More Complaints about the Blessings of the First Trimester

If it isn’t enough that Mother Nature cursed most of us the need to empty our stomachs of all nutrition the first trimester, she blessed us with a few extra treats.  Like bone-deep, night-of-the-living-dead exhaustion.

I once read a theory that said that women were sick and tired in the beginning of pregnancy because it made them take better care of themselves as though they truly were sick.  I think I would prefer a coma instead.  I don’t know one mother who is able to baby herself when pregnant.  Maybe someone rich with a nanny, cook, and maid, but that’s not us.

I don’t remember being this tired with my other two pregnancies.  But I could have been.  With Tornado E, I was doing my time as an opening cashier at Home Depot.  (Ah the job opportunities for those blessed with a creative writing degree.)  Every morning I was up around 5 am to make it to work.  I’m not a morning person, and it was hard on me.  When I was pregnant with Tornado S, Tornado E was waking up in the middle of the night to cry, plead, and beg until he was in bed with us.  I gave in every night to find myself kicked, punched and shoved towards the end of my bed.  See, my pregnancy exhaustion could easily be cloaked by my every day exhaustion.

I do remember Tornado E watching more television in those early pregnancy weeks than any other time.  It’s happening today.  I feel like a horrible mother as I lay on the couch, trying to keep down breakfast, trying to get the energy to dress the boys as they slowly become television zombies.  My one shred of hope is that this is just a drop in the bucket in the large scheme of things, and I actually do pretty well with lack of sleep and a newborn.  (Knock on wood.)  It doesn’t ease the guilt though, so I usually drive them to my parents house so that my brother, the favorite Uncle M, can run them out in games of tag, wrestling,  hide-n-go-seek, swimming, soccer, and every thing else a favorite uncle can do when Mommy is just too weak.

And if that isn’t enough to feel like you just drank a bottle of Nyquil and that your breakfast would like to make an encore appearance, I have this horrible taste in my mouth.  It’s like something foul crawled in mouth and died in the back of my throat.  It makes me sick just to think about it.

I remember walking behind an MA at an appointment when I was pregnant with Tornado E.  She asked how I was doing.  “The usual.  Sick.  Tired.  Hey, I have this horrible taste in my mouth that I can’t get rid of . . . ?”  “Oh.  Lots of patients complain about that.”  Thanks that was so very helpful.

I found that cheap breathe mints, wintergreen flavor, was the only thing that kept the taste at bay.  I chewed on them constantly for a month or two in the other pregnancies.  This pregnancy, between the vomiting and dry heaving, my stomach is so tender it hates the thought of breathe mints.  I’m chewing on ice instead.

My prayers now end with “And Dear God, if it is in Your infinite wisdom, please get me the HELL out of the first trimester tomorrow.  Even if it isn’t in Your infinite wisdom, release me, I beg of you.  Make me horribly fat in the first week of the second trimester.  Give me swollen feet.  I’ll deal with stretching ligaments, pimples, even a few extra stretch marks.  JUST GET ME WELL.  For the boys, of course, so they have a better mother.  Amen.”

Well, it’s only a few more weeks.  Right?

But then my mother says I’m “dwelling” on it which makes it worse.  Right.

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So Afternoons are better

I was so upset that Tornado E wasn’t in the morning class.  So upset.  Disappointed.  Worried.  Frustrated.  Anxious.  The kid needs naps, and I would inevitably kill him when he threw one too many fits over something silly like being made to eat something for dinner or stopped from hitting his brother.  That’s why I got a replacement kid on the way.

But I think Someone was looking out for me.  Because we’re taking mornings slow.  I’m nursing my tea, watching the news; while they are destroying the house with toys.  They’re watching way too many cartoons as I shower and resettle my stomach, praying that breakfast will stay down.  Unlike previous pregnancies, breakfast is staying down.  Most days.

Note: Rice Krispies not as good the second time.  Not so good at all.

But if we had to race to school to get there at 8 in the morning, which seemed like a breeze just two months ago, I would be retching in the public trash can outside Tornado E’s class room, wearing Depends as my stomach has to eject every last crumb from my body.

So I owe You a Thank you.  And (as usual) an Apology.  (As usual) You gave me what I needed, not what I wanted.  Though this does not make up for “That thing,” I’m still pissed off about that.

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Ravages of Morning Sickness

I don’t know how it’s possible, but I forgot how horrendous the first trimester was.  The Confused Housewife told me it’s like war, you have memories but it’s not the same as being there.  And she’s right.

