Pregnancy is such an amazing life event. It starts with a egg being released in a process called ovulation. The egg will join with the sperm in the fallopian tube. If the egg is fertilized it will journey towards the uterus an implant. This is when you are said to be pregnant.
How long is pregnancy?
Pregnancy lasts an average of 266 days form conception. This makes pregnancy about 40 weeks from the first day of your last period (LMP). You may also hear people refer to trimesters in pregnancy. There are three trimesters in pregnancy.
The Pregnancy Test
Your body will release a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This hormone is what home pregnancy tests will look for to see if you are pregnant. You can usually have an accurate result on a pregnancy test as soon as you miss your first period. Some pregnancy tests work before your period is late, though not all of them are that sensitive.
You may also experience a pregnancy symptom or two early in your pregnancy. This may lead you to ask the question: Am I pregnant? While signs of pregnancy vary from woman to woman, there are some pregnancy symptoms that are fairly common, including:
Prenatal Care, Due Dates and Early Pregnancy Complications
You will want to try to make an appointment with a midwife or doctor as soon as you suspect you are pregnant. You will most likely not have an appointment for several weeks, unless you are having complications like an ectopic or tubal pregnancy, miscarriage or other concern.
When you see your practitioner, they will help you calculate your due date using a special pregnancy calendar known as a gestation wheel. This due date is an estimate of when your baby may be born. Most women will give birth within the weeks before or after this date.
You will typically see your practitioner for prenatal care every month for the first 28 weeks of pregnancy. From weeks 28 through about 32, you will most likely be seen every two weeks. After that you will see your practitioner weekly until you give birth. This cycle of prenatal care may be different if you are experiencing complications or if you are expecting twins.
Ultrasound exams can be done to find out many things about your pregnancy. It can see the source of bleeding in pregnancy, help you determine your due date, or scan for major birth defects. Many couples choose to use an ultrasound exam to determine if their baby is a girl or a boy, unless you'd prefer to hear what the old wives tales are about the sex of your baby.
Your Changing Pregnant Body
Just as your baby grows so will you. Many women worry that their belly is not growing as quickly or as big as it should. If youre not one of these women, then you probably fall into the category of worrying that you belly is too large. Every woman grows at a different rate. Your midwife or doctor will let you know if they thing your baby isnt growing well. Another common concern in pregnancy is stretch marks.
Many pregnant women begin to wear maternity clothes around the fourth or fifth month of pregnancy. This is also near the time when you will start to feel your baby move. Your husband and friends wont be able to feel the baby move until a bit later on in pregnancy.
Baby Names and Baby Showers
As you get further along in your pregnancy you may really start to enjoy yourself. Most couples really enjoy choosing a baby name. You may wonder how to choose a name for your baby. Some people say that strange names are best, while others will argue for tried and true baby names. Dont let others tell you what to name your baby just do what makes you happy!
Another form of fun is the baby shower. Some people think that a baby shower is only for a first baby, but there are also many women who believe that second showers (and more) are good too. Find some baby shower games that are fun and throw a perfect shower, with just a bit of planning.
If you are interested in an alterative to the baby shower, you might consider a blessingway or mother blessing. This is a mother centered party where positive energy surrounds the guests and you do things to commemorate the pregnancy. Sometimes you may do a belly cast, or paint your belly or even take photos of the pregnant belly.