Believe it or not, during the first 2 weeks of pregnancy, you're not actually pregnant! Sounds weird, right? Conception can occur at at any time during your fertile window (usually the 5 days leading up to ovulation) and while the majority of women will ovulate around day 14 of the menstrual cycle, others can ovulate at the very beginning, or at the very end. The length of your menstrual cycle will also affect when this fertile period occurs.

This means that dating a pregnancy from the time of conception can prove somewhat difficult, so for ease the pregnancy is dated from the first day of your last period. If you ovulate around the middle of your cycle, this means that, for the first two weeks of your pregnancy, you won't really be pregnant.

Baby: What's Happening?

During weeks 1 and 2 of pregnancy your baby hasn't yet been created. Your baby does exist in a way, however, as the sperm that will fertilize the egg has already been produced (it takes around 70 days for men to make sperm) and, in women, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is working overtime to mature one of the 300000 - 400000 eggs you're born with. If this hormone stimulates more than one follicle, and produces more than one egg, there's a chance you could end up with twins! Your baby is well on the way to being conceived, it's just waiting for the right moment.

You: What's Happening?

During week 1 you'll probably have your monthly menstruation, as the thick uterine lining that's built up over the past 4 weeks begins to shed. You may be feeling a little crampy in the stomach, and perhaps a bit irritable. If you've been trying to conceive for a while, this time may also be quite disappointing or upsetting, but don't worry, there's another chance just around the corner (and most women will conceive within 6 months of actively trying!).

Your body begins to get ready for the future baby as early as week 1, and FSH usually starts getting to work during menstruation, and continues well into the second week of pregnancy. During this time your estrogen levels will be through the roof, which is partly accountable for those famous "time of the month" mood swings!

Week 2 is usually your most fertile time, with ovulation happening around the end of this week. You may notice some changes in vaginal discharge during this time, as it becomes quite wet and slimey (many women compare the consistency to that of egg white), and there may be quite a lot of it. The body produces this to help lubricate the vagina so that sperm can swim easily towards the egg. Your egg(s) will be released during ovulation, and discharge will usually become thicker and stringier at this time. It's usually quite an accurate indicator of ovulation.

When ovulation occurs, and there's a fit and healthy sperm around to fertilize the egg, voila! You've just made your baby!

Handy Hints

If you're actively trying to conceive, try to keep an eye out for your window of opportunity during week 2. Try monitoring your discharge, or taking your basal body temperature (BBT) with special temperature strips that are on sale in most drug stores. These temperature strips can detect even the smallest change, and are a good ovulation indicator (body temperatures tend to rise by between 0.6 degrees and 1 degree fahrenheit during ovulation). You may also wish to keep a note of the day your period starts, so you can accurately date your future pregnancy.

If you haven't done so already, now may be a good time to cut out, or at least limit, some bad habits, and introduce some good ones. Regular smokers have been found to take longer to conceive than non-smokers, and drinking alcohol around the time of conception has been found to increase the risk of early miscarriage. It's important to take regular folic acid supplements at conception, as it has been linked to a decreased risk of cleft palate and cleft lip. Continuing with folic acid during the first three months of pregnancy could also reduce the risk of spina bifida.