Sunday, December 31, 2006

Little Known Facts

Pregnancy has brought about a whole slew of random symptoms, some of which have come as quite a surprise. Here are three* of the things I never knew about pregnancy:

1. "Morning" sickness my...

Whomever named this side effect
is guilty of gross underexaggeration and has obviously never been pregnant. The "morning" modifier, in my experience, is hardly adequate to describe the "all dayness" of the nausea that accompanies the first three-ish months of pregnancy. My queasy stomach does not seem to distinguish morning from mid-morning from afternoon from night. Nope, it's pretty indiscriminate, this stomach of mine. So, basically, to satisfy the wrath of my angry tummy, I have been eating all day (and sometimes all night), attempting to strike the delicate balance between the slightly hungry need to feed the beast immediately to quell the unpleasant "I think I gotta barf" feeling, and the overfed the beast because eating makes me feel better so I didn't want to stop and now I'm so full "I think I gotta barf" feeling.

FYI - There have been a few things that have helped me to cope with the unpleasantness of morning sickness. I found that the standard (and starchy) morning sickness cures like saltines and ginger snaps did very little to soothe my rebelling belly. I always thought I was a carb-craver, but apparently the baby is more into proteins. One of the things I find very useful are cheddar cheese sticks, which I typically eat before bedtime and in the middle of the day. I also respond well to citrus fruits, or even candies disguised as citrus fruits - the more sour the better. I also discovered Preggo Pops (a Christmas gift from my mom and sis) - yummy suckers that come in a wide variety of flavors (including lavendar and ginger). Sounds like a scam, but works!!

2. Air Supply

Our friend Margaret from Philly had explained to me that, although she somehow avoided the whole morning sickness thing, she was "allergic to being pregnant". In fact, I myself had noticed a vast increase in the number of sneezes that seemed to occur since becoming pregnant. I never really had a problem with allergies, but chalked it up to changing hormones combined with living in the notoriously allergen rich region of Northwest Arkansas. Turns out it's probably due to a little condition called rhinitis of pregnancy. Who knew?

I also noticed increased fits of loud and embarrassing hiccups. Apparently many pregnant women experience this, although there seems to be little empirical evidence to explain why it happens. Most likely due to the wacked out digestive system during pregnancy. Some woman was so annoyed by this that she developed some creepy gimmicky device that is supposed to help, cleverly named the "Hic-Cup".

In addition to these oddities, there are other unmentionable air-emission related issues that one might face while pregnant. And although most men seem to suffer from said ailments on a daily basis, we'll just further description to your imagination.

3. Hey Freud...

The elevated frequency and bizarreness of my dreams has been another interesting occurrence. Most mornings I wake up feeling like I spent the night in a Stephen King novel. For example, here is a detailed synopsis of a doozy I had last week:

Enter scene.

Scene begins as many of my dreams do. I'm at school - some random combination of images from junior high, high school, and college- where I am late for class because I can't remember my locker combination (a variant of my typical school dreams, where I'm either naked, don't know my schedule, can't find the classroom, or didn't do my homework).

I run frantically down the hall towards my classroom and step through the door to find myself in a small, residential bathroom. To the right is a bathtub, where the water is running and the shower curtain is partially drawn back to reveal a large tree branch that is jutting out into the room, barring further entry. Perched upon a small branch in front of me is a small green lizard who appears to be taking a nap. I glance into the half-filled tub and see a large and quite ugly green frog flailing about in the water. "Eww", I thought, "these guys need to be outside." So I reach into the water and seize the frog, holding him at arm's length for fear that he will pooh on my school clothes.

I walk through the unfamiliar house towards the back door. As I step onto the patio, I recognize my parents' yard, although it is in no way similar to what their yard actually looks like. I also notice that a torrential downpour is just subsiding but has left about six inches of rainwater (swarming with minnows and various other water-inhabiting creatures, I should add) covering the entire backyard. From under the shelter of an overhang, I gently toss the frog towards the grass so as not to get soaked. I miscalculate and the frog lands on the hard patio. I panic, thinking I killed the little guy, so I reach for a long stick and attempt to prod him with it until he shows some sign of life. I stop prodding for a moment to wave at the neighbors who have stepped out onto their porch. When I look back, I see that the "dead" frog has moved from his spot on the patio to the top of a nearby rock, where he is holding a casual conversation with another frog about the unusual weather we are having today. About the time I realize that I am witnessing not one, but two talking frogs, my bladder finally succumbs to the pressure of all the water references and I awaken to my dark, rain-free bedroom.

P.S. This account is totally true and accurate. I did not embellish a single detail of the predescribed dream sequence.

*Oh, and one more bonus "factoid" that you may want to file under the Old Wives Tale category:

If a pregnant woman does not eat whatever food she craves at the time she craves it, the baby's face will resemble said food's shape.

Better safe than sorry, right ladies?

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