I’ll let you into a little secret…. Now and again I forget to take my contraceptive pill, and all hell breaks loose. Suddenly I’m back Googling early signs of pregnancy like it’s 2014. Only this time it’s with a mild panic.
Don’t get me wrong, if we had an accidental pregnancy I’m sure we would welcome it with open arms. (Unexpected second child, if you’re reading this, Mummy and Daddy think you’re amazing! Thanks for rocking up.)
It’s just that I’m forty this year, it took us a very long time to have a successful pregnancy, and realistically my body doesn’t have a great track record at staying pregnant (you can read more about that here).
So I think it’s fair to say baby number two is not on the master plan. We are eternally grateful for the crazy little man we have, and everything feels beautifully complete. (Am I tempting fate here..!)
Early Signs of Pregnancy? I’m the Oracle!
Anyway, Googling early signs of pregnancy again is surreal, let me tell you. I don’t even know why I do it, as I know them off by heart. Having spent three years trying for child number one, and having been pregnant four times during that period, I am pretty much the oracle on those early signs.
Maybe not so much oracle as complete, obsessive weirdo. I know faaaar too much.
That being the case, I think it’s only fair that I share the knowledge, so those women still trying to conceive (or perhaps those who are kind of hoping not to – give me a holler in the comments box below if I’m not alone in sticking at one. Seems like I might be…)
Early Signs of Pregnancy – The Gold Dust
For my readers who are done with pregnancy, you are going to relish this little meander down memory lane. And please do add your own signs, or any early pregnancy signs I’ve missed, in the comments box. Your wisdom is gold dust for those still hoping.
For you ladies still waiting for it to happen, I feel your pain. I felt it monthly for too many years.
Cycle after cycle of trying to read your body and all of its tiny signals like a complex book. Of convincing yourself that every little thing means you absolutely must be pregnant. Need a wee in the night? Must be a sign. Feel a bit queasy this morning? This is surely it!
Then your period arrives. Urgh. But hang on – could it be implantation spotting? How much is there? Can I measure it?
Obsessing Over Early Signs of Pregnancy? I’ve Been There Too…
It feels like madness, but I’ve been there too. Each month you feel a little more unhinged and a lot more disappointed.
And the cruellest trick of nature is that the early signs of pregnancy can be much the same as the early signs that your period is in the pipeline. Your hormones are doing similar things and so the result could go either way.
How mean is that.
And also, every woman is different, and in my experience, every pregnancy is different too. I had different signs for each, so it’s never easy to work out what is going on, if anything.
But my best advice? Just keep believing. And keep going. It happened for me when I thought it never would. And I feel like I have read an entire internet load of similar tales. Most women get there in the end, and I truly hope you do too.
But while you’re waiting, let me give you everything I know about the signs you may see before you’re able to take that pregnancy test. We’ll wait it out together.
Good luck, sister.
Warning – some of this is a bit gross! TMI alert. Ooh, and here’s your:
Early Signs of Pregnancy – GLOSSARY OF TERMS:
AF – Aunt Flo (or period, menstruation)
TTC – Trying to conceive
TMI – Too much information
BFP – Big fat positive (a positive pregnancy test)
Queasiness – One of the Best Known Early Signs of Pregnancy!
Morning sickness can present itself at any time of day or night, with or without vomiting. I often felt nauseous, but I was never physically sick. You may not start feeling this until you’re 4 – 6 weeks pregnant, or may avoid it entirely. But some women do get it as an early sign.
Say what?! Yes, it’s true – this really can be one of those early signs of pregnancy. Your lady parts can take on a blue or purple hue as early as 4 weeks in, owing to increased blood flow to the area. Yep, I’ve seen in with my own eyes. Kinda cool.
Shooting Pains in Vagina
OK, whilst we’re on this topic, we may as well cover this weird one too. This is more colloquially known as “lightning crotch” or (oh god, can I bring myself to type this…) “fanny daggers”. It feels like electric shocks or lightning bolts shooting down your lady passage, from somewhere within.
It can be a common thing throughout pregnancy, but I have absolutely had this as a very early pregnancy sign. (I also had it on a few cycles when I didn’t end up pregnant, so I guess it’s just hormonal).
Saying that, I never had it outside of the Trying to Conceive (TTC) years, so maybe it is a sign your body is trying to do something…
Needing to Pee More
I always found this tricky to gauge, as I wee frequently anyway. If you’re like me, you may notice this more at night. This was once a pre-pregnancy test sign for me, as I never used to need the loo during sleeping hours.
In later pregnancy you need to urinate more owing to your bladder feeling squished. But it can also be a very early sign, as the increase in the pregnancy hormone hCG sends more blood to your pelvic area.
On my first pregnancy, this was my first, very obvious sign. My boobs were huge and painful a good week before it was possible to take a pregnancy test. With my subsequent pregnancies, this sign didn’t come on until more like the six week mark.
You see how each pregnancy can have its own rhythms? This was one of the things I used to obsess about, thinking this may be a sign of whether my pregnancy was “strong”/not “strong”. But honestly, it didn’t matter.
You may have some cramping as one of your early signs of pregnancy, although of course, these may be period pains.
With my fourth pregnancy, which was the successful one, I had lots of cramps, back pains, shooting pains and burrowing pains for the first few weeks.
I have consulted my (vast!) pregnancy diaries to write this post so I can give you everything I know, and I wrote that they were “twinges” and “they don’t feel like a period”.
