You got the positive test, you’re pregnant! Yeah!
So what now.
In short, not much. Yes you’re pregnant. Your boobs may hurt a more, you may be feeling a little nauseous (yes it can happen this early – while most women start feeling sick from 6 – 8 weeks on, some of us lucky ladies get it from the get go) and of course you’re excited and nervous. But you don’t feel very pregnant.
Welcome to the three months of being pregnant but not really feeling very pregnant. Oh, and although many do buck the trend, you can’t tell anyone as the general advice is to wait until your 12 week scan.
Although I wandered through this period totally clueless I did know that I was meant to notify my GP. They then had an appointment with me at 7 weeks where I was given a pack and called the Midwife (ha ha).
While some drift through these weeks feeling sick and satisfied, others will spend them feeling anxious and nervous, especially if they have had a loss or losses before. Searching the Internet will give you the following advice which often doesn’t help to put your mind at rest:
- Spotting is normal. Unless you’re having a miscarriage in which case it’s not
- Light cramps are normal. Unless you’re having a miscarriage in which case it’s not
- Back ache is normal. Unless you’re…
Ok, you get the picture.
After 3 losses and writing this at a nervous 5 and half weeks pregnant, I can assure you that feeling anxious will not help. In fact it’s exhausting. So here is some advice which I hope will help you relax and enjoy these few weeks before you start expanding outwards at a rate of knots.
Losses are Rare
Miscarriage is actually rare once you get past the 6 week stage. Yes it can happen. Yes it’s awful. But it is rare.
If you’re concerned have a look at the Miscarriage Odds Reassurer. Helpfully it tells you the likelihood that you will NOT miscarry!
If you, like me, have had several miscarriages before the 6 week mark, please see your doctor and get on the list for the Recurrent miscarriage unit asap, even if you have had two and not the requisite three. Some doctors will be more sympathetic and may get you in to see a specialist earlier.
Sadly there is little doctors can do when a very early miscarriage does occur. If you have had a miscarriage or several miscarriages please see our advice page.
Dr Lesley Regan has written a brilliant book ‘Miscarriage: What every woman needs to know’ which is a very good guide to miscarriage and recovering from it.
Be as positive about the pregnancy as possible
Sounds difficult when you’re nervous or have no idea what you’re doing but it helps! Studies have shown that being positive about a pregnancy can actually increase chances of carrying to term.
While it may feel protective to be cynical, not book appointments or keep using the word ‘if’ it can also be emotionally exhausting. The odds are this pregnancy will be successful so try to be as positive as you can be. It is far less exhausting.
Join a forum or download an App
While slightly cynical about forums, they have been one of my greatest sources of solace over the last year. I have a wonderful group on the American site BabyCenter and also a very nice Early Pregnancy group on Mumsnet.
It might not be your thing but asking other women questions can help with worries, niggles or stresses. On the other hand they can make things worse, especially as everyone thinks Google or their bestie Charlene/Great Auntie Hilda is a qualified Doctor these days, so it is highly down to the individual. Don’t believe everything people have written or advised on there – remember everything is anecdotal unless you have the evidence clearly in front of you, so if someone raves about how eating their placenta after the birth helped them recover or how spending £3000 a year to store your baby’s umbilical cord cells is vital for their future health, don’t go ahead and book yourself in to send it off/store it. RESEARCH IT. Then stop reading if it’s a load of rubbish. And be wary of cultural differences. Don’t get into the circumcision argument on US sites however bonkers you think they are. Just don’t go there. Trust me.
There are some terrific Apps for tracking your baby’s growth, especially in those early weeks where you can’t feel the baby and just feel a bit fat and shit. Babycentre is a good staple British app keyed up to the NHS appointment schedule and if you are ok with a slightly more Transatlantic approach I found What to Expect weekly videos rather amusing. To be fair they were accurate and didn’t in any way assume you were an idiot by using plenty of technical terms. If you have used a fertility assistant like Ava or Glow then they will also usually have a good tracker app for pregnancy as part of their package. You can adjust your due date if you wish in these (you’ll have a much better idea of this if you have been tracking your ovulation).
Buy a good book
Being a research fan, once I got past 6 weeks I was downloading books like a mad book worm on my ipad. While there are many awesome books on the market the ‘bible’ is still ‘What to Expect when you’re Expecting’ – they have published a British version which is useful although many feel it tends to scare monger a little at the beginning.
Other good books include:
How to Grow a Baby and Push it Out – Clemmie Hooper
Expecting Better – Emily Oster (if you buy just one buy this one!!)
And for the menfolk:
Pregnancy for Men: The Whole 9 Months – Mark Woods
Look, i had three miscarriages. I really was a nervoud wreck during my entire pregnancy (aside from the wonderful, haly