If you were to look through a microscope, you would be able to see the crown and rump of your tiny, tiny embryo. The little body is starting to form, and small bumps appear that will eventually evolve into arms and legs. You can see where the ears and eyes will be on the head.
The brain, spine and central nervous system are starting to take shape inside the embryo. At the same time, the kidneys, liver, digestive system, muscles and skeleton are starting to develop, as are the walls of the heart, blood cells and blood vessels. Even the internal reproductive organs begin to form.
You might be starting to suspect that you’re expecting again because you haven’t had your period. Or, you may already have taken a pregnancy test with a positive result. If so, congratulations! Sometimes it’s easier to feel early in your pregnancy that your body is somehow different when you’ve given birth several times. Or, you may have no symptoms at all yet, which is equally normal.
At this point, you’re something of a pro, but let’s refresh your memory concerning the early signs of pregnancy. These usually include nausea, fatigue, a change in your sense of taste and smell, a metallic taste in your mouth, and swollen and tender breasts. Sometimes, the first symptom is a need to urinate more frequently. This is because the increased blood flow in the area surrounding the uterus puts pressure on your bladder and you feel an urge to pee. This constant feeling of having to pee usually passes after a few weeks, but often returns toward the end of your pregnancy as your uterus gets heavier and pushes on your bladder. It is not uncommon for your belly to grow faster since you’ve been pregnant more than once, and you might already have difficulty buttoning your pants.
Discovering that you are expecting a baby again triggers a multitude of emotions and the rise in hormones can lead to mood swings. Happiness, awe, fear, and panic—all perfectly natural emotions. You might think that you’d get accustomed after a while, but many women feel ambivalent when they find out they are expecting again, even if the pregnancy is welcome news. Is the timing right? How will I make time for everything? What should I say at work?
Share your thoughts with someone you trust. Lean on the confidence that comes with already being able to care for several children. Give some thought to what resources are available in terms of help and support with practical matters. Life with a newborn can get hectic if you have other young children. Older children usually relish being “the big boy” or “the big girl” and can help out.
Pregnancy symptoms, nausea in particular, typically present themselves clearly and early in the pregnancy if you are expecting twins or more. However, it is impossible to know if you are expecting one or more children this early. You won’t know until you have your ultrasound. Routine ultrasounds are commonly performed between weeks 8 and12. If you have previously had spontaneous fraternal twins, there is a slight chance you will again.
It’s possible that your partner is experiencing the first signs of pregnancy such as nausea and fatigue. Many women find the nausea is worst in the morning. To support your partner, you can give her something light to eat—a cold smoothie, perhaps, or a sandwich—as soon as she wakes up. You can also help by preparing a healthy snack for when she is on the go.