Sometimes you spend a lot of time and energy on getting pregnant. When it happens, it causes a lot of excitement. You’re in for an awesome and wild ride! Pregnancy comes with all sorts of milestones, both the fun and the not-so-fun. Even with the ones that are a pain, it still means that your baby is growing well. There are still things to celebrate (or maybe just acknowledge) as progress toward a healthy baby.
Fun and Not-So-Fun Pregnancy Milestones
Not So Fun: When Your Breasts Start Hurting
One of the first signs of pregnancy can be that your breasts get sore and feel heavier. This symptom can start just two weeks after conception. You may notice this before you even think about taking a pregnancy test.
Fun: The Positive Pregnancy Test
While the dreaded two-week wait sucks, especially if you are actively trying to get pregnant, the positive pregnancy test is a huge reason to celebrate. This milestone is the first concrete evidence that you are expecting. You may agonize over the right time to take one. Most tests are super accurate once you miss your period, although some boast earlier results.
Not So Fun: When You Start Puking
I had awful morning sickness, which could hit any time of the day with both of my pregnancies. The nausea is no joke and can start between two and eight weeks. For me, it hit at about six weeks with both kids. Keeping saltines on the nightstand to snack on before getting up is a milestone that no one loves, but many people go through.
Fun: First Doctor Appointment
Many doctors and midwives will schedule your first appointment for around eight weeks. Even though you had a positive pregnancy test, you still wait for this appointment with bated breath. Being able to see the baby through ultrasound goes a long way in calming your fears and confirming the viability of your pregnancy. A huge weight is lifted off your shoulders with this appointment. You should be able to hear the baby’s heartbeat around this time.
Not So Fun: Food Aversions and Cravings
The food aversions and cravings can start earlier but typically begin as you get closer to the second trimester. I also had a heightened sense of smell, which can hit in the first trimester as well. Driving over a newly paved road was the worst!
Fun: Miscarriage Rate Drops
Twelve weeks is a huge number when it comes to pregnancy. This is the number when the miscarriage rate drops, and you can begin to relax a bit more. Entering the second trimester is a huge milestone for many reasons.
Fun: Announcing to Family and Friends
Around the second trimester is also when you announce your pregnancy to more family and friends. This practice is primarily tied to the miscarriage rate dropping. Taking fun pictures and announcing is a very exciting time.
Fun: When You Stop Puking
Although it can end earlier, morning sickness may last until you hit 13 weeks or the beginning of the second trimester. However, it can last longer for some people. When this symptom subsides is another excellent reason to celebrate. The second trimester is the best since the sickness usually lessens, along with the miscarriage risk.
Not So Fun: Strangers Trying to Touch Your Belly
I didn’t have a huge problem with this, but I know some women do. Sometimes strangers think it’s acceptable to touch your belly because there’s a baby in it. I never understood this, but I know I wouldn’t have been okay with it if people had done this to me.
Not So Fun: First Bit of Unsolicited Advice
Women who have had babies just want to help. They will give you all kinds of conflicting advice. Listen, but take what they say with a grain of salt. All babies are different. If something doesn’t work or you aren’t comfortable doing something, you don’t need to. It’s your baby.
Fun: When You Can Feel the Baby Kick
Feeling the baby kick for the first time is one of the most incredible things about being pregnant. This ability can start between 16 and 25 weeks and is the most extraordinary feeling. Seeing your stomach move is also pretty cool until the baby gets so big that it’s hard to sleep anyway!
Fun (Maybe?): Buying Maternity Clothes
Whether you enjoy maternity clothes or not, it is a critical pregnancy milestone. Everyone has to do it at some point because your clothes will just not fit. You need stretchy, comfy shirts and pants, so you need to head out into the world and get some. Or maybe you have a friend who is willing to lend you hers!
Fun: Gender Reveal
The 20-week appointment is also a big pregnancy milestone because it’s when you find out if your baby is a boy or a girl. While some people opt not to find out, I liked knowing because it felt like I was more prepared for what was to come. I might not have been that much more prepared, but it sure felt like it! Plus, it was so much fun planning our gender reveal to friends and family.
Fun: When Your Hair Gets Luscious
You may notice this at a different point in your pregnancy, but your hair is super full, which is fun. You don’t lose as much hair throughout pregnancy, which is why postpartum hair loss is a thing later on, since you do eventually catch up.
Fun: Your Baby Shower
Usually, about a month or so, give or take a couple of weeks, you have a baby shower if it’s your first. This convention is such a fun party. You get to see all your female relatives and get presents for yourself and your baby.
Fun: Baby Can Be Safely Born
Once you hit 34 weeks, you can breathe a bit easier. After this point, your baby can be born at any time without needing to worry about any long-term complications.1
Not So Fun: Having to Go to the Doctor Weekly
You have weekly appointments with your doctor during that last month, which is a pain, but you’re also so close to meeting your baby!
Fun: When You Hit 40 Weeks
You may be both excited and disappointed if you reach your due date. Especially with my second, I was hoping that he would come a little early, but it didn’t happen. My due dates came and went with both of my kids still snuggled firmly in my belly. Each day after that becomes difficult because you’re just waiting and hoping that labor will start.
Not So Fun: Braxton Hicks
False contractions can be irritating, but many women get them. Braxton Hicks are contractions that help prepare your body for labor. It is like practice before the big game. They can be irritating, but they’re a part of the preparation process.
Fun: First Real Contraction
Once the real contractions hit, you know that this is it! You’re about to meet your baby!
Pregnancy is a magical but often difficult time. There are many pregnancy milestones that are either pleasant and exciting or irritating and painful. All of them are part of the process that gets you closer to meeting your baby. So all of them deserve recognition for the roles that they play! What fun or not-so-fun pregnancy milestones would you add to this list?