Pregnancy Side Effects (The expected and the unexpected)

There were a lot of things that I expected to happen once I became pregnant. I was warned of morning sickness, strange cravings, and crazy emotions. I thought I had a pretty good idea of what I was getting myself into. Yet in spite of the stories from friends and family as well as plenty of research, pregnancy has still managed to surprise and amaze me.

The first surprise was how quickly I got pregnant. I know that people get pregnant every day without even trying, but I have taken enough biology and child development classes to know that it is a miracle to become pregnant in the first place. So many things have to go exactly right at precisely the right time, and it just seems that when people are actually trying to get pregnant, it almost always takes a while. But after only a month of trying, I suspected I might be pregnant. I waited as long as I could, then took a test while Kevin waited eagerly in the next room. I came out a few minutes later with a shocked smile on my face and said, “Your boys can swim!”

The next surprise was my first symptom: nausea. I knew morning sickness didn’t only happen in the morning, but what I didn’t know was that it could happen constantly. All day. For weeks. I literally felt like I was in a constant state of feeling nauseous, and it made it very difficult to eat. Because of that, I gained little weight my first trimester. Don’t worry, I made up for it later after the nausea subsided, which brings me to my next surprise….

Cravings. Everyone jokes about cravings. In the “I Love Lucy” episode I recently watched, Ricky has to go out in the middle of the night to get his pregnant wife pickles and ice cream. Lucy proceeds to dip the pickles into the ice cream, all the while smacking her lips and making sounds of delight. Gross. When my friend Lindsay was pregnant, she went through so much ice cream that she had to buy herself an ice cream maker and start making it herself, lest she spend her entire weekly grocery allowance on Ben and Jerry’s. And I have certainly had my fair share of cravings, although I’m not sure I would call them cravings per se. It is more that some types of foods sound good, and some don’t.

I am totally into sweets lately. Cakes. Cookies. Ice cream. Oh, and pancakes! I am obsessed with them. No surprise there, I’m sure, but I have always been pretty good about not eating too many sweets. Or carbs for that matter. Now I can’t get enough of them.

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This is the delicious cream cheese stuffed apple french toast I had at this cute diner in Jacksonville. We were on our way to visit Kevin’s parents and tell them we were pregnant, and I needed something sweet!

As for vegetables? Ugh. Lately I feel like I have to choke them down. I have taken to hiding spinach inside of smoothies. I really miss loving vegetables. I hope this isn’t a sign of what is to come with Penny’s eating habits, because Kevin and I are convinced that we will be able to get our daughter to love her vegetables. I am sure all of you not so jaded people are thinking, “Good luck with that…”

However, if what I am craving is any indication of what Penny will love, at least I know she will be adventurous! I am totally into ethnic foods lately. Indian, Chinese, Mexican. Yum. I coerced my family into going to Wasabi last night for their amazing sushi (nothing raw, I promise I am still trying to be responsible, even if I’m not eating as many vegetables as I would like).

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Avocado, crab, tempura shrimp, cream cheese. Oh my.

And that reminds me of another surprising side effect of pregnancy- coercion.

I am getting my way. A lot. Not that I am trying to take advantage of others, and I certainly don’t think I am milking this pregnancy in any way (I hope), but everyone is just so attentive these days! It’s pretty great. Definitely something I will miss. My husband doesn’t even get mad at me anymore when I fall asleep by 8pm. Which happens almost every single night, I might add. He just takes off my glasses and gently removes the book from my grasp before it crashes to the floor.

I wonder what side effects of pregnancy are in store for me next…