Friday, March 30, 2012

I debated on whether or not to write about this..

But ultimately decided to go for it (obviously.) For a couple of reasons, the main one being I don't want others to feel as much of a freak as I did during my first pregnancy. If someone stumbles across this, having been to embarrassed to ask their doctor about it, maybe it will make them realize they Aren't the only ones out there. 

Here's the thing. When I'm pregnant, I crave weird things. Not like pickles dipped in ice cream type of weird things. Like soaps, and cleaning supplies, and lotions. Yeah That's what I crave. 

With Jasper I had a major craving for pine sol and bleach, and Irish spring men's body wash (to this day it's the only body wash I use.) We would be at target and Drew couldn't find me, so he would go look in the cleaning supply isle and most likely find me sniffing bleach. No joke. It smelled so damn good I wanted to start chugging it in the middle of the isle. I'm not completely crazy, so I wouldn't actually follow through, but I'll be damned if you ever saw a cleaner bathroom or kitchen floor than when I'm pregnant. I will scrub scrub scrub just so I can inhale the scent of bleach or pine sol. 

After spending an hour in an isle smelling body washes and came across Irish Spring, I would always buy the three pack and find myself taking 3-4 showers a day, just so I could lather up. Sad as it is, those were often the best few minutes of my day. Not because I was miserable or unhappy or having bad days, I just enjoyed the smell That much.

It was addicting.

I never mentioned it to a doctor, because come on I was Obviously crazy. And what where they going to do about it? It's not like I was Actually eating the soap or drinking the bleach, just cleaning a lot. I think the only one who knew about it was Drew, I was too embarrassed to tell anyone else. 

After having Jasper it must have stopped because I never had the urge to drink bleach again. 

Then this pregnancy all smells made me sick, we didn't have a single thing of meat in this house for months because the smell was simply unbearable. I threw away Drew's deodorant with out remembering to tell him (whoops) because the smell made me gag. So I didn't even think about my little weird habit.

Till one day, while in the tub, using my basq citric body scrub. Drew had gotten it for me as a stocking stuffer, and I loved it and had been using it for weeks. But all of a sudden? I wanted to eat it. My mouth started salivating (as it's doing now just writing about it) but of course I resisted the urge. 

The next day even though I had already showered in the morning I realized I NEEDED to take a bath so I could use my body scrub again. And it went on like this for a few days. 

Then I was in target and found my way to the cleaning supplies, and started taking some lids off, ya know, just to smell. And it hit me. It had happened again. I was now craving bleach, soaps, pine sol, detergent and most of all. My body scrub. 

The thing is, now we have natural cleaners, and they just don't have that strong smell as bleach or pine sol does. And my laundry detergent is scent free so it's really not doing a whole lot for me. But that scrub? Oh man the scrub. And the Irish Spring soap that Drew uses? Yeah I'm back to using that also. 

Except this time the craving feels even Stronger. Like every day around 4-5 I feel this need, this urge to take a bath so I can use my scrub. I almost feel twitchy if I don't do it. I ran out and was out for a few days waiting on my order to arrive and it felt (what I assume?) a drug addict would feel like if they couldn't get their drug. Twitchy, irritated, jittery, OBSESSED. I needed my scrub.

This time I decided to tell my OB about it. I guess because I felt comfortable with her, as she is the same doctor I've been seeing every visit since September. When I told her she laughed and said "Oh so you are one of Those" and then told me we needed to get a blood sample and check my iron levels. They came back super low, and she put me on a double dose of iron pills. Apparently, if you have weird cravings like this during pregnancy it can mean you are lacking in something nutrition wise. For me, it's iron. I had to be on iron pills last pregnancy as well, guess my babies just suck it completely out of me. The iron pills actually haven't really helped, my iron is still pretty low, but it's not the end of the world. 

She explained to me that I'm Not crazy, and from others she has heard that those that have 'special' cravings like mine describe it as almost like a drug that they need. And some actually follow through with their cravings (as in drinking the bleach!) and since I'm not actually doing that, it's fine and I can continue to get my daily soap high.

