Week 4 and Heather Gregg, Mother of Dragons
Week 4 Bumpcast
We are starting at Week 4 in this amazing journey, and this week, we are going to get a little scientific to give you some insight into what’s going on inside your body!
Now these updates are for natural conception, so if you’ve done invitro or some other form of prompted pregnancy that I don’t know about, things are a little different. If that IS the case, you can probably fast forward past all the scientific updates. BUT! If you got pregnant the old fashioned way, and need a refresher on 5th grade Family Life Education, here ya go!
Prior to week 4, your body experienced the release of an egg, fertilization, when your partner’s sperm penetrates the membrane of your egg and cells begin to divide to make what will eventually be your little bundle of joy. After the egg is fertilized, this mass of cells will implant in your uterine wall, sometime around week 3 and your little one is just a ball of hundreds of cells called a blastocyst. This ball and it’s implantation ritual is what triggers the production of hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin)
Week 4 marks the beginning of your embryonic stage. For the next six weeks, all your baby’s organs are starting to develop and she will be the most susceptible to things that could hinder or mess with her development. Inside your growing uterus, the placenta is becoming the lining of your uterus, creating spaces for your blood to flow so that it can provide nutrients and oxygen to your growing baby. The amniotic sac, which houses your baby, contains amniotic fluid which will cushion baby as she grows. For size reference: Your little embryo is the size of a poppy seed right now! Such a tiny being that is affecting your body in so many ways.
Sometime this week you’ll probably be able to find out that you’re pregnant. It’s an exciting and sometimes frightening realization, but either way, it’s a miracle. For the most accurate results to a home pregnancy test, wait a few days to a week after you miss your period. If the test is positive, call your doctor right away to schedule your first prenatal appointment. The office will probably schedule you around the time you are 8 weeks along. Make sure to have the date of your last Menstrual Period which is the date they will gauge your pregnancy on.
One thing to be aware of this week and into next week: implantation can cause some bleeding or spotting. If you have any concerns or more than just a little bleeding, call your doctor, especially if it’s accompanied by cramping, sharp pains, or large blood clots.
If the home pregnancy test is negative at 4 weeks, take another at 5 weeks if you still haven’t gotten your period. Some urine tests can’t detect the low levels of pregnancy hormones in your urine at 4 weeks. With my first pregnancy, my periods were so irregular, that I didn’t know until I was nearly 10 weeks along that I was pregnant. I took a test when I realized it had been quite a while since my last period, and my breasts were starting to feel sore.
Many women have spotting at implantation (around 2 weeks after their last period) that they mistake for being a period, and so they don’t’ realize they are pregnant for a few weeks to a month later. I took 5 pregnancy tests with my first child, in three different brands. I wanted to be extra sure!
Did you know that the earliest known pregnancy test dates back to 1300 B.C.? Not only that, but the tests they had were 70% reliable at detecting pregnancy! I saw it on a Ted Ed video, so it must be true! (Video: How do pregnancy tests work? https://youtu.be/aOfWTscU8YM)
A few of my favorite resources during pregnancy are: BabyCenter.com and the BabyCenter App, Whattoexpect.com and a few good mom podcasts: The Mom Hour, Mother Like a Boss, and Marvelous Moms Podcast. Also, with my first two pregnancies, I used a book called The Pregnancy Bible: Your Complete Guide to Pregnancy and Early Parenthood. I actually bought this book twice because I gifted it to a friend after my first pregnancy. I love the photos broken down for each week and all the information inside. There’s also great material in this book for post-partum, and different ailments with baby. I couldn’t find this one at the book store but you can still order it online.
A good thing to keep in mind at this stage is planning for health insurance if you’re in a country or area that requires it.
This week we have an interview Heather Gregg. Heather is an amazing mama of 2 with a degree in Childhood Development and a love of Game of Thrones. She’s the first interview I had in our home studio and I’m so happy to have her as our first mama highlight on the podcast. Make sure to listen all the way through to hear Heather’s advice for new moms at the end.
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Thanks for listening!