I’m pregnant! I’m pregnant? I’m pregnant. Wow.
Hopefully, while 4 weeks pregnant, you are in the know. It’s official, you have entered into the world of pregnancy. Whether you took a home pregnancy test or received confirmation from a doctor, your new reality may be slowly but surely sinking in. Or maybe it has hit you like a ton of bricks with some major pregnancy symptoms. It all may feel very surreal. Maybe you’ve found yourself staring at your face in the mirror practicing telling your friends and family (or your partner!): “I’m pregnant!”, or “Guess what? Give up? I’m pregnant!”, or why not try, “Oh me? I’m pregnant, how are you?”. Do what you gotta do because things are about to are about to get real, real fastt.
Baby food and Pregnancy Symptoms
Now comes everybody’s favorite pregnancy pastime: How big is my baby in relation to a food item? In week 4 your baby is about the size of a poppy seed! But, what an incredible poppy seed! Officially an embryo, organs have begun to form and some are already functioning. The amniotic sac and amniotic fluid, your baby’s shelter and cushion for the coming months is formed. Your baby’s red blood cell factory, the yolk sac, is present and working. By now, you’re feeling how hard your body is working – pregnancy symptoms can be at their most intense when you’re 4 weeks pregnant. Usually they subside by the second trimester, so try and take it easy.
Pregnancy reality check, it’s a good thing.
Don’t feel bad or guilty if you find yourself while 4 weeks pregnant with reactions to your pregnancy that are a mixed bag. Not everyone’s experience is like those of the women in the home pregnancy test commercials. You know the ones – the soft music, the fuzzy glow casting warm light on a beautiful woman wearing a flowing skirt who has just discovered her happy news. Her face is calm and relaxed and by the look on her face, you can tell that she is envisioning her graceful pregnancy and her effortless mothering. Relax! That woman is an actress hired to portray a fantasy. The reality is, finding out you’re pregnant can be exciting and scary all at the same time. Are we financially secure enough for this? Are we ready? Am I going to get fat??? These are really normal reactions. That’s a good sign. It’s a sign that you will be taking your pregnancy seriously.
Prenatal care options! You have them!
It’s time to make a prenatal appointment. Most doctors or midwives won’t see you until you’re about 8 weeks pregnant, but it’s a good idea to make the appointment now. You should also spend some time exploring your options as far as prenatal care and and birthing styles. That’s right! You have options! There is no right or wrong choice here, what you and your partner think is best and feels right to you is the priority. It is an especially wise idea to sort through your options now while you are 4 weeks pregnant so by the time you are ready to share your news with those outside your inner circle, those whom you may not appreciate “advice” from, you will already have a solid idea of how you’d like to approach your pregnancy and baby’s birth. Chances are you are probably aware of the traditional approach of receiving your prenatal care from an OB/ GYN, who will also deliver your baby. You could also look into seeing midwives at a hospital practice. Midwives who practice at hospitals are usually also certified nurse practitioners, which makes for an interesting balance of a clinical and a more low-key approach to pregnancy. Some women even opt to give birth at home. Modern midwifery has come a long way, making home birth a safe and possibly more comfortable experience. This approach is definitely not for every family, and usually not for high-risk pregnancies. This all may seem overwhelming right now, but rest assured that you have time beyond that first prenatal visit to continue exploring your options. You are just 4 weeks pregnant, you have just begun.
Whose body is this, anyway?
Your pregnant body has most likely started to feel different. Pregnancy symptoms may have appeared out of nowhere. Some common pregnancy symptoms include feeling extremely tired, bloated, emotional, restless and nauseous. Unpleasant pregnancy symptoms can seemingly start overnight and can really catch you off guard. It can be frustrating to go from feeling like a normal person, to feeling like a walking hormone manufacturer. Different women find different ways of coping with pregnancy symptoms that may or may not be disappearing anytime soon. Some find low-impact exercises, like yoga to provide physical and mental relief, while others may find comfort in plenty of social activities that take their minds off not feeling their best. Whatever you decide, be good to yourself! Pregnancy symptoms are no joke! This is tough stuff to deal with, especially when they are accompanied with such big news.
When to tell, who to tell?
Sharing your exciting news with friends and family is a very personal decision and should be between you and your partner. Even if those close (or not so close) to you know that you have been “trying”, you are not by any means obligated to tell anyone about your pregnancy if you don’t feel comfortable. It also may be hard concealing your pregnancy symptoms while you’re at work. You may be tired and not at your best, or you may be excusing yourself to the restroom in a hurry. Again, you are not obligated to share anything you don’t want to. Miscarriages are unfortunately not uncommon, and having to share something so personal with just an acquaintance may be something you’d like to avoid. If you choose to keep it a secret, it will most likely be the biggest secret you’ve ever kept – and you won’t be able to keep it secret for very long – your big belly will let everyone know what’s going on soon enough! Yikes!
OK, let’s do this. Get plenty of rest, make healthy choices, and try not to stress. Those pesky pregnancy symptoms may be taking over for now, but you’re strong and you can do this. Being 4 weeks pregnant is a crazy time. Your head is spinning and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Take your time and enjoy that little poppy seed growing inside of you.