Your first positive test. Such excitement. Perhaps you have been waiting for a long time to see this? Perhaps it happened so quickly you are feeling a little overwhelmed? Maybe you weren't even planning for this event so are staring at the stick in disbelief?
What if the line is very, very faint?
Well, in that case you will need to do another test. Pregnancy tests work by detecting the pregnancy hormone hCG in your urine. So, if the line is very faint you may have just tested a little too early in your cycle. Or possibly only a little bit of urine went onto the stick. I know it will be devilishly hard to do so but just wait 3 to 4 days, then remember to test first thing in the morning using your mid-flow urine.
Some tests even have a digital display that gives you an idea of how many weeks pregnant you are. However, even from this point make a mental note, that women have different cycles. Not always 28 days but both shorter and longer. Why do I want you to keep this in mind? Because dates matter. Especially in 36-38 weeks time! But more on that in a future blog.
So what else might be happening right now?
Well your breasts may be feeling a little tender. During pregnancy you'll find that your breasts may go up a couple of bra sizes so it is worth investing in some non-wired bras that may feel a little more comfortable. In the early days though it is hormonal changes that will be causing the tenderness.
You may find that you are needing to wee more often than usual. While normally this could be a sign of a UTI, in pregnancy it is caused by an increase in blood flow to your kidneys which will be producing up to 25% more urine. This will settle down in your second trimester but build up again in the third trimester. Not because of your kidneys but due to babies head bouncing around on your bladder!
You may also find yourself utterly exhausted. Forget watching Game of Thrones for a few weeks and just eat and get yourself to bed nice and early. This will ease but the early weeks may leave you feeling absolutely washed out. If you work from home and can take a power nap then go for it. Otherwise see if you can get out of work during your lunch hour for some fresh air as you may find this helpful.
You can make an appointment with your GP at this point. Modern pregnancy tests are so good that the GP probably will not re-test your urine. Your doctor will advise you as to your local hospital with a maternity unit, or you can choose between a few offered. Once you select which hospital your paperwork will be sent to them and that is where your midwifery team will be based - whether you choose hospital or home birth. Some hospitals will do part of their care in the hospital and then part in your local GP surgery or share the care with your GP.
Your booking-in appointment will follow at some point pre 12 weeks pregnant and then your first scan will be between 11 to 13 weeks pregnant.
So what can you be reading at this point? Never will 8 weeks last so long!!
Well, I would heartily recommend Ina May Gaskin - Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and Milli Hill's The Positive Birth Book.
Take some time to place your hands over your stomach and welcome this new life in. Just close your eyes and breathe and connect with this tiny being. We do not know what will happen over the next 8-10 weeks but just take this moment to be thankful and aware of the preciousness of life.