You’ve just found out that you’re pregnant! How are you feeling? No doubt your emotions are all over the place – and that’s not just the pregnancy hormones kicking in. Whether it was a planned pregnancy, a surprise, or something you’ve wished for for a long, long time, there’s suddenly an awful lot to think about and get used to. One thing’s for certain: this is the beginning of an incredible journey. Life will never be the same again!
Many people choose to keep their pregnancy a secret for the first few weeks, often until after the first scan, while others are bursting to tell people immediately! There’s no right or wrong time to announce your pregnancy; just do whatever feels right. Whether you choose to tell the world, just your nearest and dearest, or keep it totally under wraps, you may feel like you’re walking around in a bubble for the first few weeks. You most likely won’t be showing, or if you have a little bump it’s probably quite easy to conceal, but as you go about your daily routine you know your secret – you’re quietly growing a human being inside you! When you stop and think about it, it really is incredible.
As clever as the human body is, it can’t get on with growing a baby without having any effect on you whatsoever, so you may have to put up some, or all, of these symptoms:
- Unbelievable tiredness
This can hit you out of nowhere. You can be fine one minute, then the next you have an overwhelming urge to close your eyes, no matter where you are! It’s not unusual to come home from work, curl up on the sofa and zonk out during the first trimester.
- Morning sickness
Oh yes, the dreaded morning sickness – which, in reality, can occur at any time of day (or even all day). You may be one of the lucky ones who gets away scot-free, you might just feel queasy, or you could be sick from morning until night. It’s rotten, it really is, but you’re not alone. Around 8 in 10 women suffer, and it’s all caused by those pregnancy hormones rushing around your body. Some people recommend ginger or peppermint to alleviate the symptoms. The good thing is the sickness will usually go away of its own accord roughly around the 12 week mark (although this isn’t always the case, unfortunately).
- Sore breasts
There’s more to pregnancy than growing a baby – your body is beginning to prepare for its new role as a mother too. Sore breasts may be one of the first symptoms that you notice and they can cause quite a lot of discomfort, sometimes to the point that even clothing brushing against them can feel unbearable … and if your partner even tries to come close, well! Again, this soreness should ease by the end of the first trimester.
- Strange tastes
You may experience a strange taste in your mouth, often described as ‘metallic’. This can really add insult to injury if you’re also suffering from morning sickness because any food you manage to eat ends up tasting a little strange!
Suddenly, you could find that you really fancy eating foods that you’ve never liked before. Or, you could go right of your favourite dish. You might get an overwhelming urge for a certain food at a certain time, or only feel like eating one particular flavour. Again, these cravings are likely to be caused by hormones and it’s entirely up to you whether, or to what extent you give in to them. It can be a good excuse to send your partner on a late-night chocolate run though!
These symptoms are a small price to pay but they can make life hard work, especially if you haven’t told anyone about your pregnancy. You can’t say anything to anyone about the way you’re feeling or the changes you’re experiencing (except your partner, who will have to put up with being the only person you can moan to. It’s the dad’s part of the pregnancy deal – you’re doing all the really hard work, remember!) Sometimes these symptoms, and the slightly strange behaviour that they cause, can be a giveaway, causing people close to you to guess that you’re pregnant before you tell them.
Your first scan
At around 12 weeks, you’ll experience the magic moment you’ve been waiting for – you’ll be able to see your baby for the first time at the dating scan. Hearing the heartbeat and seeing baby on screen can suddenly make everything seem real and it’s an incredibly emotional experience. Don’t be surprised if both you and your partner end up in tears – and don’t be embarrassed either, the sonographer will be quite used to it! The scan can also provide great reassurance that your growing baby is ok and everything is progressing as it should be with your pregnancy at this stage. It may even reveal a surprise is there’s more than one baby in there!
Telling the world
Once you’ve decided that the time has come to announce your pregnancy, there are some really fun ways to do it. A photoshoot using props, signs and incorporating siblings can create a beautiful memory look back on when baby’s older, and presenting a photo that reveals your secret will be a really exciting and memorable way to tell friends, family and loved ones. Just make sure you have a camera at the ready to capture their reaction!
What ideas can you come up with to announce your pregnancy?