I’m pretty sure I’m getting this from one of the best Seinfeld episodes of all time — the Kenny Rogers’ Roasters episode. Kramer wages a campaign to drive Kenny out of business, which includes hanging a sign that says “BAD CHICKEN” from his apartment window and screaming, “stay away from that chicken! Bad chicken! Mess you up!”
Now, let it be known that I am not saying that pregnancy is “bad.” Of course not. It will, however, undeniably MESS YOU UP.
I don’t know how I can be naive enough that this was a revelation to me, but it was. I sort of imagined that there would be three phases of pregnancy: nominally pregnant, kind of pregnant, and REEEEEEALLY pregnant. I’d heard that in the first trimester I’d be feeling ultra tired (uh, nothing new there) and might have some nausea (but that just happens in the morning, right?), but I figured that I wouldn’t notice any real, drastic changes until I started to “show.” Which I imagined would give me…I don’t know…about four months to run around as “normal” Megan…albeit a normal Megan who abstains from 1/2 price margarita Wednesday (and alcohol in general, of course).
I failed to realize that I was already being hijacked by hormones and that, thanks to their raging influence, “looking” pregnant would have very little bearing on “feeling” pregnant. I also failed to recognize (although given the amount of whining I do on any number of topics, I ought to have been able to guess) that I would not handle the hormone takeover very well.
It started in week 6, when I was scrambling an egg for a breakfast burrito and was smacked upside the head with the conviction that the EGG WAS DISGUSTING. I frowned at the skillet, not wanting to waste food, and suddenly the thought/smell/existence of the scrambling egg was too much — I gagged. Ew.
And……………………….it’s been mostly downhill since. For example:
- The food aversions are a bit ridiculous. I’ve joked with my “kind diet” friend DeAnna that LilRunr seems to be vegan…the aversion to eggs was quickly joined by extreme hatred towards meat and dairy products in general. I, in turn, hate the hatred. Everything I read says, “the first trimester is nutritionally the most important,” but dang it, how am I supposed to eat well when I can’t eat? I’m able to consume skim milk with cereal and occasionally yogurt, which is good, and fruits have always been on the “ok” list, which is also good, and whole grain carbs continue to be my friends…but I’m looking forward to being able to eat like a normal person sometime soon.
- I’ve heard Husband call me “the poster child for morning sickness” several times. I disagree, but only because he calls it MORNING sickness. That is a misnomer if ever there was one. For me, the feeling of nausea persists through roughly 90% of my waking hours. I can mostly control it by staying hydrated and basically snacking every two hours instead of eating actual meals. Crackers here, a sandwich there, a piece of fruit…as counterintuitive as it feels, when the nausea flares it usually means that it’s time for to eat. And then, I tend to feel the absolute worst in the evening. I say again — misnomer.
- Despite eating every two hours or so for the past couple of months, I’ve still lost weight.
- I used to be one of those people who could watch the saddest, most tear-jerker movie and not react at all. Old Yeller? Please. Titanic? I’m pretty sure my friends regret taking me to that one…I didn’t want to see it but everyone else did so I got dragged along. I laughed during a couple of “emotional” scenes, getting shushed by strangers and smacked in the arm by the nearest friend. Now? If someone is crying on TV, I feel this inexplicable urge to join in. My eyes start to well up of their own volition. It’s embarrassing. Scott caught me crying to an iPhone commercial the other day and almost literally rolled on the ground laughing.
- There were a few weeks where I was going to bed at 8:30pm. I’m mostly over this now, but there are days where napping is required.
- I’ve been trying to be very careful and sensible while exercising. I’d like to keep running during pregnancy, but I found out very early on that my ability to cope with the heat has changed. Obviously, I don’t want to do anything detrimental to LilRunr’s health. Far from the “fake marathon training” I’d planned for the summer, I’ve settled for 1-3 mile “mostly walks” with some jogging thrown in. Sort of like a really, really slow fartlek. This has worked really well, until a couple of weeks ago when I joined Scott and his friend for a mid-morning trip to a nearby rail trail. After finishing my 30-minute walk/jog, I drank some water and stretched in the shade while waiting for Scott and his friend to finish their run. I felt perfectly fine until a few minutes after their return…when I was suddenly hit with an intense wave of nausea. Whoa, I thought. This isn’t good. Something prompted me to tell Scott that we needed to get back to the apartment…and air conditioning. Stat. We walked to the car, and as I reached it nausea morphed into dizziness. I tried to say, “I’m going to pass out,” but Scott says I didn’t say anything…just leaned against the car and started falling. Very very fortunately, Scott’s friend caught me and helped me into the car. I was only out for a second or two, and as soon as the air conditioning kicked on I started to feel better. But…wow…scary. We have some new rules now — while the heat remains tremendous I walk on the treadmill and never, ever workout alone. There hasn’t been any more dizziness.
However, that frightening (especially for Scott!) episode finally convinced me…there is no such thing as a “nominally pregnant” phase. Not for me, at least. But every time I felt like the worst pregnant lady ever and raced to the Internet for confirmation of my weirdness/wimpyness, I found out that whatever I was experiencing could be considered NORMAL. Normal? The insane food aversions? The nausea? The vomiting? The insatiable need for extra sleep? The weight loss? Yes. Normal. The fainting spell isn’t even anything to worry about as long as it remains an isolated case. Most likely, it was a combination of waiting until mid-morning to exercise — when the sun was fully preheated to “broil” and I was past due for a snack — and the fact that I had been ill the evening before and may have been a touch dehydrated. (I feel like I should mention that my doctor agrees with the Internet — it’s all normal and all good with both Lilrunr and I.)
So. Where is this long-winded whining session going? Just that pregnancy is a learning experience — so far, I’ve learned both that it will “mess you up” and that the resulting mess is normal. And that it’s a toss-up between which I’m looking forward to more — the start of the second trimester or the beginning of Fall and cooler temperatures. Lucky for me, they’ll start about the same time. The countdown is on!