March 16, 2014

Pregnancy In Dominica

Sure, women are pregnant here in Dominica every day. I know I'm not the first. I know I'm not the last. But this is my first pregnancy, so that counts for something, right?

Overall, being here in Dom during the first trimester was probably a good thing. Since I felt so crummy, it was easy to hide away and sleep through the exhaustion and all day sickness without feeling too guilty.

The things I've found most intimidating during the first trimester? The food. The smells. And being able to cook anything at all. Raw chicken? Blech. Eggs? Instant vomit. Any type of seafood smell? Game over. But I'm certain that would've been the same in the States.

Now that the nausea is subsiding a bit, the cravings are kicking in. I had a few cravings here or there during the first trimester. Mainly for The Usual Spot restaurant here in Picard. And mainly for their cabbage and green beans. That's a sentence I never thought I would write.

I'll tell you what though, pregnant women in the States, be grateful for the ability to run to the grocery when you have a random craving, or driving through at the best worst fast food place to curb the hunger, or just going to get some ice cream. It's a luxury. And let me tell you don't ever, ever take that for granted.

With the struggle to keep grocery shelves stocked consistently, our conversations are somewhat like this.

Me: I could really go for some apples. I think I could keep those down.
Matt: The grocery didn't have any.
Me: What about frozen fruit for a smoothie?
Matt: No milk. I guess I could use water.
Me: Ugh. I'll just have another dinner of green beans.

It's very fascinating to me how your body knows what nutrients it needs, and that's typically where your cravings come into play. For example, I don't eat the red meat here. Plenty of people do, and I'm sure it's fine. I've eaten Taco Bell at home and all. I realize it can't get much worse than that. But I just don't care to. I get my iron from my prenatal and try to eat as many green veggies as I can (hello, cabbage). However, I can't tell you how many dreams I've had about a burger. Or a steak. Or anything else in the red meat category. I've even sunk so low as to google menus of restaurants I've been craving. And dreamt of what it will be like when I can have it. I imagine an angelic chorus will ring out with the first bite. That's embarrassing to admit.

So that leads me to bacon. Turkey bacon is at the grocery that comes from America. I know, technically not red meat. So I'll eat that - more than I care to admit. And Matt does an excellent job of making it super crispy, so I'm basically eating burnt bacon, but it satisfies the craving for the time being. Probably not the best thing to eat, but hey, it could be worse.

The other thing I've been struggling with is the heat. It is grossly hot and humid here. Dominica 'winters' are still hot in my book, so I've been on the struggle bus with this one. Splurging on the AC has been the solution.

The last struggle is the car rides. The girl gets carsick in America. Which spells disaster for Dominica. Mix that with pregnancy, and no one has a good time.

But, there are definitely positives of being pregnant while here.

Besides being able to hibernate, I'm not getting wrapped into the big baby rush extravaganza. There's not much I can do here to get ready for baby. So I'm not getting overwhelmed with the shopping and pressures of the commercial side of it. Plus, I'm not even delving into the online forums of scary moms. I think that can be the most intimidating thing about pregnancy and motherhood - other moms. So I'm getting to lay low on that one. And very grateful.

Matt and I can also bond just to the two of us to our little one. Sure, school is a major time suck for Matt, but beyond that, it is just us three. And that is really special.

There are some things I can do to prepare. Like spending a ridiculous amount of time researching car seats, strollers, etc. And I stalk (let's call it what it is) other mom friends, especially posts like these, for their recommendations on what their little ones preferred and what worked best.

I'm sure all pregnancies have their ups, downs and certain challenges. I'm sure mine's not unique. But that's ok.

Baby Wells is growing and healthy and that's all we could hope for. Even if it's on a Dominican bacon diet. With some cabbage and green beans on the side.

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