Like many newly-pregnant women, I spend an alarming amount of time reading, researching and otherwise trying to learn everything I can about the gummy-bear-sized creature steadily growing in my abdomen.
It sounds so sci-fi, doesn’t it?
Well, that’s because it IS.
Not to be all New-Age-y or whatever, but I’ve always been very in tune with whatever’s going on in my body. If I have a headache, I can trace it back to a lack of caffeine or eye strain. Joint and muscle pain are almost always attributable to an overly strenuous workout, unless it’s a backache, which is due to not working out enough. Stomachache? Last night’s curry overdose.
Those rules no longer apply.
Last weekend, at The Guy’s birthday party, I complained about itchy, burning eyes, and he asked, “What do you think caused it?” “I have no idea, but dollars to doughnuts, it has something to do with Baby Powell,” I replied flatly.
Here are just a few of the bizarre things going on inside Mrs. Bachelor Girl right now:
1. My blood volume has increased by 50 percent.
So if you prick me, I not only bleed, I GUSH.
(That’s a pretty image, isn’t it? You’re welcome.)
1a.) Because of this increased volume, my eyeballs have changed shape. My doctor had to prescribe new contacts, since my old ones don’t fit anymore.
1b.) I am also warmer, which is probably why the animals follow me around and attempt to drape themselves across my body all day long.
I am nothing but a heating pad. A heating pad who can operate a can opener.
2. My uterus, which used to be the size of a woman’s fist, is now the size of a large grapefruit.
Nevertheless, please refrain from topping it with brown sugar and broiling it in the oven.
3. I have a superhuman sense of smell. If you burn a bag of popcorn in Mississippi, I can probably smell it. AND I WILL HUNT YOU DOWN LIKE THE DOG YOU ARE.
4. My brain is doing backflips in my skull because it refuses to acknowledge that human beings – procreating ones, no less – who are apparently smart enough to use a computer are stupid enough to ask questions like these on the internets:
–”Are light cigarettes safer while pregnant?”
No. However, the Mexican drug cartels are hard at work on a safer, folic-acid-fortified cocaine, so stay tuned!
–”Can I use a vibrator while pregnant?”
Yeah, but you run the risk of chipping the baby’s teeth. So make sure you earmark some funds for newborn dental veneers (available in ages 1 – 12 mo).
–”Is it safe to get a tattoo while pregnant?”
Look, I’m as much a fan of tattoos as the next girl (I have two myself), but if you REALLY want to let your white-trash flag fly, then haul your big fat pregnant ass up in the tattoo parlor. Preferably after 10:00 p.m.
–”Is it safe to raise my arms above my head while pregnant?”
I guess, but I’ve done my darndest to convince The Guy that it is downright dangerous for me to operate the washing machine and/or dryer while I am With Child, so if you figure out a way to turn this to your advantage, DO let me know.
–”Is it safe to ride in bumper cars while pregnant?”
–”Is it safe to swallow semen while pregnant?”
NO!! YOU WILL HAVE MILLIONS OF BABIES!!
And the number-one question asked by pregnant women everywhere:
–”Is it safe to have sex while pregnant?”
Absolutely not. That’s what got you into this debacle in the first place, isn’t it?
I kid, but in a way, I can understand the kind of worry that makes you ask the internet stupid questions about bumper cars. Probably in a fit of panic at 3:00 in the morning after you’ve spent all day at Six Flags.
Believe me, I have my moments (OK, maybe more like my half-hours) of irrationality, but to me, the name of the game is:
1. Limit your exposure to bad stuff
2. Eat plenty of healthy foods
4. Try not to get in any dumb accidents (i.e., do not climb an eight-foot ladder in five-inch heels, KELLY)
The rest is kind of out of my control.
Even those four things are different for every person. To me, bad stuff includes most medications, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, Red 40 (and most other food colorings), smoke, aluminum (e.g., most antiperspirants) and a few other things.
But a friend who suffers from severe clinical depression took SSRI antidepressants throughout both of her pregnancies and had two perfectly healthy babies. Some doctors say to avoid caffeine at all costs; others insist it’s no big deal. A number of friends drank alcohol (lightly) toward the end of their pregnancies, and all their babies were fine. I don’t know yet if I’ll drink or not. Still others do everything perfectly by the book and something goes wrong anyway.
It’s very much a crap shoot. We all just do the best we can.
My pregnancy sickness seems to have eased up (praise Jesus), but before it did, a lot of friends (whose opinions I respect) recommended Zofran, an anti-nausea medicine that doctors say won’t hurt small fries while they’re still cooking.
Well, I considered it. I considered it a LOT. One day last week, I discovered that I had a bunch of broken blood vessels around my eyes from barfing. That day, I REALLY considered it A WHOLE BUNCH.
As I said before, I’m very, very conservative about taking medications during pregnancy – I think the less you can take, the better. I ultimately decided that as long as I could stay hydrated and keep down enough calories, I was going to avoid taking medication.
But there’s more to my decision than that. Because I work from home, my lifestyle is such that, if I need to, I can take a couple hours in the morning to get myself straight before facing the day. Ideals or no ideals, I can practically guarantee I’d be whistling a different tune if I had to put on a suit, drive 30 minutes and face my boss at 8:00 a.m. every day.
And that’s my point – there are always a lot of factors that go into everyone’s decisions, and rarely do any of us know what all of them are. We all just do the best we can.
Especially when it comes to bumper cars.