I’ve been writing this blog post in my head ever since I had the first little inkling that I might be pregnant, roughly 12 weeks ago. I remember heading out for my daily walk around Greyton and noticing that my boobs felt incredibly tender, and they felt absolutely enormous!
I initially put it down to the fact that I’d forgotten to put on my sports bra before heading out, but I couldn’t get that little niggle out of my mind and found myself googling ‘early pregnancy symptoms‘ later that night.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t find much apart from lists of the typical pregnancy symptoms… nausea, fatigue, spotting or cramping, a missed period, tender and swollen breasts…
I’ve noticed that my breasts are often a little sore to the touch a few days before my period starts, but I found it strange that they were so sore and swollen two whole weeks before my cycle was due to start. Since I still had a couple of weeks to wait before I could take a test, I tried to push the thought to the back of my mind. By the time the light cramping started a few days later, I just knew that I was pregnant. I didn’t need to take a test – I’d been there and done that, and I’d had the exact same symptoms when I was pregnant with Bean eight years before.
That said, the two week wait was agonizing and I constantly found myself looking up early pregnancy symptoms online, on blogs, and on YouTube. I just wanted to know!
Over the next couple of weeks I slowly started racking up a few more symptoms to add the list, and it was at that point that I decided that I’d write this blog post if it turned out that I was expecting. Some of these symptoms are the more predictable and obvious ones, but there are several that are a little more out-of-the-ordinary.
Tender, swollen breasts
I think I’ve mentioned my boobs quite enough throughout this post, but in case you missed it: the first symptom I experienced was incredibly sore, ache-y breasts that felt huge at around the 4 week mark (so 2 weeks post-conception).
The second symptom I noticed was light, period-like cramping at around the 5 week mark (so 3 weeks post-conception). This was a bit confusing at times, as it happened just before my period was due so I often went to the loo expecting to see that my cycle had started. It never did.
I can’t quite remember exactly when the headaches started, but I do remember that I suddenly became obsessed with checking my temperature, as I was convinced that I had Covid-19! The headaches were also paired with extreme fatigue, so my mind was really playing tricks with me at this point – I knew that I was either pregnant, or I had Covid!
So tired… all the time!
I suddenly found it difficult to drag myself out of bed before 9am, despite the fact that I’d fallen asleep well before 10pm the night before. As a night owl, this wasn’t like me at all!
Emotional and irritable
I feel so bad for poor Bean, because he was stuck in lockdown with a miserable mom who was always a little too close to the edge… and cried at the drop of a hat! I remember the moment when I knew that I was pregnant with Bean back in 2012 – a friend and I went to watch Salmon Fishing in the Yemen at Cavendish, and I bawled my way through that movie. Once the movie was over, I still commented on how sad it was – and she responded saying that it really wasn’t that sad, and suggested that perhaps we buy a pregnancy test. (Click here to read a little more about finding out that I was pregnant with Bean).
Needless to say, once the tears started flowing, the game was pretty much over. I was 99.9% sure that I was pregnant – no test needed!
Ugh. Breakouts. Honestly. I suffer the worst hormonal breakouts at the best of times, but this was on another level. Suddenly I had spots popping up along my jawline, on my forehead, and even on my back! So gross.
These breakouts continued throughout the first trimester, but seem to have settled now that I’m at the 16 week mark. Fingers crossed!
Longer, stronger nails
This was an odd symptom, and it only really dawned on my after I’d taken a pregnancy test. For weeks I was in awe of how beautifully my nails were growing… they’re usually paper-thin and break and split so easily, so I was thrilled to have some actual nails to show off!
They’ve continued to grow longer and stronger, but I’ve barely had time to show them some proper love – I think it’s time for an at-home mani this weekend!
Going to the loo more often than usual
This is one of the most common early signs of pregnancy, and one that I started noticing for myself at around 6 weeks (4 weeks post-conception). Despite the fact that I wasn’t drinking any more than usual, I’d find myself waking up in the middle of the night to go for a wee.
This symptom usually tapers off at the beginning of the second trimester (well, that’s what my pregnancy app says anyway), but I haven’t found this to be true for me. In fact, last night alone I got up to go to the loo no less than four times… this is probably due to the fact that I’m carrying twins, so it’s probably already rather cramped in there!
Bloated and gassy
Another fun one… not. I spent the first 13 weeks of this pregnancy feeling hideously bloated and gassy, which is a symptom that showed face fairly early on. Although I didn’t experience any food aversions or nausea until later on (at around 8 or 9 weeks), the constant bloat made it very difficult to want to eat anything at all.
Increased discharge… down there
So this one is rather TMI, but – girl-to-girl – this has been one of the most significant changes that I’ve experienced during this pregnancy. It started almost instantly, and I’ve noticed an even bigger increase during the second trimester. Now I remember why they invented panty liners!
A runny nose
Another odd symptom that I experienced from about 5 weeks onwards, but only attributed to pregnancy after my positive test. I remember experiencing frequent bloody noses while pregnant with Bean as well, but I haven’t had any bloody noses this time around (fingers crossed!)
I suddenly noticed that my lips were really dry (not just a tad dry, but incredibly uncomfortable, with a tendency to peel as well) when I was about 5 weeks pregnant (3 weeks post-conception). This has continued well into my second trimester, and I’m currently considering taking out shares in Eau Thermale Avene, since their Cicalfate Lips Repair Balm is currently the only thing getting me through.
A sudden aversion towards coffee
This was one of the last symptoms to hit, but when it did, I knew without a doubt that I was pregnant. I’ve loved coffee my whole life and simply can’t get through the day without at least three or four cups of good coffee… but suddenly, I found myself gagging at the thought of coffee!
I still craved coffee throughout my pregnancy with Bean and am pretty sure that I cleared my local grocery store’s shelves of decaf coffee during my first pregnancy, but I’m having none of it this time around!
These were the most noticeable symptoms that I experienced during the early stages of my pregnancy, which was confirmed with a positive pregnancy test a day after my missed period. I’ve read several articles and blog posts since that suggest that you may experience even more noticeable symptoms earlier on when you’re expecting twins, but I remember having similar symptoms during my first pregnancy too.
What were some of the first signs of pregnancy that you experienced? Did you notice any symptoms I’ve listed above? I’d love to know!