The time has come (no, not THAT time! Not in labour, don’t panic)

ragweed

Back in the day when I thought I could actually time when I was going to get pregnant (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…. ahahaha… ha), I had this master plan of getting knocked up in November, after the first frost, and then delivering a baby by mid-August, which would mean I’d avoid being preggo during ragweed season. This may seem a bit over-the-top to you non-allergy-sufferers who think late summer and fall is the most glorious time of the year, but in my case, I don’t just get a few sniffles, I get ITCHING OF SATANIC PROPORTIONS up in my nose, in my eyes, basically everywhere, before my body then decides that one mucus plug really isn’t enough — EVERYTHING NEEDS MUCUS, NOW. If I don’t take any meds, it’s torture; I once did a ragweed study at a hospital to make some extra cash, and when I realized I’d been dealt the placebo, I had to drop out early because it was impossible to sleep unless my face was submerged in a vat of Visine and nasal steroids. When they did the prick test on my wrist and waited to see if a spot of redness showed up, my ENTIRE ARM ended up in a huge rash.

For a while, I was on prescription-strength antihistamines, but I kept having to increase the dosage to the point where my doctor-mom actually seemed concerned about the potential for cardiac arrest. Then, in desperation, I decided to go out on a limb, do the all-natural thing, and try this nettle extract. Miraculously, it worked!

But now, it’s kind of up in the air whether or not I should be taking it. A lot of naturopaths insist it’s totally safe during pregnancy — and, in fact, is even used in hippie-oriented fertility treatments. And yet, as with many herbal remedies, there hasn’t been much in the way of real, concrete, double-blind studies to determine that it has no effect on the fetus. So I’m a bit hesitant to start taking it now.

I’ve read that Benadryl is OK for pregnant women (this site says “Benadryl is in the FDA pregnancy category B. This means that it is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby,” and my mom says it’s fine), so I guess that’s what I’ll be taking, but I’m pretty sure it can also make you super drowsy. Any of you guys have advice?? The ragweed season has begun and I’m feeling like the odds are stacked against me. I did a nasal rinse last night and woke up this morning with nostrils chock-full of grossness.

P.S. On an unrelated note, I finally heard back from the organization that accepts donated cord blood and apparently I didn’t qualify as a candidate because I’d been to Kenya. Once. For less than a week, many years ago. Apparently some weird HIV strain that doesn’t show up on blood tests (??) is prevalent there, so that’s that. Kinda bummed, but on the up side, it means we don’t have to rush to cut the umbilical cord, hence a bit more oxygen for the babe.

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