10 Signs You May Be Pregnant

You’ve been trying to conceive and now your period is late, so it’s possible you could be pregnant, right? But even before a home test can detect your condition, your body may be sending out a few hints that you’re a new mom-to-be. If you pay close attention, you’ll pick up on a few of these early signs of pregnancy.

Tender breasts. Breast soreness is a very common early pregnancy clue. Hormones help to increase your blood volume, leaving you with heavier-than-usual breasts.

Nausea. Morning sickness usually starts in the first month and can last through the third or fourth month. And this queasy feeling doesn’t always, or only, occur when you first wake up; a few new moms-to-be feel green morning, noon, and night.

Constipation and bloating. Feeling a little bloated and uncomfortable is normal. The digestive track tends to slow down during pregnancy, leaving you a little, well, backed up.

Moodiness. One minute you’re laughing, and the next, you’re in tears, thanks to your changing hormones. A few new moms-to-be may even feel depressed or anxious, too.

Cravings or food aversions. Some women can’t stop eating peaches, while others find that the sight of chicken turns their stomach into knots. If you fall into either camp, it could be an early pregnancy clue.

Fatigue. It’s hard work growing a new baby! Increasing hormones are contributing to that sluggish feeling. Take heart: Most women get a surge of energy in their second trimester.

Backaches. Hormones released during pregnancy allow pelvic ligaments to soften in preparation for the birth. This change may affect the usual positioning of your spine and cause some pain. You’ll likely be dealing with back strain quite a bit as your belly swells. If your back is giving you grief, try a heating pad set at the lowest temperature, or a warm water bottle, or a cold compress for relief.

Heightened sense of smell. An extra-sensitive nose is another early pregnancy sign, so don’t be surprised if you can smell the dirty dishes in the sink from the other side of the room.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and your period isn’t on time, head to the drugstore for a home pregnancy kit to confirm your suspicion, or have your doctor give you a pregnancy test. You may find out that you’ll soon be welcoming a new baby!

Photo by Rowan Chestnut on Unsplash

How to Tell your Hubby You’re Pregnant

I remember being eight, watching an episode of my favorite television show, where the wife tells her husband she’s pregnant, and thinking, “I’m totally going to do something even cuter when I tell my husband I’m having a baby.”  Flash forward to 2011, soon after I started my pinning obsession, I started a hidden “Baby” board where I pinned unbelievably clever ways to make a future pregnancy announcement. 

The time finally came in January 2012 when I could surprise my partner, Jay, by making an “I’m going to be a big sister” dog t-shirt for our pooch. But using a darling method takes time, and I’m terrible at keeping happy secrets; really terrible -- I gave Jay his Christmas gift in November, because I was too excited!

I had to ignore those brilliant ideas swirling around my head and find a way to make my pregnancy announcement to Jay as quickly as possible.  My frantic newly-pregnant mind thought of a number of not-so-great ways to surprise the love of my life with the news that he was now a dad-to-be.  Here are a few of those ideas:

1.    Text him “You’re going to be a Dad!” while he was working.

2.    Leave the pregnancy tests casually out on the bathroom counter.

3.    Play a round of charades in which I badly act out the news

I’m thankful I didn’t do any of those. I did text him to come home right after work, and I spent the rest of the night skirting his questions. As he walked through the door, I awkwardly cut him off just before he reached the bathroom. A twitchy and smiling ball of nerves, I proceeded to stand in front of him as he raised an eyebrow and asked me, “What is going on?” I unintelligibly blurted, “I’m pregnant.” And when he furrowed his brow in confusion, I gestured a round belly and said it a little more clearly.  “You’re what…” he asked, “pregnant?”  Then he gave me one of his fantastic, warm, long, loving hugs.  We sat for a few minutes with silly smirks on our faces, letting the surprise sink in, and then, he said, “Maybe you’ll be able to do something cute with the next pregnancy announcement.”

Baby by Surprise: Telling the Dad-to-Be

A baby was the furthest thing from our minds. We had just moved into a new apartment, and I was trying to get a promotion at work. We figured we’d have children one day, but not anytime soon.

We had a vacation planned shortly after the move. One day, when we were away,  I noticed my breasts were, well, huge! But I didn’t think much of it. That should have been my first clue.

A second clue came -- or didn’t come -- a few days later. I was supposed to get my period while we were away, but it never happened. “Don’t worry,” Ryan told me. “You’re just stressed out. It’ll come.”

I spent the next few weeks waiting for my period and searching online for explanations. I wasn’t even thinking about pregnancy. Unfortunately, the other possible causes made me more and more anxious and seemed much scarier than becoming a new mom. I finally scheduled an appointment with my doctor.

