Thursday, October 30, 2008

Soft and cuddly wimmin things

I'm the first to dismiss the notion that women are 'naturally' more caring and in touch with our emotions, and that we are 'naturally' less scientific than men. However, I'm also the first to agree that we can be so as a result of our social conditioning. This has a few implications for pregnancy.

I had my first antenatal appointment last week, and was intrigued that, along with certain medical questions and tests, I was asked whether I required a social worker or any help with personal issues, and my responses (no thanks!) were logged on the system with my medical details. Although I have virtually no other experience of hospital procedures, I'm pretty sure that that's not a standard question. It made me think that since maternity care is a service provided, by-and-large, by women for women, social and emotional considerations are more likely to arise. And I think that's great. The whole flippin world could do with taking people's social and emotional circumstances into account.

On the other hand, I was chatting to my father-in-law the other day and he said that the whole thing (by which I suppose he meant maternity care) was the least scientific thing he'd ever come across. I'm inclined to agree - when I was learning about reproduction at school, I read that 'nobody really knows' how the ovum gets from the ovary into the fallopian tube. I was reminded of this on reading Tina's post about the lack of research carried out into mornig sickness. The reasons, I suspect, are manifold: there's a 'mystery' about women, femaleness and pregancy that the patriarchy, for reasons best known to itself, would like to maintain. Not only that, science is led by men, whose interests are the subject of research whilst women's are left in obscurity. I'm not sure that 'nobody really knows' is the correct expression. I would surmise that 'nobody really cares' is a bit more accurate.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Caffeine buzzzzzzzzzzzz

Over the past few days, I've noticed some of the people I've told about my pregnancy offering their "advice" to me, usually involving my diet. It's starting to irritate me, as although I know they mean well, I feel like I'm being watched while I eat and drink. Who wouldn't get irritated with that?

I've searched the internet and read a couple of books now on whether drinking caffeine during pregnancy is safe for both me and the baby. Here's what I've found out: women should drink (or eat, I suppose) no more than 200mg of caffeine a day. One can of Diet Coke has about 35mg, so technically I should be able to drink at least five of them before the caffeine police come knocking. Actually, I've done the decent thing health-wise and significantly reduced my intake to just one measly can a day with my lunch. And usually nothing at the weekend, so I'm spreading out a single day's intake over an entire week.

The problem is that I eat lunch at my desk at work, so people who know I'm pregnant have felt the need to ask me how much Diet Coke I drink a day, and suggest that perhaps I should drink water instead. I have upped my water intake (boring as it is) to nearly two litres a day AS WELL as dropping my caffeine intake, so I really don't see what the problem is. And food too! People feel the need to ask me what my food diet is like these days, how often I'm eating and whether I'm eating enough.

I'm actually eating less than I have in years, because my appetite has severely decreased. I get fuller quicker and I've gone off chocolate completely. I know! Chocolate! The horror... the horror... Anyway, I feel good about the amount I'm eating because I know I am a little overweight and I don't mind losing a bit of my own backside to encourage my baby's to grow. I'm still getting mildly criticised though, because people are telling me to eat small portions throughout the day, and to increase my fruits and vegetables. And dairy. And protein. And carbohydrates... but not too many of those.

Sigh. I wish people would stop watching me, or at least stop giving me their advice. I'm perfectly healthy and my baby (as far as I know, this is) is healthy too. So if I want a giant foot-long Subway sandwich for lunch with a can of Diet Coke on the side, people, I'm going to have it! And ya'll can just eff off.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Do all mammals experience morning sickness?

I had a thought yesterday, as I put my Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal to one side for fear of bringing it back up again: do all mammals experience morning sickness? I've never heard of a cat or dog (or monkey, donkey (ass) or camel, for that matter) feeling generally crappy and vomiting right after lunch, but surely it can't be just us humans, can it?

As a vegetarian, I stand firm against wearing fur and leather, and using animals as test subjects for cosmetics and other "beauty" products, but I do understand why it's important to test on creatures for pharmaceutical purposes. So, if animals do experience morning sickness, has anyone researched how to put that to good use and find a cure for us ladies? I should imagine not, as there's probably not enough money in it. Also, pharmaceutical companies are mainly run by men, who probably think morning sickness is either funny, or a sign of weakness. We all just accept that feeling crappy for nine months (in one way or another) is par for the course, and I think there's a general feeling of "Well, I had to go through it, so you should to" from women who've had children before.

But I don't want to!

When I asked someone why there isn't a good enough treatment for morning sickness, and why there has been no noticeable development in this area since the 1960s (and look how that turned out), they said "Typical! There isn't a pill for everything, you know."

Well, I think there should be. That's all.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

... and the puking began here!

Threw up for the first time this morning. It's my second wedding anniversary today and it was truly a lovely way to start the day. Husband is currently cooking me an anniversary dinner, I just hope I'll be able to stomach it.

On a (really) unrelated note I've been thinking that it's so unfair that the first trimester has the worst effect on your day-to-day functioning. Even if you're not sick, you can at least expect to be permanently exhausted, absent-minded and emotional. And yet it's the time when you can't explain to your friends/colleagues what's going on, and when your partner is going to be the least supportive, since you don't seem any different to him. By the time you're into the second trimester, you've announced it to your mates and at work, and your other half can see the physical presence of what will be his child, it's all gone and you feel much better. Reasons why it's crap to be a woman #54073549.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Good Bodies began here...

Right, I think it's time we got this blog thing up and running, don't you? Eight weeks down, only thirty-two to go...