At the start of your pregnancy journey? Here's what you can really expect from now until delivery day. Books, movies and television shows are quick to extol the pain and joy of childbirth (of which, yes, there is a great deal in equal measure). But what about the day-to-day business of being pregnant? I'm here to clue you in on the ordinary occurrences that await you while you go about growing a human being.
You'll feel like the first mom
At some point during your pregnancy, you'll find yourself feeling like the center of the universe. You may feel like the first woman to ever incubate a small human. Newsflash? You're not. Resist the urge to demand special treatment. Understand that your pregnancy symptoms – that morning sickness or back pain? Those problems are universal to expectant moms everywhere.
You'll have a new relationship with food
We hear about pregnancy cravings all the time. Chances are, if you're battling morning sickness, you'll have more of the opposite problem: Food aversions. When I was pregnant last year, just the word 'chicken' was enough to send me running for the toilet bowl. My sister, on the other hand, she couldn't so much as look at a fresh vegetable or grain without getting nauseous. At the beginning of pregnancy, you may have some healthy plans for eating. Stick to them while you can, but don't beat yourself up if pancakes and pasta are all you can handle eating later on.
You're going to gain weight
Duh, right? Of course you know that you'll be putting on extra pounds to account for a growing fetus, amniotic fluid and those lapses in judgment better known as powdered doughnuts. But it seems all too common that pregnant women lament losing their shape when their bumps begin to grow. So, this bears repeating: You're going to be bigger – maybe even bigger than you've ever been in your life. The extra padding is going to creep on slowly, not even starting with your belly. You're going to see it first just above your pubic bone. Do your best to not obsess about the weight gain. Remember this: If your doctor isn't worried, then you shouldn't be either.
You're going to panic
There's nothing to make a woman question her grasp on reality quite like being pregnant. Do yourself a favor and stay away from Doctor Google. Don't look up your symptoms and don't – under any circumstances – start digging for things that could go wrong with your baby. You don't need the stress and your baby doesn't either. Instead, follow your doctor or midwife's instructions and report any worrisome feelings straight to your health care provider – and not a search engine.