my knight in shining Zofran

"my knight in shining Zofran" - in which est. 1975 battles with onions, barf, and cigarette butts. #est1975blog @est1975blog #morningsickness #zofran #funny #humor #pregnancy

My one and only pregnancy started out like many others—with crippling exhaustion, inexplicable cravings for meatballs, the purchase of about ten pregnancy tests (“Is that a line? I can’t tell. Should we call the help number? Get a magnifying glass”), and copious amounts of drool on my pillowcase. Other than those fairly standard symptoms, however, I honestly felt like being pregnant wasn’t too different than being not pregnant.

For the first six weeks.

Around my sixth week, I made the healthful decision to eat a sub from Quizno’s.

First_Quizno's_Subs_restaurant
Just in case you’re an off-the-grid mountain man that hasn’t driven by 700 billion of these in your lifetime, here is a Quizno’s Subs. Behold.

I ordered the sub with beaucoup onions, because I like it when my mouth smells like a grody armpit. I began eating the sub with gusto, but about three chews in, I realized that someone had played a terrible joke on me and poured the contents of an ashtray all over the inside of my sandwich.

That’s right. I WAS EATING CIGARETTE BUTTS.

I tore off the top bun in horror, only to find what you might already suspect: there were no cigarette butts anywhere on the sandwich.

Huh.

I replaced the top bun and began to eat again, only to have my mouth fill once more with the taste of tobacco and ash. I couldn’t figure out what the hell was going on. Was there something wrong with the meat? Had the mayonnaise gone off? Had the Quizno’s guy smoked 3 packs of unfiltered Winstons while making my sandwich? I sure as hell wasn’t going to finish off the rest of it in order to find out. I threw the Rotten Butt-Tastin’ Sub in the garbage and went my “merry” way.

I felt a little queasy that day, but I chalked it up to the fact that my sandwich had tasted like a gas station toilet bowl. It never crossed my mind that this experience might be an indication of what the pregnancy books call a Food Aversion™, and that my beloved onions would taste like cigarette butts for the next eight months. That particular day, all I knew was that Quizno’s was beyond disgusting (it isn’t) and I would never eat there again (also untrue.)

Mmmm. Onions.

Besides, I felt much better the next day. And the day after that. And the day after that. And the day after . . .

Wait a minute.

What’s that smell?

Is my husband cooking? Why is he cooking? WHAT is he cooking?

It smells like fried butthole.

That . . . erp. That is . . . nauseating. I must get to the bottom of this.

“HUSBAND! WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU COOKING?! IT SMELLS LIKE HOT PEPPERONI AND FRIED BUTTHOLE. NO ONE IS GOING TO WANT TO EAT THA—“

*erp*

“NO ONE IS GOING TO WA—“

*blerp*

“NO ONE IS G—”

Oh shit.

*BLERGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh*

With that, the morning sickness had begun.

And it didn’t end. At least, not when it was supposed to. Believe me, I tried waiting it out. But it just kept coming. My daily existence consisted solely of sleeping, barfing, and peeing my pants while barfing. My doctor suggested an anti-emetic, but because I am old enough to have learned in high school about Thalidomide and its ensuing wave of flipper babies, I decided to tough my way through it until I was about 16 weeks along.

At that point, I was losing weight and severely dehydrated, so my OB/GYN forced the issue and wrote me a prescription for the anti-emetic called Zofran. I was hesitant (flipper babies), but after I started taking the blessed Zofran, I could actually keep some food down, and went from throwing up multiple times a day to multiple times a week.

The little yellow pills that saved me from becoming a malnourished skeleton during my pregnancy. All Hail the Mighty Zofran!
The little yellow pills that saved me from becoming a malnourished skeleton during my pregnancy. All Hail the Mighty Zofran!

But the morning sickness NEVER fully went away. Even on the delivery table, with copious amounts of Zofran running through my IV drip, I still managed to puke twice. (The upside, however, was that I didn’t poop. With nothing in my stomach, my bum stayed as clean as two Georgia peaches. Relatively speaking.)

