1. Google every possible configuration of “early signs of pregnancy, period five days late am I pregnant, difference between menstrual cramps and early pregnancy, etc.” No matter what you thought you knew about pregnancy and PMS, the Internet is here to confuse you with endless pages of Yahoo! answers and WebMD mazes. You were aware that nausea, cramps, changes in mood, and increased fatigue were signs of both pregnancy and an impending menstrual situation, but now it’s somehow even more confusing. For some reason, you continue to consult the Internet, as if you’ll magically find some sort of Adobe Flash game that leads you through a fun maze to a “not pregnant!” certificate. The deeper you go, the more pregnant you think you are. When is the last time you had a ‘pull out and pray’ situation? Two months ago? That can’t be the culprit, but you don’t rule it out. You read once that sperm can live for like, three days inside the body. Or was it thirty seconds? Time for thirty minutes of Googling “how long can sperm live?”
2. Scrutinize every single part of your anatomy for signs of pregnancy. You have been feeling a bit bigger than usual as of late. You estimate that you’ve already gained at least five pounds of water weight in the early stages of this (maybe) pregnancy. You feel your boobs and wonder if there’s a difference between pregnancy soreness and period soreness. You look at your nipples and cover them as you cringe in fear of the day that another human being will bite at them for sustenance. Damn, this whole pregnancy thing is going to hurt like a bitch. You push gently against your abdomen. Is that an organ you feel, or a fetus? You know that there is no scientific way you’d be able to feel the pregnancy at this point, but you decide that you can anyway. You look at your body in the mirror before you shower and stick out your stomach. Not a good look. Better get used to it, you think, as you relax your muscles and let it return to it’s normal, (maybe) not pregnant state of being.
3. Read the fine print on your birth control seventeen times. Yes, you had sex ed in high school and yes, you are aware that your birth control would have had to malfunction for you to be pregnant. Which is unlikely, sure, but what if it has some crazy loophole that would allow for this pregnancy? You dig out the medication papers that came with your birth control or Google the brand of condom you used. There’s got to be something in here that explains why you’re (maybe) pregnant right now. Perhaps your pill ceases to function when you drink more than two pumpkin spice lattes in one week? Or maybe it only works for vegans? Fuck. That doesn’t make any sense. Or does it? What if that condom was expired? Shit, do condoms expire? Did you check the expiration date on those condoms? Of course not! You make a mental note to always check every condom’s expiration date. If it has one. Wherever that is.
4. Start to go over your options. Okay. You’re nearly a week late. You’re pretty sure something went wrong with your birth control or that some angry God has picked this moment to punish you, and now you’re ready to deal with the consequences. What’s it gonna be, kiddo? You start calling yourself weird nicknames in your head that you’re pretty sure are all from the screenplay for Juno. Juno had the baby. Goddamnit, Juno, why did you say all that stuff about babies having fingernails? You wonder what kind of pregnant pop culture character you would be. A Miranda, following her friends out to the clubs, fighting the good fight in her high-powered career? A Charlotte, afraid to jog as to not disrupt the pregnancy? A Carrie, who probably could never take care of anyone but herself? Okay. Time to get serious. But maybe Google “pregnant TV characters” for twenty more minutes first.
5. Start to actually go over your options. This is it. After hours of worrying, you start to think about what to really do about this pregnancy. First, you think you should probably test it’s legitimacy. You wonder where you’ll buy the pregnancy test. How are you going to afford this baby if you can’t even afford a pregnancy test? Walmart? Cheapest option by far, but it will probably tell you your zodiac sign instead of a clear “yes” or “no.” You think about the stupid lines on the pregnancy test and how you have to read seven windows and do a geometry proof in order to determine the result. Maybe you’ll take an easier test to see whether or not you’re blowing this out of proportion. You phone your best girl friend, the one you trust most in this world who you know will set you straight. “Dude, I think I might be pregnant. I’m like eight days late, my boobs are so sore, I feel really tired and–” she cuts you off before you can get to the real evidence and asks you if you’ve taken a test yet. Damnit. She’s right. You march your ass down to your local drugstore and begrudgingly hand over the money in exchange for the final proof that you aren’t crazy. You pee on a stick. You wait. “Not pregnant!” There it is. You knew it all along.