Monday, February 5, 2007

Curious Cravings

During the abhorred morning sickness phase of my first trimester, the #1 topic of conversation was whether I had any aversions to particular foods or smells. My typical answer was that everything smelled bad, and that I chose to eat foods based on whether I thought they might make me vomit (or make me want to). Furthermore, these perceptions were apt to change instantaneously, as something that might be completely edible one minute could immediately transform into the most repulsive offal I had ever laid eyes (or nose) on.


One evening I made Timothy take me to Red Robin because "the baby" [edit by Tim] wanted a California Chicken Burger. Things started out okay, but by the end of the meal, I never wanted to taste, smell, or see a California Chicken Burger ever again. Ever. To this day, the thought of a bacon-clad chicken breast smothered in mayo and guacamole makes me retch. Ugggh, the horror.

Now that morning sickness is in the distant past, the new question o' the day is, "So do you have any cravings?" I hate to disappoint, but I really don't think I've had what you'd consider to be an actual "craving". Sure, I want a pickle every now and then, but hey, I love pickles! I've always loved pickles! Does the fact that I want one now, while pregnant, suddenly make it a craving? I'm not convinced.

Nevermind the fact that one of my favorite pre-pregnancy pastimes was to rattle off a never-ending list of all the foods that sounded good to me at that very moment. That dialogue (okay, more like a soliloquy) would go something like this: "You know what I want right now? Pancakes... Ooh, or chicken fingers. With honey mustard. Or potato soup. Mmmm. Or spaghetti. Yeeeah, spaghetti. With meatballs. Nooo, barbecue ribs... And cole slaw. Or maybe..." This would continue indefinitely, or rather, until Timothy threatened dismemberment.

The closest thing to a craving that I would feel comfortable identifying is the recent preference for red meat as opposed to my pre-pregnancy predilection for poultry (how's that for alliteration?). My mom would say that the baby needs the iron from the meat and that is why my body is responding by craving a hamburger instead of a turkey burger. As usual, she's probably right...

And here's a little sumpin sumpin for you trivia lovers out there. I recently read about a medical condition called pica (pronounced pie-kuh), whereby a pregnant woman is driven to consume non-food substances that may be potentially harmful or even life-threatening. These unusual cravings extend from baking soda and clay to household goods like shoes and broomsticks. Allow me to share a brief excerpt from The Caveman's Pregnancy Companion: A Survival Guide for Expectant Fathers* by David Port and John Ralston:

"You hope what you witnessed was a hallucination. What you thought you saw defies logic: your woman stops in her tracks, glances this way and that, then furtively dips her hand into a ceramic planter, grabs a heaping helping of potted soil, shovels it into her mouth, chews, and swallows."

There is no empirical evidence thus far to indicate a specific cause for this weird behavior, but it has been connected to iron deficiency. In fact, this is the same condition that affects children who are compelled to eat "imaginary" mudpies or who can't keep the sand in the sandbox instead of their mouths.

So, based on that little tidbit, I don't think my "hamburger cravings" are anything to write home about. However, the first time that Timothy finds me on hands and knees in front of Murphy's dogfood bowl, I will be sure to let you know...

*This is a great book for expectant fathers that my mom gave to Timothy for Christmas. It takes a humorous approach to addressing the spousal relationship during pregnancy, providing "expert advice to guide the modern caveman through the prenatal wilderness". In fact, it may be more of a gift to the expecting mother than father, in that it covers such topics as :
  • all the key moments that partners are likely to face
  • never-fail massage techniques
  • simple workout routines the two spouses can pursue together
  • healthy recipes and cooking advice for dad 2B
It's a really great read for expecting parents and I highly recommend it.


leah said...

.....and I was worried about Elle Mae eating Murphy's food!!! Shame on you Sarah!!! :) By the way, I think I left Elle's food bowl can set it next to Murphys and ya'll can eat together!

Amy said...

Wow! Thanks for all the great props! I'm so glad that you guys are liking the book. It was so funny as I read about your burger craving I was thinking EXACTLY what you thought I would! Great minds think alike.
You look great and so does Mr. Murphy. How is the Tim man holding up? I would love to hear from him!

Auntie Rachel said...

I think of pregnancy cravings as odd combinations that make those of us that are not pregnant want to yak. For example, you desiring a pickle every now and again isn't peculiar, but if you wanted a pickle slathered in strawberry jam, that would certainly qualify.
My friend Toni, while pregnant, covered everything from raw potatoes to doritos in maple syrup. Let me know if any of those combinations sound appetizing.

grammy said...

Hey, it's GRAMMY and I'm "blogging". Love this thing, the articles, pictures, love it all. But poor Murphy, he's looking like his momma has lost it. Amy, you're a great book shopper because you got me one on Expecting Grandparent and I read it cover-to-cover; it was great. I'll have to admit though, the Suduko puzzle book was still the best. Love y'all