Still here, still hun­gry

Maryland Independent - - Classified -

Hi! I’m still here. And still hun­gry.

I’m reach­ing the point of preg­nancy where I have to an­swer phone calls, texts and emails with the same re­frain: “No baby yet.” Call­ing any­one un­ex­pect­edly usu­ally prompts them to ask me if “it’s time,” or if “any­thing’s hap­pen­ing.”

Tech­ni­cally, I have three weeks un­til my due date — but some­thing tells me I’m not mak­ing it the full 40 weeks. Be­cause of our ex­pe­ri­ence with pre­ma­tu­rity when our first child was born, I’ve been “ready” for weeks now. I mean, sure, there are those last-minute tasks that would be nice to ac­com­plish (stock­pil­ing freezer meals; do­ing more laun­dry), but they’re not ne­ces­si­ties. If Baby Girl ar- rives to­mor­row, we’ll be fine. I think. The wait­ing — the not-know- ing — is mak­ing me anx­ious. I’m not good at it. As a kid, I hated play­ing hide-and-seek; crouch­ing be­hind a sofa and lis­ten­ing for foot­falls made me ner­vous. Would some­one jump out un­ex­pect­edly? What would I do when they found me? I used to break out in a sweat when a lit­tle cousin would beg me to play, even well into my teen years. Didn’t want to dis- ap­point the kid, but the wait­ing was too much.

But this wait­ing? It’s the ex­cit- ing part, I know. And it is, af­ter all, the ex­pe­ri­ence I was de­nied dur­ing my first preg­nancy. As I was hos­pi­tal­ized shortly into my third trimester and ul­ti­mately induced due to preeclamp­sia, we never played the wait­ing game. I des­per­ately wanted to stay preg­nant as long as pos- sible. When I had Oliver eight weeks early, I mourned the loss of those fi­nal months. All I wanted was that happy, nor­mal, made-for-TV ex­pe­ri­ence.

In time, of course, I came to ac­cept that “nor­mal” is rel­a­tive. Who re­ally has a nor­mal ex­pe­ri­ence — and what is that, any­way? It was most im­por­tant that Oliver and I are both here and healthy. The rest is just a pro­logue, re­ally.

Still, mak­ing it so far this time has been a tremen­dous re­lief. I didn’t dare hope ev­ery- thing would go this smoothly. Though I’m not yet con­sid­ered full-term, 37 weeks is much bet- ter than 32 — and ever y day we inch closer to my due date is a weight off my shoul­ders.

Though pretty soon, get­ting this weight off will be the real weight off my shoul­ders.

De­spite my (mostly?) good in­ten­tions, I’ve still man­aged to pack on the pounds since the fall. My weight gain was cer­tainly stead­ier than the quick bal­loon­ing that hap­pened with Oliver, but ul­ti­mately more than I would have liked. (In the in­ter­est of full dis­clo­sure, I typed this para­graph while si­mul­ta­ne­ously eat­ing a fried chicken sand­wich. So.)

Par­tially to blame is the nau­sea that has plagued me from the be­gin­ning. The old wives’ tales about ex­pect­ing girls and the ac­com­pa­ny­ing roller coast- er of sick­ness were cer­tainly true in my case. With my son, I could eat what­ever I wanted — with few con­se­quences — within a few months. But this time? Well.

Car­bo­hy­drates seem to be the an­swer. As long as I have bread, I can suf­fer through. Rarely am I sit­ting with­out a pack of crack­ers or a gra­nola bar at my el­bow. The key is to plan ahead and al­ways have ra­tions at the ready. Con­stant snack­ing is nec­es­sary.

At the of­fice, the piles of snack foods on my desk can get a lit­tle em­bar­rass­ing. But it’s harder at home. With a tod­dler watch­ing ever ything I do (and con­sume), I feel the weight of set­ting a bad ex­am­ple . . . and also strug­gle with his lit­tle hands reach­ing out for a piece of what­ever I have in mine. Oliver has not proven him­self to be a picky eater so far, so it’s fea­si­ble that I could share my cook­ies, tuna, olives or ice cream. I just don’t want to.

That sounds worse than I in- tended. Trust me: I do share. All the time. Like his mom, Ol­lie en­joys a good snack, and I’m cer­tainly not one to deny him. Those adorable, plead­ing brown eyes get away with just about ev­ery­thing.

So I sneak-eat. Of­ten. Be­cause it’s eas­ier. Be­cause I’m greedy and don’t al­ways want to give half of ev­ery treat I’m con­sum­ing to my tod­dler. Be­cause what I’m eat­ing isn’t nec­es­sar­ily “healthy,” and I feel guilty giv­ing more su­gar to our not-quite-2-year-old. He has his ap­ple­sauce, Teddy Gra­hams, mac­a­roni and pud­ding cups; can’t a woman just eat one Girl Scout cookie in peace?

Best to get it out of my sys­tem now. As I’ve been preg­nant twice in two years, I’m look­ing for­ward to gain­ing con­trol of my eat­ing habits — and my body — once again. What I con­sume will hope­fully change af­ter my daugh­ter is born, and I’m ex­cited to get back to walk­ing. Back to veg­eta­bles. Back on a health­ier track.

Caf­feine con­sump­tion not­with­stand­ing.

You can only ask so much of a per­son, you know?

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