You JUST peed on a stick and the result was either a plus sign, two parallel lines, or (if you sprung for the fancy test) the word PREGNANT. Yay! You’re a fertile human capable of reproducing! Your partner’s swimmers and your egg did their respective biological jobs! As you mull over your new reality, you’re way too excited to care about all the lifestyle changes you’re about to face head on. All you can think about is the opening scene from Look Who’s Talking, and the fact that your shit works down there. You’re high on (the miracle of) life! Absolutely thrilled about everything that’s to come, even if it means not getting drunk for the next nine months. Sigh.
Starting around week eight, your embryo becomes a fetus, which registers as a massive feat. You’re still a little fuzzy on what that means, exactly, but you’ll hold onto any sense of achievement you can at this point. The thing is, while you definitely feel pregnant (i.e. bloated, groggy, and maybe even vomity), you don’t exactly look the part quite yet. And since you’re not really supposed to tell anyone that you’re knocked up while you’re still inside the miscarriage danger zone, being pregnant feels a bit solitary. To celebrate the embryo-to-fetus milestone, you go to great lengths to prepare the tastiest mocktail possible. It’s not that great, but whatevs. You and your raspberry sized fetus will have to deal with life within the pregnancy closet just a little bit longer.
Finally! You’ve made it to the point at which it’s socially acceptable to announce your pregnancy because (morbid alert!) the chances of miscarrying (and then having to explain that you’re no longer pregnant) are thankfully much lower now. Your belly, which is home to a fetus roughly the size of a plum, is probably protruding a bit. Still, you don’t appear pregnant to anyone outside your inner circle—just like you’ve eaten a little too much and maybe gotten breast implants.
You’re officially in the second trimester! It’s the “honeymoon trimester” and you’re ready for that energy boost you’ve been hearing so much about. Even if you can’t feel the fetus kicking quite yet, you’re pretty positive it’s in there. The Internet tells you it’s about the size of an avocado, which seems significant. Your back probably hurts and you may be starting to feel fat, but you’re also “glowing” according to most people familiar with pregnancy etiquette.
Your fetus is the size of a coconut and you’ve finally popped, which means that if you clutch your stomach in the right manner, strangers can no longer avoid sacrificing their seat for you on the subway (unless of course they’re an a-hole). You can also probably feel some fetal kicking, which is SUPER reassuring—except when a prolonged period of non-movement prompts you to worry incessantly. By now you also have the option of learning the baby’s sex, and maybe planning one of those creepy gender reveal parties.
You’re on the brink of the final trimester and past the “point of viability” (meaning that if your baby were to arrive, it would have a good shot at living), but it still seems like FOREVER until your due date. You spend most of your free time—in between frequent trips to the bathroom—trying out different names for your eggplant sized fetus, but you probably haven’t committed to a single candidate quite yet, if only because name games are one of your few sources of pleasure. After all, you cannot drink what you want, eat what you want, or wear what you want—STILL—and sex isn’t quite the same (unless you’re one of those lucky women who experiences the BEST orgasms of her life during pregnancy).
You’ve reached the third trimester! The FINAL frontier. The last stretch (literally). People constantly remind you that you’re “almost there,” which kind of makes you want to punch them in the throat since the last 10 weeks are bound to be THE most difficult. You’re enormous, with a fetus the size of a large cabbage inside your belly, exhausted, and fed up with all of that fetal kicking, which was once cute but is now more than slightly uncomfortable. Sometimes you lie on the couch and stare at the surface of your stomach as it contorts in strange ways, and you have to wonder if you’re building a Tasmanian devil rather than a human baby. You also wonder how the hell everything’s going to go back to its original place after being jostled about so much in there.
With just a month and a half left until you get to meet your little love nugget, which is now the size of a cantaloupe, and officially become a mom, it really does seem like you’re ALMOST there. The idea of giving birth is suddenly very real (and terrifying!), so you routinely remind yourself that almost everyone walking the planet is a product of this process. It can’t be THAT bad. Or can it??? You spend a good amount of time examining yourself in the mirror (or avoiding mirrors altogether) because your pregnant figure is just so WEIRD. You’re a whale, and you’re really starting to doubt that you’ll ever look like yourself again. So you do what you can to maintain skin elasticity, rubbing lotion or coconut oil all over your chest and belly nightly, which makes sex (if you can stomach it at this point) quite messy. But let’s face it, you’re way more interested in preventing stretch marks than meeting your significant other’s sexual needs these days anyway.
You’ll do ANYTHING to go into labor and be done with this pregnancy business already!!! You’re too large to do much of anything these days, including sleep. But you muster the energy to tackle any labor triggering activity you can dream up. You walk up and down the stairs, try (and fail) to do squats, play some hardcore music, and even speak directly to your pumpkin sized fetus about how kind you’ll be to him or her if they would just exit the womb already!!!! You’re starting to salivate over the very idea of a giant glass of wine (and, of course, the idea of snuggling your little baby in your arms).