Monday, January 30, 2006


I am VERY glad to be done going out of town every week. I have definitely become sleepier and/or exhausted, but now I'll be able to tell if it's situational or symptomatic. (Probably both.)

Also remembered to get some candied ginger. It may be helping, or it may be that the subliminal nausea has been receding on its own the past couple of days. At any rate, it hasn't stopped me eating a lot, at least at lunch and dinner. And snacks. Like noodles at midnight*.

As far as mood, I have been feeling imperturbably calm and peaceful for the most part, as well as unduly cheerful. I think part of this is the phenomenon whereby I feel less stressed because my priorities are made very clear and those pesky stressful choices have been minimized. I think another part is likely increased serotonin, because I can feel waves of relaxation wash over me at odd times, such as driving to work.

I can still be startled easily or made anxious, so the imperturbability is a bit illusory, but it does seem that my baseline daily stress level has gone down.

This is a good thing, because my actual life has not improved much in the stress department!

*I think Like Noodles at Midnight should be a movie.

Sunday, January 29, 2006


Can't take Pepto-Bismol when pregnant. I've taken it several times in the last few weeks, but must d/c its use. it's one of those "unknown but better not to" grade-C type medications.

Must definitely replace and stock up on Sprite now.


Having frequent low-grade nausea. Very low-grade, but very constant. I can no longer blame it entirely on vitamins or whatever, because I just wake up with it. It's kind of maddening, like when you almost have a headache. However, it's certainly better than barfing outright, and seems pretty amenable to folk remedies (like drinking Sprite, which is my new thing.)

It seems that my stomach has two settings: this low-grade nausea, and starving! We don't have a decent scale at home, so I don't know if I've gained any weight. Doesn't look too much like it.

This week the baby's bronchi are developing. Relatedly, I have an appointment at the student clinic to get my inhalers refilled. I'm not looking forward to this, because I've been treated so disrespectfully at this particular clinic so many times before, and now I have to let them in on my pregnancy.

...or do I?

I guess I could lie about when my last period was, which they always ask. I hate that idea, because I'm used to being very forthcoming and frank to my practitioners. Of course, I also hate being treated like I absolutely don't know anything and my wishes are completely irrelevant.

As for medical care during pregnitude, my first impulse is to hide in a cave and not let anyone see until it's all over. Failing that, I'd like a midwife. However, the insurance we have (a very big and common one) doesn't list any midwives as participants at all in the provider search function.

I have found some midwives and "birthing centers" posted online in the area, but not through the insurance search. I guess I can call them and ask. I'm worried that my insurance will balk at letting me use a midwife because I'm 38, and thus have fallen into the "high-risk" category simply by ageing out, not because of anything specific to me or the fetus.

I am also going to call one (or more) of the three osteopathic ob-gyns listed (out of 100). At least they are more likely to be health-oriented and treat me less like I'm a walking medical condition straight off the bat.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Food Issues

I also should mention that food has become much more of a focus for my attention. I'm often thinking about it. Also, food tastes a lot more delicious than it used to. Like when you're really hungry--only it's all the time. (Although I guess I am hungry all the time.)

Even items like a plain ol' Wendy's baked potato. Man, that was a good potato, even though it was stone cold by the time I got it back to the hotel. I did have a sweets-craving day yesterday, as it turns out. I even had some Sprite and liked it, which is odd because I normally don't like pop. (Too sweet and gooey.) And also sugar wafers, which I try to avoid because of the huge wads of hydrogenated vegetable oils slathered between the wafers.

The funny thing about the significance of lime pickle: it's not what I thought it was. Apparently, according to my friend, one wouldn't feel comfortable discussing pregnancy overtly (it's related to sex!), even to one's husband and family. Therefore, the traditional way to let your husband (or family) know you're expecting is to ask him (or them) to get you some lime pickle (or some other sour food), as pregnant women are believed to crave sour foods. (This corresponds with the survey I mentioned earlier which listed citrus as one of the most-craved foods of Western women, too.)

