Week 6: Am I Pregnant, Or Just Sick?

Blogger Maureen shares her early signs of pregnancy

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My partner James and I have been together for two years, and since close to the beginning of our relationship, we discussed the possibility of having a child if things worked out well with us. I don’t have any children, but he has a 6 year-old son from a previous relationship and relishes the role of involved father. At our one-year anniversary in January 2012, we decided to officially start “trying” and I stopped taking birth control.

I was 37 at the time, and knew that I was already of advanced maternal age (over 35), but I was hopeful that I’d get pregnant quickly. My OB-GYN said if I wasn’t pregnant in a year, to come back. It took my younger sister 6 months to conceive, so I kept that in the back of my mind.

At first, we simply had unprotected sex and ramped up the frequency. But 6 months in and not pregnant, I got some ovulation test sticks and impatiently waited for the smiley face to appear, indicating it was GO time. For the next few months, we made sure to be active when the smiley face appeared, and even when it didn’t. A couple of times, I felt waves of nausea and had sore breasts, but each pregnancy test I took was negative and my period faithfully showed up.

In December 2012, close to a year after we started trying, I wasn’t pregnant, and the one-year deadline my doctor had given loomed. I had all but given up, even though everyone said it was too soon. To me, it seemed like it just wasn’t going to happen. I felt deflated, but resigned that if it wasn’t meant to be, it wasn’t meant to be. I didn’t want to consider fertility options, nor could we truly afford it. In short, I simply stopped thinking about trying to get pregnant.

Fast forward to February 2013: The flu that was ravaging the country reached our household. A Friday in early February, I woke up with the worse body aches I could remember, with a headache and sore throat as companions. I was miserable. For the next four days, no food was appealing and I could hardly move. Finally, the body aches and headache abated, but the sore throat lingered and was accompanied by a new nausea so severe I was dry heaving a couple of times a day (although I never vomited). Out of nowhere, my smell sensitivity kicked into overdrive.

Suddenly, I could smell e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g, in a very bad way. When I opened the freezer, it was as if I could smell every frozen food we had in there, mixed together. Disgusting. I went shopping and nearly vomited in the aisles. Our kitchen garbage produced an immediate gag reflex. The only things that appealed to me were dairy, fresh fruit, and citrus beverages like orange juice and lemonade.

After about 10 days straight of the sore throat and 5 days of the nausea/smell sensitivity, I made an appointment with my primary care doctor. My period was late by two weeks, but I took two home pregnancy tests about 4 days apart from each other, and both came out negative. I thought the ongoing illness was just a different strain of the flu.

I went to the doctor the day before Valentine’s Day. I explained everything, so they gave me a pregnancy test just in case. Sure enough, the positive pink line showed up immediately! My first feeling was absolute disbelief. I asked the doctor if he was sure at least four times. He assured me that he was, and gave me the positive test to take home. Then, tears of happiness and excitement.

When I got home from the doctor, James asked how it went.

“Good. I’m negative for strep throat,” I said. “And I’m positive for a BABY!” I would have devised a clever “How I Told Him” way to let him know, but I couldn’t contain myself long enough. I had to share the news immediately. We hugged tightly and laughed.

And just like that, I’m suddenly obsessed with doing kegels.

Read more: Here's what's happening during Week 6 of your pregnancy >>