Welcome to Week 2! We will be using the standard gestational age method to date your pregnancy, which means day one is actually the first day of your period, not the first day you are pregnant. As strange as it sounds, you will not actually conceive until week three!
Not much going on at the moment beyond your body’s normal activities! While you are waiting for your baby to arrive, or indeed for its creation, you will probably spend quite some time wondering about whether you are having a boy or a girl. Sadly, this is something you won’t find out for some time yet, but it is interesting to know that gender is determined at the moment of fertilization. Baby’s genetic material is made up of 46 chromosomes, and two of these determine gender: one from Mum and one from Dad. The egg contains an X chromosome, and sperm can contain either an X or a Y. X sperm make girls (with their chromosomes being XX) and Y sperm makes boys (XY). There are many theories out there about how to increase your chances of having a boy or a girl, but don’t be too disappointed if they don’t work – after all, the most important thing is having a healthy baby.
You have probably just reached, or are reaching the end of your period, which shed last month’s uterine lining. Your body is not making a new lining in preparation for receiving and nurturing a fertilised egg. The hormone FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) is kicking in and causes one follicle in the ovaries to become dominant and at the end of the week ovulation will occur and this dominant follicle or egg will be released into the fallopian tube. In some cases, two or more eggs are released, which if fertilized, would result in multiple gestation.
Take advantage of your fertile period, which comes at the end of this week (in a normal 28-day cycle). If you have unprotected sex in this period you can become pregnant, although your egg can only be fertilized for about 12 to 24 hours after it is released, so you are better off having sex in the days preceding ovulation as this gives the sperm more of a chance. When your partner ejaculates, millions of sperm race to reach the egg. While hundreds make it to the fallopian tube, normally only one will penetrate the egg (and there has been recent research to suggest Mrs. Ovum is pretty picky about which little guy she lets in). When egg and sperm meet, fertilization takes place and you are pregnant, though you at this stage will not know it. Your baby-to-be is only two cells, so cannot really be considered a person, per se; nonetheless a new potential life has begun.
Your big day is at the end of this week, though it’s probably worth trying on the days either side of ovulation too. Dad, you know what to do!