Monday, April 9, 2007

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Wk 6: PREGNANCY)

June 7, 2005

A pregnant woman complaining about her symptoms is like a bride complaining about wedding details as she marries the love of her life. Or a millionaire complaining that he can't decide what to do with his money.

After all, morning sickness means you are pregnant. A month ago, I would have paid money to live with my head in the toilet, if it meant a baby was on the way.

Okay, maybe those women unexpectedly pregnant deserve some sympathy: the one who just started law school, or who already has three kids under the age of five, or isn't on speaking terms with the baby's father. But I don't fall into any of those categories, and I've been yearning for a second pink line far too long to gripe about anything.

So as I describe what is happening to my body, it is more of a record than a complaint.

Marbles in My Bra

I thought I knew what it felt like to have sore boobies. I'm one of those women who has to avoid staircases the week before my period. A little achiness never hurt anyone, right?

Well, a week ago I learned what sore can really be. It feels like someone dumped a jar of marbles into my bra. Better yet, jagged rocks. In addition to the added volume which Tom noticed before I did, the slightest brush against my breasts has me whimpering. Learning how to fall asleep without lying on my stomach has been tough.

Immune System is on Vacation

Before I even knew I was pregnant, my body made way for the new parasite by lowering my immune system. This is supposed to prevent my body from rejecting the fetus.

It also prevents my body from rejecting things like colds, bronchitus, and sinus infections. Three weeks ago, my throat began to ache. "I'll get some extra sleep," I thought to myself, "and it will go away as usual." A couple of days later, I could hardly breathe for all my congestion. A week later, I couldn't laugh without sputtering into a hacking, mucus-filled cough. Here I am two weeks later taking antibiotics for a sinus infection.

I can't remember the last time I was sick, not to mention with an infection big enough for antibiotics.

What Did I Do Last Night?

Smack in the middle of my sinus infection, morning sickness hops on board. It hasn't been too bad. So far the only thing I've tossed is a popsicle. But I carry with me a constant queasiness. I feel... hungover.

Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs!

As somewhat of a health nut, I'd prided myself in advance for what a great eater I'd be while pregnant. No refined sugars, no simple carbohydrates-- just my locally-made bread with a slew of vegetables and the occasional chicken dish.

Yet my whole grain bread seems suddenly too dense. I cringe at the thought of meat or vegetables. All I want is white bread, pasta, potatoes, and sugar cereal. As someone who believes that the body tells you what it needs, I'm confused by these cravings. So I googled "vegetable aversion pregnancy" and found I'm not alone. Interesting reading, actually.

At any rate, I've decided that right now eating whatever I can stomach is okay. Last night, I had an overwhelming desire to eat Cocoa Puffs. Overwhelming. Off to the store I went for the sugar bombs.

I hardly recognize myself.

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