All About Baby
You may not have conceived yet, but your body is still preparing for a potential pregnancy. Every time you ovulate, the lining of the uterus thickens. If no fertilized egg is implanted in the uterus, the lining sheds (menstruation). When you do conceive, your healthcare provider will ask for the date of your last menstrual period (LMP) to calculate your due date.
Physicians factor in the two weeks before conception into your delivery date. That means you get a two-week bonus toward your pregnancy—so if you’re sure you know when you’re baby was conceived and your healthcare provider puts the pregnancy start date a couple weeks before, not to worry, you’re both right!
All About You
You’ve just finished the last period you’ll have for quite some time (we expect) and, in your desire to get pregnant, you probably notice pregnant women and small babies everywhere: on the bus, in the supermarket, at the park. With any luck, this time next year you’ll be the proud mama with the baby in her arms and the spit-up on her shoulder.
In the meantime, your vaginal discharge is still quite thick and acidic (an inhospitable locale for runaway sperm), and your body temperature is normal as an egg ripens in your ovaries to be released next week. We know it’s weird that week two of your pregnancy actually begins at the end of your menstrual period, before the egg ripens and is released (ovulation) and before fertilization. But soon, about 14 days after the first day of your last period, your body will ovulate. The ovary will release one ripened egg, and the egg will move down into the fallopian tube to wait for her one true mate, a handsome, hearty sperm. That lucky little sperm will have to beat out another million or so in a highly contested race to begin a new life!
This Week: Finding a Healthcare Provider
Months of check-ups, countless pregnancy complaints, and labor and delivery are going to make you and your healthcare provider BFFs. Right? We hope so! Take your time finding a provider who you can connect with and who meets your needs, not just the first one on the list from your HMO or insurance provider profiles.
Step #1: Evaluate Your Preferences
- Man or a woman? For some women gender plays a deciding factor.
- OB-GYN, family practitioner, or a midwife (CNM)?
- What type of care do you want? Do you want to be part of group prenatal care? Or would you prefer a practice with several healthcare providers (meaning that you’ll never know which one will show up on delivery day), a smaller practice, or would you like to be under the care of just one physician?
Step #2: Get Referrals from Friends
Once you’ve considered your own preferences, ask friends for recommendations. Ask why they like their provider, what they don’t like, and what they wish they could change. Listen carefully—what works for someone else might not be a good fit for you.
Step #3: Shop Around!
Visit at least two potential providers before you commit. Ask them hard questions in the initial interview and see if they take time to answer you thoroughly, and if their answers feel right. If you want a natural childbirth but your provider feels women who don’t opt for an epidural are deluding themselves, she’s not for you. If you don’t want a C-section but the practice has high C-section rates, that’s a red flag. The more comfortable you feel with your provider, the better you’ll communicate your needs throughout your pregnancy—and at that all-important moment when it’s time to birth your baby.
Q & A
Got questions about Week 2? Other women have asked this…
“Women who are trying to get pregnant may be super sensitive to physical changes or early signs of pregnancy. For those who experience a surprise or unexpected pregnancy, the symptoms at first may be unnoticeable or chalked up to fatigue or PMS…” Read More
“The biggest risk of taking any medication while trying to become pregnant lies in the possible effects the medication may have on your baby if you do indeed conceive. Studies are limited and not as comprehensive as they could be due to the ethics of testing medications on pregnant women…” Read More
“The prospect of undergoing chemotherapy can be overwhelming and scary all by itself. Having to worry about your future fertility can add another whole layer of concern to the scenario. Most types of chemotherapy will induce early menopause, which may be temporary or permanent. The good news is…” Read More
Are You Ready for Baby?
Let’s get this right out into the open: You can never really be ready for a baby. Sound nerve-wracking? It’s not as bad as it seems; after all, how can you be ready for something you’ve never experienced in your life? How can you be completely prepared for something that will change you and your partner in ways you have no way of knowing ahead of time? The simple answer is, you can’t. You can, however, be ready for change, and that’s a good goal for new parents-to-be.
The truth is there will always be surprises, things you never expected, reactions that catch you off guard after your baby is born—and there’s nothing wrong with that. You don’t have to feel equipped to know what to do when your baby is crying in the middle of the night (you’ll quickly learn what that cry means, so don’t worry). All you need to do is be prepared for change, aware that much of the way your life is right now will be different. Sure that can be scary, but many of those changes will be very good—you just can’t know that yet because they haven’t happened.
With being ready comes a sense of understanding and acceptance. You may not know what your life will look like, but you know it will not look the same. Realizing you’ll need to make adjustments in many areas of your life is really what matters here. It’s not as much about being ready for a baby as much as being aware that life will be different with a baby and that you will be able to handle it.