Friday, December 13, 2013

Food issues and why I haven't turned into a pork pie. Yet.

This is a post about one of my major pregnancy symptoms.  If you're having a tough time right now, please go take care of yourself.  Next week I'm going to be blogging about the Sunshine and Lovely Blog Awards that I got nominated for, and also my favorite books of the year - no pregnancy talk allowed.  So please go drink some wine or take a bubble bath and take care of yourself, and enjoy this picture of spaghetti carbonara that I ate my first night in Rome back in 2012.  It was delicious.  All the pasta in Italy is delicious.  It's the law.

I think I've made it pretty clear from this blog that I love food, I love to eat, and I love cooking.  I have been lucky in this pregnancy that I am not/was not plagued with terrible morning sickness.  I experienced some nausea on four or five occasions.  But I did/do have plenty of digestive and/or food related symptoms.  From around week 6 or 7 on, I would feel really bloated and full after I ate a small amount of food.  My morning Greek yogurt would leave me feeling stuffed and kind of gross.  I also started having a healthy dose of acid reflux.  And stuff I usually really love (all Mexican food, ice cream, certain cheeses) suddenly sounded disgusting.

I am not heavy, and I was definitely one of those annoying people who, as a teenager and even in college, could eat whatever I wanted and still stay thin.  Try not to hate me too much - it didn't last forever, and I was really flat-chested back then.  Like most women, in my twenties, my metabolism slowed down and I suddenly couldn't eat whatever I wanted and forego all exercise and still stay skinny.  So I had to start exercising (blerg) and I had to stop eating cheese all the time.  And the older I got, the more pronounced it got.  It got especially bad when I moved in with Jeeves and we got married.  Plates of pasta like the one above probably did not help.  My point is this - my BMI is still in the normal range, but I can't eat whatever I want and stay that way.  We eat very healthfully most nights of the week.  I eat the same boring, healthy lunch and breakfast every day.  And I have some healthy snacks around the house, like fruit and nuts and popcorn that I pop in a paper bag (so good with a little chili powder on top).  I don't keep soda or Doritos in the house.  Sometimes we will splurge and get some brie cheese (my kryptonite), or I'll make ice cream, but we try to ration that shit.

When I did IUI, I lost a little weight - just a couple of pounds.  I attribute this to not drinking any wine (which I love so much).  And then I got pregnant and I thought about my sister and I got a little worried.  When my sister got pregnant with my oldest nephew, she was a regular gym-goer who swam almost every day and lived on veggie stir frys.  She was very fit.  Then she got pregnant, went totally hog wild with ice cream and other sweets, and she gained 50 lbs.  50 lbs!  On my 5'3" sister!  My nephew wound up being 10 lbs (he came out looking like a 2 month old) and my sister had to have a C-section because my nephew was so giant and would not drop down.  So I wanted to be careful about how much weight I gained.  For someone in normal BMI range, the expected weight gain in pregnancy is 25-35 lbs.

All the books I read said to expect weight gain in the 2-3 lb range for first trimester, but that some women would not gain at all due to morning sickness.  I used to always think it would be soooo easy for me to gain weight when I got pregnant and that I would actually have to be careful not to over-indulge.  My friends, that has not been a problem.  I am 13w3d pregnant and I have not gained a pound.  And that's starting to worry me.  The good news is that I think I am turning a corner.  Unfortunately, it's not a very pleasant corner.  Now I am at the point where if I do not eat every 3 hours or so, I start to feel ill.  You know that pleasant little feeling you get when you start to feel hungry and you daydream about what you want to eat?  Yeah, I haven't felt that way since before I was pregnant.  Basically what happens is I eat and then I feel quite full.  For awhile.  Then, quite suddenly, I am starving and feel like I must eat something immediately or I might get sick.  It's been lovely.  But it does mean that I'm eating more, and I have noted that a lot of my food aversions are starting to go away.

Have you ever seen the movie Fargo?  There's a scene where Frances McDormand's character, who is pregnant bends over and says "Think I'm gonna barf."  Then she stands up and says, "It passed.  Now I'm hungry again."  That about sums it up.

As I said to Jeeves this evening, these are not bad problems to have.  I don't mean to complain - I would tolerate a lot worse for this babe.  But it does feel weird to have such mixed feelings about food right now - to be both grossed out and constantly hungry, and to feel irritated at how freakin' often I have to eat now, since a few months ago, eating was probably my favorite thing to do.

Oh, and of course now, what's the one thing I really, really want to eat?  An Italian sub.  Which I'm not supposed to have unless I microwave the meat until it's steaming (gross).

On the bright side, I get to eat ranch dressing on my salad and not feel bad about it.


  1. Being grossed out and constantly hungry sounds like torture to me. Sure, I'd endure it too, but it doesn't mean that your discomfort isn't real. I've known a few nutritionists that went into pregnancy expecting to eat perfectly and found themselves disgusted by real food and having to turn to lots of refined white carbs. Also, recommended healthy weight gain can be way off. Every individual is unique. Let your own hunger and intuition guide you.

    1. Thanks for the sympathy, Marcy. I, too, really thought I was going to eat the world's healthiest pregnancy diet. It has definitely not turned out that way. I never drink soda, but all I want now is soda. I let myself have it from time to time. But you're right - every individual is unique and I'm trying not to beat myself up when I don't eat as many veggies as I should.