In Prior Weeks of Torpid Trimester Part Uno, a wee little olive sprouted fangs and made its presence known through evening ailings and endless exhaustions. Though a fraction of the birthday monster's girth and size, little olive flung and flapped and triumphed, demanding offerings of choco-potato-pretzel-cowboy bark while the not-so-fat-lady sang her way to a finale never seen.
As week ten wakes up, the olive evolves beyond singular produce possibilities. Prune, kumquat, lime??? It flails and frolics in its little encasement. Adella's dietary tastes shift, surge, and ebb like white rapids. Names and gender are pondered (Kalamata Gandalf Wright??). And a pre-natal kickstarter appointment at that BOGA-man yields kindly fairies and two very big thumbs up from Baby Fonzie!
Food Cravings, Aversions, and Changes at Week 10
Since I'm reaching the point where theoretically my nausea and other fun first trimester symptoms should start to abate, I thought I'd wrap up some of the more notable changes over the last few months.
Salt. Ordinarily I hate it. I eat low sodium everything. Typically, the way restaurant food is salted makes my tongue shrivel like a slain slug. Suddenly, though, I am flailing for the salt lick like a rabid rodent. Simple dishes with a healthy dose of salt are the ultimate nausea-buster, salsa is my best friend ever, and I can even tolerate soy sauce. Bring on the seaweed salad!
Cottage cheese. After once getting sick just after I had eaten cottage cheese and subsequently having a hard time eating it, I was delighted to discover I really liked it about a year ago. A healthy, tasty snack... that suddenly makes me gag wildly. I've had to throw away my stash of on-sale-deal cartons and hope for a future in which I can like it once more.
Cucumbers. Never my favorite, but super iffy now. The smell makes my tongue curl up. Possibly edible if doused in vinegar.
Mushrooms. Could eat them raw by the handful before. Suddenly the smell makes me queasy about 75% of the time. They have to be exceptionally fresh and it had better be early in the day on a salad or I'm gagging.
Steamed veggies. My go to evening staple dinner has been a huge plate of steamed veggies with some seeds and nuts. Suddenly, can't stomach more than a few bites. Salad, I can do. Veggies in moderation with other things... but not pure unadulterated veggies. Shudder.
Eggs. I've always liked eggs ok, but I love them right now. Except when the thought of them makes me queasy. But if I get past the illusory smell, I love them. Best if they include cheese. Although they work fairly well with some flax meal as well.*
*And of course then I read that flaxseed may not be safe for fetal development because some mumbo jumbo about lignans and estrogens and voodoo priest demons turning little baby olives into big moldy sastumas and I sigh. Because there is nothing that has been really proven safe for pregnant women. Kind of like how being alive is statistically the greatest cause of death... being pregnant is decidedly not safe for pregnant women or their little incunabula. Ah well.
Cheese. Another category of food for which I held no particular fondness. I'd add a little bit here or there to salads because it was healthy and extra calories. My tepid tolerance has evolved into a constant craving. I could add melted cheese to nearly anything and that anything would transmogrify from gagger to drool inducer. I'm suddenly having nonstop fantasies about grilled cheese sandwiches and a black bean tostada (salty black beans, salsa, crunchy lettuce, and CHEESE) is my heaven food.
Legumes. Thank god, my implacable adoration for legumes remains unquashed, except I want them more salty than before (as in "somewhat" instead of "not at all"). I can eat beans, lentils, split peas... Indian, Middle Eastern and Ethiopian food are constantly on my mind. And peanut butter went from a highly liked food to an open jar constantly available when nothing else will go down.
Bread. Never a big one for me, it's getting a more and more prominent spot in my food fantasies. Covered in butter even (another thing I pointedly never cared for). Sourdough and Injera in particular. Not sure why, but that little sour bite settles my stomach.
Nutritional Yeast. Normally, I'm obsessed with this. It goes in all sorts of things I make. Suddenly, I have to be careful about it. There's a certain aftertaste that just doesn't gel.
and speaking of gel...
Chia seeds. Love them and rely on them for digestive happiness, but if they're too gooey or noticeable in a dish... gag. Chia jam, yes. Chia buried in other consistencies, absolutely. Chia pudding... not this year.
Coconut butter. Brings me to the verge of regurgitation at just the merest hint.
Chocolate. No change, except I may be even more rabidly anxious to sample every available bar in imagination and to nibble an extra bar's worth of teeny tiny bites throughout the day.
Onions and Garlic. Until now I could pretty much eat them raw by the handful. Suddenly, I'm a little touchier. The smell of onion haunts me, even if I still like it in my food, albeit in more sparing amounts.
Hot peppers. I still like spice, but am a little more ginger about it these days (literally preferring ginger over cayenne and other peppers).
Yogurt. Cannot eat after about 5:00 p.m. but before then I like it a lot. Though I suddenly prefer skim greek yogurt to full regular yogurt.
Popcorn. Air popped in the microwave, this is like my safety food. I can eat it at night even. It's bland, comforting, high in fiber, and satisfying.