After I heard that there are others like me I posed the question to my pregnancy forum and was shocked by some of the answers I got. One said she EATS CHALK, like actually eats it while pregnant, another said she lives for the smell of musty basements and will drive over to her parents house just so she can sit in their musty basement for the smell. One even talked about eating sand her whole pregnancy. She will stock up in little baggies during family trips to the beach and scatter it around her house so she can eat a hand full of sand (and keep it hidden from her husband and mother who apparently know she does this and try to find all her hiding spots!) Sadly this made me feel much better about my strange habit. And it's not like I'm ingesting it, just getting myself and my floors super clean and happen to enjoy the smell at the same time. But it is more than just enjoying the smell- it's almost like a runners high (yes, I DID run in high school for a couple of years) and it just feels so damn good to smell it/get my high!

So I hope if you stumble across this post if you googled "Help I want to drink bleach" or something like that and you will realize that 1. you are NOT crazy and 2. talk to your doctor! It won't be the first time they have heard this and maybe some iron pills will help straighten you out. 

Oh what am I doing smelling a rag? I'm Almost ashamed to admit that I got this clean rag, wet it down, added some irish spring and let it dry..then I laid in bed watching TV smelling my rag every few minutes..


  1. I SO know the feeling. When I was pregnant with Judah I craved laundry detergent. I would constantly walk down the laundry detergent isle at the store just to smell it.

    But what REALLY got me was my parents powdered laundry detergent. I would put my hand in it, play around in it so my hand would smell like it and just sniff it. I REALLY wanted to eat it!

    I never told my doctor. I did research and just assumed it was pica.

    You aren't crazy. I have heard of lots of women doing this while pregnant. After having Judah the cravings stop. I still love the smell of fresh cleaned laundry though!

  2. I had "smell cravings" with my daughter. Exhaust fumes, nail polish, cleaners, and other things you shouldn't inhale smelled so good. Of course I didn't sit around and huff markers or anything but I did feel embarrassed about it and never talked to my doctor. But it's funny that you mention the iron. At the same time I was having these "cravings" I was also feeling dizzy at times and really fatigued. This I did tell my doctor about and she checked my iron levels. They were really low and I started taking suplements. I bet the smell cravings were a product of my low iron. Glad you wrote this. : )

  3. You are so cute!! Being pregnant is the craziest exerience... Nothing compares :)

  4. Just got out of the shower. Just had my Irish spring "fix", I'm sure ill have another tonight. :) now to mop the floor with pine sol!! So glad I'm not the only one!

  5. Sooooo relieved to read this!! I've bleached the toilet six times today! Nobody has used it!! :-S I keep thinking about drinking bleach but havent as yet, its so ridiculous!!

    Very relieved to hear Im not insane, I shall be asking the doc to check my iron levels this week! In the meantime, is there any foods i can eat to help??

    Thanks ladies xx

  6. It started with lemon 409... I wanted to scrub even things that were already clean... Then it bled into glass cleaner... Bur not windex... The generic versions that smell more like ammonia... I use to NEED to clean everything with glass with it gave me more satisfaction than sniffing long as I'm spraying it... And the misty bubbles are getting all over a surface.. And I can wipe it down ...I'm fine... I also have to swirl Ice around my mouth on both sides of my tongue while I do it... Makes it so much more fulfilling... It makes my mouth water... The color of it just relaxes me...I crave it... My mom understands because she had the EXACT same thing... She would pour a whole bottle of parsons ammonia on the kitchen floor and just mop and bask in the aroma... It definitely lack of Iron...if I take my iron it takes the edge off a bit... Like I can go without cleaning...but I'll still wanna read stories like these and suck on ice... It calms me and I don't want it so bad... I can even daydream about cleaning and spraying and actually eat the ice and it'll settle my craving...

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  13. Ive been addicted to Irish Spring soap for the past 10 years. It started with Dove then I needed something stronger and ended up in love with Irish spring. Its just something about it. The smell is just out of this world. I would literally hover over a sink and wash my hands under hot/warm water and inhale the smell. Then I would scrape it down with my fingernails then inhale because ive learned, it just smells different that way. It sends me into a state of calmness and I can sometimes lose track of time. My favorites are Irish Spring Original and Dial Gold. Ive never eaten them and Ive never had any interest in anything else but these soaps. I thought I was the only one until I recently started Googling it and found that its mostly women with this addiction, some men. And they are almost always addicted to Irish Spring. What a relief. I thought I was nuts and alone in this. I probably am a lil nuts but hey, who's perfect? I would buy the 10 packs and be done with them in 2-3 days. Im already planning on buying a 6 pack tonight when I get off work lol.

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