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Weeks 1 and 2  -- Congratulations!

In The Beginning

Weeks one and two are an extremely exciting and mystifying time for most women. Most women eagerly start calculating their pregnancy week by week as soon as they decide to conceive. During pregnancy week 1 and beyond you will experience the joy of creating life, which is a life-changing event for most women! This guide will walk you step by step through each week of pregnancy. You’ll find informative information about the changes occurring in your body and in your baby. We’ll walk you through each of the stages of pregnancy, and help you understand what you should expect as your body changes and your baby grows from week to week.

During pregnancy week 1 and pregnancy week 2, you may not even be certain that you are pregnant yet! Many women experience few if any symptoms at all. Weeks one and two are mostly consumed with the process of ovulation and fertilization. During pregnancy week 1 and 2 your body will produce estrogen and progesterone in varying amounts to prepare the body for ovulation, when the ovaries release an egg. If you are lucky, this egg will be fertilized and will travel up the fallopian tubes to the uterus, where it will reside for the next 40 or so weeks.

Early Signs and Symptoms

There are some signs and symptoms that most women experience during the first weeks of pregnancy. Though you may not experience all or any of these the first week, you will probably start to experience many of them in the weeks to come. The most common symptoms that women experience during ovulation include some mild cramping, which may occur on one or both sides of the body.

It is not uncommon to feel some ovarian discomfort during ovulation. You may also realize an increased amount of clear discharge during your most fertile time. When your discharge is most abundant, clear, slippery and stretchy, you are at your fertile peak when you have the greatest chance of conceiving. Fertile cervical mucous is often stretchy. You can usually stretch it one inch or more between your fingers.

Other ways to tell you are fertile 1 and 2 weeks after your last menstrual cycle includes basal temperature monitoring. If you are trying to conceive, this can be an effective and natural way to determine your most fertile days. During the first two weeks of your menstrual cycle, your body temperature should be lower than normal, typically between 97.0 and 97.5 degrees Fahrenheit. During ovulation however, your body temperature increases, a change caused by increasing levels of progesterone. A rise of .4 to .6 degrees is common among ovulating women. If you successfully conceive during pregnancy at 2 weeks, your body temperature will actually remain slightly elevated for the duration of your pregnancy.

To take your basal temperature, you must use a basal thermometer. Try to take your temperature first thing in the morning before you get out of bed, as physical activity will increase your temperature and can skew the results.
Did you know a woman’s most fertile time is actually the few days preceding ovulation during the second week after your menses? If you are regularly charting your cycle you should be able to pinpoint a two to four day window of peak fertilization.

Once you have ovulated, you may become pregnant. You may be wondering what the early signs of pregnancy are during the days following ovulation. Most women will not start experiencing true pregnancy signs until 10-14 days after ovulation, though some women have reported symptoms as early as a couple days post conception.
Here are some signs to look for if you think you might be pregnant:
  •  Increased fatigue
  •  Missed period
  •  Nausea
  •  Breast tenderness
  •  Frequent need to urinate
  •  Metallic taste in mouth
  •  Sleep disturbances
  •  Increased temperature that remains elevated after ovulation
Determining Your Baby's Due Date

The question that most often follows is "Am I pregnant?" "When is my baby due?" Guessing your baby's due date is one of the more fun aspects of the first couple of weeks of pregnancy. You can work together with your practitioner to determine the estimated due date of your baby.

Most healthcare providers calculate pregnancy from the beginning of the last menstrual cycle. Using this method, you are actually considered pregnant in the two weeks preceding actual conception. This results in a calculation of 40 weeks for the entire pregnancy, even though pregnancy generally lasts about 38 weeks from the time of conception.

It is very difficult to determine the exact date of conception however, which is why most healthcare providers prefer to consider pregnancy as starting from the onset of the last menstrual period. Most women will actually deliver on a date other than their due date. In fact, typically only 1 in 20 women will actually deliver on their due date. Many moms can actually go up to week 42 before they begin active labor on their own. It helps if you consider your due date a rough estimation of the range of time your baby might be born, rather than the day your baby will definitively make an appearance into the world.

What Is Happening With Your Baby

During weeks one and two an incredible number of changes are occurring in your body. Your hormone levels have changed significantly to ensure the uterus creates a rich lining of tissue, which will support your fertilized egg after conception.

During weeks one and two your ovaries produced ripe eggs in vessels called follicles. During ovulation, which typically occurs around the 14th day of a menstrual cycle that is 28 days long, one or more of your eggs will burst out of your follicles. Your eggs will then wait patiently in the Fallopian tubes where sperm can fertilize them. Did you know it takes roughly about ten hours for sperm to reach the egg?

In the early weeks the sperm's nucleus commingles with the egg, and your baby's gender is determined. Sperm carrying a Y chromosome generally results in a baby boy, while sperm carrying an X chromosome generally results in a bouncing baby girl.

During weeks one and two your fertilized egg, otherwise known as a zygote, will divide into multiple cells and starts burrowing into the rich lining of your uterus.

Your precious baby is simply a ball of cells that transforms at this point into a blastocyst. The blastocyst consists of an inner cell mass that eventually transforms into the embryo, another cavity that becomes the amniotic sac, and an outer cell body that will become the placenta. It is absolutely amazing how your baby develops from this seemingly primitive ball of cells!

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