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.

hard-returngif

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.

hard-returngif

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

10 after 30

THE TEN MOST ANNOYING THINGS THAT HAPPENED TO MY BODY AFTER HAVING A KID AND/OR TURNING 30

1.       Liquid Boobs

Before 30: At the pinnacle of my youth, my boobs were my best feature. They were firm. They were proud. They were big, but not too big. They were round, but not too round. They retained their shape while still maintaining a seductive jiggle, like two expertly-prepared Jello molds.

After 30: Pregnancy. Childbirth. Breastfeeding. Beautiful life moments? Of course. Hormonal nightmares that kicked off my bosom’s slow transformation from wondrous boobage to a pair of soft-boiled eggs? Also yes.

Putting on a bra used to be a literal snap. Now it’s a whole PROCESS of lifting, dropping, adjusting, pouring and repouring. There’s also a fair amount of contorting my arms behind my back while struggling to do up half a dozen tiny hooks, all before settling my inch-wide bra straps into two very angry red shoulder ruts.

2.       Chinese Phone Book Syndrome

Before 30:  I’m maybe not the best example of this phenomenon as I’ve always had some measure of double chin, but before 30 I could at least disguise it with heavy contouring, artful photography, and, depending on the season, turtlenecks.

sarahhoneymoonjpeg
Me in the mid-2000’s, using the “up, out, and down” chin-tuck technology popular with those who need to conceal a modest double chin in photographs.

After 30: There is NO disguising my double chin now. Not with even the most over-exposed downward-angle cam-whore photography there is. I’ve gotten older. I’ve gotten heavier. I also suspect that at some point Chin #1 and Chin #2 got drunk and hooked up, because a bouncing baby Chin #3 has appeared.

sarahchingif
Yowza. And before any of you go “OH COME ON IT’S NOT THAT BAD” please be aware that is the ABSOLUTE BEST picture of my chin that I could find from the last year.

3.       “Mom Mouth”

Before 30:  In order to demonstrate the “Mom Mouth” phenomenon, I had to find a ten-year-old picture of my face in “resting” position (read: not smiling, not laughing, not posing for the camera.) Consider the below photograph the best I could do. You will notice that “Mom Mouth” has not set in, largely because I wasn’t a Mom yet.

nomommouthgif
I know my mouth looks weird, but it’s because I was employing another popular “chin camouflage” technique: the Straight-Up-Put-Something-In-Front-of-It Technique.

After 30: AAGGGHHHHHHHH!

mommouthgif
Double Chin Disguise Trick #3: Crop your double chin out of all your photographs. Voila!

Believe it or don’t, this is my face in “resting” position now. Note if you wish the deep laugh lines above the lips, but those are simply due to age. “Mom Mouth,” however, is the more disturbing phenomenon in which the corners of a mother’s mouth start to turn irrevocably downward, mainly from being forced to act like a complete crabass 24 hours a day.

4.       Let’s Hear It For the Beard

Before 30: As a brunette of heavily Eastern European stock, I have never been what one would call “smooth.” (You can read about the woes of my hirsutism in more detail here if you’re so inclined.) Still, before I turned 30, I maybe had a chin hair once every three to six months. Not unmanageable.

After 30: Now if I don’t pluck my chin every other day I start to look like Abraham Lincoln PDQ.

5.       Like A Flan in A Cupboard

Before 30: Back in the day my girl parts were tight. Elastic. A pleasure, I dare say, to all who ventured forth. Sometimes, if a man was large enough, I even *gasp* bled a little. How dainty I was back then!

After 30: Brilliant actor-comedian Eddie Izzard once quipped: “The Austro-Hungarian Empire, famous for fuck all! Yes, all they did was slowly collapse like a flan in a cupboard.”

Just like my girl parts after delivering a child.

(Yep. That’s right. I just compared my vagina to a collapsing flan, and by extension, the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Click here if you want to read more gory details about my gynecological woes.)

