Worst. Superpower. EVER.

Like many people out there, I read a lot about pregnancy before I actually endeavored to become One of the Pregnant. I tried not to limit myself to just technical manuals or medical websites though. It only takes a cursory glance around the internet to find tons of women all saying something along the lines of, “Whaaaa? Is this normal? Nobody ever told me about this!” So obviously all of those technical manuals and medical websites seem to be leaving out a lot of important information. So I increased my range to include the many women who have endeavored to write about their personal experiences and the experiences of others in their lives.

One of the things I always seemed to read about on those sorts of informal sites was the increase in the woman’s sense of smell. Like all the other neat facts I read I gave a sort of, “Huh. That’s interesting,” remark and filed the knowledge away for later. But now… Now that it’s happening to me, I feel like I’ve been sort of mislead.

For me at least, it’s not just that my nose has gotten better. Oh no. My nose has turned me into the next Daredevil-esque superhero except instead of using my powers to stop crime I just use them to know when the meat in the deli case at my supermarket is starting to go bad. You know that phrase, the nose knows? Well my nose knows. It knows EVERYTHING.

I guess this wouldn’t be an intrinsically bad thing if my stomach was acting normal. If good smells still smelled good to me and I only reacted negatively to the bad smells, this would almost be cool. But no. My nose has conspired with my stomach to turn against me and fill my life with a never-ending parade of nausea and disgust.

If I walk into the apartment and Red is cooking something to eat there is a 8/10 chance that the smell will cause me to bolt to the bathroom, holding my shirt over my nose as if I were escaping toxic fumes. This is true even if Red were cooking something that not two days prior was my favorite thing to eat. It makes no difference now. My nose smells it all and it wants nothing to do with it.

I actually had to enact a “No Cooking Between the Hours of 12:00am and 8:00am” rule because of this. While I’m sure this isn’t something most people have to worry about, Red has something of a “Third Shift” sleep schedule which means that when Matt and I first wake up in the morning we’re catching Red as he goes to sleep for the day. He tends to wake up around 7 or 8 pm and stays up through the night. Normally this isn’t a problem but with my new superpowers comes great inconvenience (just like Uncle Ben used to say).

I had been in bed, completely asleep when I woke up from the most noxious smell EVER. I could smell the stove being on along with a weird chicken smell and a starchy smell. As my stomach began writhing with unhappiness within me I tried my best to ignore it and go back to sleep. The smell took a sharp turn for the worse and it got so bad that even Matt woke up and asked me what the hell he was smelling.

I finally stumbled out of bed, mentally repeating the mantra of all nauseous pregnant women everywhere, “Don’t throw up. Don’t throw up. Don’t throw up. Oh please, Powers Above, don’t let me throw up.” I opened the door to the kitchen, startling Red as I asked, “What the HELL are you cooking?”

“Food?”

I managed to resist the urge to be a really cranky bitch and said, “What kind of food?”

Chicken and rice was the answer which had just seconds before accidentally boiled over onto the burner creating the more satanic of the smells. I stumbled back to bed but the damage was done. I spent the next five hours laying in bed (and at the worse parts, on the floor by the toilet) wishing for sleep and wondering why there was a brief, secondary Stink Blast that literally smelled as if Red was trying to cook his own farts (cabbage. He added cabbage to his meal because WHY NOT).

The next day was when I enacted my Martial Law. It’s just a shame all my cats are little anarchists that don’t give a damn about any requests I make on behalf of my nose.

The worst offender if Fang-A-Lang. Because of her weird jaw stuff she has a really weird way of cleaning herself. Basically, as she grooms her fur she drools all over herself and by the time she’s done she looks as if we pushed her into a bathtub full of water or sprayed her with the hose. But instead of water its cat spit. Strangely pungent cat spit.

I’m certain that the reeking smell I get from her is a result of my supernose and not an actual medical problem she has because everyone else says she just kind of smells like damp cat. But to me… Well let’s just say that she has been experiencing a sharp decrease in the amount of time she gets to spend in my lap.

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“You know what I say to that, hooman? PBBBTTTHHHHH”

 

Inconvenience aside, it is pretty cool to think of the origin of this nose power. I’ve read a lot of different things that speculate that pregnant women gain this ability to smell whether anyone in the room isn’t wearing deodorant (gag) comes from a ye olde need to be able to better tell if the food they were eating was spoiled or not. Since food poisoning is dangerous for even the strongest among us it makes sense that a pregnant woman’s body would try REALLY hard to make sure she doesn’t succumb to something like that now that she has to worry about the health and well-being of the new tiny life inside her.

So in a way, my nose is doing exactly what nature intended and even though it is greatly contributing to my inability to eat 90% of the foods I used to love, I still appreciate it looking out for me and my baby. Carry on, nose. Keep up the good work.

Feelin’ Gross and Glad

OH EM GEE. It feels like it’s been roughly 20 years since I actually sat down to try to write something for this. I’m imagining the booing and hissing now but in my defense I have a really good excuse.

