Wednesday, May 4, 2011
The Woes of Prenatal Consumption
I never thought I'd say this. Never ever ever.
I'm tired of eating.
I love food. One of the things I love most about the created universe is how I get to wake up each day and eat...several times! The wonder of it all! I get excited each time my belly starts growling and it means that I get to go eat. I envy those men around me who seem to need 5,000 calories a day.
Or at least I did. Now I'm not so sure.
Like my father, I get very fussy when I'm hungry. OK, my father doesn't actually get fussy; he gets focused. When his belly is growling (which is roughly 73% of the time), nothing matters other than getting food in his belly. That's how I am. But fussier. I become quite unpleasant when hungry.
And now that I'm pregnant, the percentage of time I spend hungry has gone from approximately 73% of the time to 99% of the time. As soon as I turn around after a meal, I'm hungry again. I'm going to have to take out a loan to feed myself.
Six months ago, I would have thought this sounded like dreamland. But pregnancy likes to throw in several wrenches to spoil all your fun. Suddenly I've lost my capacity to reason. The slightest smell of something or the mere thought of another thing can suddenly turn an innocent glass of juice into an agent of the devil.
When I first got pregnant, a friend of mine told me how she drank lots of V8 (the fruit stuff) to get her veggies in. Not being a veggie pro, I quickly bought a case of 50 cans of the stuff. Two cans into the case, the mere thought of it reminded me of raw sewage alleyways in slums I've visited. I don't want to drink it.
I keep other snacks around the house to calm the raging beast that is my stomach, but they all fall prey to overconsumption or unreasonable aversions. I've eaten so many nuts that if I ever seen another almond, I will smash it down the disposal. And then curse at it. At one point, Mike brought home a large jar of cashews. I swear they had the evil stain of fish on them. I couldn't bear the thought of eating them, nor my husband's subsequent breath. (Side note, I tried one of these cashews weeks later, and it was a perfectly innocent, non-fishy cashew.)
But food aversions aside, there's a whole new fun digestion system your body has installed to deal with. Tums have become my best friend. I'm so hungry all the time, that I would like to just binge on a huge plate of pasta, but any heavy food will make me wretched for hours. I'll feel like I can't breathe. If I eat one burger, I'll feel as though I ate three.
Beyond the discomfort, I have motherly guilt. It's not like I'm beefing up for a wrestling match and can eat heaping plates of fetticini alfredo. I'm trying to give nutrients to a baby, so it's not any fun to be indulgent.
Oh cruel world!
So I have to choose between eating filling food and feeling sick or eating another bowl of yogurt, another apple, another bowl of cottage cheese, or another damned almond. (This isn't cussing. In my current state, I beleive almonds may be a damned food, along with sweet potatoes, and cans of V8.)
The answer is usually ice cream. I have it in abundance, and it keeps my belly full (without making me sick) and can assuage my motherly guilt with its high calcium content. So I suppose this baby will follow in the footsteps of many esteemed Van Schoonevelds before him/her, having ice cream be his/her main food group. Perhaps I can write a bestselling novel after my baby inevitably wins a Nobel Peace prize and overthrows the Balkan states (assuming he/she takes after both mommy and daddy), called "Baby by Gelato," extolling the virtues of an all-gelato diet.