Not until my son was pulled from my vagina red-faced and covered with vernix, did my morning sickness finally leave me. And I know this is hard to believe, but I swear I actually *felt* it happen. That moment was possibly the best experience of my entire life—well, second to the whole “bringing a human life into the world” thing—and I still remember it like it was yesterday. It was resplendent. After nine months of Blerg Stomach I finally felt normal again.

So I ate EVERYTHING.

Hospital food never tasted so good. I inhaled every shit they put in front of my ravenous face. The gross grilled chicken. The gross mashed potatoes. The gross limp vegetables. The gross pudding. I didn’t even ask for my family to bring in food from the outside world, I just ate whatever the hospital served me. Didn’t care. Didn’t mind. I just ate and ate and ate. I was delighted. I was overjoyed.

The grossest picture of hospital food I could find. And I would have still GLADLY slurped this shit down.
This is by far the grossest picture of hospital food I could find. And yet? I would have GLADLY slurped this shit down after giving birth. And I do mean slurp, because I’m pretty sure that none of this is actually solid food.

I was unwittingly establishing a pattern that would last for years.

I still eat to make myself feel better. I revel in it. Don’t get me wrong—I’d had my binge-y moments before my son was born. But after the fact? Eating became my regular, day-to-day comfort. And as with the hospital food, what I was eating didn’t even need to be particularly tasty. It just made me happy to be chewing and swallowing, swallowing and chewing, until my belly was full.

Now, that pattern is taking its toll. I am overweight, out of shape, and other health problems are also cropping up as a result. As much as I hate to leave behind what made me so happy for so many years, my self-medicating in this way needs to stop. I can’t do it all at once. I can’t do it overnight. But I need to do it.

Right after this cookie.

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An earlier version of this piece was published in 2014 on BLUNTmoms.

If you haven’t already done so, consider following est. 1975 on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest! I add fresh, hilarious material every single day.

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Photo credits:
“Portrait of a Woman in Red” — Author: Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger (1561–1636); Title: Portrait of a Woman in Red; Date 1620; Source/Photographer Tate.org.uk — Modified
“Hospital Food” — Date 6 April 2005, 18:06; Hospital food; Author Siobhan from Upstate New York; Licensing: Creative Commons; Attribution share alike; This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
“Zofran” —  Drug Name: Zofran 8 MG Oral Tablet; Drug Label Author: GlaxoSmithKline LLC; Date 2010/2011; Source NLM, http://pillbox.nlm.nih.gov/assets/large/000817lg.jpg; Author NLM; Public domain: This image is a work of the National Institutes of Health, part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.
“Cigarette butts” — “Filled with butts”; Author: Stefan-Xp – Own work; A “well” filled Ashtray; Permission details: GNU-FDL
“Quizno’s” — Description English: The first Quizno’s Subs restaurant, located in Capitol Hill, Denver, Colorado; Date 4-17-09; Source Own work; Author Xnatedawgx

fish barf

Not long after I became pregnant with my only son, I began to suffer from an obscure medical condition called “morning sickness.”

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably never heard of this highly unusual complication of pregnancy. But guess what? You’re in luck! As someone who has personally experienced the rare phenomenon of “morning sickness,” I am more than qualified to explain it to you.

For those of you not in the know, “morning sickness” happens like this:

1. You get knocked up.
2. You barf forever.

I should also mention that in some cases of “morning sickness,” the symptoms can last well beyond the first trimester into the ENTIRE NINE MONTHS OF YOUR PREGNANCY. And I’m sure it won’t surprise you to know that I was one of those cases. I’m not going to lie — it was THE WORST. And whatever the opposite of THE BEST is. The only bright side was that I walked away with a bunch of awesome stories to tell. Stories like:

Yet, one story in particular will always stand out as the pinnacle of my “morning sickness” experience, and I hope you will find it as disgusting delightful as I do. Enjoy.

