So, you’ve peed on a stick. You’ve been poked with a needle. And you’ve been given the green light that yep, you’re officially a baby-baking oven now.
So what’s next?
Well, you can buy ALL THE BABY BOOKS, subscribe to a week-by-week newsletter and download the latest apps regarding your pregnancy.
Or…you can do all those things AND have a read of our unofficial guide to pregnancy. Because, let’s face it, we could all use a bit of a chuckle in between chucking up our lunches.
So join us as we explore those upcoming pregnancy stages and delve into what to actually expect during the next nine months.
The first trimester – 4 to 12 weeks gestation
Let me start by saying that the first trimester, without a doubt, is the worst of them all. Seriously, as far as pregnancy stages go, it sucks balls. But it is all uphill from here, I promise.
Sure, there’s a few things that are awesome about it, like the whole “baby-growing thing”. Oh, and the big boobs. But, for the most part, during the first trimester you’re pretty much just trying to get through the day without falling asleep or spewing in your office rubbish bin.
So, what’s going on during the first 12 weeks?
Your baby grows from a poppy seed to a pea pod – This may not seem too big in the grand scheme of things, but this is a massive growth for your little bub. You may not notice much growth in your tummy, unless this is your second or subsequent baby. Then you can expect to pull out the maternity gear by around week five.
Your body makes an entire freakin’ organ – AKA. The placenta, which is purely designed for your baby. Making said organ is a pretty big deal and, when you think about it, it kind of makes sense why your body is SO FREAKIN’ TIRED. Organ making isn’t easy, after all.
You most likely choose to hide everything from everyone – Although the odds are in your favour, miscarriage is still a major concern for most newly pregnant mummas. Many mums opt to “forget” to mention their pregnancy until the second trimester which means wearing baggy clothes, avoiding cocktail hour and lying about why you’re eating nothing but salted crackers.
You pretty much feel hungover all the time – But without the giddiness and complete inhabitions from the night before. What symptoms can you expect? Headaches, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, appetite changes, the strong desire to eat Maccas at 2am… check, check and check.
You transform into an irrational cryer – Someone took your parking spot. A puppy looked at you. There was a baby on television. Bring out the tissues. Captain waterworks can’t control the tears. Don’t blame yourself. Blame your overactive hormones that are wreaking havoc on your emotions.
The second trimester – 13 to 26 weeks gestation
The second trimester feels a little smoother and less like you’re in a boat. Sea sick. You’ve reached land and you’re ready to celebrate with a steep ascent into weight gain. Well, your belly is.
Your baby grows from a lemon to a red cabbage (about 660 grams) – Grow baby grow! As baby grows you will find your belly growing too. Everyone puts on varying amounts so it’s hard to really put a number of how much you should gain. But, if you feel like a beached whale by the end of the trimester, then you’re probably doing it right.
You start to realise that it’s a baby, not just a food baby – You will be able to feel those first baby flutters followed by kicks and punches, even rolling around. It’s truly one of the coolest feelings you’ll ever experience.
You’ll start to feel like yourself again – Only rounder. And probably with a bit more pain and swelling. But usually by the second trimester your energy levels increase while that hungover feeling decreases. You may even feel like celebrating by throwing a gender reveal party. Or by baking a batch of cupcakes, covering them in pink or blue icing and then devouring them all in one sitting… either works.
You get an intense desire to buy a whole bunch of baby crap – No more crawling from pub to pub. Now you’re waddling from baby store to baby store. And instead of collecting coasters – or phone numbers – from each bar, you’re buying cots, strollers, swings, carriers, wraps, pumps and all sorts of other items you probably never even heard of six months ago.
The third trimester – 27 to 40 weeks+ gestation
Two pregnancy stages down. One to go! You’ve got this. While the third trimester can be pretty rough on your body, you’re also inundated with baby kicks and the excitement of actually birthing this kicking machine and meeting him in real life. Which outweighs the back pain. Most days.
Your baby grows from a cauliflower to a “seriously if you compare my baby to a vegetable again I will stab you” – Your uterus has been through the produce aisle and landed in a watermelon field. Which means you’re carrying around a whole hellava lot more weight which sometimes comes out in waves of sadness or anger.
You uncover some seriously messed up pregnancy symptoms – Like super vivid dreams. Or being unable to sleep from 3am to 5am every night. There’s also a pretty good chance you’ll have to pee every 17 minutes and possibly wet your pants if you sneeze. You might also want to have heaps of sex or you might want to head butt your husband for even attempting to hold your hand. Then there’s the swelling… in your legs, ankles, vagina even. Sadly, all of these are actually normal. But, if in doubt, see your doc.
You discover the cruelity that is ‘false labour’ – Contractions that come and go, abdominal pain that is really just indigestion, leaking fluids that are not your waters breaking. Welcome to false labour. During the final days, weeks even, your body starts prepping for labour and baby will drop. Which basically means you will waddle more, wee more and be left wondering what in God’s name is happening down there?
Your tolerance levels slowly disappear – At the start of the trimester, you’re probably okay with having strangers ask about your baby – how many weeks, any name choices, was it planned? But by the end, well, let’s just say it’s perfectly acceptable to hide from society (and stupidity), live in slippers, eat everything in sight and bounce on a fit ball in an attempt to get this baby out.
Nine months is a long time to incubate a baby. Some weeks will go by fast and you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world. Others go so slowly that you’ll swear the world has actually stopped turning.
But through all the ups and downs of these pregnancy stages, remember this one thing. Every day you make it through without vomiting, accidentally peeing your pants or punching someone for trying to touch your belly, you’re one step closer to meeting your little one.
You just need to get through the whole labour thing first…