I am four months pregnant with my first child. I’m one of four children and I have a huge family with dozens of cousins. Yet, somehow, in the midst of breeding rabbits I was never told some mysterious and ugly things about pregnancy. Here’s my list so far. I may follow up with more things as my pregnancy progresses.
1. Heightened Sense of Smell
The first thing that I noticed was my increased sense of smell. One would think, “Oh yes, this would be nice to have so I can experience flavors and scents in all of their glory!” No. This is not what happens. What happened to me is that every unpleasant smell is magnified 10 times making it horrible, unbearable, and vomit worthy.
For example, I would be on the other side of the house and I could smell in the kitchen my husband, Mr J, pouring hot water onto dog food for our 15 year old dog so that she could better chew her chow. The second I smelled this ungodly concoction, I would jump up and down insisting he remove it from my presence immediately. Our poor aging pup, Peaches, had been banished to the front porch to eat her hot meal. Even with the door closed, I could smell the food, so we just stopped that and opted to buy soft food instead.
2. Bathroom Troubles
Perhaps, for good reason, I had never been told of this otherwise disgusting subject by my pregnant friends and family. One day, I found myself sitting on the commode, praying for relief, and then the next day I’m hoping that whatever goes in doesn’t splash violently back up. There isn’t enough fiber in the world to help what you’ve got going on in your bowels. Pregnancy pushes a gal into playing bowel movement roulette and I’m hoping I don’t lose the gamble for the day.
3. Emotional Roller Coaster Ride
I’m a pretty emotionally stable person. I usually opt for the sunny side of life and I like to think that I deal with life’s ups and downs with grace and poise. However, with pregnancy, I have discovered a whole new side of myself that can go from the Incredible Hulk type rage to Whinny The Pooh type softness.
In the car the other day, I was going along flipping through radio stations. I landed on a French commercial that just grated my nerves. I couldn’t stand the sound of the guy’s voice, which got me into ranting about how horrible French commercials are because of this strange breathy way they speak. Normally, I would never care to notice, nor comment, but this commercial just got me going from zero to sixty on the irritated scale with a rant on French commercial culture. No sooner than five minutes later, I hear Outkast’s “Hey Ya!” on the radio and I’m tearing up, thinking of all the wonderful memories I had in college and with my friends at university.
4. Extreme Hunger and Cravings
Well, I had heard about cravings, like pickles and ice cream at two in the morning. My mom had pica during her pregnancy with my twin set of brothers. I didn’t realize that this hunger is a type of hunger I’ve never felt before. This type of hunger is specific. It’s like a “If I don’t get something to eat right now – and not just anything mind you, the most complicated, difficult thing to find right now – then I was destroy a Japanese city like Godzilla!”
I remember I had to have Mexican food, but not just any Mexican food; a specific type of dish, with guacamole made just right, with spices that came from Mexico itself. We live in the French alps. Finding Mexican food isn’t nearly as simple as finding a taco joint in San Diego. I was beside myself with tears because I just had to have a fajita made just so or it would be the end of me and all humanity. Mr J, the fast actor, googled a Mexican restaurant in a neighboring village, got me in the car, and eating fajitas in record time. Let’s just say, he’s become an expert in food crisis management.
5. Slug Mode
I’m an active person. Reading, writing, working, managing my home and family. It’s all very natural for me to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Then, it seemed out of nowhere that there were days that my body was saying with a horrible sense of what felt like a hangover without any of the fun the night before, “Hold it right there! You’re on house arrest!” I’ve heard family and friends say, “Take it easy.” But I thought they meant, don’t go 100 miles an hour, instead go 50 miles an hour. I found myself going nowhere fast thanks to the nausea.
Just walking my dogs around the neighborhood was out of the question. Sitting at my work desk was an unsurmountable task. Even thinking about nothing was just too much work for me. So, there were days when I found myself on the lounger watching movies I’ve seen 50 times before. All I could muster was a shower, a change of clothes, and meals. I’d like to think my days are getting better and better, but I still find myself randomly crawling into bed in the middle of the afternoon to gather my strength to finish the day.