Like many people out there, I read a lot about pregnancy before I actually endeavored to become One of the Pregnant. I tried not to limit myself to just technical manuals or medical websites though. It only takes a cursory glance around the internet to find tons of women all saying something along the lines of, “Whaaaa? Is this normal? Nobody ever told me about this!” So obviously all of those technical manuals and medical websites seem to be leaving out a lot of important information. So I increased my range to include the many women who have endeavored to write about their personal experiences and the experiences of others in their lives.
One of the things I always seemed to read about on those sorts of informal sites was the increase in the woman’s sense of smell. Like all the other neat facts I read I gave a sort of, “Huh. That’s interesting,” remark and filed the knowledge away for later. But now… Now that it’s happening to me, I feel like I’ve been sort of mislead.
For me at least, it’s not just that my nose has gotten better. Oh no. My nose has turned me into the next Daredevil-esque superhero except instead of using my powers to stop crime I just use them to know when the meat in the deli case at my supermarket is starting to go bad. You know that phrase, the nose knows? Well my nose knows. It knows EVERYTHING.
I guess this wouldn’t be an intrinsically bad thing if my stomach was acting normal. If good smells still smelled good to me and I only reacted negatively to the bad smells, this would almost be cool. But no. My nose has conspired with my stomach to turn against me and fill my life with a never-ending parade of nausea and disgust.
If I walk into the apartment and Red is cooking something to eat there is a 8/10 chance that the smell will cause me to bolt to the bathroom, holding my shirt over my nose as if I were escaping toxic fumes. This is true even if Red were cooking something that not two days prior was my favorite thing to eat. It makes no difference now. My nose smells it all and it wants nothing to do with it.
I actually had to enact a “No Cooking Between the Hours of 12:00am and 8:00am” rule because of this. While I’m sure this isn’t something most people have to worry about, Red has something of a “Third Shift” sleep schedule which means that when Matt and I first wake up in the morning we’re catching Red as he goes to sleep for the day. He tends to wake up around 7 or 8 pm and stays up through the night. Normally this isn’t a problem but with my new superpowers comes great inconvenience (just like Uncle Ben used to say).
I had been in bed, completely asleep when I woke up from the most noxious smell EVER. I could smell the stove being on along with a weird chicken smell and a starchy smell. As my stomach began writhing with unhappiness within me I tried my best to ignore it and go back to sleep. The smell took a sharp turn for the worse and it got so bad that even Matt woke up and asked me what the hell he was smelling.
I finally stumbled out of bed, mentally repeating the mantra of all nauseous pregnant women everywhere, “Don’t throw up. Don’t throw up. Don’t throw up. Oh please, Powers Above, don’t let me throw up.” I opened the door to the kitchen, startling Red as I asked, “What the HELL are you cooking?”
I managed to resist the urge to be a really cranky bitch and said, “What kind of food?”
Chicken and rice was the answer which had just seconds before accidentally boiled over onto the burner creating the more satanic of the smells. I stumbled back to bed but the damage was done. I spent the next five hours laying in bed (and at the worse parts, on the floor by the toilet) wishing for sleep and wondering why there was a brief, secondary Stink Blast that literally smelled as if Red was trying to cook his own farts (cabbage. He added cabbage to his meal because WHY NOT).
The next day was when I enacted my Martial Law. It’s just a shame all my cats are little anarchists that don’t give a damn about any requests I make on behalf of my nose.
The worst offender if Fang-A-Lang. Because of her weird jaw stuff she has a really weird way of cleaning herself. Basically, as she grooms her fur she drools all over herself and by the time she’s done she looks as if we pushed her into a bathtub full of water or sprayed her with the hose. But instead of water its cat spit. Strangely pungent cat spit.
I’m certain that the reeking smell I get from her is a result of my supernose and not an actual medical problem she has because everyone else says she just kind of smells like damp cat. But to me… Well let’s just say that she has been experiencing a sharp decrease in the amount of time she gets to spend in my lap.
Inconvenience aside, it is pretty cool to think of the origin of this nose power. I’ve read a lot of different things that speculate that pregnant women gain this ability to smell whether anyone in the room isn’t wearing deodorant (gag) comes from a ye olde need to be able to better tell if the food they were eating was spoiled or not. Since food poisoning is dangerous for even the strongest among us it makes sense that a pregnant woman’s body would try REALLY hard to make sure she doesn’t succumb to something like that now that she has to worry about the health and well-being of the new tiny life inside her.
So in a way, my nose is doing exactly what nature intended and even though it is greatly contributing to my inability to eat 90% of the foods I used to love, I still appreciate it looking out for me and my baby. Carry on, nose. Keep up the good work.