Despite the heartburn, backaches and constantly queasy feelings, pregnancy is an amazing time.
Some expectant mums get that pregnancy glow, others get the VIP treatment. Some have intense cravings, others just can’t wait to go out and get a whole new maternity wardrobe.
But one thing’s for sure, simply knowing that you are creating life inside you is an experience special in itself.
Here are 18 milestones in your pregnancy you will certainly want to look back on.
1. First sign
It could have been an intense wave of nausea, feeling faint, tender boobs, or simply missing your period. Think about that moment when you first had the slightest inkling that hey… maybe you really are pregnant! Joelle Chay, who is 6 months pregnant now, remembers that it was the moment when she was sitting in her husband’s car and feeling dizzy all of a sudden. She had brushed it off at first, but when she realised later that day that she had missed her period, she took a pregnancy test and found out that she was pregnant. “I sometimes sit in the car, look at the dashboard and remember how I felt that morning – it makes me smile!” Chay adds.
2. Getting a positive test
You might have all the signs of pregnancy but still you’ll have tons of doubt in your mind till that very second the second line appears on the pregnancy test kit. Some mums even take another test (or a few more!) because they just can’t believe it. After all, it’s the very moment you confirm that there’s little human being growing inside of you!
Any discomfort will be overcome by the sheer amazement of your growing (and not to mention, active) baby.
3. Telling the husband
“I stepped out of the bathroom, positive test kit in my hand, and my husband’s face went from disbelief to shock to pure joy [when he saw it]. I’ll never forget the look on his face!” recalls Kimberly Wan, mum to Myra, 2. Whether your husband finds out at the same moment as you do, or if you decided to keep your pregnancy to yourself for a little while longer, the daddy-to-be’s emotions will be written all over his face. And yes, it’s definitely one for the books.
4. Sharing your pregnancy
Once you’ve confirmed you’re preggers, it’s time to announce it to loved ones. From grandpas and grandmas-to-be, to your BFF, you’re going to love the suspense of breaking the wonderful news to them. Make it memorable by getting an older sibling to wear a “Big Sister” tee to the next family gathering, or gifting a “Best grandad in the world” mug to your dad. Click here for more inspiration.
5. First real kick
You might have felt little flutters (like butterflies in your tummy) or queasiness earlier, but those are nothing compared to bubba’s first prod or nudge into your ribs. Rest assured though, any feelings of discomfort will be superseded by the sheer amazement of your growing (and not to mention, active) baby.
6. First ultrasound scan
Most mums would have saved each and every clipping of their baby’s ultrasound scans after every gynae visit, and rightly so. It’s the first visual proof of your baby’s existence. From the print outs alone, you’ll see how your little one has progressed from something that resembles a grain to a pear-sized bundle, and finally to a bonafide baby.
Did you want to find out your baby’s gender? What was your reaction when you did? This, and more pregnancy milestones to mark, up ahead!
7. Your first craving
Remember waking up at 1am and declaring to your husband that if you didn’t have durian right this minute you would kill someone? Yup, those cravings were serious business – and of course, a timely reminder that your husband would do anything for you in the dead of the night, because you’re growing his baby.
8. When you can’t fit into your jeans
It’s a bitter sweet moment when you have to say so long (and hopefully see you again the near future) to your favourite bandage dresses and skinny jeans, because you simply can’t squeeze into them anymore. And did we mention the shoes? Your feet may grow up to one or two sizes during pregnancy, and gasp – may not even return to their regular size after delivery. But hey, there’s no better excuse to go out and get yourself a brand new maternity wardrobe!
9. When you first start to show
Remember that nice lady who gave you knowing looks in the public bathroom, or the mum who first asked you when you’re due at the supermarket checkout counter? Then you’d probably remember the mixed sense of awkwardness and pride that someone finally noticed you’re pregnant. Hurray – you’ve finally gotten past that “looks like she’s been having one too many donuts” stage to having a legit baby bump. That, indeed, is a moment to savour.
You’d probably remember the mixed sense of awkwardness and pride that someone finally noticed you’re pregnant.
10. The nickname
Before you even know if bubba is a boy or a girl, you’ll need a moniker for him or her to go by. “Jellybean was what we called Belle before she was born,” laughs Karen Tan, mum to Isabelle, 4. “We still call her that sometimes… that, or Jellybelly.” Whatever nickname you choose to name bub while it’s in utero, it’ll always mean a special something to your hubby and yourself.
11. The gender reveal
One of the most exciting times during your pregnancy is finding out if your peewee is a girl or a boy. You’ll be cheering bubba to “open your legs” during your 16-week scan, so you can start shopping for a gender-appropriate nursery. Some, like Chay, are choosing not to share their baby’s gender with others, despite her own parents “breathing down (my) neck”. “We thought we’d like to keep something precious, just between us a couple,” she says. “And we can’t wait to surprise everyone when the baby is born!”
12. Daddy’s first feel
Sometime around the 4th or 5th month, your baby’s kicks will start getting stronger. This means that others who place their palms on your belly might be able to feel movement as well. One of the first few (besides you) to experience this extraordinary moment should be daddy. Though the feeling will not be the same as when you first felt your baby move, it’s special nonetheless. Before you know it, daddy will be singing sweet lullabies to his sweetpea in your belly.
13. Your first gift
As a memento to mark your pregnancy, and as a gift to the little one inside of you, you might want to get a little gift in the form of a plaything or trinket that she can grow up with. Says Tan, “We went to Perth for our Babymoon and bought a sweet little Koala stuffed toy. It sat on the shelf next to Belle’s cot when she was a baby, and she’s super attached to it now.”
14. When someone gives up their seat
Rush hour in public transport is maddening – and even more so when you’re pregnant. So, the first time someone notices your bump and offers you the priority seat, do a little happy dance in your head as you graciously accept it. Hey, growing a baby sure has its perks!
15. When you realise you can’t…
Drink that glass of wine or tuck into your favourite sashimi. Pregnancy can be filled with many no-nos and there’s lots of food and activities you might have to give up for the good of your baby. Worse still, as your bump grows, you’ll add to the list a bunch of things you never knew you’d have problems with – like tying the laces on your shoes, and shaving your legs (oh, the horror!) But look on the bright side. These, ahem, add to the laundry list of “did-you-know-what-I-had-to-go-through-for-you” which you can present to junior when he’s older!
The first time someone notices your bump and offers you the priority seat, do a little happy dance in your head and graciously accept.
16. Your first contraction
Weeks, or possibly months before you are due, you’ll experience Braxton Hicks. These are painless contractions where you feel your uterus tightening. “My belly gets all hard, especially towards the centre near the belly button,” describes first time mum-to-be Tan Yiting. It can feel rather strange at first, but it really is your body gearing up and practicing for delivery.
17. When you realise you’re in labour
Perhaps your water broke, or your contractions were gaining in frequency and intensity. Or maybe you were scheduled for a C-section, or were being induced. However your labour went, there comes a point in time (amidst the pain) where you suddenly realise that at this same time tomorrow, you’ll probably be holding your brand new bundle of joy.
18. That first look
After the long hours of labouring comes the magnificent moment that your baby is first placed into your arms. Pregnancy was tough, but the discomfort of the past 9 months simply fades into oblivion now that your sweetie is here. Soak in the emotional and physical rush of the delivery - your baby has arrived and life will never be the same again!
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