(This is how you and I started out, too!)
The decision to start a family is one of the most important (and exciting) decisions you and your partner will ever make.
More often than not, as a couple, you have taken timing, financial status, your career and lifestyle goals into account and have made the decision that it’s time to start a family of your own. What the world needs is a mini you so why not give it to them?! The hope, joy and expectation that come with the anticipation of falling pregnant are quite simply, wonderful.
(Well, that’s what I’ve heard anyway. My husband and I enjoy one another’s company a lot and on a Monday afternoon at the gym when I was having trouble strapping everything in, I became suspicious, indeed. We were overjoyed to find out we were with child!)
The weeks and months that follow this life changing decision are very different for all couples. And the methods differ further. But the one constant is the process of conception itself. In falling pregnant your body will go through three stages of conception. They are ovulation, fertilization and implantation.
For those following their cycle in hope to conceive, this is an exciting time of the month!
Each month a group of immature eggs are produced in your ovaries that begin to grow inside small, fluid-filled sacs called follicles. As these follicles begin to grow one will mature as the others growth will stop and they will disintegrate.
As the maturing follicle continues to grow it will release an egg from the ovary. After the egg is released, it has about a 24 hour window where it can be fertilized by the male’s sperm. Simultaneously the womb is creating lining to host the possible pregnancy.
That, my friends, is ovulation and it typically takes place approximately two weeks prior to your menstrual cycle.
In order for fertilization to take place, the sperm must be introduced to the egg and subsequently penetrate it. After the sperm has entered the egg, a thick coating will surround it to stop any other sperm from doing the same. This is where a miracle takes place and new life begins!
The fertilized egg will remain in the fallopian tube for three to four days however, after being fertilized it will quickly begin to divide into many cells.
If the egg is not fertilized, it will continue to move through the fallopian tube to the uterus and disintegrate. Your body will then shed the lining of the uterus it had previously prepared and your period will begin.
Fun Fact: Since the mother is only able to provide an X chromosome, in order for the baby to be a boy, the father must provide a Y chromosome. However, if the father also provides an X chromosome the baby will be a girl. So the sex of your baby is determined at the moment of fertilization!
The fertilized egg will continue to divide itself as it begins its slow journey through the fallopian tube and into the uterus. Implantation takes place when it the egg burrows into the lining of the uterus wall setting up home for the next 9 months or so. Congratulations Mum, you’re pregnant!
It is quite common for women to notice a little bit of spotting or slight bleeding for a couple of days around the time of implantation. This is no cause for concern but simply part of the process as the egg attaching itself to the uterus wall.
A Note on Pregnancy Hormones
A pregnancy hormone known as hCG is in your bloodstream from the moment of conception and is the hormone detected in a pregnancy test. It usually takes three to four weeks from the first day of your last period for levels of hCG to be detectable. So if you’re trying to conceive and your period is a couple of days late, it’s not too early to take a test. How exciting!
So whether you are in the decision making process about starting a family, are currently trying to fall pregnant or have recently done so, I encourage you to enjoy this season as much as possible. Life is a miracle and experiencing the joy of the process is something you don’t want to miss!