So as for this iron business, I am trying to find other sources besides blackstrap. As much as I like it normally, eating a big spoonful every day is not helping this borderline-queasiness. And as it turns out, a baked potato (skin on) has a ton of iron in it. Also recommended is fortified cereals (like Total).

Note to self: find out what kind of potatoes Wendy's uses and buy those to bake at home!

Happy 30th!

Conception day-iversary, that is.

I had a couple days last week where I was actually feeling a bit anxious because I didn't feel pregnant. I think I had mainly gotten used to the novelty, and my daily life felt kind of back to normal, which scared me.

However, my aunt reminded me of her aunt who not only didn't feel pregnant, but never even knew she was pregnant until one day when she had "gas" that turned out to be the birth of a baby. (This meta-aunt was apparently rather corpulent.) I think this must be the opposite of those "hysterical pregnancies" one hears about. She also said that she was so convinced that her own first pregnancy would end in disappointment that even two days before the birth, she actively refused to get baby clothes and accessories.

The point being, one doesn't always have that Special Sense all the time.

It does seem that I awaken a little bit queasy these days. But only a very small bit. Since I often awaken already shaking with hunger, and hunger often makes me queasy anyway, perhaps that's the link.

At any rate, I commented this morning in bed that I felt just a wee bit nauseated, at which TheLimey gave his usual apology (for anything happening in the world at all, really.) I said, "Oh, it's not your fault, hon. [pause] ---Oh, wait a minute, it is your fault!"

I'm going to be able to get so much mileage out of this.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Cowhead, baked potatoes, and tadpole

I did not create this, and now I can't even remember where I found it.

I don't know whether I should be relieved and overjoyed or disappointed that I wasn't the one who came up with it.


Later: darnit, this was an animated GIF, but it looks like Blogger converts them to jpg.

Well, maybe later I'll upload it to another site and link it. But I have to get ready for leaving town and stuff, so I'm already goofing off way too much.


The past couple mornings I admit I have been a slight bit nauseous. However, I also attribute this to taking both zinc and blackstrap molasses (for the iron) among my morning vitamins, and then not eating until I get to school. (They're both barfogenic for me.) Have discovered I must eat ASAP, preferably something like a frozen dinner rather than wimpy yogurt and nuts.

Symptoms like dry-eye, shakes, agitation, etc. seemed to have calmed down in the past couple of days as well, however, so I guess it's a trade-off.

But I feel nervous this morning at having less symptoms, and I remember that my mother could always tell very early whether a pregnancy would "take" or not. Obviously, I haven't done this as often as she had, so I don't have any baseline comparison for somatic experiences. I just want to get to a doctor and get a doppler of the heartbeat (at 8 weeks/45 days DPO, so a couple more weeks) so I can feel more confident of its continuance.

I knew already that it's bad to take aspirin in the third trimester, but I have recently been reading that aspirin (or any Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory whatchamajigger, really) appears to interfere with implantation if taken around conception, thus increasing the likelihood of miscarriage. And that week of implantation I took aspirin several times as it was my first week of interviews (and I really didn't think I was pregnant--I thought I had PMS!) Of course I quit right away when I realized, but still.

(Though oddly, since then I haven't had any headaches at all, not even the rather mild ones I have gotten the past couple years of grad school. I stopped drinking coffee right away, and have been getting a little more regular sleep, perhaps that's it.)

So, anyway, I have been a little nervous that I could have sabotaged my offspring's nest without knowing it.

I have to go out of town again this week for interviews, but it's the last week. Three weeks in a row being out of town is plenty, I'll tell you what. I'm about sick of it. (Stupid interviews, interfering with my life!) I thought yesterday that being pregnant would be a lot more fun if I could actually have time to do it instead of having to pay attention to just about everything else in the world, all day, every day.

Monday, January 23, 2006


Apparently there are two responses, complexion-wise, to pregnancy.

One is the lovely, beautiful "glow" that people talk about, which just means that your skin is replenished with lots of lovely estrogens and so forth and so looks very creamy (if you're light-skinned), rosy, and nice. The other is that you will break out like crazy, which for some reason receives a lot less attention in the media.

