Mafe Maria: Personal stories by autism parent mentor, Maria Stultz

Dear Mother Nature

I was really trying to hold on writing my first pregnancy post until a time when I felt both: ecstatic to be pregnant, and completely confident on the viability of the pregnancy. Yes. For those that I haven’t told yet: I am 6-weeks pregnant. Yay. Unfortunately, every pregnancy book on the planet begins with the following heart-warming text:

You’re pregnant! Yay! Now, don’t get too excited just yet: There’s a significant chance that you may lose this baby during the next three months of your miserable existence.

OK, fine. They don’t say it exactly like that, but pretty much that’s the message.

So when you first learn that you are pregnant and nothing weird has yet happened to your body, you really want to tell the whole world how happy you are. But you quickly stop yourself realizing that it wouldn’t be too cool if everybody around you knew of your state, and then suddenly something went wrong, and you had to tell again everybody the bad news.

Later, by the time the pea has turned 6 weeks and the chance of miscarriage has dropped somewhat, your body has gone completely loco on you, and you feel like you REALLY WISH — and would even pay big bucks — if you could sleep for the next 7 weeks so you don’t have to stay there being sick the whole time. You feel so terribly guilty to be thinking that, and your stupid Catholic upbringing immediately kicks in telling you that you may be punished for being such an ungrateful brat, and dare to complain about the minor annoyances of wonderful progesterone running wild through your body.

Next week I’ll have my first doctor appointment. But I could no longer hold on telling the world that this ain’t easy at all! During the first weeks after I realized I was prego — when my life had not yet turned to crapo — I spent hours reading about the development of the baby. I marveled at the perfection of the design. Loved to learn the story of sperm… Those wonderful little critters, so smart and beautiful. How they swim in packs, bringing food for their journey. Everything seemed so magical. So miraculous. I bowed in deep respect of Mother Nature.

But dear Mother Nature, why must you make it so extremely difficult for the poor woman who still has no significant connection with the baby? She has not yet seen a photo of the pea. Not heard the heartbeat. She doesn’t have the energy or desire to even look at baby stuff. Hasn’t felt a kick. Doesn’t even show a belly, except one full of pain and gas. Why must you make her detest food with such passion? Why does she still need to eat? Why must she hate specially those foods that supposedly are good for the baby? Why must she burp (and taste all over again) every bite she eats 10 times. Why? OH WHY?

Excuse me for my clumsy suggestion, but… This would be a fine moment to show me a film with happy images of our future baby. Please give me something round and delicious to look forward to. I tried going through photos of delicious bollos like Elise and Zachary, but it didn’t work. The pain of having become bloated princess Burparella with a ridiculous amount of food aversions is way too overwhelming, and all the joy of realizing we had in fact conceived is a vague memory buried somewhere in the deep corners of my house — who I hate now because every room reminds me of being sick.

OK, you let me have Nacho Cheese Doritos burp-free, which is wonderful. Thank you. But, seriously: Doritos? All that nutritional value?

As soon as I discover some food I can live with, you make me get tired of it within a week. I hear reports of mothers who ate this and that every day throughout their whole pregnancy, and yet: I can’t. Not only have I turned into a picky monster. NO! I also demand variety!… Whoayyyyy?

On day 22, Joey asked me “When are you going to get the maternity glow”. Believe me: Not only will I glow. I will float… The day that I recover my appetite and get back to digestive normality will be the happiest day I will be able to remember for a long time.


  1. On , Petie wrote:

    I survived on carbs for 3 months. I know,it seems so wrong – your body should crave veggies and fruit, right? You’re strong, you’ll get through it. I hope you can eat a little more before vacation! :)

  2. On , Maria wrote:

    Fruit is the only thing that feels perfectly safe to eat. I started with oranges, got a little tired. Moved on to mangos. Bananas still work. Then watermelon… Last night I had the bright idea to go to the grocery store with Joey. I thought I wold get inspired to try some new choices. Baaaaaad idea! The whole trip made me sick, and we just ended up stocking on fruit. I’m trying to vary it a little bit. Why couldn’t I have stayed happy having cereal and milk for lunch every day? At least, that stays with you a little longer…

  3. On , Jennifer wrote:

    Well well… congratulations! Funny, one of those things I guess you need to be careful what you wish for? ;)

  4. On , Maria wrote:

    ONE child. That’s all I’m ever trying for!

  5. On , ksr wrote:

    ONE at a time………;-)
    Remember to write down all your thoughts and feelings…..even if not for public perusal…You’ll be tickled to see it later and how your perspective changes (or not)…

  6. On , Maria wrote:

    I am writing little notes to remind myself of the journey, oh, and so I have color memories perfectly clear in mind while I hear a future brat yell at me “I hate you Mommie”… So I can really mean that “How dare you! I carried you NINE full months in my womb”. I’m so going to enjoy that. Of course, not that any child ever cares, right?

  7. On , Marla wrote:

    LOL. Did you get the girl friend’s guide yet?

    of course you can write your own and that’d be almost as good…

  8. On , Maria wrote:

    I haven’t. I just read the “Nausea” piece in the excerpt. Hilarious!… Just this week, specially today I’m felling actual hedious nausea. Wonderful. I thought that burping and bloatness would be my karma for a few more weeks. Seems like the worst is about to come. Nice.

    One of the books I did buy — when going to the bookstore was actually a thing my stomach would let me do — is Hot Mama (How to have a babe and be a babe). I feel no hotness yet, though Joey puts me to bed at night with a “Good night, hot mama”.

  9. On , Marla wrote:

    ha ha. hopefully you’ll feel babe again when the nausea passes.:)

  10. On , mandarine wrote:

    Great news!
    Hang on tight — apparently the digestive unrest abates after a while. It may leave scars, though: my wife associates New Zealand with nausea (we were on vacation at the wrong time — notice how the words seem connected? New Zeland, nausea?) and cannot pass within a hundred feet of Thai curry anymore (guess what airline we were flying).

    And now the last piece of advice you’ll ever be getting from me (on matters childbearing). Do not trust any advice from other people, especially colleagues and family, and do not trust books or TV: what is around you is skewed by a common cultural bias. The internet gives access to so many other viewpoints, so many other experiences, so many other truths that it can be tremendously liberating. Make your own truth. End of advice (not to be trusted).

  11. On , Maria wrote:

    Thank you Mandarine :)
    I can totally empathize with your wife. I’m not sure that I’ll ever go back to loving my kitchen or my living room as I used to. They’re both tainted by a dark cloud of unhappy memories. Ugh!

    What you say is interesting. Specially because it’s clear that every person has a totally different experience with pregnancy. Not once, in all the pregnancy books I read or browsed in the bookstore they ever mentioned the strongest symptom I’m experiencing. And many of all other symptoms they list as typical haven’t really applied to me. I haven’t started learning or doing any research about parenting, and I bet that’s where most of the bias and strong opinions exist. I find amusing how every so many years an expert study comes up with conclusions that contradict those from the previous study.