There’s a whole slew of stuff you don’t notice about your lifestyle, yourself, your partner and your ovaries until you start trying to make a baby. Here are some of the lessons you’re in for.
1. Your menstrual cycle takes forever
The two weeks between ovulation day and the day you get to pee on a stick will defy the space-time continuum. Every day will seem to take two days. Every twitch will be a symptom of something you have to google immediately. You will spend copious amounts of time searching pregnancy symptoms, examining your breasts and reading inactive pregnancy message boards—and you will still have 11 days to go.
2. You really like alcohol
It’s often when you’re thinking about giving something up that you realize how much you’re going to miss it. You might think that you hardly ever drink—until patio season arrives. Or until your calendar starts filling up with holiday parties. Or you watch an episode of The Bachelor. Or your in-laws come for the weekend.
3. You don’t know how to change a diaper
It might happen while you’re watching a diaper commercial or when you’re at your sister’s house hanging out with your new nephew, but suddenly it hits you: You have never seen a diaper in action. How do they even stay closed? Glue? Velcro? Tape? Is there a front and a back? Do girls and boys wear the same kind? Is there a class you can take?
4. You don’t really know exactly what the umbilical cord is for
OK, yeah, we’ve all seen the images of that cute little fetus curled up in the womb with an umbilical cord coming out of her, um, stomach? What is that thing even attached to? Is the whole thing going to come out with the baby or do you keep it to use again next time? And what does it do exactly? Deliver food? Oxygen? Do babies even breathe in there? You vow to take a class—or at least pay more attention when you watch Grey’s Anatomy.
5. You swear a lot
Holy crap, you swear all the effing time. When you’re driving and some *sshole cuts you off or when you stub your effing toe or when your g*ddamn brother won’t pick up the effing phone so that you can tell him you’re stuck in mother-effing traffic and you’re going to be late getting to the effing church for his son’s g*ddamned baptism.
6. Cervical mucus is a thing you get excited about
Not only are you not completely repulsed by cervical mucus (six months ago, you didn’t even know where your cervix was, let alone that it produced mucus) but seeing it stretch like an egg white between your two fingers brings you an inexplicable amount of joy.
7. Everything in your house is white and made of glass
You never noticed it before, but you not only have white carpets, a white sofa, white walls and glass tables but also own white pants.
8. Stroller shopping is as complicated as shopping for a car
Who knew that there were so many varieties? Thin wheels or thick ones? Side by side? Tandem? Single? Convertible? Reversible? Collapsible? Jogging? Biking? Walking? All-terrain? It’s so overwhelming that you want to just forget the whole thing and look into carriers, but that brings up another slew of options. Sling? Wrap? Structured? Unstructured? Knapsack style?
9. Your spouse has horrible taste in baby names
You’ve known the names you wanted for your precious babies ever since you were a little girl, so why does your partner insist on ruining it? Maybe “The Flintstones” was a meaningful show during his formative years, but that doesn’t mean that you have to name your first born Bamm-Bamm.
10. It’s easier to get the baby in than it is to get it out
You’ve been working on making a baby for a couple of months now and it’s going OK. Sometimes you’re tired or not in the mood, but it’s not that terrible. You know what is terrible, though? Pushing that thing out. You vow to stop watching “A Baby Story,” but it’s too late. You know too much.