I started craving and chewing ice during my first pregnancy in 2001. The craving went away right after giving birth to my first child. Ten years later I got pregnant again and the craving returned but again it went away after I gave birth the second time. Six months after having my second baby, I was pregnant again for the third time and the cravings came back with a vengeance. This time it wasnt just ice but smell cravings to go along with it. My favorite things to smell while I eat ice is anything that smells like rubber or strong plastic odor. I have purchased mouse pads to satisfy my craving. I actually sit and read the reviews to see which ones have gotten the most complaints about strong rubber odor. I roll up the mouse pad into a tube, secure it with rubber bands and smell it as I eat the ice. I also purchased an inner tube for a bicycle tire, but it didn't smell strong enough for me. I also love the dusty, murky smell the car AC gives off when you first turn it on. That dusty smell is similar to the smell a vacuum cleaner with a full bag gives off when you turn it on. New car smell car freshener, Gain laundry detergent, Fabuloso (the red kind) and bleach are some of the cleanser smells I enjoy while eating ice. I actually soaked a rag in Fabuloso and carried it in a ziploc bag to sniff during the day at work. The ultimate fix for me is going to a tire store or Payless. The cheap payless shoes have such a great rubber smell, I have actually considered getting part-time job there, but if I was on the clock, they may not allow me to eat ice. When we go to get new tires, I just make sure I have enough ice to last me the whole time we are there. I wish I could take the smell home with me.
My third child is 5 months old now and the cravings are not letting up. I chew ice constantly throughout the day and night. I carry several thermal cups of ice with me whenever I leave the house, no matter how short of a trip I am taking. I prefer ice cubes made from plastic trays because I can customize the size of the cubes and they have smooth edges. Also cubes melt slower than crushed ice which means less trips to the freezer. I have to eat my ice in order from smallest to largest. If I start on the larger cubes first, the smaller ones will melt and I wont get to eat them. I do not drink much water at all, all my water is consumed as ice as the sensation of swallowing water makes me want to gag. I consume between 25 and 30 trays of ice per 24hr period. I get upset, anxious and angry when my source of ice is threatened. The only place I don't chew ice is church but I am Catholic so Mass last for one hour tops and even then I am thinking about the cup of ice watiting for me in the car.
My hemoglobin is still low, but not extremely low (9.6 when it should be at least 12) so I am starting to wonder if this craving is becoming a psychological addiction rather than a physiological one. I enjoy eating ice so much that I really don't want the craving to stop. It is relaxing and so enjoyable. I got strep throat a few months ago and for about 3 days I couldn't eat ice because swallowing was too painful. I thought the craving had gone away, but as soon as my throat felt better, the craving returned full force. My friends and family really think im nuts, and I'm sure the crunching is annoying, but I dont care enough to stop.