Pregnant women get asked a lot of questions. Some of these questions are banal, polite ways of making conversation (“Is it your first?”), some are more daring (“Are you going to have a natural birth?”) and some are simply that’s-none-of-your-business-intrusive (“Are you massaging your perineum with avocado oil to avoid tearing?”). Peppered amongst these questions are the inevitable ones about weird pregnancy cravings.
Like the first time around I can’t say I’m having any really bizarre cravings. There is the small matter of becoming a carnivore again after 10 years of abstinence (had the BEST bacon and egg roll for breakfast at the Brighton beach kiosk, all crispy and oily the way bacon should be). But I’m big on listening to my body and it was demanding meat, not tofu.
But while I don’t have any weird pregnancy cravings I have developed some weird pregnancy behaviours, which are exactly the same as my first time around and involve a very keen sense of smell…
When pregnant with my first daughter I had to kick a nasty cigarette habit. Shortly after I noticed my sense of smell had become extra sharp with particular with regard to soap. Before I knew it I was finding excuses to wash my hands at every opportunity. And lathering my body in soap, rinsing and re-lathering over and over again. I bathed ritually every Friday and took long sniffs of the shampoo bottle. I just loved the smell so much that one day smelling was not enough and I took a lick of the bar in my hands. Just a small one. Deeply satisfying.
Second time around and the soap thing is back bigger and better and I know it’s got more to do with improved smell cause I haven’t smoked for years. Now I’m buying different kinds to get a different high. The chunky lavender and olive oil one I bought seven days ago is quickly disappearing. I have gone from sliding it all over my belly, breasts, shoulders and arms and taken it up to my throat and all over my face. I gingerly rub it over my nose, face and mouth and if some gets past my lips I don’t mind. I turn the water off begrudgingly and have final whiffs of the bar before getting out.
It’s not just soap that’s doing it for me either. Here are some other weird smelling behaviours I have developed recently, which may indicate a tendency for slight OCD:
- Repeatedly cleaning hands with Aqium gel just for the burning, alcohol smell
- Repeatedly painting fingers and toenails (see above)
- Repeatedly wiping down computer keyboard, mouse and phone with Chux disinfectant wipes
- Brushing teeth for far too long and with far too much paste
- Cleaning the shower and wiping down kitchen bench tops with far too much glee
- Sleeping with a lavender oil-soaked tissue right under my nose
- Keeping the bottle of lavender oil under my pillow so I can add more drops to my pillow throughout the night
Anyway, gotta go. Shower is calling!
What are some weird pregnancy cravings or behaviours you have experienced or heard about?