Monday, October 15, 2012

daily challenge: brushing teeth

I have always been very serious about my dental hygiene, at least ever since this one really painful office visit as a child. I have flossed daily, along with mouth wash and meticulous brushing. I make my biannual visits, where I get my teeth cleaned by a professional, which I hate by the way. But my efforts have paid off. I haven't gotten any cavities filled in ages, and I've never had a root canal - not yet anyway...

Once I became pregnant and sick, brushing teeth has become one of my biggest fears. Anything going into my mouth would trigger a gag reflex, always leading to a painful series of stomach contractions that leads to... Well. Vomiting. In my case, brushing my teeth would guarantee it. I had only thrown up a handful of times in my entire life before the pregnancy, and only when I was violently sick. The harsh contractions would deplete my body of the energy I didn't have, knocking me out, shaking. 

Fortunately, my body doesn't react as violently anymore at my 21st week, and I have more strength than before, thanks to my ability to eat more these days. But the gag reflex has not stopped. Every night when I walk into the bathroom to brush my teeth, I have to take a deep breath and mentally prepare for what is to come. I often close my eyes and try to concentrate, trying so hard to not let this reaction take over me. I have yet to be successful.

After yet another night of an unsuccessful attempt, I have canceled my upcoming 6 months dental checkup for now. Also, after another rough, sleepless night, I have postponed my travel plans one more time. 

I saw a pregnant woman at the grocery store last night, enjoying a chocolate ice cream cone, savoring each bite. I was envious, wishing I had cravings like that I could handle. But I know I'm not alone. My sister in law also had a rough pregnancy - she said her nausea got 'a little better' at 6 months. I remember freaking out at the number (WHAT? SIX MONTHS? NOOOOO!), but now I'm almost there myself. Maybe in 4 more weeks, I will feel better, and I will be enjoying my own chocolate ice cream cone at the grocery store, making some poor, sick pregnant woman jealous... :)

And by the way, my doctor tells me that 'throwing up once or twice a day is fine.' I'm also not a 'high risk' pregnant woman, nor do I have any threatening issues. I just happen to be one of those unfortunate women feeling sick all the time - probably due to my high hormone levels, coupled with high sensitivity. I have my genes to thank for that. My mother and her mother both were this sick. And my mom had three children, and my grandma, six.... This is only my first time. I can do it. No problem! ...

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