Week 1 – I’m Preparing to Become a Mother
Did you know that getting pregnant starts before you actually get pregnant? It begins when your body is getting ready for a new life. Let’s find out more!
When you’re pregnant, you might not know about it yourself at first – but your body knows. My body pulled the same stunt on me when I got pregnant – and I wasn’t even pregnant yet, to begin with.
If you’re looking for the week 1 pregnancy guide, I will tell you precisely what I went through. Most of it, however, will be from memory – since, at the time, I was unaware of my pregnancy. Here’s how I felt during the first week of the first trimester.
The First-Week Baby
During the first week, there’s actually no baby to speak of. Conception occurs around the third week – so your baby is not quite one baby yet. Half of it is in your egg, the other half is in the sperm that is going to fertilize the egg. At this point, the egg is the size of peach fuzz – which is very small.
Fertilization will happen somewhere in the second week, though. At that point, everything is a hit-or-miss, depending on the sperm: it either fertilizes the egg, or the egg goes through your uterus and is eliminated. In the latter case, implantation will not occur.
Mommy during the First Week
At this point, your body is already beginning to prepare for your baby – meaning that your uterus starts thickening in anticipation of the egg implantation.
This happens during ovulation – which is generally exactly between periods. That’s when we are most fertile – and our bodies give us all these signals to take advantage of that (you know you felt it). Yes, that’s your egg telling you it wants to be fertilized. Sperm can stay in the body for around 6 days, so you can start trying to conceive straight from your first week.
Yes, this was apparently the first week of my pregnancy – although I wasn’t even pregnant yet. My body, however, knew it – and simply hoped that the egg would get fertilized so that it could help it grow.
I also unknowingly began eating more and more healthy food, packed with vitamins and folic acid – which apparently my body already knew I needed for the future pregnancy. This process would go into the second week, when the egg goes through the fallopian tube.
When the Pregnancy Happens
To know when you’re most fertile, you need to have a good idea of your menstrual cycle. The average menstrual cycle is once every 28 days – and so is mine. However, some women can have shorter or longer cycles – so you might want to keep a calendar.
You may choose to see a doctor or, like me, take advantage of today’s technology. There are countless apps that you could use nowadays to keep track of your cycle when you’re most fertile, and similar things like that.
Keep in mind that ovulation only happens in one day – so while you may have an average chance of getting pregnant in the days before or after the ovulation, the highest would be on the day that the egg is released.
Ovulation generally happens 14 days after you start menstruating. Therefore, if your first bleeding day is on the 1st, then the 15th should be the day when you are most fertile. If you’re planning to get pregnant, that’s when you should get down to business.
There were no week 1 signs of pregnancy – at least nothing embryo-related. The symptoms you have are actually menstrual symptoms, since the first week coincides with your period.
The symptoms might last up to seven days, and they can include the following:
- Vaginal Bleeding: Most women call it “spotting,” and this is when a woman’s uterus is shedding its lining. At this point, every month the egg that was left unfertilized the month before leaves the body.
- Bloating: My hormones are going crazy during this time of the month, which is why I end up feeling bloated fairly often. Well, this isn’t the first time I’m having my period, so it’s a familiar sensation.
- Cramps and Lower Back Pain: I usually feel cramps when I’m having my period, so, once again, no surprise here. However, this is thanks to the inner lining shedding, causing last month’s “Margaret” to be gone, making place for “Christian.”
- Mood Swings: PMS, anyone? Since the hormones were raging, during the first week, I was a sort of momzilla that was preparing for a baby. I know my husband was probably tortured by this.
- Headaches: Yes, this can sometimes happen. Hormones were raging, and I used to get countless headaches during my first week of pregnancy. Since I was trying to conceive, I avoided strong painkillers and went for ice packs, OTC pain relievers, and light exercise.
- Sensitivity: It was not as bad as during the second week, but I did experience some soreness in my breasts during the first week, along with some extra sensitivity to touch.
So, the week-1 symptoms feel like you are getting your period – precisely because that’s what it is. It’s only called the first week of pregnancy provisionally, since that’s a professional convention among gynecologists. The thing is, you’ll get these symptoms every month until you finally manage to conceive. The symptoms will subside during the second week of your pregnancy.
The week 1 belly size is not different from your regular size, since there’s no baby yet in sight. However, there will be bloating – if you’re wondering why your tummy looks slightly bigger. This is caused by hormones and food rather than a baby growing inside your belly.
At 1-week pregnant, you could say that you are pregnant – but at the same time, you are not pregnant. Confused yet? However, at this point, I felt like I was ready to become a mother. My body felt like it could handle it, and this is where my journey to motherhood started.
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