Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Garlic, White Shells, and Other Pregnancy Stories

I’m not going to lie to you. Pregnancy changes your body. It changes your body in ways you will never EVER be able to imagine. You could be a skinny toothpick, but your tummy will never be the same after it inflates to the size of a watermelon.

That’s obvious, though. Everyone knows that. That and the fact that there is no cure for stretch marks. I am here to share with you the less obvious notes on the potential aftermath of pregnancy.

I love garlic. I used to go to this restaurant just to eat the garlic fries, which is a misleading title for this appetizer because it was mostly a pile of a mix of garlic, salt, and parmesan, and the fries were thrown in as an afterthought. I could eat the garlic mixture with a spoon. For breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a late night snack. I used to eat roasted garlic straight from the cloves, a little bread to wash it down. I put garlic in everything I (once in a blue moon) cooked, and I was not concerned with the amount of garlic that might be in a dish I ordered at a restaurant. In fact, I may have ordered a side of garlic. You get it, right? I like garlic.

I still love it. However, I cannot eat it. I ate it all throughout pregnancy with no problems. After I had The Boy, I started to notice that I would get heartburn when I ate things that had garlic in them. I took a chance one time and ordered garlic fries – I thought I was going to have a heart attack that night because my chest was in such enormous pain. I have tried consuming it in very small amounts, thinking I could wean my body into accepting it. To no avail; there is no amount of garlic that my body finds tolerable. This week, our office went to a lunch together; where the lunch is predetermined and we do not order. The salad had a Caesar dressing which, I have come to find, has garlic in it. I did not care. I ate the entire salad. That was Wednesday at noon. I had indigestion for the rest of the day, and I tasted garlic in my mouth on Thursday morning. Mmmm, yummy.

Another thing that I liked to eat when we first got married was Pasta-Roni Shells With White Cheddar. Fancy, huh? We were just kids, I didn’t know how to cook or even how to experiment with cooking, and this was cheap and fast. The Man still loves it. I do not. It does not give me heartburn, there are no negative memories associated with it. I just don’t like it anymore. It repulses me. I used to feel really nauseous when The Man would make it and I could smell it. That part has gotten better. Now I think it smells good, but I hate the way it tastes. I think, Mmm, that smells good. I’ll just take a bite. If it smells this good, it has to taste even better, right? Wrong! Every six months to a year I’ll work up the nerve to taste it, and I have stopped having a repulsive reaction, but I still don’t like the way it tastes.

Finally, The Man and I had a fight when I was pregnant, while eating Taco Bell – did I mention we were just kids? And we liked cheap food? I vomited the food I had eaten from there – nachos do not taste very good coming back up, okay? Take note. I have not been able to smell or eat Taco Bell since the day of that fight.

Not food related, but pregnancy related – I have always been a very cold person. Not like a frigid b!&@$ or anything, actually cold in temperature. So much that my fingernails are often a bluish purple color, I was tested for poor circulation at one point, put on special vitamins, tested for thyroid and anemia, blah blah blah. I wear pants and jackets in the middle of summer (we live where it can get up to 115 degrees outside), and socks and sweats to bed every night, with lots of covers. So I get knocked up and all of a sudden I’m warm. I’m like, what’s this? My fingernails are pink! I can wear shorts and sandals for the majority of the year! I was in HEAVEN. I have The Boy and the garlic thing kicks in, I can’t eat Taco Bell, and I start to panic. Will my warmness go away? I like being warm. What can I do to keep it? One month, two months, six months, I’m still warm. Whew! I start to relax about it and focus on The Boy, since before that I was basically ignoring him. Eighteen months after The Boy is born, and I swear to you, it’s like I slept on a glacier in Antarctica that night. I woke up in the middle of the night, disturbed because I was not comfy in my skimpy sleep outfit, as I had become accustomed to. What was this? My feet are cold? My legs – cold! My hands – cold! It was all over. Back to the pants and jackets, covers, covers, and more covers. I was cold again. There was no explanation! I cried.

The Boy is five years old, and the only food thing I’m not upset about is Taco Bell. It’s strange that my body would not revert back to liking those food items, even after this long. And it’s bizarre that I would be all toasty warm for two years and then have everything go back to being cold in one night.

So if you are thinking about becoming pregnant, or are currently pregnant, enjoy the food you eat every day, because it could be the last time it goes down and doesn’t come back up.


amanda said...

I'm pretty sure I salivated when you mentioned the garlic fries mixtures. I love garlic!!

kelvinkao said...

Pretty sure you won't ever be attacked by vampires!

Rhea said...

It is wild how much pregnancy can mess with your food and hormones and everything. I had some weird food issues surrounding my pregnancies also.

Nice to meet you! I found you through a comment on Shamelessly Sassy's blog.

Catherine said...

This is SO. TRUE. Pregnancy was definitely a nice respite from the cold for me as well. I don't know what I'm doing living in one of the coldest places in the continental US. It's miserable.

As for food, ugh. I'm actually thinner now than I ever was before children because my appetite never fully recovered. I suffered from the kind of morning sickness that puts you in the hospital. NOTHING looked, smelled, tasted good for the first six months. I don't know how I had such healthy babies, I swear it was a miracle.