Guess which one I'm turning out to have? That's right.

My skin and I have a long adversarial history in this respect. If anything happens, it breaks out. Stressed? Break out. Get off pill? Break out. Lose sleep? Break out.

The only thing that does not cause me to break out is chocolate, but then that's true of almost everyone. Chocolate has a long history of being unfairly maligned in this aspect, resulting in unnecessary torture for teenagers.

As it turns out, 33% of pregnant women crave chocolate. (Is that different than nonpregnant women?) In fact, the top three are chocolate, sweets in general, and citrus fruits/juice. The opposite seems to be occurring for me. I have been less interested in sweets and chocolate than usual.

I am not that big a chocolate person anyway. I know it's tantamount to treason to say so, but there it is. I have often gone along with people's oohing and aahing about chocolate just to be a good sport, like talking about winning-the-lottery fantasies when I don't even play. Don't get me wrong, I do like chocolate, it's just that I don't swoon over it as it seems so popular to do. If I can't have my specific kind of chocolate that I like (Green & Black's Organic Extra-Dark Milk), I might well take a pass on it.

Now, you may have heard that I ate a chocolate lava cake for breakfast Saturday. It is true. But if you know me you know that's not particularly weird for me even when unpreggered, anyway. (I eat what I feel like, when I feel like it, dangit!) Nevertheless, overall I would say the chocolate/sweets desires are less.

The meat craving continues unabated, however. I realized that it's not just baby tissues I'm building (it's only a millimeter or two long, after all), but my own. Did you know your uterus goes from 2 ounces to 40? I didn't. So that, and other protein-based structures are increasing as well.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

An Average Citizen...

I had only thought of this fleetingly before, but was suddenly inspired to look it up today for some reason. As I am a US citizen, and TheLimey is a UK citizen, what nationality(ies) will our child have if born here in the US? Will the baby have dual citizenship?

I was actually a bit surprised to find that s/he will indeed have dual (US/UK) citizenship, and would have to actually renounce UK citizenship after age 18 to change this.

The US is a jealous god and doesn't like its citizens to show any kind of official liking for any other country, so if you're a US citizen and get citizenship elsewhere, you're out of US graces forever. The UK, on the other hand, is somewhat more laissez-faire. If you (a UK citizen) get citizenship elsewhere, you're still a UK citizen.

I picture this illustrated thusly:

Here's the UK (caricatured as a kindly older woman in a frilly apron, silhouetted in a cozy cottage doorway): "'Bye, dear! Have a good time! Come home for the hols!"

And here's the US: (caricatured as a scraggly white guy in a dirty tank undershirt, shaking a half-empty bottle in his fist from the rip-screened doorway of a shotgun shack): "If you walk outta this door you can never come back! You hear me? Never!"

* * * * * *

TheLimey has a slightly different take on the apparently flexible UK attitude: "It's more like, 'No, you can never disown me, because I need your tax money--forever.' "


I just read in my Week by Week book that the nausea often begins in the 6th week*, which is what I'm entering.

I also heard from a friend who is Indian that there is a particular cultural significance to lime pickle, which she will tell me "later." (Why not now??) I'm guessing this is going to mean that I am a bad girl, and the store clerk was probably snickering at me behind the register mentally.

Now I'll have to get my partner to buy all the lime pickle. Isn't that traditional anyway? Especially if I insist on it at 3am?

*Counting by the standard, but horribly unscientific method, that includes time before the egg was even fertilized, so there was not even a pregnancy in existence yet. The accurate age of the embryo is only 3-1/2 weeks.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


My new theory--and I have not researched this so someone has probably already looked into it--is that this craving weird foods thing is to get a wider variety of nutrients than usual.

I know I tend to mono-eat. And it seems that the foods I find popping into my head at random times (frozen corn with butter, my mother's stir-fry) are things I have not eaten in a while. (In some cases a 20-year-while.)

I still want the things I normally, eat, too. Just with additions.