Now before you start throwing the internet’s version of spoiled cabbages and tomatoes at me let me explain. I have been nauseous as all get out for the last two weeks. And I mean BAD nausea. Technically very little throwing up but the feeling has been like a black cloaked specter, lurking behind me at every moment, waiting to grab me and make me barf. Just… waiting…

Naturally eating has become a hell-chore from the great beyond because my stomach is refusing more than a picky two year old who only eats bread crumbs. The majority of my time has been spent either in bed or trying to steel myself up for those times when I absolutely HAVE to go somewhere (though upon my return I’m usually so drained I pass out once again). So you can see why sitting at a desk and making words on the computer machine has lacked appeal lately. But I’m still here trying now because I really miss writing and I want to try to power through this.

Technically, as I’m sitting here now, I still don’t feel well (and am fighting the urge to go back to bed) but it’s all good. I’ve already seen a doctor and the cause of the sickness is clear:

That second line is faint but it's still there!

That second line is faint but it’s still there!

YUP! Matt and I are officially expecting our first kid! I’m only about 7 1/2 weeks along currently with a due date of July 1st. I’m really happy and excited for this but oh god has my anxiety also been doing a number on me about all of this.

I originally didn’t want to tell anyone outside of immediate family until I had had my first prenatal appointment but once Matt found out he had a happy-crying-hysterical laughing breakdown at work and told EVERYONE. I was getting phone calls from friends who were like, “Is what Matt posted all over the internet true? Are you pregnant?” I had to do a mad scramble to call grandparents and other family members to make sure they found out from me before they read Matt’s post. Some of them are very persnickety and I knew I’d never live it down if they found out from a Facebook post.

Some of my friends were surprised I said anything about it before the first trimester is over, citing an old superstition that it’s bad luck. Which meant I got to explain that that particular superstition only came about because if a woman did miscarry in her first trimester then she wasn’t supposed to tell anybody because it would just be so “shameful” for her to have to share such a “failure” with other people and that by waiting for that super risky time to be over, it spared her from having to do such an “embarrassing” thing.

I think that is total Bull Shit.

I’m glad it’s not as prevalent as it once was but it still surprises me that there are people who would rather keep something like that to themselves. I personally have been so excited about being pregnant that the thought of not telling people is like torture to me plus I have been feeling so sick and weak that if people didn’t know I was pregnant they would be a lot less caring or helpful with me since I have basically morphed into a more pathetic slug.

And if (heaven forbid) I did have the unfortunate luck of losing this baby (trying not to think about that) I’d rather have an extensive support system of friends and family and other people who love me to be there for me and help me through instead of feeling like I have to be an isolated sad-sack, alone in my grief because it would be “shameful” to admit to such a tragedy.

I dunno, everyone grieves differently and if the thought of telling all your friends and family makes you feel devastated I’m not one to judge. It just wouldn’t work at all for me.

But to talk about happier news, my first prenatal appointments went pretty well. The first one had the unfortunate hiccup of when our doctor went to do a first ultrasound, she couldn’t find any sign of the embryo. Not really something you want to hear when you’re already on pins and needles from nerves.

I’m pretty sure our doctor is kind of new at this (from what I’ve read and chatted with her) so I can kind of forgive her for failing her Comfort check when she told me that even if this pregnancy didn’t “work out” it wouldn’t mean the next one wouldn’t. I just stared at her in horror thinking, “I don’t want to be thinking that I’m gonna need to have a ‘next one’ right now! I want this one to work!” I was really close to advising her to write down that phrase in a big book labeled, “Things I Should Only Say if I Want to Terrify My Patients.”

So we had a secondary ultrasound scheduled for a little more than a week later to let everything grow and I got to go to a different location that had a fancier machine and dedicated ultrasound techs.

My tech was an elderly, stoic German woman with short red hair and a wonderfully blunt way of phrasing things. Once she had the wand in position the first thing she said was, “Well the good news is that you have a healthy alive baby, so there’s that.” Turns out I’m just earlier along in my pregnancy than previously thought by about 10 days. But at that secondary u/s we got to see the flicker of a heart beat (137 BPM which she said was good) and a very well defined embryo and yolk sac. (Also did you know that they can tell which ovary your egg probably came from?! I didn’t! But apparently this little guy came from my right ovary which is probably more than anyone ever cared to know about me or this pregnancy.)

The only weird thing is that my amniotic sac is measuring about two weeks bigger than the baby. Like, if you were figuring out my gestational period based on the amniotic sac I’m a little over 9 weeks but the embryo is only measuring at about 7 weeks. The internet and my doctor both know surprising little about this. (My doctor flat out admitted that she didn’t know what it meant if anything so I’ve just been trying to ignore this information so it won’t bother me.) It’s probably just a quirk of my body which will even out over time.

So now you’re caught up! I promise that I’m still gonna talk about non-baby related things but it will still be something I write about because it is exciting and I want to occasionally talk about it. I’ve already bought roughly three pattern books of baby things to knit and already bought yarn to make one of them (some Rowan Lima yarn that is just to die for soft!) so you’ll probably hear about that sort of thing too.

Well, my energy is starting to falter so I’m going to sign off here and try my absolute best to NOT wait another three weeks before I post again. Ta-ta for now!