When a woman becomes pregnant, she often dreams about meeting her baby, and all the moments she and her partner will experience once the baby comes into the world. From birthdays and holidays, to precious time snuggling you child, and even memories of teaching them to ride a bike, there is so much to look forward to. While these are exciting thoughts to look forward to, the one thing that can fall by the wayside in that whirlwind 9 months is remembering to enjoy your pregnancy! There are many beautiful and exciting moments that will happen throughout the course of this 40 weeks, and you should do your best to enjoy every single one.
The End of Your First Trimester
This is a wonderful milestone in a pregnancy for many reasons. The first, and most important reason is because the end of the first trimester marks major security in the viability of your pregnancy. The first trimester consists of the first 12 weeks or pregnancy, and those can be very scary and stressful weeks. According to verywellfamily.com, 10-20% of pregnancies will end in a miscarriage and 80% of those will occur prior to the 12-week mark. In fact, women often chose not to reveal their pregnancies to friends and family before the end of the first trimester because of this. However, by the end of the first trimester, the percentage of possible miscarriage drops to 3-4%. That is a huge relief and is probably one of the most celebratory milestones that you will experience in this entire 9 months.
On a lighter note, the end of the first trimester also marks a much-anticipated period in which your early pregnancy symptoms should ease up. The symptoms of early pregnancy can be intense, and many women report feeling excessively tired, nauseous, and emotional. The increase in hormones can also cause issues such as tender breasts and nipples, headaches, backaches, and cramping to name a few. Its certainly no surprise that so many women look forward to feeling better once these symptoms resolve, and this milestone can be cause for some serious joy.
The Gender Reveal
This may be one of the most patience testing times for expecting mothers, and for good reason! The day that you finally get to find out if you’re expecting a boy or a girl is seriously exciting. There are a few times during your pregnancy when you can find out the gender of your unborn child. The first way, and the earliest possible time, would be if you undergo an amniocentesis. This is a test where the doctor will extract a tiny amount of amniotic fluid to test for any genetic issues that could seriously affect the baby. This test comes with risks, however, and unless indicated by age or other medical reasons is avoided. There is also a test performed to check the baby’s chromosomes for any issues, known as a CVS test, however it is also uncommon and only performed if indicated.
The most common time for women to find out the sex of their baby is at their 19 weeks pregnant ultrasound. This is one of your regularly performed ultrasounds that you will have during your pregnancy to check fetal development. The reason that this ultrasound can determine the gender of your child is because at this point the external sex organs of your child will be developed enough to clearly view on an ultrasound. Many women chose to bring friends or family to this ultrasound appointment, in addition to their partners, or request print outs of the photos to share the news. Many couples even video the moment their ultrasound technician confirms the gender. If you’re really into celebrations, you can even request that the gender be kept secret in an envelope that you can pass on to friends of family so that you can throw a fun gender reveal party!
Many people think of their baby’s firsts as moments that happen after the birth, but that’s not necessarily true. During your pregnancy you will experience many firsts with your unborn child. For example, feeling your baby kicking inside of your womb for the first time, or laughing with your partner the first-time you child experiencing hiccups which you will be able to feel. Additionally, as your child develops, he or she will begin to respond to stimuli. Pay close attention, and you will be able to experience the first time your baby responded to the sound of your voice, the first time they kicked at the feeling of your partners hand on your stomach, or even the first time they danced when they heard music that they liked. Your baby may even be able to tell you what foods he or she enjoys, based on their activity level. If you love spicy food and notice that your baby is particularly active when you eat, you may have similar taste! Take the time to be aware of these unique experiences and enjoy them.
Your Baby Dropping
As you approach the end of your pregnancy, your baby will “drop”. This means that your baby will move lower into your pelvis, and its head will engage, which is the position that it moves into to prepare for birth. According to Healthline, there are a few signs that your baby has dropped:
- You may notice that you can breathe a little easier due to the baby moving down and away from your lungs and diaphragm.
- You’ll likely feel the pressure of the baby in your pelvis more than you have previously in your pregnancy.
- You may notice increased vaginal discharge as your cervix begins to dilate and your mucus plus may fall out in preparation for birth.
- Your baby will be putting on weight quickly during this time, and with it now being even closer to your bladder, you will likely need to pee. A lot.
- You may have discomfort and small twinges of pain in your pelvic area due to the position of your baby.
When your baby drops, it is a clear sign that the delivery is near. While it may still take up to a few weeks for you to go into labor, this is a very exciting time in your pregnancy. It marks the beginning of the end, and one step closer to you finally meeting your new bundle of joy!
These are only a few examples of the incredible experiences that you will have as you grow your child in your womb. Some women chose to track their baby’s size and development day by day or spend lots of time thinking of the perfect name. Some women love to spend time with their partner, relishing in the excitement and love that comes with creating life. Some women enjoy nesting and setting up the perfect home to bring their new baby into. Whatever moments you chose to celebrate, just remember to take a break from day dreaming about the day your baby is here, and time some time to remember that he or she already is with you and this is the only 9 months of their life when you will get to keep them this close and this safe, so cherish it.