To boldly go where I’ve not gone before

While 2012 brought along the most unexpected blessing in the guise of leaving my job to be a full time mom (Plan B), 2013 is shaping up to be the year of new enterprises (Plan C): Working on new start up ideas, sending B to childcare and hopefully, preparing for baby #2!

We’ve been actively trying again since my periods returned to “normal” after I stopped breastfeeding, sometime around B’s 11th month.  I’m glad I began this blog when I conceived #1 because it’s like starting the process all over again now that we have another POSITIVE test result! Hopefully I’ll be better and wiser, despite feeling older and more tired ;(

Here’s my early pregnancy checklist:

  1. The egg is usually fertilised within 12 – 24 hours of ovulation.  Once you’ve conceived, the embryo produces hCG after implantation (not before)
  2. Pregnancy symptoms may show around 7-10 days post ovulation.
  3. WAIT before testing. Given my notoriously inconsistent monthly cycles, waiting till the week after my period is due spares the disappointment and $$$ (good tests ain’t cheap).  Rule of thumb: At least wait 2 weeks till after you’ve done the deed, assuming you timed it right!
  4. Test with your first morning urine for a higher concentration of hCG. Don’t drink beforehand
  5. Nauseous?   Sense of smell is heightened, taste of blood in saliva
  6. Peeing alot?  hCG signals the blood supply to increase in the pelvic area, irritating the bladder so you pee frequently, but in small amounts
  7. Fatigue? Increased metabolism to support your developing baby compounding by the sedating effect of progesterone.  Don’t fight it — unless of course, you have an active, demanding toddler.  I’m looking at you B–
  8. Cramping? As the foetus grows and pushes against the walls of your uterus
  9. Spotting? 8-10 days after ovulation (just before you would normally get your period) you may notice light spotting, which is caused from the implantation of the embryo into your uterus lining. The spotting is usually pinkish in colour and not red like a normal period
  10. Stuffy nose, colds and flu? Your immune system is suppressed and prevented from attacking and rejecting the foetus as if it were an foreign object by hormones and antibodies the foetus produces. The antibodies also take part in the growth and development of the placenta. As a result of these hormonal changes to your immune system, you are more susceptible  
  11. Pimples!  You may get them in early pregnancy but will most likely settle down fairly quickly after your hormone levels stabilise
  12. Breast changes?  Nipples may be tender, sensitive and deepen in colour, breast may be sore and / or lumpy, veins become more noticeable and enlarged, areolas may darken and the little bumps (Montgomery’s Tubercles) may increase and / or enlarge
  13. Constipation?  Increased hormones make your intestines more relaxed  
  14. Cravings?  It is believed from some evidence that the body is craving vitamins and minerals it is deficient in.   If you are not yet taking pregnancy multivitamins, it might be a good time to start.
  15. Changes in vagina?  Due to the increased level of blood in the pelvic region, you may find your vagina will appear more purplish than normal

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