Who to tell and where to go in early pregnancy?
October 5, 2012 9:16 AM   Subscribe

Two linked questions about early pregnancy.

So I've just found out I'm five weeks pregnant (for the first time, as will become obvious), which I'm very happy about. But it's bringing up lots of new stuff which, as an inveterate planner, I'm finding hard to deal with.

1) planning to go places. I have the chance to go to a weekend conference soon, which will be good, but if all goes well I will be 8 weeks then and will be even more wiped out than I am now, and possibly vomiting everywhere. The trip is totally optional bit is something I wouldn't be able to do for a while with kids. I'm curious to hear the strategies others have adopted in similar circumstances.

2) who to tell? If I make it to the 12-week scan I'll go public. For the moment I've told my mother, and am tempted to tell my best friend. Other than that I'd rather keep it to myself & my husband but I share a small office with five guys who might notice if I start throwing up.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Plan to go on the conference. Most women don't vomit that much--honestly, although it sucks really really bad, it's kinda something you just put up with and work around, sort of like having a bad period. You won't be at 100%, but that doesn't mean you won't get anything out of the conference, either. Sit next to the door, keep something with you to smell in case something smells gross and little snacks to keep your stomach from being empty (which makes it worse), and you'll probably be fine. You might not even be the type to throw up at all.

Definitely tell your best friend. It's good to have support if you have a miscarriage. If the guys notice AND ask, maybe say something, but that's a bridge to cross when you get there.

It all seems so slow and like nothing is under your control--and that's true--but the positive thing about that is that you don't have to worry because there's literally nothing you can do about most of this stuff.
posted by the young rope-rider at 9:24 AM on October 5, 2012 [7 favorites]

1) Go to the conference - just plan to take it easy if you need. If you can schedule "down time" for a nap in the afternoons, that is super.

2) You don't have to tell your office mates. Most women aren't throwing up all the time - you may just be a little queasy and no one will notice probably. It's totally up to you - but I did the "12 week go public" approach myself. Office mates might have been suspicious about my sipping a ginger ale for lunch - but it's not a huge deal.

posted by pantarei70 at 9:30 AM on October 5, 2012

I share a small office with five guys who might notice if I start throwing up.

I share a small office with twenty guys. I dyed my hair purple two weeks ago. Only one person has noticed.

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that three or four extra trips to the bathroom per day aren't going to even make a blip on their radar.
posted by phunniemee at 9:39 AM on October 5, 2012 [38 favorites]

1) Proceed with life as normal, continue making plans. You don't know if you'll be puking 5 times an hour or completely have no morning sickness. You don't even know if you'll still be pregnant (sad but true, this is why people wait until 12 weeks to tell people). I went to a conference at 8 weeks and was tired but fine. I brought high-protein snacks and that helped a lot.

2) People I told before 12 weeks: my spouse (obv), my mom, and my boss. But I work in a very pregnancy-friendly place, so you need to decide what's right for you. Basically, only tell the people that you would feel comfortable talking about a miscarriage with if that happens. If office mates get suspicious, they get suspicious. One of my coworkers told me later that she knew. You can only do so much.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 9:41 AM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

My experience (and most people I know) is that you are more nauseated than nauseous in the first term: like, I felt like I was going to throw up a lot, but I didn't actually throw up more than a couple times. There's things you can do for feeling nauseated - my biggest was not letting my stomach get empty - so I didn't want to eat as much but I made sure I grazed on snacks every couple hours; you're most likely to throw up in the mornings because you've been sleeping all night and not eating.

You can also chew candied ginger; you can use "SeaBands" which are little stretchy bracelets with pressure points that sit on some acupressure spots on your wrist; you can chew papaya enzyme pills (my midwife recommended them to me - ask your care provider); you can use the "all-natural" Gravol/Dramamine (which is just ginger pills, but they work - protip for hangovers as well BTW).

Things more likely to set you off feeling nauseated will be strong smells and tight clothes - I hated anything touching my neck, it would make me harfy. You'll feel tired more - take naps, don't overdo it. Another issue is how sore and enlarged my breasts got right away - plan on buying new, more comfortable bras - that made a big difference for me.

I usually don't tell until I'm past the first term aside from my parents and my closest friends. It's not your co-workers' business, and especially if it's your first you probably won't show at all, so you can just play it off like an ongoing cold you can't shake or something if you have to. Good luck!
posted by flex at 9:43 AM on October 5, 2012

From recent, unpleasant experience: you will be tempted to tell everyone the news, because it's fantastic and happy and you want all your friends to share in the happiness with you. But when your OBGYN tells you that there's a high risk of spontaneous termination in the first 12 weeks, she is not kidding, and once you have shared the news with a fair number of people, it will propagate quickly. And if (god forbid) something does go wrong in the first trimester, you will have people inquiring about your pregnancy for the next 6 months. Some of those inquiries (while completely well-meaning) will come out of the blue and sideswipe you completely, ruining your day by forcing you to retell the story about the saddest thing that has ever happened to you.
posted by Mayor West at 10:20 AM on October 5, 2012 [6 favorites]

I would definitely tell best friend and other close people who would be understanding and supportive in the early days and if challenges occurred. Unless you end up having some extraordinary symptoms impacting your availability or interactions, I wouldn't tell co-workers I didn't already share a close relationship with.

