Your path to becoming pregnant may have been meticulously planned or maybe it was a complete surprise. You may have needed assistance in becoming pregnant or maybe your birth control failed. This may be a rainbow baby after an infant loss or miscarriage. Take a big deep breath and honor your journey to becoming pregnant. All of our stories are so wonderfully unique. Be open to processing any feelings and emotions that may come up when you find out that you are pregnant. Know that excitement may not be your first emotional response, and that's okay. There is no manual or rule book on how to feel or process this life altering news. Be gentle on yourself. The range of responses are so vast and varied. I processed through shock, fear, grief, and awe before I even got close to giddy excitement.
You may pee on 4-5 pregnancy tests before it really sinks in. Well, I did anyway. I tried every single brand and type of urine pregnancy test. There are also some people that get negative pregnancy test results but are indeed pregnant. My Aunt, for example, never had a positive urine pregnancy test and only confirmed her pregnancies through a missed period and a blood test. She also got a baby at the end too! You can go to your general care practitioner and get a blood test as early as 10 days after your missed period. The blood test is much more accurate in testing for the pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). If you're pregnant these hormone levels increase rapidly.
You're PREGNANT! Now what? The first step would be to figure out your estimated due date. Did you notice that I used the word estimated? Even if you know exactly when you conceived, if you had fertility assistance or not, you can't be completely certain as to when this little one will be joining you earth side.
Our ancestors used the phases of the moon to predict when babies would be born. The moon has a 28 day cycle and an average menstruation cycle is 28 days. This method of the past proved to be very accurate. Many care providers and birth workers swear that the full moon brings all the babies. This has not been scientifically proven but when the moon is full its gravitational pull creates high tides, and since we are made up of mostly water this can/will throw us into labor. I'd like to believe that we are all in sync with the powerful energy of the moon and I'm going to guard that belief.
Today most care providers start counting 40 weeks from the first day of your last menstrual cycle. Please remember that a normal pregnancy ranges from 38-42 weeks. That's a 5 week span of when you may give birth. Only 5% of people actually deliver on their actual due date. Out of all of my births my last baby came right smack on her due date. I'm proof that it's not impossible, but not very likely either.
Words from the book - The Doulas Guide to Empowering Your Birth by Carriage House Co-Founder Lindsey BlissPhoto: Domo