Let 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.