I really intended to write on the first month of my pregnancy earlier this week, but every time I sat down at the computer I had a hard time taking my spoon out of my mouth long enough to type...then I fell asleep at the keyboard...sort of. It just wasn't working out. Not much of life works out too well for me in the first four weeks after that pregnancy test shows two pink lines.
You'd think by the fifth time around I'd be able to do pregnancy in my sleep, and I probably could if I didn't have four other children to take care of, plus little things like laundry and shopping and cooking. Then again it's hard to sleep when you have to visit the refrigerator and the bathroom at least bi-hourly.
I began to have an inkling that I might be expecting again when Matt and I sat down to watch a movie on his computer and the smell of the kettle corn, which I normally love, turned my stomach, but I had no problem devouring half a bag of "hint of lime" corn chips. Then I began waking with a familiar mixture of horrific hunger and nausea. That's pretty much a dead give-away since virus-induced nausea erases all memory of appetite from my mind.
Pregnancy-hormone-induced nausea is more of an oversized, blood-shot-eyed, fang-bearing ogre wrenching my stomach and screaming in between slobbers, "Feed me! FEED ME NOW!" And I've found that if I feed him as many calories as possible he may just release his nauseating grip for a few minutes of reprieve, before the next feeding. The real trouble is that he's a very picky eater. There are only certain foods he will accept and these change from hour to hour. As his horrific grip tightens and his slobbering shrieks wring in my ears I find myself acting in a manner I would otherwise consider utterly insane.
Never, never would I have imagined that I would put all four children in the van and drive to the grocery store at lunch time so I could buy gluten-filled frozen pizzas to eat right in front of their celiac eyes. Don't worry though, feeling horribly guilty I bribed them off by renting "Tangled" at the Red Box and letting them watch it instead of doing school work that day. They were quite pleased with their side of the deal.
"Mommy, why are you making chicken noodle soup at nine-o'clock in the morning?" Naomi began asking. All I could answer was, "Because mommies do very strange things when they have a baby growing inside of them." She has since learned not to ask.
The other problem with all of this ogre-appeasing behavior is the sudden, utterly inappropriate weight gain. Some women lose weight from nausea, some gain the appropriate three pounds, I struggle to keep it under ten. Matt takes all this in stride. He kindly turns a blind eye to my new-found insanity, but he doesn't offer any aid to my cause either. I learned a few pregnancies ago that asking him to run to the store for ogre food would only win a round of laughter. I have to go myself, but he doesn't stop me.
Then there was the morning I had to take Emma in to the hospital for an early morning EEG. I was up at 5:00am just as Matt got home from work. Unfortunately his choice for dinner was microwaved Pad Thai and the smell sent me reeling. I opened the front door wide and stuck my head into the frosty morning air, panting like a dog, but it didn't help. I grabbed Emma from bed and put her in the van, hoping that just getting out of the house would help. But the nausea only grew as we entered the hospital. I tried to hide my misery from the technician, but just in the middle of the test, when we were supposed to be still and quiet, I had to run for the attached bathroom and lost everything I'd eaten for the last day or so. Upon returning home I had to take the trash out and scrub the microwave and kitchen spotless to ensure removal of every remaining molecule of Pad Thai.
It's hard for me, being sick and insane. I'm much more used to feeling generally well and level-headed. Thankfully, much of the initial hormone onslaught is leveling off now and the ogre has shrunk more to the size of an incessantly yapping poodle. Sometimes I have to appease the thing to get it to shut up, but sometimes I can ignore it. I'm looking forward to regaining control of my mind, especially as my body becomes more and more devoted to growing a new little person. My friends at the grocery store may miss me, but I think my family is ready to welcome me back.