Notes From The Underbelly
Notes from the Underbelly was a new show on ABC that season. The show is centered on the experience of a couple of expectant Mom’s. The title was a play on Dostoyevsky’s Notes from the Underground, which is a narrative by a bitter and disillusioned man. He is essentially an Existentialist, grappling with his miserable experience. A strange undertone to an upbeat show about pregnancy. The only truly bitter character was Cooper, the token single woman. Her biting comments keep the show from being overly silly. The show was, overall, cute, but not fantastic.
Perhaps what bothers me most was its lack of universality. The man characters are women in their 30s, married and living a Middle Class life. What about a young couple in their 20s or a single Mom or a teen Mom? And they totally left out the morning sickness! The main character is 10 weeks pregnant with no nausea or paranoia about miscarriages. It as if the first trimester didn’t matter or didn’t exist. Granted, it isn’t as physically interesting, but it is important.
Meanwhile, I was stuck in week six and feeling super sick. The first few weeks of pregnancy had been miserable. First I thought I miscarried when I passed a clot of mucus. Since I wasn’t bleeding, the doctor doubted it was a miscarriage.
Then Easter came and I was sick with the flu and a bit depressed. Despite the delicious dinner that Jason made, it was a difficult day. I slept on and off mostly. Ana had a fever of 104, which left me worried and restless. That Monday, my Mom came over to help me with Ana and I went to the doctor. The doctor reassured me it was not a miscarriage, but scheduled an ultrasound for Tuesday anyway.
Tuesday was the first picture of the baby. It was still there! It had a yolk sake and was pulsating. It looked okay. I was about six weeks and one day along. This pregnancy was real and here to stay. I couldn’t have been happier.
That night my migraine set in. I took Tylenol and Benadryl, but it barely helped. I tried to sleep propped up. That helped, but it took a long time to fall asleep. All day Wednesday I used ice and heat alternatively wondering if there was anything stronger I could take without hurting the baby. I needed to do dishes and put away laundry, but I rested instead.
Finally, the next day my headache began to disappear. Then the nausea began to set in. I thought it would be less intense the 2nd time around. It wasn’t so bad weeks 4 and 5. Week 6 was awful though. Every cough nearly made me vomit. Toothpaste was intolerable and nothing seemed to help. I know it would fade around week 10 or 12, but it still sucked. I prayed I felt better by the time our New England vacation rolled around.
I wasn’t feeling much better by the time I saw the doctor again. She decided that he was going to put me on progesterone shots to keep me from going into pre-term labor again. She also did another ultra sound and told me that I was Due December 5th. Despite my ill health, the baby was developing fine.
I was re-reading What to Expect When You Are Expecting and had to laugh at their best-odds diet since I was having a difficult time eating much of anything. Between the general nausea and the violent food aversions, I had a hard time finding anything I could stomach. I’d nearly given up my precious Mountain Dew and Orange Juice. I drink only one a day of each. Mostly apples and apple juice settled well. I craved meat at first, but since being sick, I can stomach very little of it. Hot dogs and bologna make me even more nauseous. Chicken nuggets with ketchup made me queasy, but chicken sandwiches with mayo didn’t. Granola bars and chocolate generally sounded great. Pickles leave a weird taste in my mouth. Ice cream, milk and dairy tended to upset my stomach even when they sounded good. Peanut butter toast and cereal are edible, but I can’t eat much at all. It is a curse. I loathed crackers after eating so many for so long!