Wine and Cheese ... and Whine

Turns out I can eat Stilton, as the kind we get is made from pasteurized milk after all! (As were most I looked at in the grocery store.)

Also have found a potential source for nonalcoholic wine that looks like it might not be too horrible. So my next two years are all set, anyway.

I find that my threshold for stress is definitely down. I have had my first official "sobbing in the bathroom" episode. Luckily, my partner recognizes that the best way to approach this is to put me to bed and read me stories.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Plan (and we do have one) Is As Follows...

So, we have come up with a plan for managing my internship and our Little Critter coinciding most inconveniently (September somethingth and September 21, respectively). (Awww, equinox birthday!)

Given that the parenting style I'm most compatible with is Attachment Parenting, working 50 hours or more with a brand-new infant in day care is not gonna freakin' work for me, a-tall. On the other hand, internships are quite hard to get, and the pool is getting more crowded every year.

So in a surprise maneuver, TheLimey suggested that he make the sacrifice of quitting his job (he didn't term it sacrifice, of course) to take care of the baby, after I am done with my three months' maternity leave (as is most likely with most places.) The main caveat is that I must only apply to places that offer health care coverage. (So far they all offer about the same stipend.)

I must say I was surprised yet gratified that he would be willing to live in the style to which I am accustomed (i.e. student level) in order to prioritize a) child care as I want it and b) getting my degree done.

After that we'll both be "free agents" in the job market, as it were, and I will be the one to stay home with the next one (optimistically speaking, of course).

Just my imagination, running away with me...

...is what I don't think anymore.

Althought we've been trying for about 5 months, we were both quite surprised that this worked. This may seem unreasonable. However, we're both nearly forty, and we both have a number of friends and acquaintances who recently had babies--but with fertility treatments and trying for a couple years at least. I guess we were viewing that as the modal experience in our group, and this seemed far too easy. It should take at least another year!

I was in particular surprised that it was during last month's "window" (of opportunity), as I was sick and tired that week and did not insist on "trying" on several days as usual (to enhance the possibility), and really was just waiting for the next month to roll around so we could start trying again.

But if I had been looking for it, I might have been quicker to pick up on what was going on!

Phenomena that do seem to be related (some began at implantation, even before I suspected):

1) Food cravings. Meat (sorry Argot), especially crispy, smoky, grill-y smelling meat. (Soy sausages also worked, to some extent, but not like beef.) I started thinking about it nearly every day, which is unusual for me, as a meat reductionist. I even mentioned to TheLimey that it was odd how I kept wanting meat lately!

Also lime pickle. This, if you don't know, is an Indian fermented relish sort of stuff that is made of limes, chili peppers, salt, and coriander. It is the sourest, hottest, saltiest thing you can imagine. TheLimey cautiously introduced me to it a few months ago, thinking I might like the merest swipe of it on some naan bread. However, it turns out that I prefer to eat it with...a spoon. The tender, succulent little lime-peel-bodies, parting between my teeth in their saltiferous sauce...I'm making my mouth water thinking about it.

So, yes, about the same time as the meat cravings, I was driving home in the dark and saw a little strip-mall shop called "India Hut" and suddenly thought of lime pickle. I made a screeching U-turn (not really, but mentally I did) and went in to purchase two bottles of it. The next day I ate about a third of one of the bottles, just straight out of the bottle with a fork. Now, this is the culinary equivalent of, say, drinking a bottle of Tabasco sauce. But it's so delicious...

However, I can now definitively tell you that it's not a good idea to eat a third of a bottle of lime pickle at once, digestively speaking.

Craving food in general: I do seem to want to eat everything. All at once.
Yep, gimme one everything, with everything, please! It's dangerous to go in the grocery store, because I can't stop myself from grabbing things off the shelf; things I don't normally even look twice at or even once. (Canned chicken teriyaki for Pete's sake?)

