You know that amazingly tear-inducing image of a pregnant woman who is oozing happiness from all of her pores while cautiously rubbing her belly and minding her daily house chores?
Yeah... That's the biggest marketing lie that ever existed.
Actually, it's the second biggest lie that ever existed, after the happy menstruating woman who is jumping around in white pants.
Both images were probably created by men who were trying to impress their bosses. And also regular men. The real pregnant woman is nothing like advertisements and movies depict her.
For some women, this unrealistic image puts added pressure on them as they try to fit the "mold" and be that joyful, glowing creature whose body is growing at an alarming rate and whose hormones are making her do crazy things.
But this is what it's really like to be pregnant:
How it all starts? With a pregnancy test!
In fact, it starts with a missed period and morning sickness, which pushes you to google homemade pregnancy tests at 3 am. Until the pharmacy opens, you've tried all of the possible homemade tests and they all say you're pregnant.
But you're not convinced until you see the classic two lines, so you buy a regular pregnancy test.
The two lines show up, and this is when your entire life changes.
You'll start feeling like a zombie.
Pregnancies start with nausea – severe, death-like nausea, that resembles your worst hangover. But this time, you won't be able to avoid throwing up.
In fact, you will spend most of your time doing just that, especially if you are among the lucky mothers-to-be whose nausea is not affected by any pills.
Bathroom trips will become year-long, nightmarish adventures.
The anti-nausea pills might not work against nausea, but they will make your constipation worse. Constipation is another common side effect of procreation, which is going to make you repeat the childbirth moment over and over again.
Each time you will have to pass a deuce, you will have to put up with the risk of developing hemorrhoids. This means each bathroom trip will be a bloody affair, unless you rely on laxatives.
Shopping for the baby will make you hate shopping.
The moment you announce your pregnancy, everyone around you is going to become a baby expert and you will be dragged into a baby shop.
At first, seeing all the things your baby needs will feel nice. But when you start looking at their price tags... you're going to have a meltdown.
How can someone so small — who is only sleeping and eating for the first months of their life — need so much stuff? And how come all of these things cost three times your entire wardrobe?!
Back home, you are definitely going to spend hours on end wondering if you really can afford this baby.
You'll feel sexy AF, but be as hairy as Chewbacca.
As soon as you won't be able to see your feet, you won't be able to shave your legs or your down there, either. You can try, but the entire act will look and feel like the gymnastics Olympics, so you are going to skip it altogether.
The problem is, this is about the same time your appetite for sex increases. You will be horny all the time, despite carrying a big belly with you.
You will become a regular hospital resident, and not just for labor false alarms.
In the nine months of pregnancy, you are going to become a resident of the nearest hospital, thanks to the hundreds of tests you will be taking.
You will do tests you can't pronounce, you will be poked with huge needles and you will have to suck it all up because it's not about you anymore — it's about the little one in your belly.
(BTW, this is how motherhood feels as a whole.)
You'll fear your due date throughout your entire pregnancy.
As your pregnancy approaches the due date, your OB is going to conveniently remember they have plans for that date. The image of giving birth to your baby with an untrained nurse or someone you've just met in the hospital halls will gradually grow in your head.
Meanwhile, you've peed yourself. Again. This is the third time in the last 30 minutes.
Each pregnancy is different because life refuses to play the part we give it. Remember that glowing mother-to-be I talked about at the beginning? Well, maybe she is real. Maybe there are such creatures in the world, just like there are women who struggle with their pregnancies.
You don't have to fit one image or another, you just have to find a way to be happy as you are. Especially when the hospital is going to send you back home for not being dilated enough.
And you know why?
Because everything will disappear the moment you hold your kid for the first time — they come with a whole new array of problems.