30/01/2010 18:27 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

How To Tell You're Pregnant Without Doing A Test

If you have irregular periods and you're trying for a baby (and even if you're not) you might get a few clues that you're pregnant without having to take a pregnancy test.

Taking a test is helpful if your body runs with clock-like precision and you know when your period is due. For some women, their bodies are, let's say, more chaotic and their period decides to turn up as and when it likes.

If that's you, how do you know at the start that your period's on a no-show for the next nine months?

You may be irregular for a number of reasons such as a hormonal problem, stress or breastfeeding which not only makes conceiving problematic, it can also make discovering you're pregnant a bit trickier, as the very first symptoms of pregnancy feel a lot like the beginning of your period.

Of course, I'm talking about those very early days of being pregnant, before the morning sickness and fatigue start. I have heard some women don't even suffer from those symptoms, but we'll gloss over those lucky ones!

My periods were erratic thanks to breastfeeding so I didn't realise I was expecting my second child until the dreams started: vivid, tiring dreams that took on a very real and chaotic quality. There were lots of them too, which didn't help when tiredness kicked in.

I also remember smelling a jar of coffee a colleague had opened a across the other side of a very large room. That was unusual...

Then there was the peculiar metallic taste in my mouth that I could have easily dismissed as something else, had I not started to add the pieces of the puzzle together.

Finally, I cottoned on, took a test and the result of that test is now a beautiful 11-year-old. All but one of my subsequent pregnancies started the same way, with a dawning realisation rather than a date circled in a diary.

If you had an erratic menstrual cycle, what made you realise that it wasn't a period you were expecting but a baby?