Ryan was sick the day of my appointment, so he couldn’t join me. I kept trying to reassure myself the whole time while traveling to the office, waiting in reception, and sitting in the doctor’s office after I peed in a cup. So, I was a little on edge when the nurse knocked on the door -- and even more on edge when dropped the supplies she was holding as she walked in.

As she picked up her instruments, she said, “Honey, you’re pregnant!”

“Excuse me?!”

“You’re very pregnant,” she repeated matter-of-factly.

I shouldn’t have been shocked, but I was. I spent the trip home panicking about how this would change our lives, what it would mean for my promotion -- and what in the world Ryan would say about becoming a new dad.

As soon as I walked in the door, I blurted it out: “Ryan, I’m pregnant.” Now, he was both sick and stunned. He looked at me, said, “OK,” and went right back to bed.

It took him about a week to process the news. I tried to let him adjust to this change on his own time, but of course, I couldn’t help but watch him a little more closely. He spent a lot of time online researching pregnancy and fatherhood. And I could swear he developed a slight sweating issue.

As we both got used to the idea, we became more and more excited. “I always knew we would have children,” Ryan told me. “It’s just a lot earlier than we expected.”

We’ve had to make a lot of changes since our daughter, Ava, was born, including moving from that one-bedroom apartment to a house and giving up the weekends we used to have to ourselves. But Ava is our angel and has brought new meaning to our lives. We wouldn’t have it any other way!

Photo by Meryl Spadaro on Unsplash

How I Found out about our New Additions

I was not “technically” ready to take a pregnancy test the day that I did, but I could not wait any longer and just had to take one and see. I remember reading the pregnancy test box that said it could detect if you were pregnant or not a week before your missed cycle. Of course, I thought I would just take it to calm my thoughts.  

So I woke up on that morning of May 2nd, 2012, took a test, and left it on the bathroom counter for the five minutes you are supposed to wait. My husband was in the shower getting ready for work while I did all of this. I went back to bed to wait while he finished up in the bathroom. I just kept hoping I would find out that I would soon be a new mom.

I will never forget him opening the bathroom door and the look on his face. He asked me with a look of excitement in his eye, “What will this thing show if you are pregnant or not?” I said, it will say “Pregnant” or “Not Pregnant.”

I quickly jumped out of bed and ran into the bathroom asking, “What does it say? What does it say?” He showed me the pregnancy test, and it showed I was pregnant! I screamed and jumped up and down. We then hugged and I kept saying, “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh!” He went to work that day, and I actually had an appointment with my doctor already scheduled. This is when the real shock came.

I told the doctor that my home pregnancy test said I was pregnant. They took blood work, which would confirm if I was or not for sure. The nurse called me that afternoon and said, “You are really, really, really pregnant!” I laughed and said, “What does that mean?” She then told me my HCG levels were so high, the chance of multiples was very likely. I then thought holy cow!  I remember calling my husband at work and told him, and he just said, “Okay, when will we know for sure?”

Soon after, I had an ultrasound and found out we were pregnant with not one new baby, but two -- and it couldn’t have been a better surprise!

Photo by Meryl Spadaro on Unsplash

How I Found out We were Expecting

We had literally just decided to start trying the month before I found out about our new baby. I had no idea it would happen so quickly, but boy, was I wrong!

My husband and I were still enjoying our freedom, but we saw parenthood in our near future. So spontaneously, I hopped on a plane and spent two weeks in Germany with my best friend as a bit of a last hurrah. And for the first time in a long time, I had my health and well-being as a top priority. My friends even joked, "You must be getting ready to get pregnant.”

About a month after I had returned home I was attending a boot camp class with my sister. To say I was dragging would be an understatement. It wasn't that I couldn't keep up; I was just so nauseous. I even physically got sick. I foolishly kept going, telling myself it was jet lag. How could it have happened that fast? I'll never forget leaving that class, and my sister saying, "You're pregnant, go get a test.”

I stumbled into the store in disbelief of what I was about to do. I walked down the aisle and became so overwhelmed with the massive pregnancy test selection; I almost turned around and left. I grabbed a couple boxes -- the more the better I thought -- and quickly threw them into my basket, bought some candy and magazines to cover what was in the basket, checked out, and headed home. My local pharmacy was only a tenth of a mile from the gym, and my house was only a half a mile from there. My GPS calculates it as a 5 minute trip, but to me, that drive felt like forever.

I ran upstairs and began the pregnancy test process. In a matter of minutes, my life changed forever. I was actually going to become a new mom. While overwhelmed, I still remember that day as one of the best days of my life.

Photo by Travis Grossen on Unsplash