How to stave off insanity during the first trimester

Hey girl

Come in. Sit down! The couch is comfy, the snacks are boundless and the bathroom is right there. 

You look fantastic by the way. Breathtaking even. Did you come with your own personal lighting team? Whatever you just said was so hilariously insightful. You’re just such an exciting / energising person to be around, the kind of woman people give their last tim tam to without even blinking. Hell, take mine. Please. I want you to have it. 

So, we got pregnant… “Congratulations!” they exclaim breathlessly at the wonderfully uncomplicated news, eagerly awaiting the beams of pure joy to start shooting out of your eyes. So you paste a smile over your terror, lace up your tap shoes tight and give the people what they’ve paid to see. BEAM. BABY NAMES. TRAVEL STEP. SHIRLEY TEMPLE.

But don’t worry, it’s just us here. And we can talk about whatever we want. Let’s hang up the tappers for a second and just be overwhelmed and sad and happy about being trapped on a spaceship that’s hurtling into the great unknown shall we? Without the need to explain ourselves, be judged or feel guilty. 

With no bars, booze, sushi or hard drugs, by the six week mark my (kind of) secret pregnancy was about as isolating as a single doghouse on a glacier. My social life had been reduced to coffee dates with my phone, or staying home with the blinds closed and occasionally peering out at the street. I became particularly alarmed one evening to realise that I’d filled the last 12 pages of my journal with the words: ‘All kale and no wine makes Ashey a dull boy.’ 

That was the moment I decided to hit the brakes on my sleigh ride to insanity, and make a conscious effort to make the most of this nauseating, exciting, emotionally unstable first trimester. 

Here’s what I came up with…

Embrace the nap

The fact that you’re even awake right now means you’re doing really great. You’re growing a central nervous system from SCRATCH after all. Don’t fight the need to nod off anytime, anywhere. You’re a cat. A sexy, bitchy sleepy cat. Mix it up by having different nap stations around the house: a puddle of sunshine, the couch, a magical safari tent fashioned from sheets, pillows and the dining room table. Make it fabulous!

Make a dinner reservation

Although this rules out half the restaurants in most major cities, gripping a mocktail while waiting hours in a crowded bar to eat just won’t do. Someday soon you’ll be pregnant enough to pull some serious strings, but right now all you’ve got are your slightly swollen nipples and raging hormones, both of which are powerless in the hospitality industry. Book something with a handful of your favourite people and eat some delicious food while getting a manageable hit of the outside world. 

Take regular crying breaks

In the car, in the shower, the toilets at work, during Magic Mike XXL, wherever feels right. Arm yourself with a travel-size packet of tissues and just glide the wave of your sad pregnant lady tears. (WARNING: Please dispose of your tissues carefully. They are soaked in enough oestrogen to give a small boy a sex change)

Get Netflix

Lose yourself in the earthly delights of this groundbreaking media platform, or as it’s also known, the sad pregnant lady’s No. 1 bitch. Orange is the New Black and Bojack Horseman and Wet Hot American Summer, oh my! The gang’s all here. And they have absolutely no opinion on caesareans, finding out the sex, or whether or not you ‘seem like a baby person.’*

*Baby person, a definition: One who feigns interest in other people’s babies for longer than the regulation 90 seconds

Draw a tiny hand on the palm of your hand

About the size of a pea, which is pretty close to the size of your baby’s hand, who’s now giving you a tiny high five to help get you through the day. 

Make the most of your boring hangover-free weekends

Pregnant lady weekends are like a secret wardrobe to a land of extra time that's just for you (“LOL!” cry the women with kids already). But to those of you packing away your sequinned jumpsuit and cocaine scoop keyring for the first time, you're about to stumble across a world of fair to acceptable alternatives to getting high: movies, matinees, writing your memoir, sneaking into luxury hotel pool facilities, hunting for muumuus at vintage markets, sampling entire dessert menus, finally learning that fisherman’s knot, and so on. (Please refer to the upcoming SPL’s guide to Melbourne for more details) 

Until then, always remember that I love you.

Sad pregnant lady x.