The days have crept by since you first received your positive pregnancy test. You’re waiting anxiously for your first prenatal doctor visit. You’re biting your nails in anticipation to hear the sound of your tiny beans heart beat and you cant wait to see the little sprout in your first ultrasound. What can you do to pass the time, and see how your little one is developing?
For starters, you can download a pregnancy tracker!
Did you know, that when you become pregnant, you will visit your doctor about 15 times in a 9 month span. That doesn’t include the birth of the child or any other emergency type visits that may occur in between. That’s 15 pre-natal visits from 4 weeks to 40 weeks and any extra time after if you have a late bloomer. You are going to spend a lot of time with the doctor, and/or health center who/that will be delivering your baby, so your are going to want to like them/it. That is why it is important to do a little research once you find out that you are pregnant.
If you have had a lady-parts doctor that you love and adore, you should still take some time to get familiar with their maternal care, and discuss your delivery plan with them.
Even if you have already had your first pre-natal visit, you can still search around for a different pre-natal plan.
You have just come down from your emotional roller coaster – thrill ride after discovering that you are building a little human deep inside you. Your partner and you are shrieking, jumping up and down. You’re going to be parents! Congratulations to the both of you. What a beautiful beginning. Now, it’s time to call your doctor and set up your first prenatal visit.
As soon as you receive the positive on that pregnancy test, call your OB-GYN to set up an appointment. Even if you think you’re going to research different health care options, it’s still important to get the initial appointment set up right away.
When you call, your appointment will be set up from 6 to 8 weeks after your last period. This is a good time to ask any questions you would like to know in the mean time or if you have a concern about the pregnancy – to see if you can get in earlier.
Although I spent most of my life knowing I was going to be a mother someday, I must admit that there was a moment when I thought I did not want kids. A very small section of time when I imagined myself as that woman who would never sacrifice her body to the Maternal Goddesses, or who would never rock my own baby to sleep. I would never need to worry about tantrums in the middle of Target, or fights with my kid about eating their dinner. I was so caught up in living my adult life: traveling and excelling in my career. I was heavily involved in animal advocacy. My life was fulfilling at that time. I did not feel the motherly calling, nor did my uterus ache at every baby cry. I was content.
Due to my dramatic and difficult childhood, I knew for certain that I did not want my children growing up the way I did: to parents who were not financially prepared nor mentally stable. My children were going to be 100% wanted and appropriately taken care of. That meant preventing pregnancies and being responsible. I’m not saying I didn’t have a few scares from a few inconvenient disasters, but I was mindful for the most part.
As my wedding day approached, I felt strongly about spending my adulthood fostering and training dogs with behavior issues, instead of changing diapers and negotiating with toddlers. I felt so strongly about this at the time that I sat my soon to be husband down and delivered the news. I told the man that I was going to marry, and who made it clear that he wanted to be a father, that I was not going to be a mother. I was so sure of this that I was willing to risk the man of my dreams walking out of our relationship. I was that certain.
Lucky for me, he stuck around, and we got married. For me, it was a relief that I did not have to worry about what the future held for us. My husband either knew me better than I thought I did, had faith that I would change my mind, or loved me so much that he was willing to throw away his dream of being a dad. Whichever it was, I refused to let it bother me at that time. The truth was, I did feel guilty for not wanting children, but I trusted the path I was on. We headed into our honeymoon without kids on our mind. We even continued to be responsible on those honeymoon nights. Instead, we focused all our energy on enjoying our time together, just the two of us.
Then it happened. That moment that changed everything. I was standing in Target, a couple of weeks after we had returned. I was looking at the handbags, trying to pick out the perfect work bag because I needed an upgrade. In the distance, a newborn baby started to wail. I didn’t immediately roll my eyes like I had done each time before. I did not wonder why the mother even bothered to drag the baby out in public. The non-parent judgments were gone. I didn’t feel that surge of annoyance that usually rushed through my body. Instead, I felt my heart ache and my usually quiet uterus throb. It was awake, and it was sending me baby signals so hard that I zombie-walked to the baby section. Before I knew it, I was gushing over newborn sleeper onesies, little bows, and tiny shoes.
My inner Maternal Goddess had awoken! I am not sure why she decided to wake up in that moment. Maybe she knew I was at a point in my life where I was ready to be the mother I had always wanted to be. Maybe the world was ready to pair me with my beautiful and perfect little soul. It was time. I knew it, my brain knew, my body knew it, and the universe knew it. Everything aligned in it’s beautiful wonder and it was sending me uncontrollable urges to reproduce.
When my husband got home that evening, I did not hesitate to retract my no children statement. I could see the excitement and relief in his eyes. We both said that we were not going to jump into it and if it happened it happened. Yet, we both knew that was not the case. We jumped so hard into the baby making process that I was on full track obsessive mode by four months in.
