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

I am pleased to announce that I am considering early retirement as the Olympic Freestyle Vomiting Champion. Although I am still making regurgitated food offerings to the Tyd-D-Bol man once a day, the nausea is not quite as ferocious, and I am beginning to feel like a human being again. I think my husband Teddy is even more relieved than I am. Between the projectile vomiting, the volatile mood swings, and the subhuman moans I made while lying in bed wearing food stained pajamas, poor Teddy didn't know whether to call a doctor or an exorcist.

I can honestly say that I don't know how I would have survived the past two months without Teddy's vigilant pampering. Teddy made or bought me breakfast, lunch, dinner and post-midnight snacks every single day. As a screenwriter who works from home, he does have a pretty flexible schedule. But my sickness fell during a time he was under a strict deadline to turn in his script, and he had to work day and night to finish in time. Yet he still did all my errands for me, put up with my crankiness, comforted me when I cried, and gave me back rubs. These past eight weeks have reminded me that I have the best husband in the world, and that having a baby with this man isn't sheer folly!

For someone who has been mostly home-bound, a return of some semblance of normality is insanely exciting. This week I resumed my Taekwondo training and even attended a pitch meeting at Warner Brothers for a script that Teddy and I are writing together. Yet now that my nausea has subsided somewhat, I am more acutely aware of how retarded I have become. I alluded to this in my last entry and I thought maybe it was just lack of food or exhaustion. It's not.

In fact, I have coined a new term for this insidious condition. I call it the Dumbness Induced by Pregnancy Syndrome or D.I.P.S., if you want a cute acronym. The symptoms are subtle yet potentially humiliating, and if left unchecked could lead to full-blown moronic behavior.

Symptoms include glazed eyes, general confusion, complete inability to retain any information or learn new skills, low tolerance for frustration, forgetfulness, and -- oh yes, my favorite -- drooling. The technical term is "hyperpitalism." Basically, it means overproduction of saliva and it is a well-known pregnancy sign. Can you believe there's actually a medical term for too much saliva? Anyhow, the pregnancy books theorize it has something to do with nausea and vomiting and affords a measure of protection for our teeth from stomach acids. I beg to differ.

Have you ever seen a movie where the really dumb person didn't have a drooling problem? There's a connection between intelligence and saliva production. Don't ask me why, it's just an observation. So far, I have found D.I.P.S. to be the most frightening side-effect of pregnancy. Everyone has a basic identity, perhaps branded from high school. There's the Party Girl, The Pretty Girl, The Popular Girl, The Nerdy Girl, The It Girl, or The Nice Girl. I'm oversimplifying, but you know what I'm talking about. While I may not have been considered any of the afore-mentioned, it's safe to say I was considered The Smart Girl. Now I'm no Mensa Goddess, but the synapses in my brain were known to crackle and fire on a regular basis. But no longer. In three short months I have become the pod person formerly known as Minsun. The Smart Girl has been replaced by Drooling Village Idiot Girl.

Smart Girl used to read classic literature and appreciate good character development and intricate plotting. But Drooling Village Idiot Girl watches children's programming and Animal Planet. Her particular favorites are "Crocodile Hunter" and "The Planet's Funniest Animals." Her startled husband is agape with mute horror as Village Idiot Girl watches the home videos of animal high jinks and claps her hands in glee, chortling "I like all the funny animals!"

Smart Girl has actually been on a game show. Drooling Village Idiot Girl sees them on TV and becomes mesmerized by all the pretty flashing lights. Smart Girl used to write screenplays, and Drooling Village Idiot Girl... well, still writes screenplays. Not a ringing endorsement for the movie industry, huh? Not to mention rambling on in this journal.

As you can see, I am the poster child for D.I.P.S. I'm not exactly proposing we hold a telethon or anything (besides, Jerry Lewis won't return any of my calls), but I do want to raise awareness for this mysterious and little-recognized condition so that maybe women everywhere can stand up and say, "I'm not stupid, I'm just pregnant!" Some of you have already shared your own tales of stupidity on my message board, but can anybody tell me when and if D.I.P.S. goes away? In the meantime, I frantically play word games and do crossword puzzles in a desperate attempt at rehabilitation. I think it'll be a long road to recovery and another few months before I'm utilizing both hemispheres of my brain again.

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