This pregnancy? Fogeddaboutit. Just for the record, with Abbey and Jonah, I experienced nausea but never barfed. This one has sent me to the porcelain god with great regularity. It was so regular, that Scott thought it was funny, but more on my darling spouse in a second. I was so nauseated that I couldn’t stand to be near almost all types of food. But being a stay-at-home parent with toddlers, it was my job to make them three meals a day, limiting my vomiting to in between recipe steps. At night, I’d hold off serving dinner for as long as possible, praying Scott would get home from work so I could barricade myself in the bedroom and burn rose scented candles after spraying orange room deodorizer everywhere.
One night at dinner, I was determined to sit at the table with everyone, a vain attempt to achieve some semblance of normalcy. Then I saw Abbey cramming chicken and rice into her mouth. It was all over. As I made a dash for the bathroom, I could hear Scott chuckling. When I came back ashen-faced, he said sarcastically, “Oh, so you’ve decided to join us? Isn’t that nice guys?”
Then there was my brother. At Christmas – during which I ate virtually nothing and held my breath for nearly 48 hours for fear of being nauseated and blowing chunks all over the Christmas tree and my grandmothers – my brother thought it would be funny to thrust platters of appetizers in my face. “Hey Mere, want some shrimp? How ‘bout some kielbasa? Chipped beef and onion spread?”
About a month ago, I kept feeling as though my heart was beating outside my chest. I’d read in my handy dandy “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” book that this was typical for my stage of pregnancy. When I told Scott about it, his only suggestion was to stop reading that book, insinuating that I was fabricating symptoms based on what I’d read, given that I was overly emotional and hormonal. This overly emotional, hormonal chick used everything in her power not to use that book to pummel him until he cried. Instead, I grabbed his hand and pressed it to my neck so he could feel my pulse. “It’s fast,” he admitted. The last time I was pregnant, had I expressed any teensy-weensy whimper, he would’ve come running with the first aid kit and the phone dialed to 911.
Perhaps there should be a special hot line for those of us coping with second (or more) pregnancies whose husbands and male relatives have lost all capacity for compassion. Either that, or they should be forced to wear a 30-pound fanny pack bound very tightly to their guts so that they can barely breathe, get lower back aches, suffer non-stop heartburn and feel fatigued at 4 p.m. On top of that, we’ll make them run after kids in diapers all day, drink 15 glasses of water (as my ob/gyn has told me) and conduct mini-art classes with the tots, trying to comfortably bend over the burgeoning belly to wipe the finger-paint and Play dough off the rug.
When they complain, we can say, “It’s all in your head.”