What started as full confidence in not wanting children, transformed into pure heartache as my empty uterus continued on, month after month. My maternal urge had been so strong and had transformed so fast. My kid-less fantasy turned into torture with every negative pregnancy test. The disappointment became so overwhelming.
After nine months of trying, my broken heart gave up. I needed a break from the downward spiral. My husband and I busied ourselves with work, and I dived harder into my volunteering. The dog that I had spent so long trying to socialize and train was so close to finally getting adopted, so I spent all my energy on him.
I went out with friends and spent time with family. My husband and I enjoyed each other’s company with date nights and day trips. I had also just lost my childhood dog to a massive destructive disease. I was devastated and my mind was elsewhere.
Some mothers say they know exactly when they became pregnant. I have read miracle stories of mothers who can pinpoint the exact moment, or somehow, in a beautiful instance of tranquility they just knew they were pregnant.
When we had been actively trying, my husband told me that he had read something that stated when the sperm connected with the egg, it made an actual spark within the teeny tiny crevasse of the uterus. Like if you could see it with a naked eye, it would be this glorious thing to observe.
That thought flooded my head the moment I knew. Some say that I am crazy but I feel like I felt that spark, deep within. I felt it on my way to work as I was waiting on a red light. As the light turned green, deep in my soul I knew my long journey was over and a new one was just about to begin.
About a week later, I felt the symptoms. I was so unbelievably bloated and crampy. As someone who suffers from IBS, I knew this wasn’t a traditional unsteady bowel moment. This lasted for days and I knew it was different. Something was happening inside my body. Cells were dividing into a beautiful little embryo that was going to make me a mother.
On the 4th of July, feeling awful, I debated between going to the hospital or taking a pregnancy test. I decided the latter. I sat in the bathroom with my test hidden under a towel. I already knew the answer this time. This time I was sure. I watched my phone count down the two minutes as I began to wonder what my new life was going to be like. My eyes filled up with tears before I even picked up the test. My phone alarm buzzed as I reached under the towel. I slid the stick out from under it’s hiding place and I covered my mouth to keep in the shrieks. My husband sat in the next room, unaware of what was happening on the other side of the wall. Unaware that his whole life was about to change.
You have decided to become a mother. Congratulations on making the biggest decision ever. You want to build and grow a human, then give birth to your greatest challenge yet. Parenting isn’t easy, and for many women, neither is getting pregnant. It may be an easy process or it could be a difficult one. So where do you begin.?
For starters, you should visit your doctor and get a preconception check up to see if your body is ready for pregnancy.
Then, you should prepare your baby’s future living quarters for a healthy and nutritious living space. It’s also a great time to get to know your body and how it works.
If you are currently trying to get pregnant, tracking your ovulation could be a great start. There are different ways you can do that.
You could track your ovulation with an ovulation tester. These can pinpoint your exact ovulation period, and even the day of ovulation.
You could utilize your discharge to track when you are most fertile.
Another way to track your ovulation is by charting your basal body temperature.
What is a Basal Temperature
A basal body temperature is the temperature you have when your body is at rest. This means right when you wake up, after your body has been motionless for a few hours.
How Does Your Basal Temperature Detect Your Ovulation
Your temperature can be effected by a number of things: whether you’ve consumed alcohol, when you are ill, when you are stressed, and when you are not sleeping well.
The hormone change within your body can also affect your temperature. Throughout your cycle, your temperature fluctuates. In the beginning of your cycle, it is low, or more towards your average temperature. When you ovulate, your temperature will spike a few degrees. Your temperature may also drop significantly right before you are about to ovulate.
How To Track Basal Body Temperature.
You can track your temperature with a Basal Thermometer. A Basal thermometer looks just like a regular digital thermometer but is more accurate in reading your temperature.
Use a chart to record your temperature throughout your cycle. Your cycle begins the first day of your period. Track from this day until your next period. Check your temperature each morning before you get out of bed and then record it on a Basal Body Temperature Chart.
Here is an example of a charted basal body temperature:
Tracking your basal body temperature may also detect early pregnancy. Normally, when you are about to get your period, or when your cycle is supposed to end, your temperature will drop right before your period arrives. If you are pregnant, your temperature may rise at the end of your cycle.
Let’s look at the same chart with a possible pregnancy temperature increase:
You can track your ovulation cycle and add any key information. For example, if you got sick, what days you may have ovulated, what days you had your period, and any other information you feel like adding.
Feel free to print this out for your self. Make a few copies, as you should track your basal body temperature for a few months before determining your cycle.
• Take your temperature with your Basal Thermometer
• Record the temperature in the chart.
• Do this for a few months to determine the pattern of ovulation.
Here is an example of how I tracked my ovulation:
For more information on tracking your Basal Body Temperature, check out the following: