water with antacid symbolically representing an upset stomachLet me tell you, it’s no picnic being two months pregnant when you edit, write, or read about food for a living.

“Hm, shall I write about what I had for dinner? Because I’m sure the readers will be SO HAPPY to read about the sparkling water and handful of almonds I forced down just to keep from booting this evening.”

And forget about trying to research or cook new recipes when just walking in the vicinity of the kitchen rams so many nauseating smells up your nose that you grapple desperately at the box of water crackers you now perpetually carry in your pocket. (Of course, that’s only when walking the six feet to the kitchen from the bedroom doesn’t make you collapse, panting on a chair after walking three feet.)

When my husband offered to buy me a pair of swimmer’s nose plugs to ease my discomfort, my only response was to glare balefully at him and asked if he really needed to eat an apple so loudly at that exact moment.

I also developed a specialized and completely uncontrollable gagging noise. Something would set me off, and if I didn’t manage to clamp my mouth shut in time to slightly muffle it, an otherworldly “BLEAURRRGAHHHP!” would issue from my stomach, esophagus, and mouth.

After getting over his initial surprise and concern at their severity and volume, my doting husband started to find my gags fairly hilarious. Especially when one occurred when I was talking and I continued on as if nothing had happened.

I didn’t think my friends would find my gags as amusing, so that, combined with the fact that we weren’t “telling” yet, had the effect of bringing my social life to a complete standstill. Frankly, I couldn’t be trusted to sit in a restaurant or bar and not emit revolting noises while being already completely revolted myself, so that was that.

For the same reason, I sadly pulled out of attending the A16 book signing in Corte Madera because, well, it was a cookbook signing along with what I’m sure was a wonderful food and wine pairing. I didn’t need to disturb the peace with my gags over there, either.

To some degree, my work also came to a standstill while I languished on the bed and tried to forget there was ever such a thing as food. Unfortunately, I was deep in a Mixed Vegetables deadline and attempting to skim over references to sushi, soba, and sake, while building a Japanese food glossary was an exercise in some serious mind control. Although, mostly, I just tended to mutter, “LALALALALA! Kibinago LALALALALA! Nai doufu LALAL–BLEAURRRGAHHHP!”

Mind you, I still met all my deadlines, I just didn’t work with excitement, joy, or an appetite.

Meanwhile, for all my whining about my career hardships, how the hell pregnant professional chefs or cooks manage to keep doing their jobs during these trying weeks is beyond me. I mean, forced to be around actual food all the time? BLEAURRRGAHHHP! Personally, I think food professionals should either get hazard pay or some sort of extra maternity leave in the first trimester.

Luckily, I’m now well into my second trimester and have left the Chronicles of Nausea behind, so I’m back in the food saddle again and raring to write about non-alcoholic wine, beer, and mocktails. Stay tuned.

A Pregnant Pause 27 January,2009Stephanie Lucianovic

  • sam

    I honestly don’t think I know of anyone who had a worse time of this than my sister. And hers didn’t even start until the second trimester and carried on right through the end of her pregnancy. Remind me to tell you the story of her emergency stop at the pub in Greenwich when I next see you. I have never heard such a peculiar loud sound from anyone! I certainly hope yours weren’t ever as dramatic as that.

  • Sam, I can’t wait to hear that story. I do count myself lucky that my nausea went from weeks 6-13 and then pretty much stopped. However, those were some hideous weeks! Wait until you hear what my diet was — I’m certain it will horrify your sensabilities!

  • Denise Lincoln

    I spent 5 months feeling very queasy when I was pregnant. If the nausea rears its ugly head again, I suggest ginger beer (the kind with real ginger, as if you’d drink anything else) mixed with fruit juice on ice. It did wonders for me. Good luck!

  • Thanks, Denise! I actually did live on ginger ale and Limonata, but how I combated my nausea is an upcoming post!

  • Hi Steph,

    Just in case you didn’t know: the email inbox of your Grubreport website seems to be full. Emails come back as undelivered.

    I tried to get in touch with you less public than this forum here, sorry.


  • Hi Steph! Congrats on being pregnant!!! The first trimester is definitely a little trying. Glad you made it past it. Take care,

  • Hey Teelo — thanks for the alert. Go Daddy never tells me how full the box is! I’ve since cleared it out.

    Thanks Lisa, thankfully I’m past the first tri and able to enjoy it much more now!


Stephanie Lucianovic

A former picky eater, Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic is a writer, editor, and lapsed cheesemonger in the San Francisco Bay Area. A culinary school grad with an English lit degree, she has written for CNN.com, MSNBC.com, Popular Science, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe. Additionally, she has been writing for KQED’s Bay Area Bites since its inception and is the website editor for KQED’s Emmy-award winning show “Check, Please! Bay Area.”

Stephanie was an original recapper at Television Without Pity and worked on a line of cookbooks for William-Sonoma as well as in the back kitchen of a Jacques Pépin cooking show. Her first book, SUFFERING SUCCOTASH: A Picky Eater’s Quest To Understand Why We Hate the Foods We Hate (Perigee Books, 2012) is a non-fiction narrative and a heartfelt and humorous exposé on the inner lives of picky eaters that Scientific American called “hilarious” and “the perfect popular science book for a reader that doesn’t think he or she wants to read a popular science book.”

Stephanie lives in Menlo Park with her husband, three-year-old son, assorted cats, and has been blogging at The Grub Report for over a decade.

Follow her on Twitter at @grubreport

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