Why Aren't We Talking About Spit?
It was late, or early, depending on how you look at it, and my heartburn woke me up. I kept the light off, grasping at fleeting sleep. Fingertips grazed over balled up socks and a personal pan pizza box (my first craving) in search of my phone. The light was still off and, in a clumsy move, my hand knocked over the glass next to the bed. Viscous and opaque, a river of liquid pooled out. “Damnit!” It was my spit cup. Left leg leading, I swung my body onto its side and hoisted myself up and off the bed. After I turned the lights on the damage was clear. My spit lava oozed under the bed and had already begun to soften the sides of the pizza box laying helplessly on the floor. It was one of those rare moments that I was saddened to not have a partner. Someone who would jump into action and clean my puddle of spit off of the floor without making me feel like a total leper. Instead, I got down on my hands and knees, my growing belly threatening to graze the floor at every wipe and cleaned up.
My pregnancy left a trail of spit everywhere I went. It Interrupted casual run-ins on the street, where I’d politely excuse myself to hawk up slime out of eyesight. Grocery stores, dinner with friends, resting on a park bench, work calls, work outs and all of the mundane tasks in between were subject to interruption. I can recall a particular instance when I a panelist during an artist talk. I smiled and nodded as my peers eloquently answered questions. I felt my cheeks begin to fill. I was out of options and, painfully swallowed a mouth full of slobber. I nearly threw up. I wanted to cry. Instead I smiled and shared charming anecdotes about my creative process. Riding the train over a bridge was the worst. That long, slow, creaky ride was agonizing, but as soon as the train doors would open, I would lean out of the door the relieve myself. It was embarrassing. As as saving grace, I would keep an arsenal of sour gummies, mints, tissue, and an empty water bottle I that would be full by midday.
Of course I consulted with my OBGYN, the internet, and friends to see if my experience was a one off. It wasn’t, but I still could not find much information outside of excessive salivation being caused by pregnancy hormones that may or may not subside by the second trimester. MAY NOT? I was desperate and at times felt isolated, but there was nothing I could do other than wait it out. I made the decision to own it had to own it before it owned my pregnancy. The spit cup was my schtick. The thing I would use for laughs and a cautionary tale of a future to come for my childless friends.
My mouth dried up around my second trimester. Perfect timing since I had accepted a one month artist’s residency in a remote town of Quebec. I couldn’t fathom dealing with my spit cup on a flight and two hour car ride through the countryside with a stranger. Instead I finally was able to enjoy my pregnancy and experience the exuberance of growing a baby and growing myself into a more tender and relaxed version of myself, sans spit.