the worst pregnant lady ever — a sordid confession

I had to go on a little internet diet for a while there due to Reasons. (Explanation below, but first the short version for those who were worried.)

Still pregnant. 10w4d. Still shocked every day that I wake up and it hasn’t all gone to hell.

Last week I was a featured artist at a music festival. I committed to this almost a year ago, before we had even done the IUIs, and it never occurred to me that I might show up pregnant. Let me tell you, it was HARD. I did lots and lots of bad-pregnant-lady stuff to get through it. In fact I think I may be the Worst Pregnant Lady Ever, and if there is a live baby in my future I am quite sure he or she will come out shaking his or her tiny adorable fist at me.

If you’re still trying, be warned — there is some Ungrateful Pregnant Bitching and Moaning ahead. Were I in your shoes I would either click away or start pre-emptively rolling my eyes.

I have the easiest job in the world, which consists of sitting in a cubicle and making shit up.* So work isn’t super stressful, but while I was preparing to do the festival it was just about all I could handle to get my sorry ass to work, come home and practice. I think I said it in a previous post, but I didn’t know tired like this existed. I will be very interested to see (presuming we get there) how tired-because-newborn compares to tired-because-pregnant. I suspect they are quite different. So. Work, then lying on the couch trying to get up enough energy to practice, then bed. I was a Fun, Fun Lady for a few weeks there.

I did exactly what I needed to do to get through it, which included giving in to cravings and aversions, and eating things that I would not have believed possible a few months ago. Like, for instance, did you know that food comes in cans? As in, you don’t have to stand in the kitchen smelling all the food smells that used to be amazing and now are terrible, but can instead just tell your husband to open said can and heat up the contents? And did you know that sugar exists? Because for a few weeks there I was eating sweets like they were a new invention. This is deeply weird for me. I’m one of those sanctimonious make-it-from-scratch whole foods assholes, and that all went to hell when my nausea got bad. I couldn’t stand to be in the kitchen and I let a lot of perfectly good food spoil because I couldn’t bring myself to cook or eat it. So I sent my husband to the grocery store and he came back with things I would have rejected SO HARD before.

The Wise Internet says that the proper response to nausea is to ease into the day, not getting up too early, then to eat a wholesome breakfast consisting of whole grains and fresh fruit. After my lovely breakfast I am to do some appropriate low-impact exercise (yoga, or walking, or swimming). Either before or after the exercise I am to spend at least ten minutes quietly thinking about, or talking to, the fetus. Only after I have accomplished these things am I to go to work, where I am to take a walk at least once an hour.

Yeah, I didn’t do any of that.

I stayed in bed as much as possible, then ate frozen french fries and canned soup and apple slices and popsicles and cookies (so many cookies). For weeks. I am apparently four years old.

And that’s where the Bad Pregnant Lady stuff comes in.

  • Rolling out of bed for work? Check.
  • Processed food? Check.
  • Too much sugar? Check.
  • Not enough (OK, any) exercise? Check.
  • Inability to believe there is a live fetus in my uterus? Check.

And then I got to the festival.

Shockingly, my nausea did not magically go away just because I had to be on stage six times over the course of three days. (I know, right?)

So what did I do? I POUNDED diet ginger ale. Lovely fizzy gingery chemicals, settling my stomach right the fuck down and likely poisoning my fetus.

Then we got home and I felt a lot better. I’m hoping the worst of the nausea is over, and I even cooked twice this week (yay!), but then The Craving hit. It needs to be capitalized because it goes so far beyond any desire for food I’ve ever felt before.

All I could think about was Japanese food.

A Japanese restaurant just opened in our town,** which is amazing and delightful (“ethnic” food here means homestyle Italian and truly appalling “Chinese” buffet), and I want so much for them to NOT CLOSE DOWN. I have brought this up at least daily over the last week, and I know my husband is really ready for me to stop talking about cold soba and seaweed salad and pickled ginger. And sushi.

Lovely fresh clean delicious cool sushi.

