So I survived my first (heavily) preggo flying trip to the east coast (I flew in August to DC, but although I was very sick I didn’t have a big belly at the time). It was delightful to see the family, and I often reminded myself how precious this time was, since it’s very likely nobody will ever see me pregnant again. My half-sister’s dad (let’s just call him step dad for ease) made a lovely toast welcoming Bobby to the family over Thanksgiving dinner, and it was really nice to see everyone refer to the baby by name as if he’s already here and a part of things. Not that I expected any different, of course…but the whole knowing the gender thing is so new to me that I am still getting used to it.
I often wonder how much of my fear of exerting myself and general paranoia has entirely to do with just being a first timer. I had all kinds of worries about being so far from home – what if I start bleeding, what if I can’t find the heartbeat for a few days, what if I get sick, what if I start to feel weird? But of course none of that happened – even as I was served a spinach salad and had the word “Listeria! Listeria!” screaming in my brain. I kept telling myself, “if this was your second pregnancy, you wouldn’t be thinking about any of this stuff.” On the way home there was a lot of hauling of heavy stuff, lifting, standing on crowded buses, and being generally inconvenienced, and all along I was worried about causing some problem with the baby. But I just had some grapefruit juice and he’s happily dancing around in my belly. I seriously need to chill out.
The other thing that I admit has been getting kind of out of hand in my “list of worries” is the whole weight thing. I know I need to just put it out of my mind and not worry about it…but I am worried about it. I never knew how vital maintaining proper weight gain was to pregnancy – I rather naively thought you just eat what you feel like, that your body will guide you, and don’t worry about it. But I now know eating healthy and keeping track of your weight is WAY more important now than it was before, which stresses me out to no end, as we are now in the holiday season. And believe me when I say it has very little to do with “getting fat” or not being able to lose the weight afterwards…I mean, this is an element of it, sure, but only about 10%. Mainly I’m worried about gaining too much weight and causing complications for the baby – getting gestational diabetes, causing birth problems. I could tell my half sister, who gained about 70 lbs with her son, saw me and saw I pretty much look the same but with a belly, and was kind of dismayed. She said, “you look great – when I was at about your time I looked-“ (blows up cheeks). We’ve had MANY conversations about this on the phone, and her tack has always been to ignore the advice of physicians and just eat as much as you want, as long as it’s healthy. She insists she gained all that weight by only eating salads and green beans, but her husband and I beg to differ. I think pregnancy is an excellent time to trip all those compulsive eating triggers, and I am scared of this, although so far I’ve been able to contain myself (except for the following example). I think it’s dangerous to let your body guide you, personally. A nice elderly lady gave me a box of See’s Candies as a congratulatory gift, and despite promising myself I wouldn’t crack it until after the holidays, the second I got home I sat down and ate half of it and then felt sick. Did my body guide me to do that, or did my mind? Something tells me I was worried about money, about flying, and was feeling weird and lonely and so I ate the chocolates. See, that’s the kind of thing that can’t happen during pregnancy.
So I am facing a month of parties and sweets and bad food everywhere and am completely freaked out by it. I think the only thing I can do is eat SUPER conservatively at home to try to balance it out, and finally get my lazy butt to some prenatal yoga. I have literally no food left – ate everything down before traveling, as I usually do – so today I will do a mega shopping trip and make sure everything I plan to cook for the next few weeks is HEALTHY. Rather than my favorite pasta with fake meatballs, maybe a little tian (spinach casserole) and roast Brussels sprouts. Maybe some nice healthy black bean tacos instead of mayonnaise-y fake BLTs. Or just homemade soup for lunch and no desserts (well, except for my beloved grapefruit of course). I can do this. I swear.