The one thing that you’ve been looking forward to the most has happened – you think that you’re pregnant. Whether you’ve spent months charting your cycle, going to fertility clinics, or just hoping for the best, you’ve been paying close attention to your body and think that a fertilized egg has finally implanted itself.
But how can you tell for sure? Well, Paperclip is here to help. There are a number of different symptoms and signs to look for, many of which appear before your period is actually late. Here are some of the things that you might notice that will tell you that you have a little bundle of joy on the way!
You Begin Feeling Tired
While you probably go through the days feeling tired anyway, since so many of us feel overworked, underpaid, and have a million chores to do (and who doesn’t, these days), when you’re preggo, you begin to feel more exhausted than usual. If you’re pregnant, especially for that first trimester, you’re going to be very tired.
It makes sense since you’re growing a precious little human inside you. So, how can you differentiate between the two forms of exhaustion? Well, standard tiredness means that your energy peaks and valleys throughout the day, based on what you eat and how much caffeine you consume.
Pregnancy exhausted leaves you unable to move. You may spend an entire Saturday on the couch, too tired to move. Not to worry, though—this is completely normal.
Dizziness and Nausea Take Hold
Usually, these wonderful feelings hit later on in pregnancy, but you may feel them in the beginning as well. In fact, some women claim that feeling slightly nauseous, as well as though the room was spinning for absolutely no reason, were the first signs that they noticed.
Full-on morning sickness won’t pop up until a few more weeks in the first trimester (usually, by this time, you know that you’ve missed your period), but the beginnings of it can definitely appear early on. If you have extremely dizzy spells where the room won’t stop spinning, and you have no other reasons for it to happen (such as, you know that your blood sugar isn’t low and you aren’t sick), then it’s time to take a pregnancy test.
You Start Dealing with Mood Swings
Women often have mood swings, especially during those awful PMS times of the month. However, all of the crankiness, short-tempered upsets, and extreme rage that appear seemingly out of nowhere during that week before your period have nothing on the mood swings that you may experience when pregnant.
You might be happy one moment, sad the next, and angry immediately after that. Going through all of these emotions in a few minutes is one sign that you may be expecting. Another? Not having any PMS-like emotions at all. You might feel unnaturally happy and relaxed heading into the week before your period is usually due. This switch in emotions is another sign that you may have a long-awaited baby on the way.
You're Hit with Odd Food Cravings
The stereotypical food cravings that appear while pregnant (we’ve all heard the pickles and ice cream joke, after all) are very real. While you may not have them in full force until later on in your pregnancy, when the “baby” starts craving things like potato chips and Little Debbie snack cakes, you will most likely have some odd food preferences during the very early days of your pregnancy.
For example, if you never really liked eggs, but find yourself really wanting an egg and cheese sandwich, then you know that something is up. Keep an eye out for these odd food choices so you know the real reason behind them.
You End Up in the Bathroom More
Yes, it’s true that pregnant women have to pee a lot. They can’t help it – there’s a baby essentially pressing on their bladder. And while you may end up in the bathroom quite a bit already, an increase in trips to the restroom is a key sign that you have a baby on the way.
Even before your baby starts truly growing in size, they will send you to the bathroom multiple times a day, or even a few times an hour.
Spotting and Cramping Pop Ups
There are many reasons behind spotting and cramping during the month. You might feel yourself ovulate (the cramping), but that pain might also be a fertilized egg implanting itself. When this happens, a little spotting may occur, and you’ll see that either in the toilet or on your underwear.
Look for pink discharge, as well as unusually gummy, white-colored discharge, as both can be signs that you’re pregnant. The pink discharge or light spotting is one sign of implantation, while the white discharge is a sign that your hormones are beginning to fluctuate to protect your little one. These secretions mean that your body is trying to protect your cervix and uterus from infection while you’re pregnant.
Your Breasts Become Tender and Your Nipples Change Color
If you ask most women, they’ll say that they knew they were pregnant the second that their breasts started getting a little sore. This is beyond impending period sensitivity and more like a general ache in that area.
Many pregnant women’s breasts hurt on a daily basis, leading them to seek out soft wireless bras for comfort. On top of the pain, your nipple will begin to darken. This happens very early in pregnancy and is one of the most important signs to keep an eye out for.
Your Skin Starts to Break Out
Fluctuating hormones are fun. Okay, obviously, that’s sarcasm. Hormones actually can make you break out. The increase in estrogen and progesterone are signs that you’re preggo – and they can give you acne in a hurry.
While you may be looking forward to having clear skin and that pregnancy glow (and don’t worry, you’ll get there in a few months), in the beginning, you may have to deal with some acne. It will be like when you were going through puberty, only you’re older now and have a good reason for those zits to appear – your dream of becoming a mother has come true.
Feeling as Though You Just Know
It’s a little like finding out that your future spouse or significant other is truly “the one” – sometimes you just know that you have a baby on the way. You might wake up one morning and just feel different, like everything has changed. You might look at yourself in the mirror and think that things are finally turning out the way that you’ve hoped. You may have dreams that you’re pregnant or have given birth and are holding your baby.
No matter what, some women simply “just know” that they’re pregnant and just need to take that test to prove what they already know.
Your Temperature Rises
Did you know that your temperature goes up when you’re pregnant? Ask around, and you may find that you know someone who claimed that their spouse could detect the moment that they’d conceived because she became a human space heater in bed.
The reason for this is because you’ve become a human incubator. Kind of like how a chicken or duck sits on their eggs to keep them warm before they hatch, you need to keep your little one warm while it’s growing in your womb. Often, the temperature change isn’t overly dramatic – it could be as small as .2 of a degree, but it’s something to look for.
You Missed Your Period
This is the most obvious sign that you’re expecting a little one in less than a year. If you’ve been trying to get pregnant (no matter the method), skipping a period makes you feel like less of a “defective typewriter” to quote Rizzo in Grease, and more like a heroine.
While it’s important to keep in mind that there may be other reasons that your period hasn’t arrived, the biggest one, especially if you’ve been trying to conceive, is that you’re pregnant. Missing a period – as in it’s over a week late – means that it’s time to buy a pregnancy test (or two), just to make sure.
Finding out that you’re pregnant after months or years of trying is an exciting day. Since you now know what to look for beyond a late period, you may realize that you’re expecting very early on – possibly within a week or two of conception. It all depends on how closely you pay attention to your body, as well as whether or not you will recognize any of these symptoms.
Remember that you might have several of these symptoms, all of them, or just one or two. As long as you focus on listening to your body, in most cases, you’ll know the truth before you take that pregnancy test or head to your doctor for a blood test. And if so, congratulations, you can start preparing (hello, diaper bags galore)! Motherhood will be the most rewarding ride of your life, and Paperclip is here to support you every step of the way.