Pregnancy Stinks. Literally.

Lauren Flynn Kelly

No sooner did that second line appear the first day of my missed period than my already keen sense of smell became a superpower. And to some, including myself, an annoyance.

At first, everything smelled, and not like fresh-cut roses. Just bad. Icky. The odor of onions was the first offender. I wasn't sure if my all-natural deodorant couldn't handle my new hormones or if my cubicle neighbor just ate onions in her salad every day. Onions were everywhere, and it made me want to hurl. But whether it be onions or the sickly sweet smell of urine on the subway platform, anyone reading this post is likely to already be in that phase.

Then, my sensitized sniffer started to have a benefit. I walked into a friend's apartment on her birthday and immediately noticed a gas smell. We called the gas company, and ended up being late to her birthday party — because there was a bona fide gas leak! Hey, I may have saved her life!

On another occasion, my husband and I arrived home from a holiday weekend to the oh-so-familiar scent of cat pee. Because we couldn't get a cat sitter, our kitties' litter box had reached maximum capacity. But after cleaning out the box, the apartment still smelled, so we found ourselves wondering, did they go somewhere else? Yep. My sniffer led me right to the stainless-steel kitchen sink! Cleanup was a breeze. Thanks, kitties!

But then my nose started to become its own beast, and I became paranoid. Our kitchen had some unidentifiable odor, and no matter how much I cleaned (and trust me, those last few weeks of pregnancy, I cleaned like crazy), it wouldn't go away, and I couldn't find the source. Because our neighbors had had a mouse problem, I was convinced a little carcass was rotting under the stove, so I got down on my hands and knees, belly and all, and fished out a giant ... gray ... furry ... dust bunny.

Then there was that pervasive mildew smell. Where was it coming from? Was there a leak? Could it be the floorboards? Were they rotting? Should I call the landlord? Would my baby be exposed to mold? OMG!!! My husband told me to settle down. After a little research, I realized these may just be "phantom" smells.

So why is it that we preggo ladies have this increasingly sensitive, superhuman sense of smell? Is it so that we can detect rotting meat or fermenting juice before consumption to protect our unborn babies from listeria?

From what I've read, there is no physiological explanation other than our surge in hormones ... although I'm not alone with this baby-protecting theory. So, I guess we just have to deal, and maybe take pride in preventing somebody's gas leak or a bad case of the runs.

What smells bother you the worst?


Image via Sarah G.../Flickr

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