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It was six weeks before my son was due to arrive, and three weeks before he actually did arrive. By this time I had my morning sickness mostly under control with a life-saving cocktail of Zofran and Unisom — though when I say “mostly under control” I mean I was only barfing several times a week as opposed to several times a day. 

For some reason my husband had suggested fish and chips for dinner and for some reason I had agreed. But almost immediately after we’d finished eating, my stomach started to grumble and bitch, and I knew without a shadow of a doubt that my fish and chips dinner was not going to *stay* dinner. And I also knew that when it came up, it was going to be BAD.

You know how you can just tell? I could just tell.

And I was right. It was BAD.

First I got the sweats. Then I became nauseous. At first I tried doing “morning sickness mitigation tricks” like laying on my left side and taking deep breaths. Those didn’t work, so I had my husband bring me the trusty Big Blue Bowl, a large mixing bowl from Williams-Sonoma that I took almost everywhere. You know — just in case. Sometimes it helped just having it around, even if I didn’t end up actually using it.

Morning Sickness
Three months pregnant and taking a nap with two lazy cats, a Jennifer Weiner novel, and the ever-present Big Blue Bowl.

Sadly, the comforting properties of the Big Blue Bowl did not alleviate my nausea this time around, and soon I was lunging towards the bathroom, just barely making it to the sink in time to evacuate all of my fish and chips into its porcelain embrace. But when I turned on the faucet to try and rinse everything down the drain, the sink informed me in no uncertain terms that IT WAS NOT GOING TO COOPERATE. It was completely clogged with partially digested fish chunks and was bound and determined to stay that way.

So I spent the next ten minutes bailing out the sink with the trusty Big Blue Bowl (a call-to-arms not exactly in its job description) and relocating all of the nasty chunky grossness into the toilet, where it could be flushed away with ease. The sink’s drain remained clogged, but at least there was no longer any standing fish puke water in the basin.

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It was at this point that I realized I was once again starting to sweat. And within moments it became crystal clear that something unpleasant was about to start happening in the *other* direction, and it was about to start happening in very short order.

And sure enough, it did.

For the first time since I’d been in the family way, I became struck with raging diarrhea.

In all honesty? After months and months of pregnancy constipation, I thought I might actually enjoy a little bit of diarrhea. BUT I WAS WRONG. This was no “cut it loose and heave a cleansing sigh of relief” diarrhea. This was painful, cramping, “take all your clothes off and hang onto the sides of the toilet seat for dear life while rivers of sweat run down your back and into your ass cleavage” diarrhea. And it was no bueno.

(A brief aside: For those of you who are wondering whether this whole thing might just have been food poisoning, I can assure you that it most definitely wasn’t. My husband ate some of my fish AND some of my chips, and didn’t get sick.)

Eventually everything worked its way out, and when I was feeling able, I cleaned up as much as I possibly could (the fish puke water, the diarrhea residue, and did I mention I also pissed on the floor while barfing? Because I did.) Unfortunately the sink was still clogged, and needed to be dealt with. I tried to plunge it, but that didn’t work; then I tried Drano, with equally unfortunate results. So despite my best efforts my poor husband was finally called in to disassemble the sink, which was now clogged with regurgitated fish parts *and* puke *and* Drano.

Guys? I have the best husband. Because even though he said he wasn’t grossed out by the fish barf, I know he kind of was. Wouldn’t you be? I mean, *I* was grossed out by it and it was *my* barf. BARF THAT SMELLED LIKE YACKED-UP FISH. SMOTHERED IN DRANO.

And while I’m bestowing glowing words upon my husband, I think I should also mention that we didn’t have any rubber gloves in the house at the time. I’ll let that sink for a moment.

*a moment*

Yeah. Exactly. EWWWWWWWwwwwwwwwwwwww.

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If you haven’t already done so, consider following est. 1975 on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest! I add fresh, hilarious material every single day.

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Photo credits:
The copyright holder of this work releases this work into the public domain. This applies worldwide. 16:31, 27 February 2006. Owner: Zserghei. Title: Atlantic cod live. Category:Gadus morhua. — Modified