Sure, you're probably aware that it only takes two to tango, one strong swimmer and three trimesters to make and have a baby, but did you know that there are actually six stages of pregnancy? Follow these tips to recognize the stages and learn how to cope with them as they come.
Stage I: Happiness/Fright: Realizing you are pregnant is a total double edged sword. First there is the total excitement that comes with that positive test; the thought of a new life and new possibilities; then comes the fright. What if the test is a false-positive? What if you miscarry? What if something goes wrong? During this stage your best bet is to just stay positive. Most doctors recommend not revealing your condition to others until the end of the first trimester. By the second trimester most women have passed the point of a miscarriage or other major issues, and the reality allows them to finally calm down and get focused.
Stage II: Reality Bites: By this stage, your pregnancy euphoria has likely been replaced by morning sickness, extreme exhaustion, weird cravings, dull hair and even some skin breakouts. But no worries, this stage usually only last until week 12 or 14. In the meantime, get extra sleep whenever possible, make sure you're eating healthy and of course make sure you're taking your vitamins every single day.
Stage III: Bye-Bye Skinny Jeans: By this stage you're likely not ready for maternity clothes yet, your usual clothes are barely fitting, and the ones that do make you look more like you've eaten one too many slices of pizza rather than being pregnant. No worries. This stage usually only lasts a month or so and can easily be hidden with baggier shirts and stretchy pants. If all else fails, find clever ways to announce your pregnancy to others so they are aware that your sudden weight gain is due to the fact that you have a life growing inside of you, not because you've been avoiding the treadmill.
Stage IV: Can't Ignore the Obvious: By the third trimester there is no denying to anyone that you're pregnant. Your belly has likely grown to the size of a beach ball, your feet and ankles may be swollen to twice their usual size, and everything from sitting to sleeping is uncomfortable. During this stage, the best you can do is take it easy. Go for walks when you can and try some prenatal yoga to manage stress as well as back pain. Try to keep strenuous activities to a minimum and get extra rest when you can; it may be your last chance to do so for a while!
Stage V: Get This Thing Out of Me: By this stage you likely only have weeks or days to go, and to be honest, you've had enough of it. The nursery is ready, the diapers are all purchased, and the house is already baby proofed; all you need is to hear your doctor say those two little words, "It's time." To survive this stage, your best bet is to just take advantage of the one-on-one time you still have with your significant other. Go on a date night (even if that date night is more like a watching-Netflix-at-home night). Or even better, use this time for yourself. Get a pedicure or a prenatal massage, or simply just meet a few friends for lunch. You'd be surprised how quickly your free time will disappear once that little miracle arrives, so do your best to make the most of it, and try to have patience for just a little bit longer.
Stage VI: No Way Out: The day is finally here. You're either beginning to have contractions or your water has already broken, but whatever issue brought you to the hospital, there's no looking back now. From this point on all you can do is breathe, grin and bear it. In a matter of hours you'll be a mama with a life in your hands to raise and love. Congratulations… and welcome to the club!