Myths, Martyrs and Monsters of Pregnancy.

We’ve made it to 15 weeks!  According to the fruit-chart at , baby is now the size of a navel orange (which, incidentally, is very different from a “naval orange”).  My first reaction to this developmental quasi-fact is shock; I find it more than a little surprising that I can have any sort of growth inside of me (let alone one that is alive and moving around) the size of an orange that I am generally, completely, physically unaware of.    Suddenly, all those shows on TLC where the person finds a surprise grapefruit-sized tumour in their gut seem believable.  Our bodies are amazing, complicated entities that simply shuffle around, make do, and even go as far as to supply mind altering chemicals à la dopamine and relaxin, so that the whole process goes by in a bit of a blur.  Amazing.

On the other end of the reality TV spectrum, the further into this journey we get, the more that i’m ready to call “BS” on the very idea of I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant.  Really?  I understand that every pregnancy is different, but come on.  The morning  divestion of what is apparently a massive build up of egg-whites within my digestive tract, the sudden weight gain that is focused on the pelvic region, the impressive development(s) in the chesticle area, the inability to be around the scent of coffee without lashing out in toxic rage, the extreme fatigue…  I get that not everyone has all  the symptoms, but how about combine any of the above with the strong possibility that you had a little snuggle-time with that special someone, and you haven’t had a regular monthly visitor in about, oh, about 9 months.

My personal opinion:

If you’re having sex, there’s always a likelihood you could end up pregnant.  

Feel free to spread that novel piece of info around. 

So I suggest this as today’s myth: that you could have no clue that you’re pregnant.  And I get it, your friend has a cousin whose chiropractor had this very thing happen to her.  Please, do me a favour:  ask your friend’s, cousin’s chiropractor if she took fifth-grade health (and if not, ask her how the heck she became a chiropractor). is willing to entertain the possibility here

Martyred for pregnancy’s sake: Is Drinking Guinness During Pregnancy Really an Excellent source of Iron? 

Ahh – I was sad to put this one to rest.  At a recent going away party for a coworker, a friend – upon hearing that my ferratin scores were low in early pregnancy, enthusiastically explained that all the girls in Ireland are doing it.  And by “doing it”, she meant downing a few pints of Guinness every week.  After checking with my doctor, the verdict is a decisive “not exactly”.  While, Guinness (or any Stout) is recognized as being higher in iron than other alcoholic beverages, no amount of alcohol consumption has ever been decisively shown to be safe during pregnancy – just like caffeine.  At the same time (and this is where it gets really confusing) most doctors will okay 1-2 drinks per week after a woman is safely out of a complication-free first trimester, but obviously to the discretion of the mum-to-be.

interesting article about Guinness’  entanglement with this myth can be found here.

A new pregnancy monster:  Does Eating Watermelon During Pregnancy Take Energy away from the developing baby?

The idea being that the energy is redirected to reheating the mother’s system.  When I first heard this, I almost completely wrote it off as crazy-lady talk.  But something about it stuck with me and I raised the possibility with the ladies at  Turns out, watermelon is one of many food taboos to make an appearance in traditional Chinese medicine.  I found a fun article on listing many other traditions and beliefs held by those who continue to practice ancient ways.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t eating watermelon while reading the article.  Frozen watermelon chunks at that.  They were delicious.

more info on watermelon during pregnancy can be found here.

Myths, stories and wives tales are fun.  They remind us of the mystery and magic of pregnancy.  15 weeks into it, I still have tons to figure out!

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