6.       Adult-Onset Grossness

Before 30: I’ll be honest. I’ve never been a porcelain-skinned doll. My face has always been a war zone, with troops of blackheads encamped across my nose, and small but tightly organized bands of guerrilla whiteheads terrorizing my T-zone.

After 30: Adult-onset cystic acne took hold after 30, running rampant once I got pregnant and gave birth to my son. Long gone are the mere pimples of yore, skirmishing for territory. Now huge, red, nuclear cysts explode all over my lower face and chin, taking months to go away and leaving bitter scorched earth behind.

7.       The Walk of Nosferatu

Before 30: I walked proud. I walked tall. I held my head at the 5’7” height it was meant to be held at. My knees didn’t make noise. Neither did my back. And while I’ve never been a morning person per se, getting out of bed was in no way the rich and painful symphony of grinding bones it is today.

After 30: Mornings now consist of me easing myself slowly out from under my bed covers, pulling myself up to an osteoporotic 5’3”, and shuffling downstairs to the kitchen like a slow, gimpy, complaining Nosferatu.

nosferatugif

8.       Ashy Feet

Before 30: You know what I did to take care of my feet before I turned 30? Essentially nothing. Sure, I painted my toenails. I took a pumice stone to the bottoms of my feet once in a while. Slathered on some lotion… sometimes. Generally though, my feet were fairly low-maintenance.

After 30: My feet are now drier, scalier, and ashier than the bottom of my oven after I never clean it. Bottom-of-the-foot maintenance is becoming increasingly more time-consuming, and it involves more acids, peels, lotions, and treatments than Gwyneth Paltrow’s ugly entitled face.

I’ll also add that my toenails have become thicker and more difficult to clip, with a serious tendency toward “the yellows.” Now I don’t paint them so they look pretty; I paint them so they don’t look disgusting.

9.       Piles for Miles

Before 30: You can read more about this in my previous blog post “piles for miles,” but the upshot is that before I turned 30 I had absolutely zero experience with hemorrhoids other than occasionally seeing a Preparation-H commercial on TV and thinking: “Gross.”

After 30: With pregnancy came piles. Piles for miles. And after the pregnancy was over, they didn’t leave. Now I’d classify my current asshole status as “bumpy at best, no man’s land at worst.”

10.   Hot Flashes

Before 30: What are hot flashes? I don’t even… only old women get those, right? I mean, menopause doesn’t start until you’re like, 70. I’m pretty sure.

After 30:

 firegif

So there you have it! Those are my sad but true “10 after 30.” Feel free to add any of yours that I’ve left off my list, and check the est. 1975 Facebook page early and often for fresh material!

husbandisms

Husband: “Look at that couple jogging. That should be us.”
Me: “And what would our son be doing while we’re out jogging all over town?”
Husband: “Making chili.”

Me: “You better hurry to the gym. You won’t get into the spinning class.”
Husband: “Yes I will.”
Me: “You have like 5 minutes to get there.”
Husband: “I know.”
Me: “Okay.”
Husband: “If I don’t get in, I’ll just come home.”
Me: “Okay.”
Husband: “And then go back and burn down the gym.”

Husband: “Why can’t someone come in the middle of the night and exercise me in my sleep?”
Me: “What, like put a weight in your hand and lift it up and down for you?”
Husband: “Yeah. While I dream of chocolate. And butts. And butter. And boobs.”

Me: “Did you find your credit card?”
Husband: “Yes.”
Me: “Where was it?”
Husband: “You hid it.”
Me: “Seriously, where was it?”
Husband: “In your butt.”

