Recently I mentioned on this here blog something about how pregnancy for many of us isn’t so much about food cravings as food aversions. As in, you scramble an egg—aka a weapons-grade sulfur bomb—anywhere near my nose right now, and I will be forced to kill you—right after I finish throwing up.
Perhaps later in this pregnancy I will begin to delight in food, but for now—and for many, many, many weeks after now—I’m all about eating what I can stomach. And what my stomach can stomach.
Today that has meant: a bowl of Wheaties and Oat Squares for early breakfast, a custard-filled doughnut for late breakfast, a bagel with cream-cheese and a tomato slice for brunch, some mushroom tortellini for lunch, a chocolate-chip oatmeal cookie for an afternoon snack, and some sharp cheddar and Triscuits and Gatorade for snack #2. That brings us to 4pm. Not bad! I say. Not bad at all. I mean, there TOMATOES in there. And MUSHROOMS! And OATS!
I’ve heard that there are people out there who remain doughnut-free throughout their pregnancies. Today, for instance, I was just reading about this woman who would rather not take prenatal vitamins when she’s pregnant—she’d rather just EAT RIGHT. I have to think that this woman and other right-eaters like her are people who are not made to hurl by vast amounts of hormones coursing through their system.
I tell myself that come my second trimester I will eat protein smoothies and steamed kale and mounds of acorn squash—but if memory serves and if my other pregnancy is any indicator, when the nausea lifts, I will feel no more inclined to eat steamed greens than I do now. I will want pizza, I will eat pizza, and, blessedly, I will then reliably be able to hold down pizza.
The pizza and doughnuts and Gatorade isn’t about craving—it’s more like there’s ANOTHER PERSON LIVING INSIDE YOU, a small, picky child-person in charge of your eating habits. He or she might enjoy a tomato slice atop her bagel, but cut it up into a bowl and Eeew! Gross! Get that away from me! The smell is making me sick! It’s exhausting and demoralizing.
I was talking to a friend today—one with the good sense not to reproduce—and she was all, “Doughnut? Wha? You’re nauseated and you’re eating a doughnut?”
I tried to explain that it’s not like the stomach flu. In fact, the only thing—other than a few glorious prescription drugs—that can stop the barfing is eating. So you think about what sounds good, running through options in your head while trying not to think of anything that might make you feel queasier, and when you hit on something, ANYthing you can imagine holding down, you eat that.
And then you take a prenatal vitamin and start thinking about what you might like to eat next, before you’re too hungry and nauseated to think about anything other than Damn, when was the last time someone cleaned this toilet?