July 1, 2011

on expectations, realities and pregnancy cravings...

pickles (and ice cream?)
I had many preconceived notions about what pregnancy would be like. Most of these things were based on stories I'd heard from other people, things I'd read in my pregnancy books and, of course, basic generalizations that have been drilled into our minds from the beginning of time. Oddly enough, many of these things ended up staying as curiosities, as I haven't fit the mold of many pregnancy standards. (Well, according to the ones listed in my weekly read: What to Expect When You're Expecting.)

For example, I've never come across this "hearty appetite" that I've been expecting to show up for the past several months. If anything, I get full ridiculously fast. Mostly because the wee one feels the need to curl up around my stomach like it's a body pillow (or something to that effect) and as much as I'd love to gorge myself on a daily basis, I actually have been eating less than I did pre-pregnancy. Resulting in another expectation that ended up far differently than I had anticipated: weight gain.

I was absolutely confident in the fact that I was going to turn into a blueberry during this pregnancy. I had accepted it, embraced it, and was preparing to figure out what to do with a body that had doubled in size. However, I ended up losing 8 lbs. throughout the first and second trimesters (most likely due to having no appetite and a generous dose of nausea that continues to show up even now) and didn't start gaining weight until I was well into week 18 or 19. I finally got back up to my pre-pregnancy weight, and at this point I'm only up 15 lbs. from that starting number.

No, I'm not bragging. I'm just mystified. And pleasantly surprised. But mostly mystified.

One of the things I was most curious about were the cravings. What was I going to crave as the wee one slowly took over my body? Would it be something normal like orange juice, salted pretzels or ice cold milk? Would it be something slightly awkward like ice cream covered in pickles or hot sauce on a spoon? Would I end up being one of those people I judge on the pregnancy boards who claim to borderline want to sit in the back yard and eat dirt by the handful (apparently this happens)?

Well, none of the above cravings managed to show up. Even Jay has expressed disappointment; I believe he was truly looking forward to late-night In-N-Out burger runs. Of course, there are things that sound good, and there was that one week when I would have been willing to do inappropriate things in order to get my hands on a diet cherry Pepsi, but for the most part I can't really say I've had any definite cravings. I drink a lot more milk, and eat more fresh fruit—but I've never experienced one of those moments where I'm all, "GET IN MY BELLY NOW!" The only thing that I think is slightly out of the ordinary is the amount of McDonalds Mocha Frappes I've consumed in the past several months. But then I start to feel kind of bad realizing that I've had more caffeine during this pregnancy than the past several years of my life.

If the wee one comes out screaming especially loudly, then perhaps we should blame it on a caffeine headache. Right? Right.

There are also many other pregnancy "symptoms" that I managed to somehow avoid. Sometimes it's a good thing, sometimes it's a little disappointing. But mostly, I've been quite pleased with the whole pregnancy experience. I've been very, very lucky. (She's actually been thrashing around wildly while I've been writing this, which has been quite entertaining. Now that I know it's her teeny tiny feet tap-dancing beneath the right side of my ribcage, it's kind of hard to be upset about it.)

Being that I'm only 7 weeks away from my due date (side note: SWEET MOTHER OF MERCY, WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN), I'm starting to deal with a lot of the general discomforts: heartburn like woah, trouble sleeping, feeling completely exhausted, being out of breath after doing something as simple as washing a spoon, and, my own personal favorite, ankles that are swollen beyond all reason.

Jay: "You'd better get your ankles something to eat. They're looking hungry."


  1. Oh I'm just five shades of jealous over this. Seriously. I'm SO, SO glad you're having an enjoyable pregnancy experience, though! :)

  2. "She's actually been thrashing around wildly while I've been writing this..."

    Maybe she thinks you're painting her as a boring influence and she's trying to get her Party Rock Anthem on to prove you wrong. ;P

    I'm glad your pregnancy has been a pleasant deviation from some of your expectations. And lol @ your hungry ankles.

  3. OMG, JAY! I love it. I'm sorry. I'm so glad that you're not feeling terrible. And really, don't tell my other pregnant friends, but you are the CUTEST pregnant person I've ever seen. That little belly! I can't wait to come visit again once the bebe makes her appearance.

  4. When I had Olivia (32 weeks), I had gained 15 pounds. It wasn't just heartburn, it was horrible gnawing indigestion and nausea. I took Pepcid twice a day and ate Tums like crazy. I was also surprised at what sat well on my stomach. You'd think gyros full of onions, sausage gravy and biscuits, or fried chicken schnitzel would all be recipes for horrible indigestion, but they were pretty much all I could eat. Strange!

  5. I've heard about the people who eat dirt... I don't think a pregnant woman would die if she couldn't get her fix, so why in the love of all that is holy do woman ACTUALLY go out and do this?! I'm all for getting dirt on my hands while gardening. But EATING IT?! What if you eat a bug?! Or what if your dog piddled there?! OR WHAT.EVER!