With Tornado E, I puked in the mornings, about an hour after I arrived at work.  It became painfully obvious to the head cashiers that I was in the family way.  One morning I puked three times before I even made it to my car to drive to work.  I called in sick.  Baja style tacos were not Tornado E’s friends, and the little punk would make me sick throughout the pregnancy if I didn’t have enough fruits and vegetables to satisfy him.  Also I learned later on, to never go to bed on a full stomach.  Oh, the horror.

It was in this pregnancy I learned that morning sickness was questioned.  The day I called in sick, The Husband came home with his new theory: “Morning Sickness is in your head.”  I think it is pretty obvious that I’m a saint because he’s still alive today and was left alive to say several more just as stupid comments in the first trimester.  (That’s another post.)  I’ve posted before about an older book questioning it, but imagine my horror when I recently picked up my copy of What to Expect When Expecting to read the same asinine comment.

“The fact that morning sickness is more common and tends to be more severe in first pregnancies supports the concept that both physical and psychological factors are involved. . . .  Emotionally, those pregnant for the first time are more likely to be subject to the kinds of anxieties and fears that can turn a stomach; whereas women in subsequent pregnancies may be distracted from their nausea by the demands of caring for older children.”

Naptime Writing, if you want to jump in the car to bash this person’ brains out, I’ve got the car filled with gas and ready to go.

When I was pregnant with Tornado S, I vomited so much that Tornado E would stand just behind me pretending to puke too.  When we were visiting my family, my dad and brother got a real kick of watching Tornado E pretend to vomit outside a close door.  Lovely.  I was sicker longer with Tornado S than I was with Tornado E, moving straight into the second trimester.  I didn’t gain weight two months in a row, worrying my doctor (who never mentioned his worry until everything was fine).  I also learned I got car sick in the first trimester.

Now I’m pregnant with this one.  I’m not throwing up as often, but I’m nauseas most of the day.  Just spitting out toothpaste makes me dry heave.  I’m calling it “progesterone poisoning” from The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy.  This little “sickness” isn’t regulated to the morning, and as The Husband finally realized, there’s nothing to make a woman feel better.  Each cure works optionally for each woman or even each day.  Yesterday tortillas worked; today it’s fried chicken.  It doesn’t matter.  It’s just trying to find out which is the enemy of the day.

So to answer your question Bad Mommy Moments, yes, I am sick.  I’m sick like a dog.  I’m wondering why I got myself into the mess.  And damn it, where’s my pizza?

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It’s all about nothing

Where do I start?

It was a better day today.  Since breakfast and lunch were digested normally.  The cure today was tortillas.  Yummy, fresh from the factory here in town tortillas.  Yup.  I have a lot of weight to gain if I want to hit the 200 mark again.

But then I did something disastrous.  I brushed my teeth.  While it’s a pain in the ass to feel like your doing your day under the influence of Nyquil, it’s easier than wondering when, what, and how much you’re going to hurl.  And we had to go to Costco or else I would be sewing diapers from rags tomorrow.

My parents took the opportunity to spend quality time with the boys and me, and it provided the perfect opportunity to annoy and perhaps embarrass their youngest offspring at work.  Not to mention, they needed to make a return.  My parents are very efficient this way.

As my mother made the return, my dad took over the pushing duties, giving the boys a tour of toys, Christmas stuff (Is any one else slightly disturbed by the fact Christmas stuff is out?), Halloween treats, and costumes.  My dad took great delight in trying to convince the boys that they should be Snow White or Cinderella.  That made it so much easier for my mom to find us by following the screams of protest.  After that, I took the wheel so that we could be finished before closing.

My mom’s big plan was to kidnap my children and send me home to rest and clean.  But the fatal flaw in her plan was that she bought me a pizza.  I had been craving one the day before, hoping that my baby brother had not demolished the Sunday one.  (Yes, my parents go to Costco every Sunday and always pick up a pizza.  One doesn’t understand why the baby brother waits until Sunday when he could buy one any day of the week.)  Unfortunately my other little brother had been there, and he HAD demolished the pizza to fulfill the ultimate desire for meat that he lovingly sacrificed for his bride.  Yesterday my mom had tried to satisfy my craving by offering a piece of cheese and bread, since those were ultimately what I wanted.  Yeah.  I laughed too.  I wish I could go back in time and offer her a glass of milk during her daily ice cream sundae cravings.

