Apologies for the password-protected post. Don’t know how that happened!
Apologies for the password-protected post. Don’t know how that happened!
The pregnancy list is endless. You know the one – the list of things you should and should not do. The rate and frequency at which people dish out advice to pregnant women you would think we only started doing this yesterday. Here is a list of my most annoying and somewhat confusing list of banned items from the eyeballs of a pregnant woman:
Anti-depressants – the medical establishment cautions women on taking these medications because the effects on fetuses are yet to be determined. However if your doctor decides you are batshit crazy and need to keep you on the meds throughout your pregnancy the best they can do is monitor the fetus for abnormalities. They call it weighing the risks and benefits. Rock and a hard place.
Pain killers – same as above. I have been going to prenatal rehab to manage pain and recently got a TENS unit (or what I like to call, ‘the zapper’) which works wonders. You attach electrodes to your body and shoot bits of electricity into your system to intercept brain signals. Very sci-fi but it works for me. All in all, staying away from pain meds has been a healthy thing for me but I wonder about other women without options like mine. What a shitty 40 weeks it would have been if I did not have the kind of support I have now.
Alcohol – oh I could write a book about this one. Everyone knows taking drugs and drinking during pregnancy can pose risks to the fetus but the way people treat alcohol and pregnant woman borders on hilarity. Before the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome study came out, pregnant women drank and gave birth just fine. As soon as the study came out, shit hit the fan. You can’t even drink an O’Doul’s without the pregnancy police asking you questions. Despite the well-known fact that FAS is a rare syndrome that occurs with alcoholic mothers, and that an occasional drink is actually recommended for pregnant women to help with stress – and that it has shown to reduce ADHD in children, alcohol is still frowned upon in the United States. Personally the smell of liquor drives me insane at the moment and wine makes me pukey but I have come to enjoy a glass of sweet red now and then. In fact whenever I get upset and start to hyperventilate (remember I have anxiety and not on meds) Turtle makes me drink a glass of wine. IMO people need to reserve their judgment and leave pregnant women alone. Nine months is a long miserable time.
Soft cheese – this one makes me laugh. I don’t even know how this came to be. Somehow deli meats and cheese became a no-no due to bacteria that could infect the fetus. Okay, I get that there are germs and such but are we not inundated with these microscopic suckers? Are we not better off living in a bubble? As for me, there is no way I am giving up my Subway Italian BMT. No way.
Caffeine – lately women have been given some leeway with coffee. You can drink it but no more than a cup or two a day. I gave up caffeinated drinks when I got pregnant with the exception of my thrice weekly Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino or like I prefer to call it – my antidepressant. Two days ago I mentioned needing a cup of coffee to complete my errands and Turtle launched into a half-assed, half educated tirade of how coffee is bad for pregnant women. So I asked him why. His answer? It is bad for the baby. Nope. Wrong. Coffee is a stimulant and dehydrates the mother. Mom’s body is already working overtime and needs much more water than normal. Coffee just makes it work harder which stresses mom’s body out, which can lead to miscarriage in the first trimester. Now note – most of us are already halfway through first trimester, drinking, taking legal and illegal drugs before knowing we are pregnant. Somehow Mother Nature protects those little nuggets from all our crap.
Hot baths – I curse the god of joylessness for adding this on the list. I mean, for nine months all you have to look forward to are aches and pain and the almighty ring of fire during childbirth and now they say you can’t sit your achy ass in a bath tub. God is a man, I swear. To sidestep this I dip my body in a hot tub for 10 second sessions up to three or four times. I don’t buy all that boiling your fetus and crap but I still don’t want to play with fire. Wearing heels – whatever. As long as I can squeeze my feet into my pumps I am wearing them. In fact, my bucket list includes wearing 5-inch heels when I am 9 months. Try that for size superman.
Seafood – okay, the smell of seafood sends me into a tizzy. So far, my son has made it seafood and alcohol are some of the things he is not interesting in syphoning from my blood stream but banning seafood is just plain lunacy. Instead you are told to get your Omega 3s from a pill. This befuddles me. Mercury in seafood is bad for anyone. If you can tolerate it unpregnant, surely you can tolerate it pregnant.
Herbal teas, nutritional supplements – I totally ignore this one. I find it strange that the medical establishment tells you the benefits of supplements are not totally known but when you get pregnant, prenatals become mandatory. I don’t get it. They either work or they don’t. I have been faithful to my vitamins … the same ones I took before pregnancy along with more iron and DHA.
Too many calories – as if we can control this. Once you are preggers your body no longer belongs to you. You spend the first three months puking your guts out. Then the next few months not being able to poop. Then you have this overwhelming need to eat anything in sight. Who has time to measure calories? At this point, success is determined by a decent bowel movement, no annoying smells and odors, and no aches and pains.
