20 Ways Real Women Realized They Might Be Pregnant

Stacy Lenz | Feb 7, 2019 Pregnancy
20 Ways Real Women Realized They Might Be Pregnant
Image: PeopleImages/iStock.com


Everyone has watched this "scene" play out in a movie or TV show before. Picture it. The scene opens with our plucky protagonist, starting her day in a frantic rush. She's out of the shower and getting ready, fumbling with her shoes, cramming work papers into her tote, out the door and putting mascara on mid-commute. 

Her rom-com version of a bad day continues as it hits her, a nauseated look spreads across our unknowingly fertile-Myrtle's face and, blammo, she vomits in the middle of the big presentation/on a public bus/just as she was going to buy a box of tampons. The next part of the scene show our girl, with eyes as large as saucers, filling with the shock and surprise of "Could I be pregnant?" As if to answer her unasked question, a wacky side character pops their head in just in time to say "Girl, you're pregnant." Is this just hacky writing or is public puking just how most of us realize we're pregnant?

We surveyed women to get the real scoop about the exact moment they realized they might be pregnant. Could it be that everyone is just one non-food poisoning bout of sickness away from realizing they are preggers? If so, wouldn't that mean our public streets should be awash in bile? 

As imagined, the answers ranged from certain lucky ladies didn't notice any symptoms to exactly what Hollywood had told us to expect when we're expecting, large and obvious displays of morning sickness, which ironically was never was in the morning. The friend that responded "I ate a chicken nug and wanted to vom" does pretty much sum up how a lot of people felt. But the answered were also as unique and varied as the people we talked to. 

Even with stories of public sickness aside, it's fun reminisce about that moment we thought, "wait, something isn't right, could it be... a baby?" and all the excitement, fear and everything else that flashed through one's brain at that minute, including the panic at remembering all of the drinking and sushi eating one had somehow done in the last two days. So read on about who was puking in the streets and who was bursting into tears!

  • Ruined Baseball Game


    "I went to my regular sports bar to watch a baseball game, and I ordered my regular drink (whiskey) and regular snack (spicy Brussels sprouts). The instant they arrived, I got lightheaded; I thought I was just hungry so I started eating and they tasted like poison. So I took a drink of water, then a drink of whiskey, and I immediately felt nauseous. I'd had no indication I was pregnant until all of my 'regular' stuff started making me instantly ill. Got that BFP about a week later."

  • Hungover Surprise


    "I got a promotion and went out to dinner to celebrate with my husband and sister, and drank one-third of a bottle of wine. That night I was throwing up and told my husband 'Maybe I’m pregnant?' And he was like, 'You’re just drunk.' The next morning we bought a test and, surprise! I was both!”

  • What About the Waffle Fries?


    This response was short and sweet. (Sweet? That might not be the right word.)

    "I ate a chicken nug and vommed."

  • Hormones Taking Off


    "I was supposed to fly out to my best friend's baby shower, and then my flight got canceled. My response? To start crying hysterically and run home as fast as I could. That was a sign things were 'off.'"

  • It Was the Cheetos


    "I was standing in a weird lamp shop getting a fancy lamp repaired for my boss. I leaned against a wall while I waited with Cheeto dust on my fingers from the puffs I’d been eating for days. In one fell swoop I realized my boobs had been achingly tender for too long, I hadn’t eaten Cheetos in a years and I had bawled in the Suicide Squad trailer. 'I’m pregnant' hit me like a ton of bricks. In that moment, I just knew. I raced off to CVS to buy a pregnancy test, along with a box of Red Vines and the rest is history."

  • Side Effects May Include Pregnancy


    "My mouth tasted so metallic and no amount of toothbrushing would fix it. I'd had that experience before -- a reaction to a medication -- so I assumed that it was because I'd recently switched from a name-brand to a generic drug. I asked my pharmacist about it and he said, 'No, switching to a generic won't change your body's response. But sometimes pregnancy causes that taste.' Lo and behold..."

  • Loose Tracking

    "My husband and I had our first babies (twins) using IVF, so the whole process, including the months beforehand, was planned out to the day and ultra-monitored. My OB/GYN at the time told me that my 'ovarian reserve' was very low and she wouldn’t recommend any other fertility treatment besides full-on in vitro because getting pregnant another way would be highly unlikely. 

    "Fast-forward to last summer when our twins were 6 months old. I hadn’t been tracking my period but it started again, so I knew it was possible to get pregnant and though we weren’t 'trying,' subconsciously I was still like, 'ha ha I’m in my fertile window each month.' (I’m almost tragically optimistic.) My parents were visiting for about a week and I had been thinking my period should come any day. When it didn’t, I was sort of bemused and skeptical but also had a suspicion that we made a baby even though it should have been highly unlikely

    "At 5 a.m. the morning after my parents left town, I woke up and couldn’t stop thinking about it so I took a pregnancy test. It was positive right away. I woke up my husband and told him, he was like 'WHAT?' He asked if I could take another test, which hadn’t occurred to me, so I did and that was positive, too. I was thinking that I was like a couple days late at that point, but when I finally went to the doctor, it turned out I was more than a week further along than I thought. Loose tracking, indeed."
  • Work Bonus


    "We had been trying so I was on a schedule of taking ovulation tests and then pregnancy tests four weeks later, like clockwork. It had gotten so routine that I took my monthly pregnancy test at work without even thinking about it and of course that was the one that was positive. I was giddy all the way home from work in anticipation of telling my partner."

