Last time around I was so very careful. I was Model Infertile Pregnant Lady who would clearly Do Anything to protect her Precious Fetus. I went around not drinking coffee and not eating soft cheese and not having lunch meat and taking the expensive prenatals that still allow you to poop when you feel like it might be a good idea; I eschewed nonpasteurized juices and god knows what else, Hair dye. Probably haircuts period. My moisturizer because it had some botanical whoozywhatsis that might possibly be unresearched. Benzoyl peroxide. Of course all the deprivation drove me to self-medicate with Lucky Charms. Serotonin, don't you know.
Nowadays I'm doing everything short of riding helmetless on a Harley: devouring raw eggs with abandon (in the form of batter), mixing and matching vitamin cocktails to approximate a reasonable intake of folic acid, smearing myself with Clearasil and this Burt's Bees serum in turns. Cold lunch meat? Grocery store sushi? I don't fear the listeria. I choke down a half cup of coffee in the morning, not because I like it anymore, but because if I don't I will be collapsed in a migrainish heap by ten a.m. I had to start with iced tea and Coke while the nausea raged, but I'm working my way back to the hard stuff.
And remember that whole Fifth Disease flap a few posts back? You know what I've done about it? Diddly shit, that's what. I don't worry about contracting CMV from preschool either. And I plan to get a blue streak in my hair, once it's a little longer. (Of course the peroxide and dye will not so much as touch my scalp, but still.)
Hindsight being what it is, it is clear to me now that while pregnant and most certainly for at least four months postpartum, I had an undiagnosed (well, technically, unreported) anxiety disorder. And a flare-up of OCD. (I can hear you laughing, Kateri.) It was a lot of fun: paralyzing anxiety over the smallest car trip that often degenerated into my screaming at myself and either slapping or biting myself, intrusive thoughts of many unpleasant flavors, and a whole lot of handwashing.
And remember my plastics freakout? (Which you can find on my old blog, in the left sidebar.) Yeah. That was part of it too. Not that I'm microwaving saran wrap now or anything. But I do own a few "safe" plastic items, and I am actually able to touch them without fear.
Did the craziness of a surprising pregnancy after years of fertility struggles -- coupled with the stress of moving to a new city in my third trimester (to a truly horrible house) -- trigger the attack? Or was it, hormonally speaking, a set-up? I don't know. I thought for a while I was just really high-strung, but this time around I'm not so sure. I can't bring myself to get worked up over much at all, and while that's partially the UNRELENTING FATIGUE, it may also be reflective of generally improved mental health.
I've made arrangements to deal if I have another postpartum meltdown, but the pregnancy itself feels so different. The prospect of actually having a baby in the midst of friends and support network -- why, it's revolutionary! Not moving to a strange city while enormously pregnant? How unusual! Why has no one thought of this before?
(Hey, there are limits.)