Plan to go to the conference. Carry/pack emesis bags, candied ginger, stone wheat crackers, peppermints, a washcloth in a ziploc, and a portable oral care set, and be okay with potentially missing a couple of things. Some is better than none. Also, not all women throw up - while I had some serious nausea, it was always controlled with cracker nibbles and sips of water, and that's not unusual.

Really, enjoy whatever amount of this experience you get to have - don't live in dread of the potential of not getting to meet this spark in person. Just load it up with all the love and hope you have, so that no matter what happens, it has been given a full measure of affection and joy in its time with you.

posted by batmonkey at 10:27 AM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

Everything flex said.

I didn't throw up once during my entire pregnancy. I felt pretty horrible in the afternoons in my first trimester, though. By five o'clock I was out of office like a shot, so I could go home and lie on the couch.

In early pregnancy I told my husband, my mom, and a couple close friends. Everyone else can wait. Also: even if your coworkers noticed something, they wouldn't dare bring it up.
posted by Specklet at 10:27 AM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

I never had a bit of illness, YMMV. Peppermints and B-12 may help as well, but check with your midwife. Congrats!!
posted by pearlybob at 10:46 AM on October 5, 2012

I threw up maybe twice over the course of both my pregnancies. It might not happen, so don't plan around it.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:35 AM on October 5, 2012

Continue on with life as you normally would live it. You don't have to tell anyone, ever, about your pregnancy if you don't feel like it. I didn't tell my family until 12 weeks as I was paranoid. And then, I'd tell people as I saw them and I usually tried to tell special people in my life in person -- go out to dinner with friends and tell them then. Make a spa appointment with your best friend and tell her there, etc. It was a really fun process. Eventually, it got let out of the Facebook bag and then everyone knew! But, really, I think go slow. Don't assume you'll be barfy or you won't. Definitely go to the weekend away! I did a 30-mile bike tour at 15 weeks. At the end, I was super tired but it was so much fun and I have hardly been on my bike since so I'm glad I did it. I reserved the right to call off the ride at any time and I just took extra care to stay fed and hydrated and it was a blast.

posted by amanda at 11:42 AM on October 5, 2012

Just plan plenty of time to rest into your schedule, and bring some crackers wherever you go. You'll be fine. (And if you do end up puking everywhere, well, you can't really predict or control that.)

posted by chickenmagazine at 12:34 PM on October 5, 2012

Lots of good advice here. Definitely go to the conference. When I was in grad. school I became pregnant with my first, and grad. school policy was that you did NOT miss any classes. I just sat near the door, stuffed my bag full of saltine crackers, water and whatever other snacks helped, and while I felt rather crappy a lot of the time, I never once threw up at school (or at all, actually). Other things that have helped with nausea, especially when I've had to be somewhere: sugar-free chewing gum, GinGins (ginger candy that was very very helpful for me), sparkling water (unflavored). Don't let yourself get dehydrated, too hungry, or over-tired, because all of those things could make the nausea worse.

As far as telling people goes, I would definitely tell your best friend. I told a few close people early on in my last two pregnancies, and it was nice to have someone that I could vent to about nausea, exhaustion, etc. Also, I had a "threatened miscarriage" with my second, which scared me like crazy, and having a friend to talk to about it was very helpful.
posted by Happydaz at 1:24 PM on October 5, 2012

I have nightmare first trimesters, vomiting so hard I pee multiple times a day, radically weird food sensitivities and aversions, exhaustion like I'm being hit by a truck. In your shoes? I would absolutely go on that trip. If you feel like ass, you'll feel like ass whether you're there or at home, and you will get more out of being there and feeling like ass then you will out of being at home and feeling like ass.

In terms of you who'd tell: tell everyone whom you'd tell if you had a miscarriage. I've had 4, and the support of my community meant a lot to me with each one.
posted by KathrynT at 3:27 PM on October 5, 2012

As someone who's lost 5 pregnancies, I can easily answer your second question.

You tell the people who you would want to go to for support if you lost the baby (even though you probably won't). Because it's incredibly awkward to deliver the good news because you need their help with the bad, and because those are the people who are really in your inner circle anyway, so they should share your joy.

posted by nadise at 8:40 PM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

I had a conference at about 10 weeks, had pretty bad morning sickness and still went. Threw up til I peed after missing the final 10 minutes of the keynote but with supplies it was fine.

Most women are not terribly sick.

And I told the people I would need support from if I lost the pregnancy - my boss, my mum and my best friend. My partner told his brother.
posted by geek anachronism at 2:33 AM on October 6, 2012

nadise absolutely nails it. I lost a pregnancy recently at 9 weeks and my recovery has been greatly aided by my support network. Without the love of my friends and family I cannot imagine what emotional state I'd be in.

I also told my co-workers, but I work in a small business dominated by mothers. They too were a great help and comfort, especially when it came to light that a lot of them had gone through the same experiences when they started their families. They were also very supportive and understanding when I needed time off for various medical things related to the miscarriage.
posted by Jilder at 8:07 PM on October 6, 2012

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