Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Caffeine = gooood

I've mentioned before that Anthony and I are trying to have another baby. As part of this effort, I've been taking folic acid for the past 3 months, and I've started on prenatal vitamins. I've also given up caffeine.

I've never been a huge caffeine junkie, primarily because I don't like brewed coffee. But I love caffeinated soda and I super-love lattes and mochas and anything else that Starbucks can dream up. I'm well aware that these consist of mostly milk and sugar, with a little dash of espresso thrown in. That's OK with me. I call it grown-up hot chocolate.

But most of all, I love tea. I'm very picky when it comes to my tea; so much that I don't order it in restaurants anymore. Restaurants nearly always give you a stale teabag made from the dregs of tea leaves, a pot of nowhere-near-boiling tap water, a slice of lemon (!?!) and no milk. Tea-making is a rather delicate operation. Loose leaves are best, but I'm lazy so I often use PG Tips instead. What PG Tips lacks by being in teabag form, it makes up for in flavor. Freshly-drawn, filtered water is a must. It has to be rapidly boiling. Sometimes I even warm the pot before adding the boiling water, so that not a degree of heat is lost. PG Tips should steep for 4 minutes, but I often mess this part up by forgetting about it while chasing Katie around the house. Thankfully, sugar and half-and-half can fix most of the over-steeping problems. (Not an ideal solution, but a parent-friendly one.)

Most decaf teas are a travesty. Bland and flavorless, I can tell a tea is decaf by sight, after I've added milk. It looks kind of grayish. Gross - and not worth the time, effort or calories. There is one decaf tea that's palatable, but I have to special-order it from the Queen Mary Tea Room in Seattle. When I was breastfeeding (pumping), I would often decaffeinate my PG Tips by pouring boiling water over the tea bag, swirling for about a minute, pouring the water out and adding more boiling water. It was hard to watch the best part of the tea go down the drain, but the "second brew" has only about 20% of the caffeine left. It also has only about 50% of the taste, but to me that's a good tradeoff. I would also time my tea consumption so that the least amount of residual caffeine would end up in my milk. Caffeine is said to peak in breast milk after about 1 hour, and I was pumping every 2 hours, so I was able to make it work. I never noticed any kind of change in Katie's behavior or sleep.

Today, though, I've had a boat-load of caffeine. I had full-strength black tea (unfortunately, not PG Tips) and I also had a Starbucks mocha about 2 hours later. I'd say my total caffeine for the day is about  100 mg. (Which explains the length and rambling-ness of this post!) Why have I broken my caffeine fast?

Because I have a migraine today. This is the toughest time for me - I'm in "might-be-pregnant" limbo. I won't know for another week, so I'm afraid to take Imitrex in case I might be. True, anecdotal studies indicate that accidental use of Imitrex in the first trimester seems to be OK, but I'm a little paranoid. I keep telling myself that if I am indeed preggo, the baby consists of a teeny clump of cells much smaller than the size of the period at the end of this sentence. I doubt it could be affected by Imitrex, but that's hardly enough evidence to go on. Sigh. Fortunately for me, I briefly stopped getting migraines during my last pregnancy. Unfortunately, though, they didn't stop until the second trimester. It was hard enough going to work with an unmedicated migraine, but at least I knew I could call in sick or lie down under my desk if it got really bad. (It did, once.) There's no such luxury with Katie. Mommies don't really get sick days.

So caffeine it is. On the upside, I have so much energy! I cleaned the dickens out of my kitchen sink before I put Katie down for her nap. On the downside, it's not working on the headache. I can feel it building and building. Please please please don't let it get any worse!!!!!

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