Badass Activist | Eve Reiland

The dramatic, pregnant quest for caffeine | Circa Dec. 3, 2008

  I am a caffeine addict. My love has led me to devote many a Twitter <> , text message and verbal declaration to it.


I’ve stood on a mountaintop and sworn my unwavering I-would-die-for-you loyalty to Mr. Coffee – and pledged to run away with him if he’d have me.

Fortunately, the mountain was a pile of laundry and Jimmy didn’t take my philandering meanderings to heart. In fact, he handed me another cup of Joe and probably hoped I’d use the jolt to wash and fold the towels I was so elegantly stomping.

Blah, pwah and patooey! “What the hell? Did you stick Folgers in here?”

“No. It’s the Columbian roast from Costco.”

I took another sip. “It doesn’t taste right. Something’s wrong with it.”

Jim arched a brow and said, “I think maybe something is wrong with you. This tastes fine. Just like it always does.”

I put the cup down. Ridiculous, his palate wasn’t refined enough to taste the vulgarity of the brew.

The next morning was worse.

“This is terrible, horrible. Even the aroma is gross.” If I thought about it too much my stomach would turn.

“It’s Sumatra from Starbucks. I just opened the bag.”

What?  That couldn’t be. “I don’t get it. What’s going on?”

“You should go see the doctor.”

Jim wasn’t kidding. I disliked coffee – refusing to drink it even – two days in a row? Something had to be seriously wrong. However, before we called in Dr. House, I decided to wait and rule out the bizarre-o hormone PMS factor.

If that was in play, anything was game.

As the days progressed my aversion became worse. Just the scent of a fresh pot would make me gag and open a window. After a couple of weeks, and some other alarming symptoms <> , the reason for my antipathy became clear: I was pregnant.

At first the invigorating drink wasn’t missed. Frankly, I was too busy praying to the porcelain gods to give it much thought. As the pregnancy progressed and the morning sickness lessened, my cravings returned.

It started with an innocent longing. A quick trip through the Starbucks drive-through wouldn’t be bad.  Sure, the thought of coffee still made my stomach riot – but I could order caffeine-free tea. Certainly that would be OK?

Sure … it was OK the first time. I sat in the drive-through long enough to ask in good faith all the jitter-free options available. The bright-faced, exuberant cashier shared her fave drinks. She exclaimed she was pregnant too when I mentioned why I was being so cautious.

That should’ve made me happy, but it didn’t. I felt as bitter and weird as the iced lemonade-tea I was sipping. Why? I wasn’t young or exuberant. I didn’t wake up in the morning refreshed and ready to take on the day. Oh no! My head drooped, my body balked and I dragged tail all day long.

What I wanted was caffeine.

No, I needed it. I loved it.

And it loved me too. We were being held apart by forces beyond our control. It was like a horrible, liquid version of Romeo and Juliet. We were destined to be star-crossed lovers – unless I took matters into my own hands.

So I justified my caffeine desire with research – pregnant women could have up to 3 cups of coffee a day. Not the gigantic ones, just the little regular cups. No problem. I’d be conservative. Heck, it wasn’t even coffee I was jonesing after. It was the spicy chai latte with extra milk.

Oh heaven in a cup!

Only I couldn’t face the gorgeous, perfect little pregnant girl again. So I avoided that Starbucks and drove out of my way to another.

It was the best guilt trip I ever drank.

I think the baby loved it too. Why else would she kick like that?

By Eve Reiland

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