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!

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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.”

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

How I Found Out I Was Pregnant

It was a few days before my period was due, and I could hardly contain myself. Could this be the month that I was pregnant? I didn't feel any different, but I was optimistic.

My husband was already at work when I woke up. I practically ran to the bathroom and unwrapped one of the many pregnancy tests I kept under the sink. After reading the instructions, I followed each step carefully. I set an alarm for five minutes and put the test on the countertop , then, I waited. Would I be a new mom soon?

One line appeared, as it always did. But the second line -- the important line -- did not. I checked the alarm; it was about to go off. I looked at the test again and sighed. No second line. I tried to cheer up by reminding myself that it was pretty early in my cycle to be testing. This month could still be the month. I guess today just wasn't the day, I’d have to wait a little longer for our new addition to the family.

I tossed the test in the trash and headed to the kitchen to make breakfast. A little while later, I felt this strange sensation come over me. "Go look at the test again!" popped into my head. I’ve double-checked tests before; this time seemed different.

Two lines! There were two lines on the pregnancy test. The second line was very faint, but it was definitely there. I was going to be a new mom!

I immediately ripped open another test...and another…and another. I took six more tests before I was convinced that I was pregnant! I remember sitting down on the couch, heart pounding, as I contemplated my future. A baby! I looked at my positive tests over and over again to reassure myself that it was real. Once it sunk in, I began to think about telling my husband and smiled as I realized that he’d be just as excited about our growing family.

Finding out that I was pregnant was the best moment of my life -- until our son was born, of course!

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How I Found Out I was Pregnant

Right before taking the third pregnancy test I called a girlfriend from high school. We hadn’t talked in years, but she was the only person I could think of who recently had a baby. She laughed while saying, “You only need one test to tell you that your life just changed forever.” She was right, but I didn’t believe the first one, the second one made me smile, and I wanted my partner, Jay, to be with me for the third.

I was 26, living in Brooklyn NY, in a tiny apartment with Jay (and two other roommates, because that’s what we could afford). We lived the lives people in their late 20’s lived -- not particularly kid-friendly. However, having been together three years, we had talked about children and decided that in another three years, we would move to Cape Cod, where he grew up, and start growing a family. Only three years turned into three months, since all three pregnancy tests came up positive.

Even though it was a surprise when I found out I was going to be a new mom, I wasn’t shocked to be expecting. I was never the type to mark my calendar; I just knew my period would start at some point. I had a regular visit to my doctor scheduled for February 13th, but a feeling struck me on January 10th, and I couldn’t wait. I had this feeling before, but it usually calmed with a test, and then often, tampon purchases the next day. Only this time, I used all three pregnancy tests, and my happiness grew with each positive sign.

Photo by Edward Cisneros on Unsplash