All these pregnancy symptoms are also signs that you’re about to get your period. Nature is funny that way. From You’ll Lose the Baby Weight (And Other Lies About Pregnancy and Childbirth).
Breast Tenderness: Oftentimes, women who are newly pregnant experience pain and tenderness in their breasts. This starts approximately two seconds after you conceive. It’s one of the earliest symptoms my friends and I experienced during our pregnancies. The tenderness and soreness can be quite intense, too. What this means is that wearing a bra can really hurt. Of course, not wearing a bra can really hurt, too. You won’t be able to sleep on your stomach unless you want to feel like someone is hitting you in the chest with a baseball bat. If your husband touches you in this very tender area, you are completely justified in kicking him in the shins. It’s not all bad, though, as this is the perfect excuse to stop jogging on that treadmill and to start using it as something more functional — like a clothes hanger. So if your breasts are tender and sore, you just might be pregnant.
Morning Sickness: Another sign of possible pregnancy is the dreaded morning sickness. Although morning sickness doesn’t usually start up in earnest until you’re four to six weeks pregnant, if you’re lucky, you could start feeling nauseous earlier than that. If you’re lucky enough to have a toddler in diapers and you vomit repeatedly while changing smelly diapers, you just might be pregnant. This wasn’t a problem when I was pregnant with my first baby, but I had at least one child in diapers with each subsequent pregnancy. It was not fun. A heightened sense of smell for both nasty and sweet scents is common in pregnancy, so if you suddenly find yourself smelling chocolate chip cookies from the bakery that’s fifty-eight miles away, you could possibly be pregnant.
Of course, not all women experience morning sickness, so you may not ever have this symptom. If that’s true for you, congratulations—I no longer like you. Go sit in the corner with my sister and sister-in-law, who never so much as hiccupped, let alone vomited, during their pregnancies.
Missed Period: A big sign of pregnancy is skipping your period for over a month. This is a pretty good indication of pregnancy, although stress can do funny things to your body, and what causes more stress than wondering if you’re pregnant or not? This isn’t a telltale sign if you’re irregular to begin with. If you could set your clock by the monthly visit of dear Aunt Flo, then this sign is probably more reliable for you. This is one of the most pleasant symptoms of pregnancy. In fact, it may just be the best part of pregnancy, save giving birth to your new little baby. I mean, you get to go a whole nine months with no period! Kind of makes you want to get pregnant just for that little fringe benefit, doesn’t it? But, as with all good things, this too must end, and after giving birth, let me tell ya, your uterus more than makes up for lost time.
Fatigue: Being exhausted is another very common sign of pregnancy. During the first few months of pregnancy, I couldn’t stay awake past 8:00 p.m., and I found myself nodding off while sitting at red lights during the day. If you fall asleep on your desk at work or in your chicken salad at lunch, there’s a good chance you could be pregnant. I remember driving home on my lunch hour while I was pregnant with my first child. I’d get home and head toward the kitchen to make lunch, but I would pass out on the couch before I ever pulled out a plate. I needed those little naps. You may think you’ve experienced tiredness, but until you’ve gotten pregnant, you have no idea how that extreme pregnancy-fatigue feels. Even toothpicks in your eyelids can’t keep your eyes open when you’re newly pregnant. When I was pregnant with my first baby, I was certain I had mono. No way could pregnancy cause a person to be so tired. Clearly, there was something very wrong with me, I decided.
Of course, this sign isn’t as noticeable in mothers who already have one or more children, since sleep deprivation and fatigue are pretty much a way of life for us moms.
Mood Swings: And let’s not forget the mood swings. Mood swings are very commonplace in pregnancy. My husband could usually tell I was pregnant when he said something innocuous like, “You look nice today,” and instead of thanking him, I whipped my head around, shot laser beams from my eyes, and snapped, “What’s that supposed to mean?!” While watching television, I’d see a commercial for car insurance and burst into tears. I just never knew what might set me off. I was a veritable Sybil throughout my pregnancies. And here’s the thing about mood swings—you don’t even realize you’re nuts when you’re pregnant. You can’t clearly see your irrational behavior, and you’ll most likely think that everyone else is irritable — not you.
For more pregnancy advice check out YOU’LL LOSE THE BABY WEIGHT (AND OTHER LIES ABOUT PREGNANCY AND CHILDBIRTH) by Dawn Meehan.