I am addicted to caffeine. It started when I was a little kid. My dad was always the first one up in our house, and he’d make himself a mug of tea. I used to creep down the stairs to spend some one on one time with him and he’d give me a sip of his tea, all sweet and creamy. I was hooked from the first sip.

My aunt lived in Seattle for over thirty years, and is directly responsible for my love of coffee. When the Starbucks craze first swept the Emerald City, my aunt would visit with yummy beans and coffee concoctions. The first coffee drink I had was a blended mocha frappuccino. When that chocolatey whipped goodness hit my lips, tea became a distant memory. I drank different blends, on ice, steaming hot, black, you name it. I couldn’t get enough.

I used to pride myself on the fact that while I desperately needed coffee to survive, I never drank soda. And, really, until about a year and a half ago, I probably could count on two hands the number of sodas I’d had in my life. Then my dentist told me that maybe I wanted to lay off the magic beans, as they were staining my teeth. He hit me right on my insecure button, and I decided right then to cut back on my coffee.

The next day, I had a headache so raging, it made my migraines look like fluffy pillows. Clearly cutting back wasn’t going to be an option.

Because I am a genius, I had the idea to use Diet Coke as a sort of methadone for my coffee addiction. (Yes, I KNOW there are dyes in it. That genius comment was sarcastic.) Lucky for me, Diet Coke is always stocked at my house, because Mike is more addicted to Diet Coke than Angelina Jolie is to adopting babies.

Diet Coke Graveyard
Mike’s Diet Coke Graveyard

I decided to take a soda with me on my morning drive to work. I didn’t like the taste, but it helped with the caffeine withdrawal. I slowly cut back on my coffee at work – and replaced it with Diet Coke. We have a free soda machine! I grew to love the refreshing taste of Diet Coke.
Just for the taste of it...

Then I went and got myself all pregnant. I read the books, and they all said caffeine was the devil. I told my OB to give it to me straight, and she said, “well, you can have a cup or two of coffee a day – but try to have less than that.” I asked her if I had to go cold turkey, or if I could wean myself, and she gave me a hairy eyeball.

“How much caffeine do you drink a day?” she asked.

“Enough to make you question my health,” and then I sat there and counted in my head…and rounded down to, “about twelve cups or so.”

“I can’t even believe you got pregnant.”

My Ob was a gem, people. But she was right. I immediately cut out Diet Coke, and I weaned myself completely off of coffee in only four days. I am still in awe that I did that. Oh, the things I do for you, Maddie!

The second my breast milk ran dry, I went to Starbucks and ordered a triple venti espresso. And then I washed it down with a delicious Diet Coke. As vices go, it’s pretty minor. Still, I don’t plan on letting go of it until I’m pregnant again – in 2032.