A Humorous Take on What to Expect When You’re Pregnant
So, you’ve decided to have a baby? Good for you! Short of robbing a bank or becoming a nun, you’ve made one of the most life-changing decisions a human can possibly make. Whether you’re just starting to plan, actively trying or you’ve already got your (planned or not) big fat positive, you’re about to embark on the craziest and most miraculous of all journeys.
The weird part is, you don’t have to leave your house for the journey to begin. Before you hop on the wild ride, let’s go over what to expect from your first month of pregnancy to your frantic car ride to the ER. Plus, we have a few hilarious tweets about pregnancy that'll remind you to laugh along the way.
The Very Beginning: Too Soon to Tell
Since pregnancy is marked from the first day of your last period, month No. 1 begins before you’re even really preggers. Ovulation happens around day 14 of an average 28-day cycle, and there’s only a short window after the egg is released during which fertilization can occur. If it does, it then takes another seven to 10 days for the tiny embryo, also called a blastocyst, to reach the uterus and implant within the uterine wall.
This is the point at which some women experience slight cramping, implantation bleeding and the beginning of other pregnancy symptoms. That said, if you don’t feel anything, don’t worry! More often than not, the first indication of pregnancy is the absence of Aunt Flo.
Think About It…
The Big Fat Positive
If the day of your expected period comes and goes, it’s time to pee on a stick. Go figure. It’s almost 2020, and we have Alexa and self-driving cars, but no one has designed a more elegant home pregnancy test. Despite the slight “ew” factor, modern pregnancy tests are more accurate than ever.
Most tests can detect rising levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), the pregnancy hormone, on the first day of your missed period. If you get a negative result and your period hasn’t shown up in a few days, however, it’s worth testing again. Sometimes, it takes a while for hCG levels to increase enough to show up on home pregnancy tests.
When you do get that plus sign or double line, CONGRATULATIONS! You have your big fat positive, and you’re officially pregnant. Just to confirm, book an appointment with your OB-GYN. Even though you may have already started taking a prenatal vitamin, if you haven’t yet, now is the time to start.
What a Dollar Will Buy
At 2 Months: What a Miracle! Except Everything Stinks
The doctor has confirmed what you already knew: You’re pregnant. The excitement is building, but so is your aversion to bacon. Or maybe eggs? Or the smell of your husband’s aftershave? As levels of hCG continue to rise, your breakfast might, too. Your sense of smell is keener than ever before, and smells you used to like might become utterly revolting. Nausea is common starting at week 6, but for most women, it passes by the end of the first trimester at week 12.
If the nausea is so severe you can’t keep down any of your meals, or if it continues into the second trimester, call your doctor. A condition called hyperemesis gravidarum follows a similar timeline to normal morning sickness, but it requires more intensive treatment to ensure you and your baby are getting the nutrients you need to stay strong and healthy. Fatigue is another common first-trimester symptom. You’re growing a person, so get as much sleep as you can!
Be Careful When Driving!
At 3 Months: Your Energy is Back! For Now…
At the end of your third month, you feel well enough to celebrate. Morning sickness is a thing of the past, and you feel much more like your normal self. At this stage, some women worry because they don’t “feel pregnant.” It’s too soon to feel kicks, too late for morning sickness and the weeks in between ultrasounds can be nerve-wracking. As long as you’re not experiencing any spotting, bleeding or cramping, there’s no need for concern.
Continue going to your doctor’s appointments as prescribed, and in the meantime, enjoy the energy rebound while it lasts. Month 3 is the perfect time to plan ahead for your baby shower, decorate the nursery and draft a birth plan. It may seem early, but when you’re 7 months along, you’ll be happy to have the heavy lifting out of the way.
Now’s the Time to Clean
At 4 Months: Pregnant or Just Plump?
By 16 weeks, you may be starting to show. Sadly, “showing” rarely looks like a real baby bump until later. For now, your pants are just tight, and you look like you’ve had a few too many muffins. Although you may be eager to start looking and feeling pregnant, enjoy the mobility while you still can. It won’t be much longer until you have to trade in your skinny jeans for sweatpants or maternity jeans.
You’ve probably shared the big news with friends and family by now, but the end of month four can bring some more exciting news: girl or boy! At this stage, your doctor can determine gender with a high degree of confidence. Consider sharing the news at a fun gender-reveal party or wait until delivery for an even bigger surprise!
Let’s Get Serious... About Sports
At 5 Months: Knock Knock, Who's There? Baby!
Finally, the day you’ve been waiting for arrives — the day you feel that first little wiggle! The first palpable kick usually happens between weeks 16 and 25, leaning towards the latter side of that scale if it’s your first pregnancy.
Often, women compare the feeling to the sensation of butterflies or gas bubbles. Once you feel it, you can expect the kicks to get more and more powerful and obvious. You may even be able to see your baby twist and turn from the outside!
What Is It With Babies and Peanut Butter?
At 6 Months: Peekaboo, I See You!
You know those stunning 3-D images of babies sleeping peacefully in utero? If you’d like to try for an angelic pre-birth photo-op, now’s your best chance! The ideal time to get a 3-D ultrasound is around 28 to 30 weeks, after your little one’s features have developed but before it gets too cramped in there. Many 3-D ultrasound offices also offer video footage, so you can see your baby in action!
