family is in on the news before you've had a chance to catch your breath. I knew I didn't want to take a chance on that possibility.

Some people are happy to shout their pregnancies from the rooftops from day one. For me, there was something so special about having a time with no one else knowing besides myself and one or two others. I knew soon, the questions and comments would start coming. It was nice to have some time to savor this moment, without any outside noise.

The next day, after a good night's sleep, we took our time figuring out who to tell. My husband's parents were next, as was his sister. And that was it. I didn't even tell my closest friends until right before we announced our pregnancy to the world.

The shift in identity from being your own person to a pregnant person to a mother can be tough—especially if it’s your first. I wanted a bit more time to be acknowledged as myself, and not as a pregnant person. I'm so grateful and so glad that I was able to take this time and savor my pregnancy in private.

I also used this quiet time to find the right doctor. I have Graves Disease, an underlying thyroid disease, which meant I would need to find an OB/GYN with experience with high-risk pregnancies and thyroid conditions. My regular OB/GYN didn't fit the bill, so I dove head-first into research. Other factors I strongly considered: hospital affiliations, male vs. female doctors, and reading through reviews for information about wait times and ease of appointment making.

I'm so grateful and so glad that I was able to take this time and savor my pregnancy in private.

Finally, I found one that felt like the right fit who wasn't too far from home. (I was working part-time when I found out I was pregnant and knew I'd be winding down in my third trimester to focus on staying home with our new little one.)

The first month of pregnancy can go by in a flash, but it’s just the beginning of a magical journey ahead. Make sure you take time for yourself to adjust to the news and focus on your first month's priorities.

Don't feel any pressure to tell anyone else—even family. They will all know soon enough. Instead, enjoy your teeny, tiny secret for now. Before you know it, the little flurries of excitement in your belly will turn into full-fledged kicks and rolls.