Dear Crissy

Pregnancy: 4 weeks

Since I spilled the beans on the pregnancy early, I figured I may as well take the opportunity to report on my symptoms of pregnancy at 4 weeks, since tomorrow I will be 5 weeks pregnant!

4 weeks pregnant photo

Image taken from BabyCenter.com (love Babycenter), hope they don't mind. :)

This week marks the beginning of the embryonic period. From now until 10 weeks, all of your baby’s organs will begin to develop and some will even begin to function. As a result, this is the time when she’ll be most vulnerable to anything that might interfere with her development. Right now your baby is an embryo the size of a poppy seed, consisting of two layers: the epiblast and the hypoblast, from which all of her organs and body parts will develop. (BabyCenter.com)

There are moments when I don’t feel a thing. It is very early, after all, and while women are looking for signs and symptoms that something is in fact happening in their uterus at 4 weeks, I think it is pretty common to have no symptoms at 4 weeks pregnant.

However, as the week has progressed, I have noticed a few pregnancy symptoms at 4 weeks. I feel the same mild period-like cramping in my uterus that I did when I was pregnant with Evan. I don’t even know that I would use the word cramp, more like the discomfort you feel a few days prior to your period starting, if that makes sense. I can remember being paranoid about this sensation with my first pregnancy, but this time I know that it just means that my uterus is making room for the baby.

I also have a dull headache, but I believe this is more from my caffeine detox than anything else. I am far too accustomed to reaching for some Advil or Tylenol, so it’s been a struggle at times to just deal with the nagging headache, but I am hoping it subsides soon.

I have also felt just a couple, brief waves of nausea in the morning. By brief, I mean just a wave that lasts maybe 1-3 minutes, but then goes away.

I suffered with severe nausea and vomiting through most of my first and second trimesters when I was pregnant with Evan, so the waves of nausea do bring me little flashbacks of that time. That part of the pregnancy was pretty horrible last time, so while I’m not holding my breath, I do hope that the nausea isn’t quite as bad this time.

I feel like I need to add a little disclaimer here, as we start this journey. I just want to say that I am keenly aware of just how early I am in this pregnancy, and that things can, and often do go wrong. I don’t feel like I am making myself any more vulnerable to that by sharing my experience, and I am inviting my readers to take this trip through pregnancy with me. I can always use prayer and positive thought, and would appreciate either (or both) from all of you. :)

So, this is what is going on with my pregnancy at 4 weeks! Please feel free to share your memories of this phase in your pregnancie(s).

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36 Comments

  1. Christina @sparkly_horse — April 23, 2011 @ 10:10 am (#)

    Congrats! I am very happy you are writing this. I don’t like how secretive society wants us to be about the beginning stages of pregnancy. If something were to go wrong it would be very sad but I don’t think there is any reason to be secretive about it. That just seems to indicate shame and there is no reason for shame. Anyway, this is a time for excitment. You rarely hear about the start of a pregnancy so I am looking forward to reading about it. Contests again!!!

    Reply

    • jonniker — April 23rd, 2011 @ 8:41 pm

      Well, Christina, as someone who went through a public pregnancy and a public miscarriage, I’ll tell you, I understand why the secretiveness, and I sure don’t think it’s society.

      I told everyone, thinking that I’d want the support if something went wrong and that was mostly true. But what I didn’t count on was that telling people made it more real, and took away a lot of my natural skepticism and, weirdly, made me more vulnerable, because I started to believe it couldn’t happen to me.

      It, um, did. And it was hideous and horrible and life-altering and traumatic, and while the support I received from my readers was amazing, it was also terrifying and very upsetting. So the next time I’m pregnant? People won’t hear about it until I have pictures from my N/T scan. End of story.

      • Crissy — April 23rd, 2011 @ 9:38 pm

        This is sort of why I made the disclaimer. It’s obviously a very personal choice to share, or not to share, and I can’t anticipate how it will effect me (or if I will still view this as a good decision) if something were to go wrong. Again, very aware that it happens often, and is deeply traumatic.

        That said, don’t be so sure that the N/T scan is your milestone of choice. With my last pregnancy, I waited until my N/T scan, and then I had a “borderline” N/T scan result, which pretty much ruined the rest of my pregnancy with intense fear and worry that my child had a serious problem. I TOTALLY get and respect wanting to wait, but there are so many things that can go wrong, or not as you expected through the entire journey (not just the first 12 weeks), that you are always making yourself vulnerable when you share that you are having a baby.

        Speaking of N/T scans… probably going to decline mine this time. I’ve talked to no less than 20 women who were sent into a spiral of worry due to a “poor” result, and ended up worrying for no reason, and a couple who had a perfect N/T scan, whose children did have serious issues.

        • jonniker — April 23rd, 2011 @ 10:17 pm

          Crissy, first, congratulations. And let me be clear that I’m NOT remotely judging you for sharing — or anyone! But I sort of bristled at Christina’s comment that it’s society or that we’re supposed to be secretive because of some weird outside pressure. I didn’t feel that — what I did feel was pretty damned lousy, and it will change my behavior next time. But that’s *me*, and my experience that played out in a massive, public way. I don’t think that anyone can tell anyone what the right thing to do in this situation is, because man, it really sucked, and I can’t even talk about how upsetting trying again (or worse, being successful in conception again — how will I survive without being sedated?) is for me. The flip side? I never felt so loved and supported by so many strangers. But I don’t think I have the courage to live through it twice out in public.

