Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Super-Human Smeller

There are things about pregnancy that people always tell you, but that you never really appreciate until you are actually going through them. Which leaves you men out altogether, sorry guys.**

For example, your sense of smell is magnified beyond belief. This usually seems to apply to smells you don't care for anyway. Case-in-point, I can smell the cucumber something-or-other that the guy in the cube 2 rows over from me is having for lunch. I don't care for cucumbers. In fact, it's probably safe to say that I avoid them at all costs. It helps that I'm allergic, so I can get away with leaving them on my plate of salad and not having the hostess feel slighted. At any rate, all the books tell you that Smell Sensitivity happens almost immediately. Be it sitting in your office, walking into your own kitchen, or walking down the street, you never know when something offensive is going to float up your nose and cause you to gag. (Luckily, I am not too sensitive with smells in the first place, and never had the experience of smelling something so bad that I threw up. But I'm one of the lucky few.)

It is Murphy's Law that this only occurs on things that you'd rather not be smelling in the first place. Must be your body telling you to avoid that particular object/area/food/person/whatever because it is potentially harmful to you and therefore the fetus you are gestating. But why does it have to be so intense? I have yet to read anything explaining this phenomenon, except that it happens in most women and continues throughout the pregnancy and often times through the first few months of mother-hood. Wonderful. Why can't the smell of fresh-baked cookies be that overwhelming?

Speaking of The Nose, I HAVE found explanations as to why it is constantly stuffy--the pregnancy hormones surging through your body make various membranes in your body swell slightly, including your sinuses among other things. Great. I'm stuck with a stuffy nose and can not safely take any medication for it without consulting my physician, so I just have to suffer through. How in the world do you manage to have a stuffy nose that you can't blow AND still be able to smell BO coming down the hall before you can identify the person? How is this biologically possible?

Add it to my list of things that make you go 'Hmmm....'

**Guys, feel free to skip this post, as it is about pregnancy symptoms and therefore for the ladies. Or read on and enjoy finding out what you are missing and having new sympathy for pregnant women everywhere. And for Bubba, who has to hear about it from me all the time!**


Bubba's Sis said...

Nature's way of preparing you for stinky diapers maybe??

Reminds me of something funny that happened once - Precious Daughter, who was about 2 at the time, was sitting on Bubba's lap, and it seemed she had poopie pants. She looks at him and says, "Something stinks!" He laughed and said, "It's YOU!", which upset her. "No it's not!" she said. Bubba just laughed. Now whenever Bubba's Mom and I smell something bad we reenact this whole scenario, complete with Precious 2-Year-Old voices and a really good impersonation of Bubba. :-)

angelq said...

I can be sympathetic about the nose thing to some extent. I have chronic sinus issues which cause me to be stuffy most of the time when not taking medication and too often even when taking medication. The ability to actually smell things is touch-and-go at best. In my previous delicate state I can't say that I was cognizant of the increased sense of smell. However, the extra-sensitive gag reflex was interesting. There were many times when I had to pull my shirt up over my nose and brushing my teeth was always an adventure.

Wes Raine said...

I've had two pregnant co-workers in the past four years so I am very familiar with the super-human sense of smell. I used to have an orange for a snack every afternoon and one of the co-workers could always tell that I had eaten it even though I did so in the break room several rooms away! The other co-worker got that way about how cooked chicken smelled until one day she said she had unbelievable cravings for chicken pot pie!