Friday, September 22, 2006

What Happens When You Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast?

Pregnancy is this weird experience. It's at once profound, unique, and completely annoying. It really baffles me that I'm going through this incomparable thing--and that I've done it three times before, and that 90% of the women in the world do it too.

Anyway, morning sickness is becoming a controlling factor in my morning. I wake up okay, but then quickly descend into feeling gross. And, having three other kids, I know I will soon have to face the usual morning onslaught of stench as Daniel has his customary stinky diaper, and Anda needs me to wash the bottle of milk she slept with and rotted, and I can't seem to avoid opening the fridge. The fridge stinks when I'm pregnant. No matter how clean it is (I actually recently washed every part of it--it's clean. It's the only thing in the house that's clean, but it is), and no matter how well I wrap and seal last night's leftovers, when I open the fridge in the morning, it stinks. All these things conspire to make me run to the bathroom.

So today, when I went out to the outside freezer to get chicken to defrost for dinner (see how with it I am? I'm thinking about dinner even when I feel gross and have six hours before I need to start on it). Anyway, I was out there digging up the chicken and I managed to unearth orange vanilla cream "tiger" ice cream. And it looked good. When something looks good in the morning, I'm elated because eating makes the morning sickness disappear, but getting to eating often exacerbates it.

The trouble? If I was going to eat ice cream, everyone would want some. And nobody had eaten breakfast yet. So what to do? I dug up the sugar cones and passed around the sweets. Elation! No more morning sickness.

Flash forward twenty minutes. Suddenly everyone is crying and I feel sick again. Guess what? Ice cream is not a breakfast for champions. I know it has the same or better nutrition as cold cereal. Guess what else isn't a good breakfast.....

So I needed to make real food, and fast. Protien. That everyone would eat. So to the fallback easy fast protien: scrambled eggs. I scrambled up a dozen eggs, thinking the circus would end, but it appears it was just beginning. As I got the grill hot, Daniel crawled up and started tugging on me and the kids started the early "conversations" that lead to fights. Just then, the spatula leapt from the counter (I really don't know how else to describe it) and gouged my toe. The grill was hot and Dan was tugging on me and screaming, and I was holding a too-full bowl of uncooked scrambled eggs. You should be proud of me. I didn't swear.

Instead, I stomped my foot and shouted until Dan let go and crawled away quietly. Then I proceeded to scramble the eggs--no mean trick on a griddle that is made to drain fat from bacon, and apparently liquidy eggs (I don't care what the picture on the box showed...). When I finally turned around, Dan was sitting in a puddle of milk that had dripped from his bottle. He was helping himself to a bagful of mint chocolate chip pop tarts. I didn't stop him. Anda was crawling around my feet trying to confirm that the toe that was bleeding really was the one that was hurting, and Caleb was eating every bit of egg that came off the griddle.

So finally we all got eggs and were happily eating when I looked at the griddle and realized--guess what? The spatula I had used to cook everything was the very one that tried to cut my toe off.

Have you ever been so grateful just to have the food that you ate it anyway?.....

So, in the midst of this chaos (during the Twenty Minutes of Post-Ice Cream Joy), I watched a video Mom sent over of a home birth. It was sweet and touching, and I cried when I looked at the baby. And then the movie ended, and I dried my tears, and, as the emotions faded, I said to myself, "What am I thinking? She's nuts." How did they get the gross water out of the pool in the bedroom? And who had to clean all that stuff up? Birthing is not exactly a clean process. And, oh my goodness, that poor woman was literally up all night in labor (in a hospital, with an epidural, she would have been fresh and happy, having slept all night, ready to push at 9:20 am and welcome her new baby.). And the other kids--even well prepared, they would want mommy to get them stuff, and she would hear them start fighting in the other room or wake up in the middle of the night--and that would, at the minimum, break her concentration. And I can get a water birth, with massage and midwife and everything, in the hospital here. Where someone else cleans up, feeds me, takes the baby while I shower, etc. Okay, I might try to check out of the hospital three or four hours after the baby comes this time because I don't sleep AT ALL in hospitals (they want me to live on a 6:00 am to 9:00 pm schedule--are you kidding?!). But that's where I want to birth.

Of course, there's that other extreme that you find occassionally in Colorado: Home Birth, locked in the bathroom with nobody else there with you. Now THAT is insane.

So I can see the sweetness and intimacy of a home birth. I want that, too. But the practicalities of it all (not to mention we've almost lost three babies at birth or just before) outweighs the ideals. I want my doctor there, and I just don't want to wash the sheets afterward, you know?

Besides, Tim's take on epidurals is significant to me: "I'd rather you have an epidural. I can't stand to see you suffer."

So...pregnancy and childbirth. What am I thinking? Ice cream for breakfast, anyone?