          As for me mentioning the N/T scan, I know the risks, but it is still my milestone of choice, but not for the reasons you’d think. It’s the timing — between 11 and 13 weeks, the miscarriage rate drops precipitously. Yes, you can always lose a baby, but statistically, it’s less likely. Yes, of course, you are ALWAYS at risk, but as you said, what are you going to do, NEVER say anything until the baby is crowning? (And even then, oh God, the TERROR OF CHILDBIRTH AND THE RISKS THEREIN)

          Anyway, that will likely be the closest ultrasound I have to the 12-week mark. So I’ll wait until then no matter what the result, but I will still have it done. Frankly, it’s tempting to decline for all the reasons you mentioned, but I don’t know WHY anyone does, because it’s a FULL HOUR-LONG ULTRASOUND, which is awesomely fun. Plus, I now get to go to the guy who developed the N/T scan (yes, really), and he’s pretty good at interpreting them accurately, but of course, there are always risks. And amnio, which has risks, but those risks largely depend on the skill of who is doing it.

          • Crissy — April 23rd, 2011 @ 10:35 pm

            I wish the guy who developed the N/T scan would do a visit to my doctor’s office… I was actually in the first group of patients to have this test from my Dr. during my last pregnancy, and I still wonder if it wasn’t just operator error.

            Regardless, it’s probably a valuable screen, but you have to be prepared for an “high-normal” result like I had, which put me in this odd, terrifying limbo. Ah, none of it is easy, is it?

            I guess I am trying to make a conscious effort to be more optimistic this time, when the last time I was sooooooooo scared. Every second. Scared, and preparing for the WORST. When my son was born and he cried out and I realized he was PERFECT, it was like a huge, 9-months worth of crushing worry/weight, was lifted.

            Anyway, thank you for sharing your perspective. The range of emotion experienced through pregnancy (and through loss of pregnancy) is so complicated and varied.

            I’m taking an early plunge here, and praying for the best, but I definitely do not feel immune to the possibility of loss. It’s all so delicate.

        • jonniker — April 23rd, 2011 @ 10:21 pm

          Oh! And as for shame, which is part of what I was addressing … I think it’s sort of natural. I felt thoroughly embarrassed and stupid for feeling so optimistic, and that is not my personality at ALL. I was shocked by that feeling — utterly shocked and horrified, but there it was. I know it was irrational, and I know I never should have felt that way, but I did. I felt like it was somehow my fault, that everyone knew but me that this could happen, that I shouldn’t have been so excited. All bullshit feelings, but all very real ones as well. So while there might not be a reason for it, it can be there, and it’s not your fault if it is. Every feeling is OK. Every. Single. One.

          • Christina @sparkly_horse — April 24th, 2011 @ 12:52 am

            I absolutely didn’t mean any offence to anyone! In my personal experience I find that people are very concerned with the 12 week mark. If someone wants to reveal their pregnancy before 12 weeks the reaction is not always positive. That doesn’t mean everyone should reveal their pregnancy before the 12 week mark but I just think it is a personal choice. The reality is what jonniker went through was horrible and traumatic. I understand why she would not want to go through that in a public light but I don’t think anyone should ever feel ashamed for something that is completely out of their control and happens to a lot of families.

            I just believe women should have the choice to reveal their pregnancy early without feeling shame from other people.

            Sorry Crissy to start the comments off on a controversial note, it definitely wasn’t my intention :)

      • Brandy — April 25th, 2011 @ 5:52 pm

        I’m with you on that one.

  2. Alison@Mama Wants This — April 23, 2011 @ 11:06 am (#)

    Congratulations again! I was 3 weeks going 4 weeks pregnant this time, in 2009! (he was born 12/29/09) I had no symptoms, hadn’t taken a pregnancy test, had never been pregnant before, but I KNEW I was pregnant. Just one of those things. One week and 2 pregnancy tests later it was confirmed.

    Just want to say that I’m so glad you’ve chosen to share your journey (even at 4 weeks) with your readers. Sending love and light your way! Only 35 weeks to go! :-)

    Reply

  3. Sandy @ Journey To Our Home — April 23, 2011 @ 11:47 am (#)

    Congratulations!! I am sending positive thoughts that the whole pregnancy goes smoothly for you.
    I would probably also liken the cramps you are feeling to pre-period cramps. I thought I was about to start my period when I found out I was actually pregnant with my second baby.
    Also, I had severe morning sickness my entire first pregnancy- all day every day. I started drinking Mt. Dew just so it wouldn’t taste so bad coming back up. My second was a much more mild morning sickness. It never got as bad as my first and pretty much subsided by the third trimester. So I wish you luck at skipping the whole morning sickness thing!

    Reply

  4. Natalie — April 23, 2011 @ 12:24 pm (#)

    Dear Crissy,
    Congrats again! I will be 5 weeks as well tomorrow! Maybe we should link up sometime or guest blog with each other about our pregnancies??

