From the Blog

Pregnancy Superpowers

Okay, so in addition to being really klutzy and scatterbrained, I have noticed a few other new and notable functions that pregnancy endows. Some are welcome, and some are unwelcome. Allow me to share.

I smell things. I have always had a keen sense of smell. Always. Since I was a kid. I’ve always been a scent-oriented person. Dave seems to think this might make me a “super taster,” since I tend to identify nuanced flavors in food and beverages. I just don’t have an educated palate to describe what I’m tasting. I think it also makes me a picky eater, because why would you want to eat something that smells like farts?

So I’m already sensitive to smells. But holy crap, it has gotten so much more intense. I’m not smelling things all the time, but sometimes I get whiffs of odors that seem completely impossible.

For instance, not long ago, I was driving into Portland with Dave on a sunny day. It was chilly and the car windows were up. But as we drove, the interior of my car began to smell like stale air freshener. Like one of the trees you put on your rear view mirror. I don’t have a tree on my mirror. I don’t have any air fresheners in my car at all. But we were following a car that had a tree on their mirror. I thought, impossible! That’s just ridiculous.

I mentioned to Dave that I thought maybe I could smell the interior of the car in front of us. He demurred, and wisely did not provoke the crazy pregnant lady.

Not long after, a big pickup truck pulled in front of us. I could smell cigarette smoke. I could smell the dusty velour of the truck’s upholstery. My windows were up. The truck’s window’s were up. But the smell was as intense as if it were my own car. I swear this is true.

On that drive, I also have to say, that driving by Wauna Paper Mill is nearly unbearable. It’s just remarkable how much it smells exactly like poopies. It’s a suffocating, inescapable smell. I know that I sometimes catch a whiff of the paper mill on the breeze in Astoria, even though it’s 20 miles away. Driving by the paper mills has become totally nauseating.

This observation has nothing to do with pregnancy, but another subject I find fascinating; music at the grocery store. It seems that Safeway has thoroughly, completely passed the torch of grocery store consumerism from the Boomer Generation to the X Generation. I can tell this because every time I go to the supermarket, I am guaranteed to hear Mr. Mister, Robert Palmer, or the lighter, poppier Moody Blues of the 80’s.

They aren’t playing the Beatles, or the Rolling Stones, or Bob Seager. It’s very, very specific. I read Brandwashed and I understand there’s a science behind the music that stores play. The genre, the era, the tempo, the mood, everything is calibrated to make you want to buy more. Grocery stores are looking at their demographics and catering to who they think buys the most. In this case, it’s Gen X douchebags who liked Mr. Mister.

One final thing about pregnancy symptoms/super powers. It’s known that when you are pregnant, your hair and nails grow faster and stronger. This has totally been the case for me. My nails are growing much more quickly. My hair may also be growing quickly but I wouldn’t know, because I keep it in an unkempt mop on my head. But yes, hair, nails, etc grow quickly. Which leads me to…

Butt hair. That’s all I’m going to say. If you need to know more, go ask a woman who is pregnant, or who has been pregnant at some point in her life. Go ask your mom. Ask her about her butt hair while she was pregnant. It’s a goddamned superpower.



  1. Yep, still can’t stand the smell of clam chowder or Panda Bowls from Panda Express. I found that Altoids knocked out the nauseating smell of things.
    I also cried at a sink of dirty dishes, because they were just going to get dirty again…

    • Ah, yes! That should have been another super power! The more pregnant I become, the more like a bachelor I am. Clothes on the floor are “put away,” and what? I’ll wear the same comfy pants all week. And dirty dishes are somehow less urgent to me, for now. I’m sure that will change.

      I will remember Altoids, Jen. Thanks!

  2. I was one of the lucky ones with a full first trimester of nausea for each of my 3 kiddos. The smell super-power doesn’t go away . . . I still can smell microwave popcorn several floors away, but at least I don’t have to run to the nearest restroom!

  3. For a second there I thought Poppier music was another Poopie reference.

    ps – only just recently found your blog (I’m kinda s-l-o-w) and you crack me up! So thanks! I dreamed of moving to PDX in 2010, but that did not turn into reality… so I am living vicariously through your er..past.

  4. If you think thats special…wait for the mucus. The best boogers of my life were while preggers. Plus it doesn’t confine itself to just the traditional mucus portal we are all comfortable with. I will refrain from further enlightenment here, but just get ready and stock up on kleenex.

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