View Full Version : Pregnancy Q: Early stage symptoms
08-24-2002, 06:16 PM
This is for a science-fiction story I'm writing.
Imagine a woman who has no female relatives, no knowledge of pregnancy (except that it results in a baby), and no access to information or a doctor. What are the beginning symptoms she would experience?
08-24-2002, 07:24 PM
Does she keep tabs on her cycle? Missing a period would be obvious. Swelling and tenderness of the breasts. Nausea showed up about week 4 (and stayed till month 5). Feeling really, really tired, sleeping a lot. Having to pee often. Depending on what she's wearing, clothes feeling tight around the middle (I started to thicken around the middle pretty early - first month or two - I don't know that everybody does). I suppose it depends on the individual, in part. Those are my dim and distant memories from my one shot at it.
Squish, do you hang around rec.arts.sf.composition at all? Good stuff there, helpful and knowledgeable people.
08-24-2002, 07:43 PM
As SparrowHawk mentioned, it varies from person to person.
To give another perspective, my period is so regular that I guessed I was pregnant by my period being about three days late. The nausea started soon after. I was tired, and I had spotting (very different from having my period) for a couple of weeks. And yeah, tender breasts.
The need to pee often didn't hit me until about a week ago (I'm 30 weeks pregnant at the moment). I didn't start to show until about the four month mark.
So I'd say nausea (not necessarily all-out puking, but just a general blah don't-want-to-eat feeling), no period and sore breasts would be the most general early symptoms.
08-24-2002, 10:34 PM
Thanks, guys, that helps a lot. I didn't know whether nausea came soon or late, and I never knew about the tender breasts.
08-24-2002, 11:31 PM
What they've already said, and when before I knew that I was pregnant, I started noticing that my migraines were coming back (and very strong!) and I was exhausted.
08-25-2002, 09:37 AM
This one sounds nutty but women I know swear it's true: when you first get pregnant, if you wear contacts, they feel really weird, sometimes to the point that you can't even wear them.
08-25-2002, 09:43 AM
Ditto WV Woman -- that is totally true.
Plus crying a lot at things that normally wouldn't upset you. I knew I was pregnant when I started bawling at a Trix commercial.... "Why won't they just give that poor rabbit some Trix!! He's been asking for 20 years!!!!"
08-25-2002, 10:14 AM
I started to pee a lot very early on, about two weeks, as well as the other symptoms mentioned above
08-25-2002, 12:37 PM
No strange food cravings?
My ex- developed a craving for (oh, lucky me) baked beans.
Come to think of it, that wasn't an "early warning sign." She was farther along when that developed.
She did get the tender breasts right away, IIRC.
08-25-2002, 01:31 PM
I didn't get food cravings right away, that took a couple of months. Lately, my big things have been those really sour gummi candies and avocados.
08-25-2002, 05:33 PM
Oh yeah, cravings! I got cravings very early for chips (ie. fries).
08-25-2002, 05:42 PM
As a woman who watches faithfully every month for signs of early pregnancy, I'm very interested about that contacts thing! I'm sure I'll develop that psychosomatically in about a week or two :rolleyes: :D
08-25-2002, 08:10 PM
My best friend suffered from debilitating heartburn for the first few months of her pregnancy. She finally went to her doctor and she then found out she had a bun in the oven. According to the doctor it is a common symptom.
08-25-2002, 10:54 PM
These are all early symptoms that I'm aware of, based on comparing notes with a group of friends:
* Heightened sense of smell. I know this sounds weird, but several of my friends noticed it.
* PMS-like feelings of "I hate everything and everything sucks." This may just be me.
* Food aversions. For me it was fish.
* Tender and/or swollen breasts, previously mentioned.
* Crampy "I'm about to get my period" feelings in the general uterine area. I felt like I was about to get my period for the first 12 weeks.
* Peeing constantly, also previously mentioned.
08-26-2002, 01:56 AM
I got food cravings early on, like the first month. I knew something was up when out of the blue I started eating Jalapenos dipped in ranch. I was also very emotional.
08-26-2002, 06:36 AM
Geez, you guys are scaring me! I've had all of these symptoms for the last month, except for the tender breasts (and the contact thingie, 'cause I walk around half-blind all the time anyway). :eek:
But thanks for the input! I knew the Dopers would come through for me. :)
08-26-2002, 08:53 AM
Squish, I think a really interesting part of your question is
Imagine a woman who has no female relatives, no knowledge of pregnancy (except that it results in a baby), and no access to information or a doctor.
I just don't know how many symptoms people get because they know they're pregnant and they "know" they're supposed to feel a certain way, vs. actually having those sensations. I'm not discounting that women get all of the symptoms listed already, I just don't know if there's been any research showing that things like food cravings are definitely physical rather than psychosocial.
Before I knew (or even suspected) I was pregnant, I definitely had the following:
Heightened sense of smell
My contacts felt like they didn't fit in my eyes any more.
As pregnancy progressed, I also experienced:
Carpal tunnel syndrome in my left wrist only
Bizarre rashes that itched like hell on my stomach then my legs (towards the end of pregnancy)
Heartburn so bad I thought I was going to die
These were also symptoms that I didn't know were associated with pregnancy until after I experienced them.
Post a link to your work when it's complete! I'd love to read it!
08-26-2002, 10:16 AM
When I first got pregnant, but didn't know about it yet, we were grocery shopping and I had to have some Doritos.
I HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAADDDDDDDDD to have them.
I don't like Doritos.
I shoulda known right then ...
Aversion to some smells was one of the first symptoms I had. I didn't get the "usual" morning sickness. I had what I called "the whoopsies," where my stomach felt unsettled. But no retching or vomiting, thank God. And I didn't get cravings, per se, but there were certain things that just TASTED better.
Towards the end of my pregnancies, I got hot flashes. That wasn't bad for pregnancy #1, the baby was born in January. But pregnancy #2 was a summer baby, born in September, and we lived in Germany (where air conditioning hasn't been invented yet).
"Tender breasts," my achin' butt! Make that SORE BOOBS. If you even bump into something accidentally, you almost cry with the pain. Sometimes, I even had to wear the bra to bed, because flopping at night made the pain worse.
And late in the pregnancy when the skin is really stretching, you ITCH.
(doesn't it all sound so FUN?????????)
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