Frozen peas and corn. My substitute for steamed vegetables at night. Something my mom started me and my sister on when we were younger. She tricked us into thinking it was some kind of special snack. It worked apparently.
Nutrisweet. I don't drink much aspartame or diet soda, but I did chew Extra gum before and always used to steal a sip from my mom's drink (she has several different kinds through the day). Now, I still can't resist the sip-stealing habit, but every single time, the flavor explodes perilously in my mouth and I make a little face much like a toddler taking her first sip of coffee or whiskey. Spasmy shudder optional, but common.
Alcohol. I had a sip of communion wine over Christmas services and my body went into full revolt. Apparently, we will not have to worry about fetal alcohol syndrome. My body is so not down with anything alcoholic these days.
Green Tea. Makes me nauseous to no end. I can have it if it's very weak and it's early in the day when I'm feeling mostly ok.
Junky diner food. I still can't actually eat more than a few bites of this sort of food, but it features heavily in my food fantasies. Grilled cheese, mac and cheese, NACHOS, and sweet potato fries. I can even fathom a hefty bite of hash browns and super duper white bread with butter.
Ice cream - I still find it far too sweet for me. I really wish somebody would cut the sugar in half without adding some kind of sickly artificial sweetener in its place. Creamy and cold sounds amazing.
My body is confusing sometimes, but I'm actually relieved at how wide my dietary allowances have been. I know a lot of women who end up living on saltines and plain pasta for their first trimester. The ability to enjoy Mexican, Indian, Ethiopian, and Middle Eastern food pretty much keeps me well fed, especially with my increased dairy fixation.
Wondering Woman Wanders to the Tippe Toes of Thursday I've mislaid my invisible jet again, goshdarnit!
I appear to be semi-conscious this morning. This shocking turn of events is perhaps due to the early bedtime creep currently unfolding in my life. Not like a jerkface who attacks me before bedtime, but the successive shaving of minutes until I hit those sweet sweet sheets (and fifty specially arranged pillows). Because two naps a day weren't enough for sufficient shut eye! By about 7:30 p.m. these evenings, I'm pretty spent. Through Herculean effort, I've managed to keep eyes open and nearly focused for the rest of the evening. But shortening that evening is an increasingly appealing habit. I've reached about 8:30 at this point.
Of course the earlier I go to bed, the later Andrew seems to. Like we're yin-yanging it up to a drastic degree. Or my change in ritual has stymied his internal clock cues. I'm guessing he'll catch up on the weekend, but in the meantime, I'll pretend he's consciously making himself tired in an effort to be sympathetic to my current "delicate yet glowing" exhaustion. Or being competitive. He is a dude and one who gets his rocks off racing after all! But I think he knows better than to try to best me on the tiredness one too much.
And here I am, conscious enough to log the drool that drips upon my keyboard. Amazing what twenty pillows and an extra half hour of sleep can do for ya!
Five-ways to Friday Post Parenting Plan Picnic Pick-up
My mom had a difficult five-way yesterday. That's code for a meeting between attorneys, their clients and a fifth person usually another sort of professional. In this case, a communications coach/child specialist.It's a Collaborative Law thing that can work pretty well outside the model... or devolve into screaming and crying and futility. But that's why you bring snacks to these things! Breaking bread and all that nonsense... plus it gives an outlet for all that nervous energy! And once you've frenetically downed half a ton of trail mix, you're a wee bit saturnine and less apt to leap at anyone else's throat for fear of upchucking all those little bits of dried fruits and seeds!
Naturally, we had to locate the perfect bread for yesterday's meeting. Something sweet but not too sweet. Fresh. Meal-like but not heavy... Our quest involved an excursion to Great Harvest Bread.
The perfect bread was an experiment they were testing out that day: orange cranberry cinnamon chip. Something like that. It was oh so amazing. The aroma wafted through town and straight to the nerve center of my salivary glands. I will note that attempting to cut a loaf of freshly baked bread with a dinner knife can lead to some less than exquisite looking slices. Then again, we don't want any serrated skivers hanging around a meeting between divorcing couples. But, crumbs and crumbles aside, the offering was quite a lovely one. I can only imagine that the aroma provided affirmative afflatus towards an amicable solution.
I'm even happier to say there's plenty left. Now to eat it before it goes stale!
And to celebrate the fact that it is Friday! Oh sweet Friday. I'm officially at "week ten" of this pregnancy thing. Our little incunabula is apparently now a thrashing kumquat that drinks amniotic fluid and then cycles it right back out in kind of a gross way. But its a great image: a flailing little miniature human, naked and streaming fluid all over the place. Practice for when it's a child and has its first swimming lessons I guess!
Depending on the "your week-by-week guide," the little creature may also be a prune or a lime. It's going to take some time deciding which of these fits our little Wrightlett best. Limes are kind of zesty; they're sweet but with a decided kick. Prunes are reliable, dark, a bit practical, and offer some seriously blessed relief to pregnant ladies like myself. But kumquat is such a fun word to say! Not a bad name, really! Come along Kumquat!