Oh, and if you want a laugh, I also wrote “my lower back pains were shooting into my bum and thighs, and my uterus felt like it was wired up to an electric fence.” Must turn all of this into blog posts one day!
As mentioned above, these are like “burrowing” pains, where an embryo is trying to implant. I had these as early signs in some of my pregnancies, but also convinced myself I was having them on months when I didn’t fall pregnant.
With my fourth pregnancy I had left side back throbs and pinching on the left side top of my uterus before my BFP.
Successful boy child came from my left ovary. (Obsessive TTC gang – you will understand this complete fixated knowledge of the exact workings of your body, tuning in to every minute detail. The medical staff were often surprised I could tell which ovary my pregnancies came from before any scan.)
This is not a myth! It really can be one of the early signs of pregnancy.
I only had this once, on my fourth, successful pregnancy. Of course at first, I thought it was the onset of my period, and I was devastated – I’d felt so sure this was my month (again). But more so, this time.
For those of you who are obsessing like I did (and I know you girls won’t mind the TMI, because you need to know), my diary tells me on day 11 of my cycle I had a few slightly off colour wipes when I went to the loo in the morning, a small gush of fluids which were sort of milky cappuccino colour, throughout the day it petered out, then in the evening I had a few light pinkish wipes. It didn’t turn to dark blood and no more spotting on day 12.
Hope that helps!
With any queasiness may come food aversions. You probably won’t get cravings until later on, but you may go off the smell or taste of certain foods as one of the early signs of pregnancy. I went right off my husband’s signature pasta dish. Bleurgh. Couldn’t stand the smell…
Aversions to Smells
Err, like the time my friend came into the office wearing her new expensive perfume, and I pulled a face and complained that the cleaners must have used something extra stinky to clean our desks. Yes, that happened. Oops.
The increase in progesterone may cause you to feel bloated and windy as one of the very early signs of pregnancy. I’ve definitely been there! Pooooof.
Moody? Who, me?!
Of course this can also be a sign of AF, but the increased oestrogen and progesterone in your body when you fall pregnant may cause this too. And it only gets worse!
Constipation or Diarrhoea
There’s that progesterone at play again! Urgh, hormones. They can be a tad embarrassing…
Basal Temperature Increase
The hardcore amongst you may be into this.
If you have been charting your temperature throughout your cycles, your temperature will continue to rise if you are pregnant, rather than drop off. (I never managed to chart successfully, as insomnia got in the way!) Grr.
The increase in progesterone certainly made me toddle off to bed an hour earlier, exhausted, as a very early sign.
Funny Taste in your Mouth
You may get a strange, metallic taste in your mouth (from increased hormones). You may notice this most when you first wake up. A bit like you’ve been sucking on a bag of coins – and not those yummy chocolate ones.
I remember dribbling a lot during one pregnancy, although this wasn’t until a bit later on. Had to remind myself to keep my mouth closed. A bit of an odd one.
I got this A LOT, through most pregnancies, even early on. Although it can also be a normal sign of your monthly cycle. Grr. Pregnancy hunger can end up going to a whole new level though. Nom nom. Get your snack drawer ready.
Waking up Hot and Sweaty
Those hormonal pregnancy night sweats can be something else. You may see a bit of this as an early sign, as your progesterone levels begin to rise. And freaky dreams too.
An increase in hormones and/or low blood sugar levels may make you feel a bit dizzy, even early on. So watch your step, girlfriend.
Um, slightly weird, but those extra hormones could make you a bit of a bogey monster too. I told you this list was thorough! I have indeed obsessed about the green stuff in more desperate times.
Guess what – those hormones again! As if they haven’t caused you enough problems, they may make you feel muggy headed too.
Did I mention early pregnancy is a bit like a hangover, without all the drunk bits?
If you haven’t yet freaked out from the TMI going on here, we may as well discuss the underwear situation.
Your discharge may go thin and milky-coloured early on. This is called leukorrhea (you can also have this during your cycle if you’re not pregnant, just to be unhelpful!).
You may not notice much increase in this until about week eight. It is what eventually builds up in your cervix to become the mucus plug, if you are pregnant.
But if you don’t get that, don’t worry – you’re not out of the game. Instead you may get…
I know, make your mind up, body. It’s all a bit confusing.
I only really get these when I’m pregnant or when I’ve got a cold coming. So if you don’t usually suffer with these complaints when not pregnant, maybe there’s something brewing.
Of course! And if this is the case, it may well be time to get the tests out, if you feel ready for some answers. Because a BFP is surely the queen of the early signs of pregnancy.
OK girls, if your period is late and you’re feeling brave, it may be time to get peeing on those sticks. I used to stock up on the cheap ones, but after they once told me I wasn’t pregnant when I knew I was, I spent the extra on those early response versions. So much better! Anyway, sending you lots of luck, whatever you’re hoping for. Keep me posted…
I Need You!
I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this. Women who have been there – please be a darling and scroll to the comments box and add your own early signs of pregnancy to help our “ladies in waiting”.
If you are still searching for those signs, please let me know if this has been of use.
And of course – share it with your friends, and sign up to my blog for more free stuff! I’d hate for you to miss out.
Give Me More!
Ooh, you’re still keen. You’re my kind of lady!
If you want to continue the fun, why not check out the one where I confess even more things about myself, if you’re into all this TMI.
Or if you’re gearing up for that BFP, maybe you want to know more about that first week of motherhood...enjoy! xx