So I sat munching on pizza as my mom whisked the boys to bed after they nibbled on their lunch.  I listened to my dad rail about the problems of a nagging wife, a non-listening son, and the fears that my mother’s sister and husband would want to join us on the Alaskan cruise in 2011.

After an hour, I found my eye lids dropping, realizing it wasn’t safe to drive home.  Since the boys were in my old bed, the other guest bed was stripped, I curled up on my parents bed to promptly go to sleep.

But I am blessed and cursed with the ability to sense when someone enters the room I’m sleeping in.  No matter how deep I sleep (and I assure, I sleep deep), I wake up if some one just pokes his/her head into the door.  I think it’s to make sure that if some crazy serial killer enters the room, he won’t be able to wrap his fingers around my throat while I sleep.  Instead I’ll be able to grab the phone or lamb and bash his head.  It also comes in handy when The Husband tries to insist he came home at midnight instead of 2:30 when the bars closed.

So my parents walked in and out of their room numerous times, but I played dead, knowing that if the boys woke, my parents would take care of them.  By the time I woke for good, I was in no hurry to run home and back.  Instead I watched the farming channel with my dad who is obviously suffering from a late mid-life crisis as he learns all about owning his own farm.  Then my mom and I watched Dr. Phil, and I was able to congratulate myself on being an excellent parent as Tornado S snuggled up to me.

So basically that was my day.  Oh, and some one else cooked me dinner.  So what did you do?  (And damn I can write a lot about nothing.)

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Words of Wisdom: Morning Sickness

My mom owns the Better Homes and Garden Baby Book, published in 1943.  I am always quite interested about . . . let’s call it Modern History.  I am amazed how much our society has changed in sixty/fifty years.  My favorite example is my copy of a reprinted Betty Crocker Cookbook, where in the back it suggests lying on the kitchen floor to take a quick nap with a cartoon illustration of a woman actually lying on the kitchen floor as though she passed out from the wrong cleaning fumes.  It’s hilarious.  So far I have only skimmed the first part of the book, and I would like to share one of my favorite passages.

 

Although one-half to two-thirds of all expectant mothers have experienced nausea, especially in the first months of pregnancy, doctors today feel that much of the morning sickness in early pregnancy stems from a psychological rather than physical cause.  They believe that it results from the deep emotions that are aroused when a woman becomes aware that she is pregnant.  Some doctors think, too, that the fact that many women expect to be nauseated and vomit when they’re pregnant may account for “morning sickness.” (pg 39)

 

Now you can understand why I am filled with deep emotions when I read this as I am not sure whether to laugh or cry.  I can guarantee you that my morning sickness was not due to a psychological cause but that for some reason I couldn’t keep anything down for several months and that fetus Tornado E despised Baja-style tacos.  Since my mother and my grandma never had morning sickness (which I do believe just shows that life is just unfair and this is not genetic), I did not expect to have morning sickness.  But I had it in abundance, getting worse with Tornado S’s pregnancy.

 

Obviously the passage was written by a man and those “doctors” were men too.  Before you think we’ve moved on, let me assure you my husband came home one day to tell me that he thought my morning sickness was all in my head.  That my husband is alive today is a testament to my sainthood.  Please let the Vatican know.

 

I find it crazy that one-half to two-thirds of pregnant women were blatantly ignored, brushed over, disregarded over their feelings, their vomiting.  Heck, when they noticed that one-eighth (not a meager one-half) of men become prematurely bald, researchers were falling all over themselves to find out why, when, how, and a goddamn cure.  So where’s my goddamn cure?  (Sorry, I’m getting a little carried away.  Just wait until I return to the throws of morning sickness.) 

 

Today researchers believe that morning sickness is caused by the increased amount of hormones in the body.  Research shows no good evidence that morning sickness is in the head.  Many nurses will gleefully tell you that morning sickness is a sign that the baby is developing well.  My doctor assured me it was a good sign without the glee probably because I would not except the glee from anyone with a pair of testicles without a good kick to them.

 

It’s just nice to have a laugh once in a while at what used to be.

 

However if you’re experiencing this discomfort, it would be hard for anyone to convince you that you’re imagining things. (pg 39)

 

No shit.  It’s sort of like someone telling you that your broken arm is all in your head even though the arm is hanging crooked.

 

 

 

To be continued  . . . With words of wisdom of loosing baby weight.

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