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Down the Rabbit Hole

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Semele's Riches: Down the Rabbit Hole

Semele's Riches

Adventures in handmade childhood.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Down the Rabbit Hole

When I got pregnant with Ian, I had been unable to eat any dairy or corn for nearly two years, as a result of some kind of food intolerance, which may or may not have been an allergy.  Surprisingly and thankfully, that and all my other allergy issues disappeared or significantly diminished.  I also won the genetic lottery in the sense that I have inherited, from my mother, not throwing up.  In my opinion, it totally makes up for the fact that she did not pass along the "I don't have any wisdom teeth" gene.  I hope that one skips a generation and that both my kids have it.

However, in addition to these undeniably positive reactions to the tidal wave of hormones that make new life possible, I am also blessed with an incredibly sensitive "early warning system" about what my altered digestion can handle- namely, a double (or triple) dose of food aversions and cravings.  I could not tolerate the word "banana" the entire 41.1 weeks of my pregnancy with Ian, let alone actually eat one, smell one, or witness one being eaten on TV.  And anyone who had eaten bacon for breakfast had to remain outside the super-smeller perimeter for the rest of the day.  I had to extract a promise from my husband that he not eat any pork product for the duration of my pregnancy- chicken was okay, and red meat was tolerable, but ham or pork chops were out of the question.  I had the occasional craving for old, familiar flavors, and I'll admit the Thanksgiving turkey smelled awfully good that year, but I never regretted letting it pass me by.  Plus, you know, I was so busy renewing my love affair with CHEESE that I barely noticed a desire for other things I didn't eat.

The pork perimeter I put up last time, plus the fact that I had an undeniably healthy baby as a vegetarian, probably contribute to the expressions of shock and wonder in response to the news that I am now eating meat.  Of course, these are people who don't know that the earliest signs that I was pregnant this time were 1) my rings did not fit and 2) the grilled pork at my father's birthday dinner smelled AWESOME.

Then came the food aversions, which included chocolate, oatmeal, tofu, all brands of meat analogs, beans, most nuts, and pretty much anything sweet except apples, bananas, and grapes.  Next went the green veggies except lettuce, peas, and asparagus.  Tomatoes are usually okay, but sometimes smell funny to me.  Fresh garlic and onions are out of the question- I can't cook with them, nor can I eat them. 

Potatoes, cheese, and Rice Crispies were tasting really good to me, but even with salad thrown in for some color I was having problems.  I was dang hungry.  Everyone already knows I get cranky when I'm hungry.  We'd gone beyond "cranky" to "would like to slap complete strangers"  and were nearing "will be committed until the hysterical sobbing stops."

The craving for steak also came around the same time, but honestly, by the time all was said and done, "craving" was the wrong word for how I have begun to feel about red meat.  It's more like an irresistable compulsion.  They were cooking steak samples at the commissary last time I went grocery shopping, and I had all I could do not to park my cart and mug the man for his certified Angus beef.  I could control my "brute squad" impulse, but not my salivary glands- I slobbered my way through the store, utterly distracted, and had to backtrack multiple times because I'd walked right past the next item on my list in a scent-induced trance.

Those of you who favor rational explanations will look at the list of things I can't tolerate and go, "yep, protein and iron deficiency.  The woman needs steak!"  while those of you who prefer funny/metaphysical explanations are with me on, "Werewolf fetus!"  In the end, it seems safer to throw the werewolf a steak every now and then than to force it to subsist on cheese and potatoes until it breaks loose and kills someone, even if it means giving up my veg lifestyle.



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