Read along as Minsun, a 29-year-old screenwriter and freelance writer living in Los Angeles, chronicles her first pregnancy.
Minsun Park

The technicolor yawn, yakking, hurling, spewing chunks, blowing chow, ralfing, praying to the porcelain goddess. So many cute collegiate euphemism dedicated to a digestive encore. Anthropologists say that in order to judge the value a particular society places on a subject, simply count the number of words used to describe it. For example, the Eskimos have over 100 words to describe snow. This obsession makes sense. After all, their very survival depends on their keen ability to differentiate between the minutiae of various categories of snow such as icy snow, powder snow, slushy snow, etc.

By the same token, I'm going to defend my singular obsession with vomiting. My very survival depends on trying to find meaning and variety in the purgatory of morning, noon, night and whatever's in between sickness. Otherwise, a girl could go crazy. Maybe I already have. You be the judge. I'm coming to the end of my first trimester and there's no relief in sight. Generally I vomit about once a day, not too bad. But I devote the rest of the day trying to avoid a repeat performance. I desperately want what little food I choke down to stay down. Don't talk to me about saltines, pretzels, protein, B6 vitamins, wristbands, ginger in any form, mint tea, lemon sniffing, potato chips or any other lame-ass remedies. I've tried them all and they don't work for me.

The only thing that does work is eating something constantly. But whatever that something is, it has to be orange colored. Cheetos, baby carrots, grilled cheese sandwiches, orange slices, McDonald's Hi C Orange drink sipped through that fat striped orange straw, and pumpkin pie. The color orange is truly magical and I didn't read that in any stupid book. However, there's a strong likelihood that my baby will be born with the skin tone of an Oompa Loompa.

To maintain a questionable level of sanity, I have devised an Olympic style scoring system to rate my vomiting performance. I know, I know, too much time on my hands. And you know what? You're right. Ever since morning sickness set in, I've become debilitated. I have spent days just being horizontal and watching bad TV. My scripts went on hold because I didn't have the energy to sit at my computer and peck at it. Not to mention that another weird side effect of pregnancy is stupidity. Maybe it's all the hormones, but I've become a retard.

I watched lots of Olympics when they were on, and the seeds of madness implanted themselves into my glucose-deprived brain. Watching gymnastics and platform diving, I began to see a parallel between athletics and vomiting. Both are intensely physical performances with a strong mental component. Both demand rigorous commitment to the moment. And both can be scored with similar criteria of speed, form and accuracy. Here is my scoring system for Olympic Freestyle Vomiting:

    Speed. How fast do I make it to the toilet when the need arises? Now here, the DISMOUNT from the bed, couch or whatever is crucial. A clean dismount can make the difference between a mess to clean up or a simple flush of the toilet. That means no legs entangled in blankets, no tripping, no flailing about. A clean dismount consists of both feet landing securely on the floor and a quick sprint to the nearest commode.

    Form. This is also crucial to a high scoring vomiting routine. Proper form exhibits flexibility and grace. Point deductions for kneeling or using your hands to brace yourself against toilet. Optimum form consists of a standing posture with knees slightly bent and head as close to toilet bowl as possible to minimize unsightly splashback. Extra points awarded if toilet seat is up and one hand holds hair back from face. Other judges may differ on this, but if you're going to all the trouble, why not make it pretty?

    Accuracy. Only a bullseye into the dead center of the toilet can bring home the gold. Scores decrease as proximity from toilet bowl increases. Although accuracy is undoubtedly its own acquired skill, without proper speed and form, it is nearly impossible.

These are my guidelines for what it takes to be a champion vomiter, after much painstaking training and practice. I like to think that I've elevated my pregnancy to another level of human endurance. I don't think it will ever catch on as a spectator sport, but with synchronized swimming and trampoline being recognized, I suppose anything's possible.

I hope to be in retirement by my next journal entry, but something tells me I'll be the reluctant torch bearer for a while

Tags: humor vomiting

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