    I have not told everyone but have told family and anyone that has asked. We had a miscarriage our very first pregnancy, so its hard for us to spill the beans completely just yet. But I agree with you, that it won’t change anything about the pregnancy either way.
    I have been feeling that same pre-period feeling like you talked about. I have also been super moody some mornings. A nap cures that LOL
    I still can’t believe my first encounter with your blog was the same timing as me for seeing I was pregnant too!! YAY!!
    Question: When is your first Dr appointment?? Here is normal not to go until 10 weeks?!?

    Reply

    • Crissy — April 23rd, 2011 @ 12:40 pm

      That is so awesome that we are the same!!!

      My first appointment is not until JUNE 2nd! I almost gasped when the nurse gave me the appointment date. I was anticipating getting in at 8 weeks like with my first pregnancy, but they had nothing available until June 2nd (10w and some change). I am actually really bummed and upset that I have to wait this long to see an U/S.

      When is yours?

  5. Sara — April 23, 2011 @ 12:37 pm (#)

    Sending good vibes/thoughts your way. I understand in reality there is no greater risk talking about it now but understand your disclaimer. I am hopefully going to start trying at the end of the year to get pregnant with my first so all this early stuff is a HUGE benefit to me!

    Reply

  6. Allison — April 23, 2011 @ 12:42 pm (#)

    Hi Chrissy! I just found out yesterday that I am pregnant. I am 3 weeks 4 days today. I haven’t yet spilled the beans due to experiencing a miscarriage just a few months ago. I did spill the beans then and it was heartbreaking to go back and unspill them. However, I have decided that I’m going to enjoy each and every minute of this pregnancy whether it lasts 2 days, 5 weeks or the whole entire 9 months. Congratulations to you and I hope that you have a happy and healthy 9 months! I will be following your journey!

    Reply

  7. Jessica W — April 23, 2011 @ 2:52 pm (#)

    Congratulations Crissy! I think it’s wonderful that you are sharing your journey. I’ve had several miscarriages but always shared the news early because I wanted the support either way. It’s important to soak up every moment. I am 29 weeks along with my second baby and I’ve had cramps the whole time. This pregnancy has been much different than the last. I hope your journey is smooth and comfortable!

    Reply

  8. Tara Funair — April 23, 2011 @ 3:24 pm (#)

    Congratulations.. I too found out early with my pregnancy. I hope that you have a healthy 9 months ahead of you. I hope you have spectacular Dr’s that support and listen to you.

    Reply

  9. Gianna — April 23, 2011 @ 4:26 pm (#)

    Congratulations! I hope the nausea is easier on you this time.

    Reply

  10. Devin — April 23, 2011 @ 6:12 pm (#)

    I think it’s awesome that you’re sharing early. I have friends who have waited months before telling anyone “just in case.” Either way, it’s a personal decision and I totally respect theirs to wait. But I get excited and LOVE to hear news and updates as early as possible. It is like seeing a journey in a friend’s life, and that’s awesome.

    Reply

  11. Lynn — April 23, 2011 @ 7:10 pm (#)

    I had pretty mild pregnancies when it came to sickness and cravings. I didn’t get much of either. But I did use pregnancy as an excuse to get some great massages from my husband!

    Reply

  12. Colleen B. — April 23, 2011 @ 7:55 pm (#)

    Congrats Crissy!! I’m one of those crazy women that likes being pregnant. Although this is only my 2nd pregnancy and last. Friday I turned 14 weeks. It was such a relief to be out of the first trimester. I’m also thankful that one of the traits that I got from my mom, is no morning sickness. I’m sending her and extra big gift this mother’s day for that alone. When it comes gender time, are you guys going to find out??

    It’s funny that you spilled the beans so early too. Because I actually spilled the beans at 3 weeks to my Zumba instructor, b/c I wasn’t going “all out” like I usually do, and usually she will pull me up to the front to help lead certain songs. So I had to spill it so she wouldn’t find it odd. We told our parents on my Will’s 3rd birthday, while they were all over for his family birthday party. Of course my mom couldn’t help herself and put it on facebook… so one of my friends of course called me on it… So I had to spill the beans on facebook earlier than I wanted.

    I hope you have a happy, healthy, uneventful pregnancy!!

    Reply

  13. Ashley — April 23, 2011 @ 8:25 pm (#)

    Congrats!! Me and my hubby can’t decide if we should try for #3 so for no I’m going to live through you! Lol. Somehow when i was pregnant with both my girls my body knew super fast because I was puking a week before getting a positive test(so only like a week after conception). With my first one it was a lot worse though, so i hope your second pregnancy is easier too!

    Reply

  14. geekbabe — April 23, 2011 @ 8:31 pm (#)

    Crissy, congrats! I look forward to reading your posts in the coming months, what an exciting event & I’m glad you feel comfortable enough to share this awesome news with us:)

    Reply

  15. Aparna Vashisht — April 23, 2011 @ 10:18 pm (#)

    it will be just fine and I am sure your pregnancy will be smooth sailing. Hugs, friend. :)

    Reply

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