Have you and your partner recently decided its time to start trying for a baby, or are you just contemplating it? You may be surprised how much your life changes before you ever even see that positive pregnancy test.

Youll get to know your body in new and weird ways

Some women know all about their menstrual cycles, including average cycle length, duration of bleeding, and ovulation before they start trying to conceive or even want kids. Most probably don’t. When you are trying to conceive, you can bet that youll get to know your menstrual cycle very intimately — but that’s not the only thing you’ll get to know.

As you are trying to differentiate normal premenstrual cramps from early pregnancy cramps, attempting to physically feel ovulation, and watch out for mood changes that could indicate you’ve conceived, you’ll acutely notice every little feeling and physical change you go through. You’ve probably never observed your cervical mucus as it changes color, structure and amount throughout the cycle.

Youll get to know your body in a whole different way when youre trying to get pregnant. Then, just as youre truly getting acquainted on that deeper level, you can kiss your body as you know it goodbye. Youll be really, really excited about stomach cramps, vomiting, pimples and mood changes.

It will really feel different

That first time you do the deed knowing you could get a baby out of it will feel really special — a bit like that other first time, except better and more exciting. You are about to do something so profound its difficult to comprehend. Dont be surprised if you feel like you are a teenager all over again.

Then again, that excitement wears off if you dont get pregnant right away. Be careful, and dont fall into the trap of having baby-making chore sex just because youre in your fertile window. Unless youre both into it and you make time to enjoy each other properly, you could go from special to really boring very fast.

Tip: Dont turn making love into baby-dancing and talk about how long a pillow was under your butt afterwards with hundreds of strangers on the internet. Actually, you wont need that pillow at all.

Thinking about getting pregnant takes up almost as much time as taking care of a baby

Trying to conceive is your impressive new hobby, and were not talking about just the act itself. Youll spend hours reading all about fertility, prenatal vitamins, folic acid, charting to conceive, ovulation tests, where to go for your prenatal care, baby items youll need, and how to potty train toddlers. Then, youll spend some more hours discussing these things on the TTC forum of your choice.

You may start to see pregnant women everywhere. You may research IVF just because youre not expecting yet after three months of trying. You may get interior design magazines or go on Pinterest so you can plan that nursery. If youre really obsessive, you may start to buy baby clothes.

Youll never have this much time to waste on anything after you have your baby, and you wont read up about much when you are trying to conceive your second kid. That will be just as exciting in its own way, however.

Your health becomes a priority

This may just be the very best side effect of trying to conceive. You may go to the doctor for a preconception checkup and ask preconception health questions, youll take multivitamins and folic acid, youll do your very best to eat healthily, and you and your partner will ditch bad habits like drinking and smoking, if you had them. Youll also exercise regularly — sex, if nothing else.

Your health becomes a top priority when youre trying to get pregnant, but not for your own sake. Its pretty cool, really!

How are you experiencing the wild roller-coaster ride otherwise known as trying to conceive? Do you recognize yourself in this post, or are you more laid-back about things?