And Kumquat is a nice gender neutral name. Andrew is already growing weary of calling our pre-fetus kumquat "it". He'd like a gender to affix to it during the employment of pronouns. Me, I kind of feel like no matter what, we'll be imposing all these constrictive gender norms on the poor little produce before it's even out of the womb. And really, even if we knew the sex of the baby, as such, we can't really know the gender until it's expressed the gender it identifies as! My proposal was to refer to the baby as "it" for as long as possible. I'm thinking 9 or 10 years old. Long enough so it can really decide for itself! In the meantime, we'll name it Baby, which is not much worse than several names registered at public schools these days. Or Gandalf. There was short talk of Gandalf last weekend. After that, Kumquat doesn't sound too bad, does it (although the nickname is unfortunate)? And it's one step beyond Oliver and Olivia which are apparently among the top grossing baby names of 2015 so far, and clearly came from last week's "baby the size of a green olive" inspiration. Maybe Kalamata?? Kalamata Kumquat Wright!
Ah well. As long as it's a thrashing peeing fruit of some sort with a nice normal three-times-faster-than-human heartbeat!
We have a prenatal visit on Monday. My first with Dr. Mallory as my OB instead of my GYN. I know to bring a book, since the wait times are beyond human imagination. Maybe a tissue or two as well. I get all girly emotional when people say things like "normal" at times.
It will be nice to have some contact with the ongoing care provider, and to ask my bajillion questions that I'll doubtlessly forget upon entering the office space. I have a list, but we'll see if I remember to bring it! Hey, I've got all weekend to remember to remember to not forget before I forget.
Heeeeeeeeeeey Baby Alien Gremlin Fonzie Prune Gives the Big Thumbs Up!
I had quite a scare yesterday morning when I received a message from BOGA (Bellingham OB-GYN Associates, but I prefer the acronym, because it always makes me chuckle and say BOGA BOGA BOGA!!!! AAAAAAH). Dr. Mallory, my prior gynecologist had to go and be enmeshed in a family of sickos. With the flu, in particular. Apparently they all thought it was a good idea for him not to traipse about a haven of pregnant ladies spewing flu bugs all about. So he was staying home with his ailing family and heavy doses of Tamiflu. Which I respect. And support. I do not want the flu. Ever, but this year in particular.
But, BOGA is legendarily difficult in terms of scheduling. They are just that popular. And I was at the tail end of acceptable for a "first prenatal visit." Rescheduling would have been a nightmare and possible required making an appointment at midnight on the Harvest Moon with additional forms promising 50% of my placenta for the OB-GYN gods or something.
Blessedly, BOGA is a team. I can see any of the associates there. I actually didn't know this previously or I'd have had a much easier time scheduling in the past. And even more fortunately, a Dr. Kaepernick was available to take my slot! Dr. Kaepernick turns out to be a magical fairy OB-GYN. Or at least, she reminds me of a beautiful silver-haired fairy godmother type from The Princess and the Goblins (a favorite children's book that I've long retold in my head to possibly have no association with the original story, but I'm pretty sure there was a beautiful silver-haired fairy involved). She was spritely, friendly, tactful, positive, clear and everything in between.
Andrew trudged along, looking a wee bit bedraggled and irritated at the confusion over times leading to our extra lobby-wait (he'd thought my appointment was at 2:30 because I needed to be there by 2:30 to fill out early paperwork for a 2:40 appointment, and then somehow came home early and then somehow we ended up at BOGA - despite my warnings, actually, that we would be able to get there in ten minutes - by 2:15. I insisted we take a short walk, needless to say. Anyways, he settled into his book once we got there, and made a concerted effort not to look too closely as various portions of my lady parts were palped and prodded. And, there was a total pay off for all that waiting and missed work. BABY ALIEN FONZIE!!
The head is on the lower left slant. The body trails diagonally towards the upper right. The double-thumbs up is snuggly in the center. And that huge arcing thing is the umbilical cord! Quite the chin, don't you think?
Technically, we didn't need this ultrasound (the 7 week on confirmed pregnancy already and the 12 week is still necessary), so Dr. Kaepernick threw it in as a freebie. Because she is a magical fairy lady.
I can't believe how much the little gremlin in my tummy has changed over the last three weeks. I went from an indistinguishable omelet to a distinctive gremlin Fonzie!
Oh oh oh and I am "healthy" and The Fonzie Kumquat is "healthy" and "normal" and my pregnancy is "low risk"!! Which, I know were the chances all along, given my age and general health (though I am still on the lower end of pushing it for healthy weight, but working on that), but when it's so particularly hard to get to this point, one never assumes. As if the consequences of losing the baby (the increased cost and challenge of trying again) being heavier made the odds any different for this little Fonzie.
I'll be heading back once more in two weeks, since there is all that twelve week stuff to handle. And shockingly, they even managed to schedule me in for the day required. Perhaps helps that I don't need to see an OB-GYN at that point. Can't wait to see what The Fonz is up to by then!
Hopefully not ski-jumping over any shark tanks just yet! Low-risk after all. Low-risk.