By the time you read this, I will be on maternity leave. A little quick math will reveal that I have therefore laid off the liquor for nearly a year. A year with several occasions where—to put it mildly—I could have used a drink.
Nevertheless, aside from watching the occasional seasonal cocktail pass with faint theoretical longing, I was surprised to find it relatively easy to do without—especially in comparison to all the other stuff I missed. For instance:
Being able to go two, maybe even three hours without hunting for a bathroom By the end, I was on roughly a 45-minute timer.
Deli meat An easy lunch option you don’t miss until it’s gone. Also, turkey clubs. And ham. (Although by the end I’d said fuck it and started eating ham again.)
Sushi I’m not even sure my suddenly delicate and very picky stomach could have taken it.
Hollandaise sauce You know, I’m not sure this one is even against the rules. Somebody told me it was and I just took it at face value. Maybe I have been needlessly depriving myself of eggs benedict for nine months.
Weed Or rather, knowing I had the option, specifically for its nausea-fighting abilities. (Sorry to say that not everybody’s nausea magically evaporates at the end of the first trimester.)
Pigeon pose While not particularly diligent about exercise, I highly recommend prenatal yoga. However, one of the earliest signs of my changing body was my sudden inability to achieve pigeon pose, previously a favorite. It wasn’t purely my growing belly, either. One day things just stopped going where I wanted them to.
Blithe unconcern about the future of my pelvic floor Did you get a jumpstart on kegels in your early 20s? Well, how nice for you.
Not knowing what acid reflux felt like I’m no stranger to heartburn but never understood that acid reflux was a different beast entirely. That is, until, I was awoken from a dead sleep by the feeling of stomach acid rushing into my throat unprompted.
My large collection of coffee cups I didn’t quit drinking caffeine while pregnant, but I did stop making entire pots at home as part of an effort to cut back. That means my beautiful collection of coffee cups from places like the annual Jane Austen Festival in Bath.
Turning over in bed easily It now requires more points than backing out of the crowded dirt parking lot of a BBQ joint down a dirt road in a swamp. Putting on my shoes feels like a labor of Hercules—I recently had to turn on my air conditioner when I got overheated during the process. (It was 45 degrees outside.)
Blue cheese Not particularly a favorite until informed I couldn’t have it.
Gorgonzola It’s good on salads.
Prosciutto Fuck a martini, give me a martini glass full of this stuff.
Tuna Nothing like regular summer tuna salad sandwiches, as I was reminded when I couldn’t have them.
Goat cheese generally I went to Vermont over Labor Day weekend, which was lovely, except for all the delicious-looking goat cheeses I couldn’t eat.
Feta cheese specifically My favorite hangover food is from this local place, a bowl of steak fries covered in red onions, souvlaki, cherry tomatoes, balsamic, and feta cheese. It is pointless without the feta cheese.
The good shit, medicine-wise I cannot wait for the first time I have an allergic flare-up and I can take decongestants from behind the pharmacy counter again. You know, the ones that kinda make your fingers buzz. The good shit.
My body not feeling like a sack of wet sand This is the best way I can describe the never-ending feeling of fatigue, which—much to my dismay—did not disappear during the second trimester.
Brushing the back of my tongue without dry heaving until vomiting bile Life is all about simple pleasures.
Pooping Someday I will have regular bowel movements once more—probably just in time for the kid to interrupt.