Trying to get pregnant is an exciting time! Not only are you about to create a family, you get to ditch your birth control and have loads of sex—what’s not to love? Of course, you’ll be one of those cool women who just goes with it. You’ll probably even forget you’re trying! Hahaha. Here’s what trying to get pregnant is really like, stacked up next to what most women expect will happen during that special time.
Expectation: You’ve taken birth control for years to avoid this moment. Now you’re free and: It. Is. On. You’ll probably be prego the second you have unprotected sex. No—sooner!
Reality: You’re probably not going to get pregnant the first time you do it sans birth control. Unless you were on the cast of Teen Mom, it can take a while. Upside: You’ll be doing it…a lot.
Keeping It a Secret
Expectation: Obviously this is a super-important baby-making mission carried out by you and your partner. This little secret is going to be nurtured between you two like—OMG!—a newborn. It’s what intimacy is.
Reality: It started when you let it slip to your best friend. That led to telling your mom…and your work BFF…and the mailman. But that’s it, okay? Pretty soon you’ve developed serious sympathy for Jennifer Aniston: 24/7 pregnancy watch is a bitch.
Your Knowledge of the Conception Process
Expectation: You took sex ed in middle school. You know you can get knocked up by practically looking at each other. You have sex, you get pregnant—easy-peasy.
Reality: You have no idea what it takes to get pregnant. According to your buddy Google, whom you consulted on this matter, you have to hit your ovulation cycle at the right time, and then his boys only have a 30 percent chance of getting past the goalie. Your age and a whole other slew of factors can come into play, too. Uh…why didn’t anyone ever tell you this?
How Frequently You Get Busy
Expectation: In the shower, on the counter, in bed, on the bed, before work, during your lunch break, after work, before bed—you’ll do it all the time. This is serious business, and you’re not messing around.
Reality: You have a life…and a job. The only people who do it that much are porn stars, and even they need a break. Plus, doing it that much is just…ouch.
Expectation: You’ll be cool as a cucumber about this whole thing. You’re not changing your life because you’re trying! Sushi, loads of coffee, happy hour…heck, you’ll probably even do shots—and then load up on caffeine the next day to cope with that raging hangover. You’re about to have a baby! You need to live it up!
Reality: You’ll drop everything the second you think you’re pregnant. You’re all caffeine-free tea, designated driver, über-healthy eater now. Even though you and your partner only did it once, there’s a chance you might be pregnant!!!
How Often You’ll Think About It
Expectation: “Oh, are we trying to have a baby? Silly me—I totally forgot!”…
Reality: …Said no one, ever. What’s more than 24/7? 25/8? Yup, that’s how often it’s on your mind. Between dreaming up baby names and reading extensive stories online about signs you’re pregnant, you need a break from your day job to cope with all this. Do they have “maybe maternity leave”? Yes, please.
The Pre-Test Window
Expectation: Sure, it’s too early to tell with an at-home test, but you’ll just know that your little bun is in the oven. What kind of mother would you be otherwise?
Reality: Soreness, discharge, mood swings, fatigue—they’re all signs of an early pregnancy…or that you’re about to get your period. Mother Nature is one devious bitch.
Taking a Test
Expectation: You’ll only take one if your period is late. Even then you might wait a while. There’s no need to rush this. You’ll find out soon enough.
Reality: At-home pregnancy kit stock has soared solely because of you. You’ve extensively researched which brands give the earliest results, and you’ve bought them all. The top brands are secretly hoping it takes you a while to get knocked up because, damn, you’re making it rain in pregnancy test land!
Breaking the News to Your Partner
Expectation: You’ve waited for this moment, and you’re going to make it special. Maybe you’ll buy a “World’s Greatest Dad” T-shirt or gift him a little something special from the baby. You’ll give a knowing-yet-maternal smile when you hand it to him. He’ll probably cry a little.
Reality: You’ll call/text/send a carrier pigeon the second that pee stick turns pink. Screw playing it cool—there’s a baby the size of a poppy seed growing inside of you! You’ll freak out; he’ll freak out. Eventually you might buy that cheesy T-shirt.