Exercise – every woman is advised to eat well and exercise. I say eat what you can, as healthy as you can and stay away from any form of vigorous exercise unless you are one of those freakishly athletic people that can’t seem to stay away from exercise. A pregnant body is already working overtime making a human. Most women have low energy and fatigue and have no wherewithal to exercise but if and when you can, a 20-minute walk is basically all you need. Conserve the rest for manufacturing organs.
On a side note – yesterday, I found out that babies pee and sometimes poop in the womb. Gross. Some things are better left unknown.
On another side note – today is my official 20 week mark. Halfway to the finish line. Yay.
I hope you all had a wonderful Easter. I was on Facebook over the weekend it was amazing how many people got religion this weekend. I am not complaining. We don’t give Jesus enough credit for Easter. Easter bunny and eggs be damned.
Yesterday, Turtle and I watched a “Whitney” marathon. I have never been a fan of that show but hubby does not miss it. He claims it is an exact replica of our relationship….you know…normal guy marries crazy neurotic chick.
Lately all I have been doing is eat. I eat every two to three hours. And I am not gaining weight except around my middle. Before I got preggers, the smallest snack would send the needle on the scale hurtling towards oblivion. Not so anymore. I am pleased, but foraging for food all day can get daunting. Yesterday I had a big Waffle House breakfast after church around 9 a.m. then a bowl of pasta at 11:30 with a bowl of ice cream at noon, followed by a bowl of rice and stew at 2 p.m. then two cups of tea a half hour later, a few perogies an hour later then I went to bed at 4 p.m. (totally unexpected but at this point I have given up on rhyme or reason), woke up at 2 a.m. ate Haitian picklies and rice and stew, went back to bed, had two breakfast burritos at 8:30 this morning, then a tall mocha Frappuccino AND Subway sandwich for lunch. This will probably be followed by four cheese sticks before 3 p.m.
Foraging for food and sleeping is all I do. People say, ‘baby got to eat,’ I call bullshit. Baby is sucking me dry this is why I am eating like a horse and a cow. Thankfully, I have a good twenty pounds leeway until the end of this party so bring the nosh.
On another note, I have come to notice that childbirth in this country is one biiiiig deal. Back home, you get pregnant, you give birth, end of story. No major drama or production. Here, the minute you become a human incubator, everybody and their third cousin starts the drama. To be honest, procreating ain’t my favorite thing. In fact the entire thing freaks me out but nothing freaked me out more that people’s reaction. From the overly excited relatives to the intrusive colleagues. It does not make me angry because this is people’s way to saying they care about you….but I got to say, it was hard coming to terms with my own emotions with other people’s excitement getting in the way.
My sister-in-law is one of those super moms with super sweet, cute, and social kids. She sent me a text that told me to enjoy my pregnancy because it would go by so fast. Right when I was in the middle of my nausea-fatigue-ligament-pain-gas-costipation-i-want-to-kill-turtle phase. I love her to death but that was the last communication she would get from me regarding pregnancy. Some of us are not built to breed like rabbits and enjoy pregnancy. And I am not ashamed to say it. In fact, I am hell bent on staying away from those kinds of people.
I have been researching birth plans. I know, an oxymoron right? Well, I watched “The Business of Being Born” by Ricki Lake and was totally convinced the reason for my paranoia is the fear of the unknown. We all want the best but prepare for the worst so I have decided that as long as everything goes well, I will be doing natural birth. Yes. You all can start laughing now.
The first woman I told – a lady with two kids giggled and told me flat out, “don’t be a hero.” I agree. I like pain drugs. Who wants to suffer? But my research made me believe that interfering with nature has consequences. I have watched so many natural birth videos and none of these women were screaming or hollering in pain. They were in pain but they were in control and they took their time birthing their kids. I even saw one woman take a nap between contractions. No one was strapped to a bed with IVs everywhere, no one was given Pitocin to speed things up, no one was given epidurals to numb you (since Pitocin makes contractions longer and more intense), and no one was subsequently given a C-section because the baby got into trouble with all that accelerated squeezing. Childbirth in this country is scary, I tell you. It has been medicalized to ridiculousness. Hence my natural birth plan. Keep laughing. There is more.
As long as things go well, I will not be strapped to a bed. I will have no IV. I shall sit my ass in a warm tub and wait for my body to do the work. I already told Turtle, no matter how much I scream or cry, not to let me take pain meds. I got off all meds cold turkey. It would be hypocritical of me to end the whole thing with souped-up versions of what I could not have for nine months.
Keep laughing. I will need you all to cheer and clap for me when this is all over. And give me the medal of badassness too.