    Anyway. Adorable post, especially since she's wiggling around! So cute!!! You're a lucky girl. :D

  6. I though I'd be HUGE too and, like you, didn't gain until my third trimester -- and then I GAINED 30 lbs of water weight. I delivered at 38 weeks but the last week I was consuming MASSIVE amounts of chips and salsa and yes, lemonade was a staple. I can't wait for you to enter into the Mama club. Its so amazing I wish it on friends and strangers alike. *squeeee*

  7. the dirt thing is so crazy but true. Pica. Crazy stuff. a lot of women also crave seriously undercooked (read: raw) meat. usually most cases of Pica are actually a serious iron deficiency. Yikes! Glad you've been having a good pregnancy! Yay!

    My mom told me an old wives' tale the other day - crazy heartburn means your baby will have a ton of hair. she had no heartburn w/me and i was bald until i was 2. my Godmother had crazy heartburn with my middle sister and she had hair like whoa. innnnteresting. i'll be anxious to see how much hair cuppy has. :)

    love you lots!

  8. You pregnancy sounds So Much like my first. No crazy weight hunger, weight gain, cravings, mood swings. None of it. I'm weirdly pleased to hear it. Both because it means it's more comfortable for you and two because people act like I'm lying when I say I had no issues being pregnant because none of that happened.

    I'm so excited for you to have your baby, even though I'm a lurker so you don't know me. I think it's great.

    Love the little comments at the end about your ankles too. :)

  9. Yeah,I didn't have any strange cravings during my pregnancy. And the bigger I got, the less I ate, because there was no room for food!

  10. Man, am I glad to read a blog where someone is having a pregnancy experience similar to mine. At 20 weeks pregnant, I gained my first pregnancy pounds - 2 of them. LOL By the time my son was born (39) weeks, I had gained 10 lbs, total... and he weighed 8. People couldn't even tell I was pregnant. Part of that is due to the fact that I was overweight before being pregnant and the pregnancy kind of leveled my weight out, but it was still your basic non-standard pregnancy and I always felt so different about it, like I had no one to talk to about it.

    And my major craving was lime. I was getting Sonic limeades every chance I got. But that was it. Not too weird. I think people hear particular pregnancy stories and hype those over others because they're more interesting.

    I can't believe you only have 7 weeks left. It really goes so quickly.

  11. haha this post was informative and hilarious. I recently thought about this as well....like...are cravings a part of pregnancy for everyone or is it just a myth started by the media. I'm glad to hear you had a wonderful pregnancy...sad to hear about the difficulties now though. Also, I laughed really hard out loud at work at that conversation piece between you and Jay. hahaha (still laughing)

  12. I had the same deal with my daughter (first pregnancy). I lost a lot of weight and then only gained a tad more than my starting weight. I ate a lot of fresh fruit and drank a ton of ice water. All pregnancies are different and let me just say that the ONLY advice or words of wisdom that have rang true, have been "it goes by so fast." my daughter is now two and these three years have been the quickest in my life. Embrace it! These seven weeks will go by fast and then the days will go by quicker than you could have imagined. :)

  13. The first time I re-visited your blog I squeeled a little for you when I read about your pregnancy. No one deserves it more because no one could be a better mother than you. The way you idolize your parents, lovingly decorate and create things for others, and genuinely care about so many people you haven't even met just proves what an amazing parent you will be! Please, please expose her to the girliest of things and, when she's old enough, Felicity (our first thing in common!). My younger sister is eighteen and nothing she watches can capture the emotions and thoughts of that show! You are going to be an amazing mother because of how much you feel and care. I am so happy for you!

  14. I loved your entire post, but the part about your ankles made me laugh out loud. I'm about three weeks behind you in my pregnancy and my hands/feet/ankles have started swelling enough where I finally had to take my wedding rings off and wear them on a chain around my neck.

    My husband makes fun of my ankles, too. "Whoah. What happened to your ankles? Your legs just go all the way to your cute little fat feet now." hehe.

  15. As someone who has never been pregnant and probably won't for a little bit, reading your pregnancy posts is absolutely fascinating to me. I think it's great that you've had such an enjoyable pregnancy so far, even though you're starting to see some less-positive effects now. Not too much longer!

  16. I'm 4 weeks behind you and I'm still 10 lbs under my start weight because of the extreme nausea at the beginning. And I also haven't really had the I NEED TO EAT *THIS* NOW OR I WILL DIE either. Although tacos never not sound good. Oooh, there's some grammar.

  17. I didn't have any weird pregnancy cravings either (just things that made me feel sick). I think my husband was also quite looking forward to dashing out in the middle of the night trying to find me random foods.

  18. Oh yes, the getting full fast was something I experienced too. And I unfortunately had to go through Thanksgiving and Christmas like that!

    So glad you are having a fairly good pregnancy though (other than feeling sick on the Fourth of July). Can't wait to "meet" your little girl!

  19. thank you so much for sharing! i looove that you're giving the deets and making pregnancy a lot less scary for those of us (me) that are terrified by it.
    "you better get your ankles something to eat"..? so good.
    "you're dead to me". even better! ha!

  20. So funny and so true. "You're dead to me" hahaha. Yesterday my husband sat in one of those extra large chairs in the waiting room at the doctor's office, looked at me and said, "You're going to be needing one of these pretty soon".... definitely a dead-to-me moment :)


Thoughts? Questions? General musings? Do share!

If you are asking a question, I will respond here within the comments—so, be sure to click that handy little "notify me" box below to know when I've replied!