Margo: No beer, no Advil? The price of pregnancy | AspenTimes.com

Margo: No beer, no Advil? The price of pregnancy

Alison Berkley Margo

As if it weren’t bad enough pumping my body full of synthetic hormones, I found out the other day that I have to give up caffeine.

Like any true addict, I was in full denial about this little sacrifice I would have to make in order to achieve the golden super-uterus that will allow me to bear a child even though I’m more than halfway to menopause.

“I’m assuming that means I’ll have to give up Botox and beer, too?” I asked my nurse.

She concurred and added to the list: chocolate and — oh, yeah — ibuprofen.

Otherwise known as Advil or “Vitamin I,” ibuprofen is the answer to oh-so-many of life’s problems. I mean, how do you think people in this town are able to party like rock stars and then run up Aspen Mountain and do CrossFit and road bike a million miles all hunched over with their shoulders up around their ears? The answer is all in that one little orange pill, my friends. But you already knew that.

But now you have a headache on account of quitting caffeine because you’ve hired a bunch of fancy doctors to get you knocked up. Too bad, so sad: Better get a cold washcloth and lie down in a dark room, sucka.

Now let’s talk booze. Despite my best efforts, I’ve never been very good at boozing. It’s something I’ve had to work very hard at because I kind of suck at it. Most hard liquor makes me dry heave for at least 24 hours or until I want to die or whichever comes first. While I would love nothing more than to join the ranks of wine connoisseurs who swirl their dainty glasses and have managed to turn boozing into something that appears all cultured and hip, I really don’t even like wine. It gives me a headache and indigestion and makes me cry. Every time I’ve ever been to a wine tasting, I wish I could mix it with ice or soda and can’t wait to wash it down with a nice carbonated drink like soda or champagne or beer.

I might go big once a year, but don’t expect it to happen two nights in a row because I’d rather eat melted cheese and fried food until my eyes start watering than drink when I’m hung over. And who wants to drink the hair of the dog? It’s as gross as it sounds and always makes me gag.

But beer I can do. I love beer. I love it on a sunny afternoon after a hard day at play. I love it with salty food and on an empty stomach, when one or two is all I need. Beer is the great equalizer. It’s just enough to broaden the smile and decrease the stress without feeling like you’re swallowing turpentine or sort of poisoning yourself.

Oh, yes, how I love beer. I love it almost as much as I love coffee.

Growing up, I was always a sleepy kid. My mom said I slept through the night the first day she brought me home from the hospital.

“I woke up and freaked out because I thought maybe you had died,” she said, never one to sugarcoat her stories.

It turned out I was a damn good sleeper. She said I slept through the night and didn’t wake up until 9 most days. She didn’t breastfeed me, so there was no need to disturb my sleep — or hers, for that matter. She was a mother in the ’70s, when they didn’t worry about drinking or smoking or feeding their kids formula or letting their babies sleep 10 hours a night.

Maybe that’s why for the rest of my life, getting me up in the morning was always a struggle. Not wanting to fight it, my mom would wake me 15 minutes before the school bus came and shove me out the door without even trying to feed me breakfast.

“I know it was bad, but it was just too hard,” she bemoaned.

In high school, I was practically comatose and always late for first period. It’s true that I wore my pajamas to school most days and could be seen shuffling to class long after the bell had rung with my eyes half closed. I was the kid who fell asleep in class and woke up in a puddle of drool, the kid who slept in cars and got gum stuck in my hair, the kid who sacked out in planes, falling into such a deep sleep that I’d have some dream that woke me up with a start and had me kicking or punching the poor person sitting next to me.

All that changed when I discovered coffee. Not only was I no longer tired all the time, but I wasn’t hungry, either! Nothing better than a midafternoon coffee drink to curb the ol’ appetite. No sense in starving yourself without the right tools.

I had planned to wean myself off caffeine slowly, knowing how brutal withdrawal from coffee can be. But for some reason, I’d decided I wasn’t required to quit — no, not yet. And that’s what brings me back to the beginning of this here story.

Yes, I know this is only the beginning of the lifetime of sacrifices I’ll have to make if I actually do end up having a child. Yes, I know the inevitable chorus of “I told you so” and “Be careful what you wish for” that I’ll be hearing from the peanut gallery when I’m still wearing the same pair of maternity pants I bought at Target and freaking out about not getting enough sleep when my kid is like 5 years old.

“If” being the operative word.

I might be tired and grouchy and stressed and suffering from a horrible headache, but at least when and if I ever do become a mother, I’ll be well-prepared.

The Princess needs a nap. Email your love to alisonmargo@ gmail.com.


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