Waning nausea, blog aversion and fighting shitty sex ed.

I have a confession to make: I’ve been avoiding this blog.

In fact, I’ve been avoiding WordPress altogether. Why? Because thinking of the blog makes me think of the fact that I’m pregnant, which reminds me of the nausea, which calls attention to how I’m feeling right now, and given then I’m a hypochondriac as well as hypersensitive, thinking of all this makes me feel even sicker.

But now the nausea is getting progressively better. Last weekend I survived over 4hrs (cumulative) in the car so we could go and see Bf’s family and announce the good news (turned out we didn’t need to because his sister had let it slip by accident… see what I mean when I say there’s no point even pretending?). We ate dinner and I managed not to vomit as I evacuated to the garden when all three of the kids present needed changing at the same time.

So there I was thinking “Yay! My nausea’s going away, now! I’m safe!”, when along came a tummy bug (probably contracted from one of the nieces or the nephew), and the tummy bug said “LOL NOPE” before settling in my gut and reminding me just how shitty it was before I got prescribed the antihistamines.

As tummy bugs go, this one was pretty mild, or maybe I’m just so used to throwing up and being nauseous by now that it felt milder than it was. But the frustration, omg.

Which is why yesterday, after test-eating a banana and then an actual full meal (albeit with no meat in it, I’m practically a veggie now), and test-venturing outside, smelling flowers of all things, and pestering Bf that we should make the most of the sun and go for a walk…

We went to a park we’d never been to 20mins drive away. It was big and full of kids. There was a café and I ordered a banana split and a coke and ate ALL of the banana split (but only drank half of the coke, fizzy drinks don’t agree with me any more) and then we went for a WALK and I was wearing actual PANTS and a SHIRT and neither of them made me feel like throwing up, and there were DUCKS and TREES and SUNLIGHT and STREAMS and WOODS and have you SEEN that video of the cows being let out for the first time in spring?

I was kinda like that only slower.

SERIOUSLY GUYZ I ATE A BANANA SPLIT AND THEN TOOK A WALK AND DIDN’T EVEN VOMIT AT THE END OF THE DAY 😀

I don’t think I can really do justice to the feeling of liberation and pure giddiness that I felt just doing normal things after over a month of being cooped up on the sofa with that damn basin close to hand just in case.

But then – and this is not the first time this has happened since the beginning of this pregnancy – then, my brain turned round and farted.

And it said (imagine this in a brain-farty voice, if you can): “OMG YOU’RE NOT EVEN 11 WEEKS IN YET AND THE NAUSEA’S GOING AWAY WHAT IF SOMETHING’S WRONG WITH THE BABY?!!??!?!111”

You know what my gynocologist said to me when I went to her with my basin and told her how crap I was feeling? She said “It’ll pass, but don’t start worrying when it does. Some women think the nausea going away means something’s wrong with the baby, but it’s completely normal.”

And at the time I was like “Haha, no, that won’t happen to me,” thinking all the while “that’s stupid.”

Because it is stupid. And it happened to me anyway, even though my gynocologist had warned me about it. Because pregnancy makes us stupid.

It’s like right at the beginning when I needed to poo but didn’t dare push too hard. If someone else had told me this before it happened to me, I would have laughed and said “that girl’s dumb”. And then it happened to me and now I kinda understand and feel sorry for all those women less well-informed than me (bearing in mind that I’ve been fascinated with pregnancy on an intellectual level for quite a while, and also part of my training from working with children involves knowing the basics of where they come from and how they develop inside and outside the womb). Those women whose families don’t talk about it, or who never thought to ask or take an interest before, who only have these instincts to follow, and who turn up on Yahoo! Answers with questions like “Can it hurt my baby to have sex during pregnancy??” Only to be laughed at by smart-asses like me who are all like “Haha no stupid otherwise waaay more babies would be born deformed lol have you no sense at all?”

To me, these things are logical. Yet that didn’t stop me from actually, consciously wondering about them when I got pregnant. And let’s face it, sex education is crap pretty much everywhere. I mean, maybe it’s evolved since the late 90’s, but for me there was the one time someone interrupted our maths lesson to teach us how to put a condom on a banana, nearly causing a riot because 13-year-olds are idiots and we really wanted to skip ALL of maths, and then there was that biology lesson on the reproductive system which nobody was listening to because three of the boys were secretly comparing dick lengths under the table at the back and the rest of us were speculating about the results. I only learned what the clitoris was because my mum was sensible enough to tell me when I was a child, along with all the other body parts. But the first time I ever had an orgasm, I literally thought I was going insane.

In that context, it doesn’t really surprise me any more when I see someone ask “Can my baby get pregnant if I have sex while I’m pregnant with her??”. My first reaction would be to laugh “Of course not”, but what if that woman was never taught about the relationship between periods and sexual maturity, and the ability to conceive? Never mind the fact that the uterus is closed off from the vagina by a mucus plug, which is something I found out quite recently from reading my clients’ pregnancy books at work while the kids were sleeping. If I’d become a librarian instead like I wanted, I’d have totally been the woman asking if having sex late in pregnancy could break your water if you were too rough about it, and I’m not afraid to look for more information – whereas in some places there is still this massive taboo, people equate looking for information about your own body to searching for porn (which I have nothing against as long as people realise that porn reflects reality in much the same way that Disney does). If I’d been brought up with the message that sex was for procreation only, that I wasn’t allowed to actually enjoy it, that masturbation would make me go blind and that being born outside of wedlock was the most shameful thing about me (lol), would it be that far-fetched to believe that having sex during pregnancy could somehow be sinful and impregnate the baby?

Luckily, this is the age of the Internet, and good quality sex education is available to FREE, if you’re brave or curious enough to search for it. I haven’t yet found any ongoing lessons specific to pregnancy, but I can give you two resources that have helped me understand more about my body than I learned during my entire hormone-fuelled adolescence.

Laci Green does a show called Sex+ and another on MTV called Braless. She’s a sex ed teacher and she does conferences around the US aimed mostly at middle and high school aged kids, not because what she teaches is beneath the level of adults, but because teenagers need to know this stuff. A lot of what she talks about is based around relationships and how they tie into our understanding and handling of sexual encounters. Here’s an example:

Second resource, more aimed towards adults but which can also be beneficial for high schoolers to watch because it goes into quite a lot of anatomical detail at times, is Sexplanations by Lindsey Doe. Lindsey is a sexologist who also does conferences. Her shows are a bit more technical, but she does also talk about methods for figuring out what you want and gives general relationship advice as well, because contrary to what most sex ed teachers seem to think, you can’t reliably talk about sex without talking about relationships. Here’s one for the parents out there:

Those are my two main YouTube resources for reliable sex education. If anyone can give me something similar specific to pregnancy, I would be incredibly grateful.

Now I’m off to roll in the grass like a puppy – then panic and disinfect my entire body to avoid toxoplasmosis.

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