1. So you peed on a stick and a plus sign appeared. Yay! Except that statistically, there’s a significant chance you might miscarry during the first 12 weeks after conception, which is fucking terrifying. I don’t care how healthy you are or how few miscarriages there’ve been amongst women in your family. The very possibility that all of the work you’ve put towards spawning a mini-me might be undone in a mere instant through no fault of your own will haunt you until you reach that magical three-month mark.
2. While you’re trapped in the will-I-or-won’t-I-miscarry pregnancy closet, you will probably refrain from sharing your exciting, life-changing news with the world at large for fear of having to retract it. If you’re a card-carrying over-sharing millenial, this will prove super frustrating.
3. Meanwhile, you’ll consult the Internet ad nauseam for information about what to expect over the next nine months, and very little of what you learn will sound at all fun.
4. For starters, you’ll confirm that you can’t get drunk. Sure, there’s plenty of evidence suggesting that it’s safe to drink lightly during pregnancy, but what medical professionals define as “light drinking” turns out to be two glasses of wine per week, which hasn’t been enough to get you buzzed since you were 13.
5. So you will try (and quickly fail) to get excited about “mocktails,” mixing sparkling water with different juices each night as your significant other sips an actual cocktail across the table like nothing’s changed because for him nothing has changed (annoying).
6. Since you’re never drunk, you will have yet more time to explore the ol’ Internet, which means learning that there’s a very real chance you’ll soon be growing hair in weird places, like your elbows.
7. Plus, all those hormones coursing through your veins are likely to make you break out in strange places, like your armpits or your back.
8. Oh, and your butthole might start to tickle at any moment!
9. Speaking of your butt, periodic constipation is definitely on the menu for the next nine months.
10. For the first time since you were a kid, you will also sacrifice creative control over what you eat. Even if you’re a pretty chill pregnant lady, you’ll find yourself considering the minuscule possibility that ham and soft cheeses might contain harmful bacteria, or that the sushi you adore might be laced with too much mercury.
11. Your inner voice of reason will do all it can to reassure you that, when pregnant, Japanese women don’t stop eating sushi and French women don’t stop eating soft cheeses. But your inner mom-to-be will laugh in the face of Reason, choosing instead to nod along with paranoid mommy bloggers everywhere and encourage you to abstain from eating some of your favorite foods just in case.
12. As it happens, the whole “eating for two” thing isn’t even true, so you can’t count on binge-eating carbs to offset the frustration of giving up your faves. (You only need 300 additional calories a day to build a baby, which is like one English muffin, or two little scrambled eggs. Boo!)
13. Whatever you do or don’t consume, trust that your body will expand almost immediately. Thanks to all the water you’re destined to retain, that go-to skirt and blouse might not fit quite the same as early as week 6, even though your embryo is only the size of a blueberry at that stage.
14. And then there’s the issue of boob growth. Maybe you’ve always wanted large breasts! Maybe big boobs are the one aspect of pregnancy you’ve actually been looking forward to! Well, rest assured that those giant boobs you develop will likely be tender AF. Like, sore to the touch. Ow!
15. Forced to recognize that your body is transforming in small but meaningful ways every single day, shopping automatically becomes a lot less fun. You can’t even guess what will or won’t work on your figure for the next year or so while that parasite you’re hosting takes over.
16. Think you can stymie the weight gain by working out regularly? Think again! You’re likely way too exhausted and/or nauseated to put too much effort into the gym.
17. Think you can go to bed super early to catch up on sleep? Think again! You will likely have to wake up three times a night to pee. Soon after conception, the extra blood flow required to grow your fetus prompts your kidneys to produce 25% more urine, you see.
18. Plus, your senses are heightened, which might sound cool at first—until the sound of your significant other snoring becomes a volcanic eruption you can’t contain, and the sight of a yellow plate or your favorite meal suddenly makes you want to vomit.
19. If you’re not a germaphobe already, you’re bound to become one the second you learn that your immune system takes a massive step back as soon you get pregnant. This is a protective measure so your body doesn’t reject your own embryo like it’s a disease or something. It also means that you’ll get seriously resentful if anyone coughs in your vicinity.
20. Whether you’re sick or not, your nose might start running spontaneously. Turns out your brain is already sending signals to your vagina to lube the fuck up in preparation for pushing a baby out months down the line, and it can’t just tell one mucus center to prep without impacting the others.
21. As a fetal host, you will also become super mindful of your safety. Translation: You’ll be jumpy as hell, especially around cars and other things that might potentially kill you and your unborn child.
22. Unwelcome realization number 5,781: Your body isn’t really your own anymore. Like, at all.
23. And it’ll be at least a year before it’s yours again.