  • She's Probably Joking


    "For my first pregnancy I knew I was pregnant because my boobs hurt SO BADLY. The second time I had INSANE nausea, constantly. Then the last time I had basically every pregnancy symptom you read about for the first week and was like 'OK, yep, this is happening again, please kill me.'"

  • Naptime

    Mladen Zivkovic/iStock.com

    "I knew in all three pregnancies before I took a test because I got hit with a debilitating mid-afternoon/early evening level of exhaustion that I’ve never experienced when I was not making a human."

  • BFFs Always Know


    "My hands and feet kept going numb and I had a strange bump on my arm so clearly I thought I had a blood clot. I called my BFF, who also happens to be a nurse. She laughed in my face and said, 'I don't know anything about blood clots but I do know something about pregnancy...' She laughed and said, 'You're totally pregnant.' She was right."

  • Excited to Feel Bad


    "I was pretty vigilant about my symptoms since we had been trying for so long, so when I felt lousy in the week leading up to my period, I started to get slightly excited. Every time I was extra exhausted or felt even the slightest bit of sick my low-key excitement grew that much more. I finally took a test the day my period was supposed to come. Yup, pregnancy!"

  • Here's the Tea


    "It was summertime and I had opted for iced tea, which for some reason was raspberry flavored --already an odd choice on their part. Not only was it raspberry flavored, but I could tell it had been over-steeped. By the time I arrived at my train stop, I was beside myself with nausea. I was eating the ice cubes to try to distract myself but to no avail -- that only made it worse. The moment I arrived at the office, I went straight in the bathroom to throw it all up. Fast forward to the next morning, I woke up and my boobs hurt SO bad. I immediately knew something was up. I used my grocery delivery app and added a pregnancy test (a 2-pack JIC!), plus a handful of comfort foods that would cover the emotional results either way. There it was: the positive test."

  • A Vacation From Periods


    "My husband and I had planned a three-week vacation eating our way through Vietnam. We had not done a lot of traveling together previously -- short trips here and there, but we were aggressively saving up for a down payment on a home, so this was a Big Deal for us. The flight from NYC to Vietnam is like 24 hours long. I checked my period tracker app and it looked like I would be starting my period about five days before the flight -- woohoo, I wouldn't have to deal with having my period on the plane! 

    "As each of those five days came and went, I started to get increasingly anxious as there was no period in sight. Weirdly, my boobs still felt really sore as they usually did when I was PMSing. The night before our flight, I finally broke down and told my husband, 'I think I need to take a pregnancy test,' so we went across the street to a dollar store and a few minutes later, it was positive!"

  • Second Child Syndrome


    "I honestly don't remember a story surrounding getting pregnant with my second. I think I had bought a three pack of pregnancy tests when I was pregnant with my first and I just used one of those like two years later? It was probably expired. Typical second kid gets the hand-me-downs."

  • Spot On


    "With my first pregnancy I developed a tiny red spot on my face next to my nose. It went away after Dylan came. I instantly knew I was pregnant for the second time when the red dot appeared again practically overnight!"

  • Dizzy Spell


    "With my second pregnancy, I was working full time as I do. The morning I realized I was pregnant, we were in full swing to get wholesale orders out  and out of nowhere I got very, very hot, dizzy, and nauseous which is not like me at all. I quickly went upstairs to my restaurant’s dining room to be alone and lay my head down on a booth. 

    "I was literally frozen for about 20 minutes feeling this way. After the 20 minutes, I was able to get up, get some water, and a croissant I had not finished ... a few minutes later I felt like myself again. I started to think about why I would feel this way and for the life of me I could not think at all why and then as I was about to go back to overseeing orders out, it hit me like a ton of bricks that I had to be pregnant."

  • Pregnancy Is Contagious


    "It was when my nephew was born I realized my period was late! Until then I hadn't even considered that I might be pregnant." Author note: I remember when this happened and I had an inkling she was pregnant because the week prior she puked in a trash can on the street.

  • Sober Baby


    "With my son, I was at a conference in the UK and ended up drinking REALLY heavily with the other speakers. I must have had eight or drinks over the course of the night. It was 4 a.m. and everyone around me was completely wasted but I somehow spent the whole night stone sober -- nothing could touch me. I went back to my room and started googling “high alcohol tolerance pregnancy” returning no results that would explain the situation but I knew that had to be it. When I got back to the US I took a test (three days before my period was due) and was indeed pregs! (And my bender did nothing to stop my son from being a super smart perfect little bug.)"

  • Birthday Present


    "My husband and I had been trying for about six months and getting pretty discouraged. The Fourth of July is my favorite holiday (also my birthday) so we had a big extended holiday for my birthday weekend planned in the city. I wanted to celebrate accordingly (with lots of booze) so I took a pregnancy test (just to be on the safe side) literally as we were halfway out the door. It was positive! We momentarily freaked out and even left the pregnancy test on the sink to find it days later (maybe gross?). We told our best friends as soon as we arrived at their apartment. Then we walked around NYC having to use every public toilet I could find!"

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