Monica Bielanko
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It's my pregnancy and I'll retch if I want to

Seven-fifteen this evening found me scarfing down a Big Mac in my 95 degree car, parked like a criminal in a dirty corner of Salt Lake City.

I had been feverishly navigating unfamiliar streets, desperately searching for the familiar arches. Even The Bell would do. Wendy's, hell, I'd take Weinerschnitzel... ANYTHING. I had foolishly waited too long to leave work for lunch and The Pregnancy Hunger was manifesting itself in the loud pre-puke retching that Serge detests.

I'll be honest here, I'm ready to divorce him over his attitude about the retching. He very nearly acts like I do it on purpose. I see the eye rolls, hear the subtle sighs. Like I'm putting on a show, being dramatic about morning sickness. To be fair the retching is loud and ugly and nails on chalkboard is probably more enjoyable to the ear, but I can't help it!

Anything can set the retching off.

For example: smearing shit all over your hands after you've over indulged at the buffet. See, I was sick on Monday and could not fathom scrounging something together for dinner. Just as I did last pregnancy, I began having visions of mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and corn. When that happens and Grandma ain't around to cook, every Utahn worth their temple recommend knows this is the place to go. I'm not saying it's good, I'm just saying in Utah, it's the place to go.

So we went.

A giant salad and five hot plates of food later I was molesting a chocolate chip cookie, the melted chocolate chip smearing on my hand when Violet, who was sitting in a high chair parked at the end of the table, decided to kick one of her legs up onto the table, you know, like to relax and such.

We smelled it before we saw it. But then we saw it. Hoo boy did we see it.

The kid had great globs of shit leaking out of her diaper and onto the top of her thigh.

"Time to go." I said to Serge. He stood up and scooped up Violet. As he did so we both noticed the mess left behind in her high chair. I peeped guiltily around the crowded restaurant and noticed a woman at the table behind ours watching. "Oh, that's just chocolate chip." I stage whispered for her benefit as Serge exclaimed "That's poop!"


Meanwhile I sensed the contents of my stomach making preliminary escape plans.

Serge made for the door and I smiled at the woman, casually grabbed a wad of napkins and began trying to scoop the poop. But then I noticed my chocolate chip smeared hands and couldn't tell poop from chocolate and kind of freaked.

I thought I was going to puke on the table. As any pregnant woman knows, when The Puke wants out, The Puke will get out. Ain't no denying the puke.

So, shit napkins in hand, I picked up the entire shit-covered highchair and made a run for it.

It wasn't exactly a clean getaway.

In fact, it was the dirtiest getaway ever. I banged the highchair into two tables containing eating families and then slammed into the back of a server before scooping the smooshy poop out of the damned chair, ditching it near the entrance and escaping to the parking lot.

Where I proceeded to gag.

And Serge wasn't as understanding as he might have been, shall we say. Angry words ensued and, well, I went to bed early that night... Give that motherfucker morning sickness for a few hours and we'll see how he reacts to the retching. Thinks he knows Thing One about being sick... Let him carry a baby for nine months... Try puking his guts out every night...

Sorry. I go off on rants like that, but usually just in my head, while shooting death rays at the back of Serge's head.

So yeah. Back to today. I'm cursing and retching, yes retching, Serge... sweatily gripping the steering wheel and searching for a fast food joint. In my hungry hurry I'd taken the wrong freeway exit and found myself driving around a strange part of town.


Finally, like a dream, the familiar golden arches shimmer into view and blessedly, I am pulling into a McDonalds.

I get my food and park in the spot they use for when your order isn't ready. You know when they tell you to pull ahead and then you have to wait several endless minutes until the employee runs out with your sack of crap? Yeah, I parked there and gulped a Big Mac, fries and a Diet Coke in all of thirty seconds.

And the retching subsides. For now.

Reader Comments (20)

"The dirties getaway ever." My god, that was truly amazing. Horrifying, but amazing. Crossing fingers that you are nearly past the puke zone.

July 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKate

Ok that made me spew hot coffee all over myself! LOL I needed that!

July 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJen

"and blessedly, I am pulling into a McDonald's" - ROFL

You need some hummous with crackers or chips, and maybe some carrot sticks.You can make the hummous at home if you like. It really helps!