2) Reactivity. I have been kind of wired. Lots of sympathetic nervous system activity. I find that I am going to have to take extra care with my activities and environment, because I have increased responses to stimuli. I see a car approaching my intersection from a quarter mile away, and want to swerve the wheel. A small noise startles me and makes me about hit the roof. I get upset with the parking lot card-swiper, and feel completely enraged. I think the word that best describes my reactive mood would be feral.

I also have been experiencing the shakes in the mornings, especially if I don't eat immediately. (Usually it takes until about 11 or 12 before that would happen.)

3) Sleepiness. This is so hard to parse apart from the tiredness I experience just getting through this academic stuff and interviews, but it seems somewhat more drastic now. If I'm tired, I can't make myself stay awake. Not that I could before, but anyway...

4) Constant peeing. I was the peeingest gal (or guy for that matter) at the V.A.'s open house interviews. I thought I was just being less controlled than the others. There's also some constipation, which I tell you I am not used to at all-- so I have really been looking forward to it. (Joking!)


A friend mentioned that this must be another piece of stress on top of what was almost unbearable stress already, but it actually has seemed to reduce my stress somewhat. This seems mainly related to the idea that now I have a Top Priority and my choices are actually reduced. It's like being in a toothpaste aisle that has 1,000 toothpastes versus one that has a dozen. Also, I have no choice now but to take care of myself better, which in itself includes doing things in a less stressed-out way.

Baby, baby, baby ... pirate?!?!?

I will lazily begin with even more excerpted recent correspondence with my sister about this event...

> Do you feel preg-nint yet?

I still don't, really, as far as I can tell, but here are potential symptoms:

1) I did notice even before I took that test that there was less of my hair in the drain. Especially for what I thought was going to be my server's downtime. [Note: "The server is down" is, of course, a euphemism for menstruation.]

2) I have the shakes today, yet don't feel anxious or anything. Just feel physically shaky. Seemingly related: around my lips, that"pre-hive-y" feeling. I think overall there may be some increased sympathetic nervous system activity going on.

3) Have seemed hungrier, but I still can't tell if this is just because I am paying way more attention to food. It hasn't reached a definitive level. It's just that any food anyone mentions sounds really good, and I find that specific foods pop into my head unbidden a lot.

Turns out I now have to avoid any soft cheeses, like the Stilton I have come to love (unless I can find one that's made from pasteurized milk)! I am going to try to find non-alcoholic wine, because I really like wine now. (Especially with Stilton....d'oh!)

...Oh yeah--also definitely peeing a lot more. However, this could also be because I'm making sure to get a lot of fluids now.

Oh my gosh! Here's the Extreme Peeing Event in this list, too.

And, and, I was thinking that something felt different or kind of bloaty in the cervical area (trying to discern from gassiness related to [TheLimey]'s delicious chili-bean soup, darnit).

I would say that their phrase "congestion of blood in pelvis" about describes what it feels like. I swear I'm not developing these perceptions as I read them about, but thinking "Oh! Of course! That would explain that!)"

But, ha [knocking wood], no nausea.


...Today's symptoms (like weather): weird feel/taste in mouth, kind of dry or...I don't know. Nothing to compare to. Also eyes dry. (Suggesting, again, sympathetic nervous system activation.) Just read a week-by-week description that cited "metallic taste in mouth" as common sx experienced in week 4! (Counting by the dumb, nonscientific [pre-conception] method, of course.) Possibly not imagination.

Must begin new, secret blog. Can become public in second trimester, I guess. (I'll call it "TMI"!)


> This is all still freaking me out! It seems like it oughta all be your imagination, somehow ... but thar's a baby in thar!

I know...if I was barfing a lot, it would probably seem more real. But the only way to get a false positive on one of those tests is to have been taking certain fertility drugs that actually have HcG in them. And if that doesn't entirely convince me in the middle of the night--oh yeah, there's also the fact that the server never went down! (Propagating new application??)

Little Critter should be developing its own very tiny heartbeat (and blood type) right about now.

> When are you _supposed_ to start barfing?

Oh, pretty much right away. When the microscopic nub implants and starts affecting your hormones.


At least to me. And definitely to [TheLimey]. But probably not a surprise to anyone who knows us.