The Phases of Pregnancy

When I was eight months pregnant, I waddled to the store for a pint of chocolate ice cream. As I stood in the check-out line, a small child walked up and asked if I needed help finding the bathroom–I obviously needed to big poop.

Tickled, I made a fatal mistake for any heavily pregnant woman: I laughed. This set off a chain reaction in which I peed my pants, started to cry, then spent the next 10 minutes assuring her that I did not need an apology hug to my slightly damp pants.

These are the parts of pregnancy they don’t tell us about in high school health class. So you can be more prepared than I was (and always pack extra panties in your purse), use this guide to navigate the (untold) phases of pregnancy.


Phase 1: I’m Pregnant!

You just found out you’re pregnant! Everything feels new and exciting, and even things that would normally be a huge irritation are seen as part of the fun. Honey, my nipples hurt! Isn’t that great?


Phase 2: Wait–I’m Pregnant.

Once the newness wears off, you realize that yes, you are actually pregnant–and there’s so much you have to do. You have to tell your partner. You have to see your doctor. You have to give up wine.


Phase 3: What fresh hell is this?

This phase is what I like to call the classic bait and switch. You tire easily. You can’t tell the difference between the smell of baking cookies or rotten milk, but they both make you vomit. You threaten your spouse with bodily harm if they come near you with that thing.


Phase 4: I am a glowing fertility goddess.

You’ve made it through the first trimester! Your hair is shiny. Your energy is up. Your growing bump finally resembles a baby instead of a Ben & Jerry’s break-up binge. You celebrate with a variety of debunked gender science experiments.


Phase 5: The Hunger Games.

You’re now eating like you’re preparing for a World Championship Eating Contest. You will eat anything, any time, and in any combination. Your spouse begins to covertly hide the cake-flavored candles in case you get hungry between meals.


Phase 6: Maternity clothes cost what?!

You have officially outgrown even your stretchiest yoga pants. You visit your local maternity section to learn something shocking: maternity clothes are like regular clothes, only marked up 1000 percent. Doesn’t this count as price gouging?!


Phase 7: I live in a hovel.

You suddenly realize that you’re completely unprepared to house a baby human. You attempt to rectify this problem by cleaning every surface in sight, re-organizing the nursery toys by size and color, and demanding a complete bathroom renovation. Apparently, your new baby is a little bougie.


Phase 8: No, you can’t touch my belly.

The more pregnant you are, the stranger people in public treat you. You are now a homing beacon for weirdos who think it’s socially acceptable to physically touch a stranger’s belly. Some will even ask first–and that won’t be the strangest question you get.


Phase 9: It’s been 84 years…

You are certain you’ve been pregnant your entire life. You’re the size of an NFL linebacker, you pee every time you take a deep breath, and sleeping has become a crash-course in advanced yoga. You feel murderous rage at those who dare suggest you “enjoy this beautiful and miraculous time.” Mind your business, Karen. And get me a cookie.