“Are you eating a lot of carbs?”
This well-meaning query came from my obstetrician at my 32-week check-up about a week and a half ago, upon completing her estimation that I was carrying an (already!) 4-pound-13-ounce baby.
She’s a lovely lady, and I like her a lot. But girlfriend is not afraid to be blunt. She’s obviously dealt with enough pregnant women in her long and illustrious career such that she is no longer threatened by the potential wrath of a gigantic woman incubating another, apparently gigantic, baby human, who has effectively just been called fat.
I felt like a little kid being told off by her mother for eating too many cookies out of the jar. I fumbled through my answer, trying to explain how my relatively petite mother carried four babies to term, all of whom topped 9 pounds. “It’s in our genes, I guess,” I tried to justify. My sweet husband smirking in the background and her unconvinced poker face made me eventually throw up my hands in exasperation and stop trying.
You know what?
Yeah. Carbs, I’m all about the carbs right now.
No, please, let me explain why.
As much as I’d love to have every meal infused with quinoa, kale, and hormone-and-antibiotic-free-and-free-range chicken, it turns out that having to care for my 21-month-old all day makes meal prep time not only limited, but also a very, very low priority.
I’ve been really quite delighted to find out that nausea can, and will, continue into the third trimester, but only during breakfast. “Why don’t you try having an egg-white omelette?” she asked me matter-of-factly. Oh sure! I definitely have the time and patience to separate eggs, chop up other ingredients to make an egg-white omelette taste less like glutinous water, and then cook it to perfection, all the while bearing in mind the risks of undercooking eggs while pregnant. Gag. Oh, and lest we forget that I have a pint-sized human usually demanding various things of me while I endeavor to feed myself any time.
On most days, I forget to have lunch. Once my toddler is asleep for her afternoon nap, the preggo hanger hits me with a vengeance and McDelivery is a just few taps away on my iPhone, so that happens sometimes.
If I’m lucky, I’ll procrastinate about cooking dinner just long enough that my darling husband will offer to pick up groceries and cook something that you may actually approve of, Doc!
Oh man, but you know that yucky bloated, “soft” feeling you get when you really have had one too many carbs? Well, yeah, I haven’t felt that since my basketball of a belly popped at 20 weeks, making every top I wear beautifully round and lump-free—and so, proceeding on that basis, mama is going to enjoy her get-out-of-post-carb-remorse-
The real kicker here, Doc, is that I ate whatever I pleased during my first pregnancy, ballooned like it was nobody’s business, but then produced what, in my purely objective opinion, is a perfect, beautiful, smart, and healthy little gem of a human with no chia seed or flaxseed deficiencies of which I am aware. I then proceeded to breastfeed that human which, surprise, saw all those burgers dissipate into pure nothingness in a matter of a few months through pretty much no effort!
So, no, please don’t give me that knowing look and say, “Well….you might find that it’s different the second time around.” I don’t care for your dose of reality right now. Please let me just learn this the hard way, because I only have another five weeks to go. And I mean, really, how big can this kid get in five weeks? I suppose only time will tell, won’t it, Doc?
Plus, I asked my mom and she said the women in our family routinely gain preposterous amounts of weight during their pregnancies and then lose it in a flash. It’s just how we’re built. We’re designed to make giant babies, become giants ourselves, and then breastfeed those giant babies to reverse all of the effects of this process.
So, either the quick weight gain and subsequent loss, or the desire to eat everything under the sun without abandon, is genetic. You can’t argue with science, Doc. You, of all people, should understand that.
I need to go to my yoga class now, Doc. And by yoga class, I mean, the supermarket to buy some more frozen yogurt because we’ve just run out.
See ya next week, Doc!
At least that’s what I played out in my head as my answer to her question three hours after the appointment.