I think you can see where this is going. We decided to go to dinner at said Japanese restaurant last night, and I called my doctor’s office to check on The Sushi Question. It seems people are divided on this, and of course no one in Japan stops eating sushi just because they’re pregnant (or so went my rationalization), so I thought it was worth a try to see what they would say. The nurse was frank: “We don’t recommend that you eat that.”

And we got to the restaurant and I ate it anyway.

I had two lovely, melt-in-your-mouth pieces of salmon sushi.*** It was quite possibly the most amazing thing I have ever eaten.

And now guilt has overtaken me. I am not sure if I am looking to be reassured, judged, or both — but these (the cookies, the processed food, the diet pop, the sushi) are the things I have done to get through the first 10 weeks.

Maybe I will be able to do better starting in week 11.

* Seriously. It’s totally bizarre. I got promoted from data-entry land to something more creative, and every once in a while I look up and say, “They’re paying me for this?”

** Strangely, the craving started before I knew about the restaurant. I got a flyer in the mail for this new place that was promising exactly what I wanted SO MUCH, and it was like mailing drugs to an addict.

*** I did check on mercury levels — salmon is supposedly one of the better ones.


11 responses to “the worst pregnant lady ever — a sordid confession

  1. Congrats on still being pregnant!

    Tired-because-newborn and Tired-because-pregnant are, at least for me, very different beasts. The latter at least you can take naps for.

    I took the same approach to soft cheese that you did to sushi — French women eat soft cheese while pregnant all the time. We’re not living in France but close enough. Both Gwen and I made it through just fine (and she had her first soft cheese herself a few days ago).

  2. Oh how I lve this post. Thanks for keeping it real! You have such a talent for writing and I smiled through the entire post.

    Now go get another cookie!

  3. It is strange, isn’t it? I am normally such a healthy eater, make everything from scratch, and have tons of veggies…but now all I want is boxed macaroni and cheese, sweets, and chips. I was on a big cookie thing for a week or so, but that seems to have vanished. Now I have all these cookies that I don’t want. And I haven’t been exercising either – at all.

  4. loved the honesty… no eye rolls here… I dont believe in that “poppycock” either.

  5. Um…all the bad things you’re doing? I do that as it is. Somehow, I honestly believe that my bad habits are going to turn themselves right around as soon as I (magically? miraculously?) become pregnant. Not so much, I guess.

  6. I’ve eaten sushi throughout my pregnancy. It’s super satisfying – high protein, easy to digest, clean flavors. I avoid big fish (like tuna) for mercury reasons, but I did that before being pregnant. 🙂 My ob says just make sure it’s fresh.

    I had food aversions around 10-14 weeks – ate tons of fruit and not much else. Second trimester gets more normal. 🙂

  7. Go easy on the pregnant lady! Woman, you are doing SO WELL! I remember that pretty much all I ate in T1 were starches. There may have been some cucumber and some juice thrown in for good measure. But starches – and not the whole grain kind (and I am very much of the sanctimonious food asshole ilk). I think I also ate lunch meat on a few occasions, which is a big no-no apparently.
    From what I experienced, I say do what you need to survive until you feel well enough to eat more variety. And I like what Brave IVF girl said about her sushi consumption. I think the risk, if you chose your source carefully, is quite minimal.
    SO HAPPY to read that your pregnancy is going well. Smiling from ear to ear.

  8. HA! I was imagining heroin on the tourbus. I don’t know what internet you’re reading, but mine said “do whatever it takes to get through the rough parts.” For me, that included burger king veggie burgers (OH MY GOD SO DISGUSTING!) and french fries with Bun Bun, and lots and lots of doughnuts with Bunlet, and with both, in the second half of T3, Very Small Cocktail Hour on Friday afternoons.
    I’m so happy you’re still pregnant, and that you got promoted!!!!! Fabulous! Fantastico!

    Did you have a 9w ultrasound? Did you get to see a human-looking fetus moving around?

  9. I’ve done about 90% of this too! Very very glad to hear I’m not alone! And 10w3d here too.

  10. Have more cookies! We only get so many free passes for cookie eating in life.

  11. I’m lying here on couchrest after my third IVF transfer and I just found your blog.
    I hope this isn’t too forward of me but after reading a few months of entries, it’s safe to say I think you’re fucking great.

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