July 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmelia

I just retched thinking about the poop chair. I'm scarred. For life.

July 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkaty

The hummus & crackers idea (or with carrot/celery sticks) is a very good one. Healthy, fills your stomach;, and totally portable.

July 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCarol

Hummus and veggie sticks when you're pregnant is disgusting. Don't get me wrong, I actually had that very same meal for dinner last night. But when I was pregnant, both times, I had to eat just greasy crap. Pepperoni pizza, cheeseburgers from McD's and french fries were the only food I could swallow. Sorry you are going through this. Just awful. My sickness was just through the 1st trimester. Isn't there an anti-nausea that the doc can give you?

July 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWendy

Get zofran stat! Saved my life during both my pregnancies!

July 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCrystal

I would be careful with hummus. My sister-in-law and her one year old both got e. coli poisoning from hummus. She was preggers with her second at the time, but luckily she was far enough along that the fetus was unharmed.

July 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjeneria

That's why it's important to only eat fast food during your pregnancy. After all, who ever heard of anyone getting salmonella from fast—er, wait. Huh. Forget I said anything.*

(*The above statement should not be in any way construed as a judgment against the whims of a pregnant woman's appetite. I think as long as it won't kill the baby, pregnant women should eat whatever buoys their will to create life.)

July 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterR


July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmelia

At once hilarious and disturbing...but always real. i deal with grownups crapping their drawers every day and I don't think I could muster that kind of grace when the poop hits the chair. Nope. Hope your retching eases up soon!

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGina

There is nothing more horrible. I was so sick during my pregnancy that I had a nurse come and hang IV's from my ceiling fan. Needless to say, I only had one kid. :)

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCass

I'm not pregnant, but I would've been retching had I experienced the poopchair. Serge will just have to get over it - we can't all be so lucky to have guts of steel, as he obviously must.

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNatalie

Funny, when I was preggers the fast food would make me wretch. But potatoes and ice cream? Only thing I could stomach.

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Domestic Goddess

Natalie, please girl. Mine are abs of steel. Not guts.

serge (The Situation of Pleasant Grove)

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterserge

I'm 6 weeks into my first pregnancy and the though of any kind of food makes me want to puke. I've been eating crackers and chicken broth for the past week. I would give anything to eat a mcdonalds hamburger. i feel like my hubby thinks i am being over dramatic with "morning" sickness-but it's really terrible. I feel like I'm going to puke from the time I get up until the time I go to sleep. he begged me to have dinner with him 2 nights ago (he made pasta and said I was being a baby) and 15 minutes later I was puking spaghetti. I wish he could have morning sickness for a day.

July 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTeres

this was me in my first trimester....the paying for someone to make my food and deliver it to the table and then puking it up in the ladies room after changing my 2 y.o.'s diaper. Red Lobster in my situation.
And the Big Mac has made an impact on my 2nd and 3rd trimesters for sure, a Big Mac and a Sweet Tea really made my afternoons manageable.
Today is my due date, went for greasy fast food with my Dad- as if this would help induce labor. I think I have grown so accustomed to greasy fast food this pregnancy that my digestive system just doesn't care that I introduced more greasy fast food to it today.
Congratulations and try a sweet tea next time you are at McD's- they rock with the major sugar load.

July 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMidwest-mom

If it is any comfort at all, apparently there is fairly good evidence of a strong link between bad morning sickness while pregnant with a decreased lifetime chance of breast cancer.

July 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

Seriously try Zofran. It was the only thing that got me through my first trimester with my second kid. I wasn't sick with the first, but I couldn't even keep water down, without getting sick the second time around. I was able to eat normally and keep food down when I was put on it. And it dissolves the minute it hits your toungue. I got to the point where I couldn't get off the couch that first trimester untill I told my obgyn what was going on. It was pretty severe. Hope you get to feeling better soon!

August 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCyndy

Oh my lord,retro-mon cracks me up.
You saying chic chip while serge say "that's poop!" had me laughing in silent fits so as not to wake the child that's lobbed her way into bed with me. I hope you start writing more. You're just hilarious x

May 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterShannon

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