One thing I Googled incessantly (oh, who are we kidding, what didn’t I Google incessantly?!) over the last 9 months of trying to concieve is the earliest pregnancy symptoms and when they show up. Obviously this is a futile search, because every woman’s body is completely different, but somehow it put my mind at ease to read about what other people felt, and imagine that I might be feeling that too. Hey, it never hurts to keep hope alive, right? So here is a list of the earliest pregnancy symptoms I experienced and about when I experienced them (in no particular order):
- Excessive thirst. Right around ovulation time I remember feeling constantly parched. And it never really let up since then. I’ve started downing TWO big Nalgene bottles of water every day at work, where I used to just drink one. And now I’m drinking another few glasses at night and taking one to set on my nightstand if I wake up thirsty in the middle of the night. Wow. I’ve never needed this much water before.
- Tender ta-tas. I really thought I’d get out of this common pregnancy symptom since I’ve never really had breast pain (waaaay back when I used to get my period, that is). Not to mention the fact that my boobs are relatively… ermmm… small, so I didn’t really think there was much there to cause pain. But boy, was I wrong. My nipples started to feel tingly around 10 days past ovulation (dpo). Not painful, just sort of weird and sensitive. By 14dpo, that tingliness had given way to soreness and itchiness. Like they were bruised and I have bug bites. Since then it’s been a little uncomfortable to sleep since they are so sensitive.
- Nagging, tense feeling in lower abdomen. This probably started around 11 dpo. It was not exactly a cramping feeling like I used to get with my period (although I didn’t really get bad cramps from my period, at least I have that to thank you for, birth control!), but more of a tugging or localized soreness. Now that I know that I’m pregnant, I know that is my uterus stretching (yes, already, isn’t that amazing?!). I guess prior to getting the positive pregnancy test, one can never be sure if their cramps are period-related or pregnancy-related, but this time I got lucky! I still feel this every once in awhile; it’s one of the only ways I can detect that I’m still pregnant!
- Insomnia. Yep, some women get fatigued, and others just CAN’T sleep at all. Guess which camp I fell into? I’m generally a very good sleeper. I go to bed early, sleep all the way through the night, and can usually fall right back to sleep if I have to get up to pee or if I’m woken up for some reason. But starting about 9 or 10 dpo, I would wake up every morning at around 3:30am and could not go back to sleep. Not if my life depended on it. Now, I’m not sure if this was a result of being subconsciously anxious about the upcoming pregnancy test, but either way, it was pregnancy-related! The last few nights I have been able to sleep until about 5:30am, so it’s getting better.
- Increased body temperature. As anyone who charts their temperature knows, your body temperature raises after ovulation, and usually dips back down once you start your period. I had been charting my temps for about 5 months before this past cycle, and in all that time I’ve never seen a distinct rise. I had crazy little peaks and valleys all the time — no rhyme or reason to the erratic pattern. But then this cycle my temp rose steadily following ovulation, higher than ever before. And it kept rising. And it stayed high. And it still hasn’t gone down! So for all you PCOSers like myself who see no method to the madness of your cycles… have faith! If/when you actually ovulate, you WILL see a distinct change. And it’s pretty amazing.
- Fullness/bloating. This, unfortunately, is a symptom that I have had since I ovulated (for the first time… maybe ever) back in mid-November. When I ovulated, my stomach was totally bloated from the two big ass follicles I pushed through my fallopian tubes. If you were reading back then, you probably remember there were a few days when I had a bit of pain and I even had to unbutton my pants while sitting at my computer in my cubicle. But it didn’t really go away after that… the full feeling continued. Around 8-9 dpo I would feel stuffed after I ate even a few bites of food (which is VERY unlike me :) ). By 14 dpo my stomach was puffed out like I was already pregnant! I feel like I’m “showing” already, even though the baby is no bigger than a poppyseed. Yesterday at the gym, Benjamin said to me, “You’re sticking out your stomach like you’re pregnant.” And I said, “I’m NOT sticking out my stomach. But thanks a lot”. Ha! Bloating sucks. But I must say, I’m pretty psyched about the pseudo baby bump I’ve got going on now that I know it’s “real”!
- Heightened sense of smell. I read in “What to Expect” that this is nature’s way of making you avoid foods that might be harmful to the developing baby, as most women experience super smells that are offensive or gag-inducing. I think my sniffer has been in overdrive for all smells, though, because I was in sensory heaven cooking all day for Thanksgiving, and I keep smelling freshly baked cookies or cake at random times (that no one else can smell). It’s not so bad to smell cake all the time! But from what I’ve heard, this side-effect can quickly turn against me if/when morning sickness kicks in and all I can smell is gross things.
- Constipation. Oh, the lovelist topic. Not much to say here, except that I generally have this issue, so it took me awhile to realize this as a symptom of pregnancy. Although I didn’t think it was humanly possible, IT HAS GOTTEN SO MUCH WORSE. ‘Nuff said. Friends and family, aren’t you so glad you know about the blog now?
So, I hope that helps someone out there! Tomorrow I am officially 5 weeks, so most of the heavy duty symptoms (ahem, morning sickness, ahem) haven’t kicked in yet. “What to Expect” tells me I can expect that around week 6 or 7. Something to look forward to, no?