Thursday, April 29, 2010

The How to Know if You're Pregnant so You Can Stop Freaking Out guide

here's something i've been wanting to discuss for a while. 

People who are friends with me in real life or who have access to my private blog have already heard me discuss this but I think that it warrants a Public Service Announcement of sorts anyway...This is a post for all the girls out there who have never been pregnant before and who might have gone through (or who might in the future go through) some "pregnancy scares".

Of course me being the innocent and angelic individual that I am, i have no first hand experience with something like that myself, but I am aware that it exists so I thought I'd write this little guide to help you ladies out. 

So here's the How to Know if You're Pregnant so You Can Stop Freaking Out guide (and don't worry "if you miss a period" isn't going to be on here because, duh, that one is obvious and it's during those two weeks leading up to that point that causes everyone concern). 

Let's begin:

1. You Just Know 

First things first, I want to discuss the phenomena that occurs when you first become pregnant and the fact that something within you knows right away.  

Everyone always hears about that, right? That mysterious sentence that mothers always seem to say (like they have some magical gift that the rest of us are lacking), "Oh when you're pregnant you'll just know." 

I used to hear this sentence and think to myself, "yea that's all well and good except for the fact that I might NOT 'just know'. What then?" 

Until it happened to me. And I did! I just KNEW. 

It's weird how true that statement turned out to be, especially because i did not trust in it at all before this actually happened. But it IS true, you really DO just know. (this is provided that you have some awareness of your body and you are in tune with do you know if you have "some awareness of your body and are in tune with it"? Easy: if you're obsessing about whether you're pregnant or not. That right there is enough to show you that you are analyzing little changes and paying attention to things. Trust me, those women on "I didn't know I was pregnant" must not have ever even WONDERED if they were or not because once you start to wonder it becomes super obvious right away). 

So okay, there's the whole You'll Just Know rule which really is true and it really does work.  In fact, I can summarize when my "just knowing" made it's way into my conscious mind:

I was having a debate with my husband about something.  I remember that I was sitting on the floor of the kitchen while my cat ate her dinner (don't ask, my cat is spoiled and likes it when we sit with her while she eats...yes, i am aware how insane it is that i even know that she has this preference and that i furthermore indulge her in it). So i was sitting with the cat while she ate and Ryan was in the bedroom doing something on his computer. We were debating (which is just a nice word for arguing) about something which I don't even remember now and the distinct thought went through my head "stop arguing with me, I'm pregnant!" (as if those two things go together at all). I paused for a moment and started to tune Ryan out while i considered that thought. It wasn't "stop arguing with me, i might be pregnant" it was "i am pregnant" a definitive statement that didn't even feel wrong or weird. It was something i had never thought before and it was something that felt like the absolute 100% truth.

Not only that but  i was just more aware of my uterus (that might sound strange but it's true). It felt (and okay, this is really cheesy) all sparkly and warm inside. 

I know that's maybe kinda gross or strange or just completely WTF but it's true. I suddenly just knew that my uterus existed and like i said, it felt like there were sparkles in there.  Strange. 

So that's how I Just Knew. And you will too. I swear. 

2. Symptoms Show Up Right Away.

This also seems weird but it's really true and it does happen. You can be what I referred to as "barely pregnant" (this is what i called myself when i was at the three and four week mark) and you more than likely WILL have symptoms. 

My first symptom (aside from my Just Knowing) was my sense of smell becoming incredibly enhanced. 

All of a sudden I could smell EVERYTHING. and Strong. It was like I was little again, everything had a distinctive and unique smell and it was all in 'technicolor'.

Having a strong sense of smell was cool for the first day but pretty gross afterwards. Ryan would have to change the cat litter all the time. I knew it was going to rain like three days in advance, dinner NEVER seemed appetizing and I definitely became even more of a sanitation freak than I already was. 

My sense of taste went next. Suddenly things that I usually liked were disgusting. I hardly wanted to eat anything, food seemed different to me. It was weird and it was gross. 

