There were a few preggers things I really looked forward to: Surprising Mr. T with the news (that didn’t work out so well), feeling my baby kick (she stomped on my cervix for months), and eating.
I’d heard from someone that pregnancy was my time to pig out. I shouldn’t bother trying to suck in my gut or get swimsuit-ready. I was growing a person and people eat to live — so EAT!
That was music to this girl’s ears, because I’d spent years watching my weight, obsessively exercising, and generally hating my body and what food did to it.
I should have popped whoever gave me that advice.
After my miscarriage scare, I got a pregnancy-weight reality check. By nine weeks, I’d gained 7 pounds. It doesn’t seem like much, but I was only supposed to gain three to four in my whole first trimester.
Four weeks later, I’d put on another 6 pounds. Four weeks later, six more.
I swear, I was trying to be healthy. I was walking on the elliptical! I was eating green stuff! Tasteless, healthy, green stuff! Every day! Every freaking day …
… except on those days when I craved cheeseburgers and fries. Which was odd because I was vegetarian.
I’d stop at McDonald’s and order two cheeseburgers without burgers (the woman at the drive-thru thought I was crazy) and a large fry. And a medium orange soda. And two apple pies (you can’t pass up two for $1).
But those days were so rare. Maybe once a week. OK, maybe three or four times a week. But I wouldn’t gain that much from eating what was, essentially, grilled cheese and ketchup, right?
Weight worries consumed me until I was about five months pregnant. I’d already hit what should have been my 40-week weight, so I asked my doctor whether I needed to worry.
“Nope,” he said. I just needed to be reasonable about what I ate.
I could’ve kissed him.
I know it’s not healthy to pile on pounds, even when you’re pregnant. But the weights on those charts in the doctors’ offices? They’re recommendations, not rules. I felt healthy, and the doc told me I was. I didn’t have gestational diabetes or high blood pressure, and Baby Bird was growing nicely.
So after that appointment, I gave myself a break. When all was said and done, I gained about 45 pounds — 10 more than recommended.
Hey, it happens.
Besides, my baby had a healthy appetite, and who was I to deny her burgerless cheeseburgers?