Son: “Mom, you have one really small tooth.”
Me: “Yep.”
Son: “It’s like a baby tooth.”
Me: “It’s not a baby tooth, it’s just smaller than my other teeth.”
Husband: “It got worn down by all the food.”

hard-returngif

Want to read some more funny? Check out my latest post on BLUNTmoms called “Onions and Cigarette Butts.” It’s all about morning sickness and eating a Quizno’s sandwich full of cigarette butts (sort of) (not really) (just go read it.)

piles for miles

Many years ago, when I didn’t need six Aleve just to get out of bed in the morning and my skin still retained some semblance of elasticity, I harbored a completely misinformed perception of the noble hemorrhoid.

Back then, I considered hemorrhoids to be the grossest and most disgusting phenomenon ever known to mankind and I just knew that I would DIE OF EMBARRASSMENT if I ever had the misfortune to suffer from one. (Not that I was really worried about it. I was pretty sure hemorrhoids were reserved for old people. And fatties. And people who bought dollar store toilet paper. And gross weirdos with bad hygiene and a wiping philosophy of “Meh.”)

Then I got knocked up.

Pregnant ladies everywhere will tell you that hemorrhoids are part and parcel of the whole growin’-a-human gig. Come on, it only makes sense. Carrying an extra forty pounds of weight? That’s a hemorrhoid. Pressure on your rectum from your enlarging uterus? That’s a hemorrhoid. Bearing down for an hour only to produce a hard, constipated little poo the size of a pebble? Ooh, you better believe that’s a hemorrhoid.

(You can also develop hemorrhoids post-partum as a result of the strain of labor. HAPPY BABY TO YOU!)

Anyway, never mind that. The point is that, like many women, pregnancy was my sexy little introduction to hemorrhoids, and I’ve been Getting. Them. Ever. Since. There’s two different kinds, too. Did you know that? The “external” ones are the ones people are most familiar with – the ugly, bulging, sometimes itchy, sometimes painful, always revolting little piles that send you sprinting for your hemorrhoid cushion.

But there’s “internal” ones as well. They don’t look as gross – in fact, you can’t really even see them –  but fear not! They do have the “fun” side effect of making you BLEED THE BRIGHTEST REDDEST BLOOD EVER OUT OF YOUR ASSHOLE, leading you to go through the following thought process EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU GET ONE:

  1. Did I just get my period?
  2. Out of my ass?
  3. No.
  4. It’s not my period.
  5. It’s definitely coming from my asshole.
  6. OH MY GOD I’M BLEEDING OUT OF MY ASSHOLE.
  7. This could only mean
  8. There’s only one possible explanation
  9. It has to be
  10. BUTTHOLE CANCER.

Then, just as you’re about to inform the family of your impending doom at the hands of butthole cancer (again) you decide instead to look up your symptoms on WebMD (again) and after typing in your symptoms (again) the diagnosis comes up “hemorrhoids” (again.) And that’s the end of it.

Until next time.

Because there’s always a next time. At my age, when it comes to hemorrhoids, there’s just… always a next time. It may not be for a while. It may not be as bad as the last flare up. But there will be a next time. And that’s the reason I no longer think of hemorrhoids as an affliction reserved for the elderly, the sedentary, the grossly overweight, or the hygienically challenged.

Now I think of them more along the lines of:

  1. Ugh.
  2. Not again.
  3. Why did I eat that Indian food?
  4. I’m pretty sure that chicken makhani wasn’t “mild.”
  5. It was definitely more of a spicy “medium.”
  6. Ow.
  7. Is this toilet paper or did someone just sandblast my asshole?
  8. Where’s that thing of Tucks?
  9. …just out of reach…
  10. …nearly have it…
  11. Ahhh.
  12. HONEY? WHERE’S THE CUSHION?
  13. THE… WHAT DO YOU MEAN “WHAT CUSHION?”
  14. THE HEMORRHOID CUSHION!
  15. Is he a moron?

I guess what I’m saying is this: hemorrhoids are part of my life now. An itchy, flappy, uncomfortable part of my life? Yes. But part of my life none the less. Welcome, hemorrhoids. Take a load off. Enjoy your toasty warm new home.

In my asshole.