3. It Will Seem Like You are Getting your Period
Here we come to the particularly odd foray into pregnancy symptoms that are super early signs.  

I had cramps. All the time. 

This was really worrysome because by the time this one set in, I knew that I was pregnant (but then again, I found out at like 3 weeks so this one still counts) and so I thought that maybe I was going to be having a chemical pregnancy or something.  It was scary because it legitimately seemed like I was going to get my period because, well, cramps = period right? Wrong. Turns out one of the funny tricks of pregnancy is that you have menstrual-like cramps when you first get pregnant. This is a sign that your uterus is expanding already and, well, that kinda hurts i guess. 

And remember, all of this all happened before I even missed my period. These are the only pre-missed-period symptoms that i even had. These are the kinds of things to look for if you're really super wondering if you're pregnant or not. 

And obv I'm no doctor or anything, but this was my firsthand account, so that's what i'm basing this advice on.

So when/if you ever get paranoid that you might be pregnant, don't start looking for things like "am i nauseous" because honestly that didn't show up until the 6 week mark for me and that's usually when it shows up for most other people too.  Instead try and ask yourself if you FEEL pregnant, do you KNOW you're pregnant or do you just suspect it? Are you smelling things all of a sudden, does food taste weird? Do you have cramps without a period? If these things are happening THEN it's worth the money to go get a pregnancy test. Not before. 

Again, this is all just my humble opinion. But i do think that I'm right. 

Being nauseous doesn't mean someone is pregnant. Hell, having a late period doesn't even mean you're pregnant. Stress affects that a LOT. Being moody doesn't mean you're pregnant either. Neither does being bloated or tired or whatever else you might have heard.  Sure, these things all DO happen with pregnancy, but they don't show up until after you've figured out that you're pregnant (right around 6 weeks of pregnancy).  And unless your period is 14 days late, those aren't the symptoms to keep an eye out for early on.

During that Two Week Wait when you're biting your nails and analyzing every little thing just ask yourself if you are or aren't. You will honestly have a good idea from that question alone. Inside your intuition knows. Your fear has a loud voice but your intuition always speaks the truth. You might be afraid you ARE pregnant, you might be afraid you AREN'T pregnant, but underneath that, your intuition always knows.
oh and here's a super practical tip: only trust and use the tests that are pink-line tests. The blue ones give false positives. 

As for me, I took my pregnancy test 4 days before my period was due and it was accurate. It wasn't the darkest line i've ever seen in my life but a line is a line and a line means you're pregnant. So if you get a negative that early, you can probably trust it (but you might want to wait a few more days and test again just in case). But if you get a positive, you can certainly trust that too. 

Oh, and some doctors don't want to see you until you're 8 weeks along. That's insane to me. When you call for your appointment after you get a positive test make sure you say to them "I want to confirm my pregnancy and figure out how far along i am". They're more obligated to see you then. Once you get there you can tell them how far along you are and all the rest of it, the trick is to just get them to let you in the door. 

Anyway, now i'm off on a tangent. 

I hope that this guide helps all of you girls out there who have worried or wondered before. I don't know if it will ease your minds or not but i hope that it does some good. I know everyone will feel slightly nauseous and still think to themselves "oh my god am i pregnant" but trust me, the odds of nausea showing up for you THAT early are pretty slim (unless you are nauseous because you can smell ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING which then I understand lol) 

Good luck and I hope that this helps.


Emma said...

Sooo important question: sparkles in your uterus? Does that make Ryan a vampire??

Also the cabbage graphic def made me lol.

Shauna said...

Oh gosh, when we were trying to get pregnant EVERY CYCLE would end and I would feel a little cramp and be like, "omg, is that a TWINGE?" or whatever else.

Both times I actually WAS pregnant, I totally didn't know it, because I was looking for all the wrong symptoms. Though this time, I really did have that "I'm pregnant" feeling.

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