Everyone is different when it comes to pregnancy and no two pregnancies are ever the same and this applies to the early symptoms of pregnancy as well. I always wonder about the women who suddenly go into labour and yet they swear they had no idea they were pregnant! If there are any ladies reading this article who have experienced this, please comment and get in touch as I would love to hear and share your story for my readers.
My bulging jelly belly and insane appetite would have given it away long before the baby popped out. Plus being only 5’2, there is literally no way a small human growing inside me was ever going to go undetected.
I instinctively knew I was pregnant at about 14 days past ovulation on both occasions. I had overwhelming nausea, which I know isn’t technically ‘morning sickness’ as it would disappear and then come back with an all-consuming vengeance at about 7 weeks. My boobs would be sore and I’d have cramping, much like the type you get during a period, which only adds to the frustration as many of the symptoms of pregnancy are the same as those experienced before a period and for which any women trying to conceive is a bitter pill to swallow as every month we convince ourselves that this time it’ll be the result we’ve been so desperately waiting for.
As we were desperately trying to fall pregnant I spent a small fortune on pregnancy tests, peeing morning, midday and evening despite the results and this started from the minute we did the deed (until my husband found my stash of used tests and promptly and rightly convinced me to “END THE MADNESS”
Whether you’re trying to get pregnant or trying to avoid a pregnancy, that two-week window can be gut wrenching and on occasion can drive us insane. So, if you don’t want to spend those two weeks peeing on a stick and waiting for that little plus sign to show up, what other signs and symptoms can you look out for that may give you an idea that you’re finally expecting.
0-10 days past ovulation
The minute the ovary releases an egg during your monthly cycle is the point of ovulation. As soon as the egg is released, we enter what’s called the luteal phase of the cycle and this ends in either your period starting, or fingers crossed a big fat positive pregnancy test. Technically a pregnancy doesn’t begin until the egg is fertilised and goes on to implant itself in the wall of your uterus, setting up home for the next nine months.
Over the course of the next four weeks your body starts to produce more and more progesterone. A hormone that your body produces to help sustain and continue an early pregnancy and these levels will continue to rise. This hormone is the pesky one that’s accountable for many of those crappy symptoms we experience throughout pre-menstrual tension, the ones that make us cry uncontrollably and wish everyone would just F**K Off
Should the egg and the sperm meet and do their merry dance, they then embark on the week long journey to the uterus implanting itself neatly in the wall of your uterus and thus marking the start of your pregnancy. Hurray!
Now the fun really begins. For every woman, the timings of implantation may vary greatly and can range from anywhere between seven and twelve days after they met for that merry dance.
At this point you’re going to start feeling bloated and this isn’t the type of bloat you feel after you have just eaten a giant plate of pasta, this is a bloat that can be likened to waking up feeling slim and sexy and going to bed feeling like you may have just eaten the entire supply of Italy’s pasta. It is a jelly belly of epic proportion and if you stand sideways in the mirror, relax and stick that belly out you might even think that you’re six months pregnant already (if only pregnancy were that quick hey)
Food cravings are another big giveaway, or maybe its food aversions? For me I couldn’t go near eggs or chicken in the early stages and during my first pregnancy I would literally chow down on bag after bag of Wotsits Crisps, at one point being somewhat concerned my baby would come out orange.
You’ll also experience increased nipple sensitivity which sounds like it could be a lot of fun, but to break it to your gently IT IS NOT. Your man is going to want to stay well away from that region for a few more weeks yet and your boobs are going to be swollen and sore. Ironically during pregnancy your boobs are going to look the best they ever have so you may want to at this stage get the camera out, get comfortable in your own skin and snap away.
I think it’s always nice to have a keep sake of a time when our boobs were firm and perky, even if it is just to look back at in a few years’ time and cry.
If you are used to having cramping during your monthly period, the cramps you feel in early pregnancy can be very similar. For those ladies who are not used to cramping, it can be a little daunting and worrying. It is perfectly normal to panic that something is wrong when we experience cramps in early pregnancy, and it is equally normal to worry when we aren’t experiencing them. Every worry, anxiety and emotion is going to be heightened during these coming months.
It goes without saying, that if you’re experiencing particularly painful cramps and those cramps are accompanied by bleeding, it’s worth getting yourself checked out by a doctor. At seven to ten days past ovulation some women may notice light bleeding or spotting which happens when the egg implants itself in the wall of the uterus and for some women this is the earliest sign of pregnancy. I never experienced this myself and if I had I may have assumed it was the start of my period. Again, I’ll stress that if you’re at all concerned, please don’t struggle in silence and get a professional opinion from your doctor.
At implantation, the body begins producing a pregnancy hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) along with progesterone and oestrogen and this is the hormone that is present in your pee and the one that is responsible for producing a positive pregnancy test. Depending on the type of test you use, they vary massively in price and therefore in quality – it can take several days for hCG to reach a level that is detectable. If you’re convinced this is the month and the test is showing negative, wait a few days and try again, although I’m 70% confident that if you’re trying to conceive, you’ll not be able to wait a few days, maybe half a day at the most.
11-14 days past ovulation
When we’re super in tune with how our bodies work and behave each month, and let’s be honest when we’re trying to get pregnant we literally look for any sign we can cling to that this may be the month – we may be better at identifying whether our symptoms are due to pregnancy or just that time of the month again.
Some other symptoms of early pregnancy that you may want to look out for. You may notice a darkening in the colour of your nipples, its subtle but if you look close enough you may notice the change. You may also experience an increased need to pee. My husband suspected I was pregnant both times when I started waking in the night to use the loo which is a big giveaway and you may also experience an upset stomach.
By the time you’ve experienced several early pregnancy symptoms, it is possible that the hCG levels are high enough that a pregnancy test can indicate a pregnancy.
So, what are you waiting for? Go pee on that stick!
If, fingers crossed you see the result you’ve been waiting for, remember to
- Make a doctor’s appointment at about 8 weeks they’ll want to see you to check you in and allocate you a midwife / OBGYN
- Be patient with the big announcement, or shout the news from the roof top, remember it is a personal choice as to how you chose to announce your news.
- Start taking a prenatal vitamin straight away if you’re not already doing so.
- Quit smoking and drinking alcohol straight away.
- If you’re already active and a regular to exercise continue as you were, just avoid any extreme levels of exercise and don’t allow your body to get too hot. Check with your midwife of OBGYN is you have any questions about the level of exercise you can do. Everyone is different.
- Eat healthy and stay hydrated.
Good luck everyone.
What signs indicated you were pregnant before you tested positive? Comment below and let us know ladies.