2.13.2009

food diaries and an over-active nose

okay, i've learned my lesson. for two weeks, i kept a food diary; it was very extensive and maybe a bit obsessive compulsive. i listed what i ate, how much, what time, when i took my prenatal vitamins [if i remembered], and if and when i got sick each day. then at the bottom of each page, i had a space for writing notes, which normally consisted of when i felt particularly nauseous, if i experienced any heartburn, any changes in my body's condition or behavior, and what i thought caused these things. i still don't know how i was able to do it.

it started when a close and trusted friend visited me one morning. while she hasn't had any children herself, she is the oldest of 7, those younger than her ranging from 2 to 16, so she definitely has more knowledge than i do about crazy pregnancy things. she told me i looked skinny, way too skinny, because usually i have some meat on my legs and now i didn't, and it's true, my thighs magically weren't touching. [but i had tried so hard when i wasn't pregnant to accomplish this! i guess it's not such a great thing when you're expecting a baby and should be packing on a few pounds.] she promptly made a list of foods my refrigerator and stomach lacked, and that night she returned with bags of fresh fruits and veggies, yogurt, apple sauce, bread, and all kinds of delicious, healthy foods. for the past two weeks i had been practically living on fast food and frozen meals, because my nausea was so bad, when i started feeling the slightest bit hungry, i had to get something quick before i puked. [i'm one of those people that has extensive knowledge of what these kinds of foods do to your body but can't stop eating them because theytastesogood!]

let me just be dramatic here and say, having these healthy foods on hand changed my life. seriously, it took three days of small, fresh meals and keeping a food diary, and i was feeling worlds better. i'm pretty sure what helped as well was realizing what little liquids i was actually taking in - 1/2 glass of water one day, a cup a milk another - definitely not enough to keep me going throughout the day. not only did my nausea die down a little, but i was less light-headed and had the energy to actually take showers like a normal person. [i won't tell you what few showers i had actually taken over the past six weeks - it would gross you out.] i truly believe that changing my diet and taking in more liquids helped keep my "morning" sickness at bay. and i pooped more, too! [all pregnant women have this secret - they can't poop. sometimes for weeks at a time. the longest i went was two days, thank god.]

on february 8, i left the notebook in which i kept my food diary at the church, and that also happened to be the day i ran out of prenatal vitamins. for three days, i did not keep up with a single thing i ate, and i didn't take any supplements with my meals. i slowly became more nauseous throughout those three days, and finally, on the morning of february 12, it happened. yes, after almost two whole weeks of it not happening, of that glorious feeling of getting up out of bed and feeling normal, not wanting to gag at the smell of dish soup or puke out my entire stomach - i got sick. it all started when i walked into our kitchen.

now, we have this smell in our living room/kitchen area. we had two precious kittens living with us for about two months until the day came when my body decided it couldn't stand any odor and i promptly demanded my husband get rid of the darlings [which he had been trying to convince me to do since we got married]. from then on, i absolutely could not walk into our living room. i was not imagining it, it did smell. apparently, one of our kittens [lovingly named sufjan after one of our favorite composers and recording artists, sufjan stevens] was beginning his manhood, and thought it necessary to mark everything in the living room as his own, from the window sills, to the christmas tree, to the baby jesus in our nativity scene. i have no clue how we didn't know this.

so for an entire two weeks, my sweet, wonderful, caring husband stayed up until 4 in the morning vaccuuming and scrubbing and washing anything that could be washed [he didn't do it during the day since the smell of the cleaners also made me sick]. finally, the sickly smell had succumbed to his visious cleaning, and i could sit on my couch and vomit in a bucket, instead of lie in my bed and vomit in a bucket. it was nice.

so even though the cats have been gone for almost two months, there is still a lingering odor, in my nose's imagination, anyhow. everyone who passes through our house has told me there's no smell, i recall someone even used the word "fresh," and my husband has stopped being paranoid and has finally come to the conclusion that pregnancy has just made my nose a little crazy. even last night i said, "you know what, i don't even think it smells in here. i think i just think it smells."

so that's what happened thursday morning - i simply walked into the kitchen, took a breath, and gagged. then i knew that was the end of it and ran to the bathroom to throw up some stomach acids [hey, no one ever said pregnancy was pretty]. so the lesson learned here is to continue the food diary to make sure i am getting adequate nutrition. i have no appetite, so when i'm not writing down everything i eat, i simply don't eat. and not taking my prenatal vitamins definitely didn't help out at all. when i'm healthy, my body reacts to it positively, and i feel less queesy, which means smells don't bother me as much, and it keeps that gagging feeling in my throat at bay [such a horrible feeling].

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