Pro-tip: Drink a soda or one cup of coffee about 20 minutes before your appointment. At this stage of pregnancy, up to 200 mg of caffeine is considered safe, and it often encourages movement for the ideal 3-D ultrasound. A glass of sugary juice can have a similar effect.
A Hairy Situation
At 7 Months: You Are Now a Powerful Goddess (of Hunger)
With morning sickness a distant memory, you now have the opposite problem: You want to eat everything in sight. Cravings are a force to be reckoned with, but don’t go too crazy. If you begin at a healthy weight, it’s recommended to gain between 25 to 35 pounds during your pregnancy. Gaining more and eating foods high in sugar and fat have been correlated with increased birth weight for baby and a higher risk of gestational diabetes for you … no thanks!
Try to stick to healthy food as much as you can. And when you do indulge, be kind to yourself! Maternal stress is detrimental to fetal health, too. If an occasional milkshake makes you happy, enjoy it sans guilt — and, if you're lucky, sans pregnancy heartburn.
At 8 Months: Awww, Can I Touch Your Bel-NO.
Now that you’re rocking the full-on, indisputable baby bump, expect everyone and their dog to shower you with attention. Sometimes, that attention isn’t exactly desired. Suddenly, complete strangers feel perfectly comfortable giving you advice, and your stomach seems to have become public domain. But guess what? It’s NOT. Whether it’s your neighbor, a well-meaning old lady at Trader Joe’s or your own mother, you are not required to let anyone feel up your bump.
Rejecting the advances of would-be belly-patters isn’t rude. On the flipside, anyone who assumes they can touch you without asking is crossing a line. You’re puffy, your back hurts, and you’re already putting up with more and more frequent (and invasive) trips to the OB. If you need to tell off a few nosy Nancy’s, do it without an ounce of guilt.
No Apologies Required
At 9 Months: Your Transformation Into an Angelic Blimp Is Complete
We wish we were joking. We really do. By month nine, most expectant moms feel huge. Not the kind of huge you feel after overindulging at Thanksgiving dinner — massive, pressurized, about-to-explode kind of huge. A 7ish-pound human has literally rearranged your internal organs. There is less room for everything, breathing included.
You even have up to 50 percent greater blood volume, and the added work of oxygenating that blood and transporting it where it needs to go can leave you feeling winded. Shoes with laces are out since you can’t bend down to tie them. Even if you could, they probably wouldn’t fit your now sausage-like feet anyway. You are big, beautiful and probably very tired. Consider treating yourself to a pregnancy massage or acupuncture to help keep those aches and pains at bay.
The Answer Is Always No
While we usually consider pregnancy a 9-month-long gig, a full-term pregnancy is actually 40 weeks. Remember back in your first trimester when you, fully immersed in the magic of creating new life, planned on embracing your body’s journey? Trusting it to go into labor at just the right moment, when nature intended? Yeah, by about week 38 that bubble has burst, much like the elastic on your XL gym shorts.
Those last few weeks, you may start to resemble the Michelin Man — and can expect to be huge, hot and hangry. You will find yourself trying every labor-inducing idea Google has to offer, from eating hot peppers to getting it on. If you can somehow find your inner sex goddess and manage to see your partner over your giant belly, why not? You might also find yourself researching C-sections. Month nine is TOUGH — if you and your doctor opt for a planned C-section, medical necessity or not, we wouldn’t judge!
Grumpy as a Cat
Ow … OW … OK OW
At last, the almost year-long wait is over! Are you ready? Of course you’re not! Labor hurts! Having an epidural? You’re still about to feel the most intense physical pressure you’ve ever felt in your life. Having a C-section? You’ll have a whole different kind of recovery to worry about! Regardless of what your birth plan says (or whether you end up following it at all), anything can happen. Considering the magnitude of what your body is trying to accomplish, feeling a little (or a cubic f*!kton) of pain is to be expected.
Speaking of birth plans, there’s always a chance your, your baby’s or your doctor’s plans will change. Be sure to have someone to advocate for what you want during delivery because voicing your own needs while you’re busy shoving a human out of your most sensitive bits is a tall order. If your birth experience still doesn’t go the way you wanted, it’s OK. Regardless of what goes down in the delivery room, everything will melt away in favor of intense, all-encompassing, powerful love!
If Only It Were That Easy…
Time for LOVE! (and Stitches, but Mostly Love)
You’ve spent the last nine-plus months physically connected to someone who you’ve never seen, heard or held. At last, the time to hold that little someone is here. The moment you first hold your new baby can be a lot of things, and the feelings you experience will be strong. Most new moms feel an overwhelming sense of love, but that feeling can also be mixed with shock, especially after a difficult delivery. If the bond doesn’t happen instantly, it’s OK.
Pregnancy is a crazy, miraculous experience in every way, but no one said it was easy. Every woman’s pregnancy journey is unique, and few pregnancies are as effortless and “glowing” as Instagram maternity photos suggest. Sometimes, it takes a little while for that maternal bond to kick in, but when it does … it’s magic. Wherever you are in your journey, congratulations, mama. You’re going to do great.
Baby Love — and Jokes