Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Pregnancy and Satisfied Eating

December 17, 2009 by  
Filed under Pregnancy

When I first found out I was pregnant, I stood in the bathroom, braced myself on the wall, and took a few deep breaths.  This was a planned pregnancy, but that didn’t make the moment any less of a surprise somehow.  I walked out to tell my husband and my hand was shaking so much that I couldn’t even hold the pregnancy test for him to see.  When he went to hug me, he said, “What’s that . . . wait . . . is that your heart pounding??” It was pounding so loud, he could hear it outside my chest even when he wasn’t hugging me.  Again, this pregnancy was planned, but it didn’t make the moment any less terrifying.

I immediately began to wonder what was going to happen to me.  Sure, in about 36 weeks I’d be a mother, but before that I was going to turn into this vessel of sorts – a vessel that supposedly gets nauseous, moody, turned off to smells, and is ravenous all the time.  I was worried – with two jobs plus graduate coursework, I didn’t have time to feel sick or deal with wanting to eat all the time. But here we were, on this road – heart pounding, hands shaking.

For the next few weeks, I woke up every day and my first thought was, “How do I feel?” I waited for the nausea, for the mind-numbing hunger, for the random angry fits – but none came.  In fact, my relationship with food felt better than I could ever remember it being.  I ate when I was hungry, only until I was full, didn’t have the urge to snack out of nerves, anxiety, or boredom, and I couldn’t get enough dairy, fruits, and vegetables.  One day I had a funny little thought: what if, inside me, I was growing a little HAES creature?  Was I already learning something from this child I hadn’t even met yet?  The idea brought tears to my eyes as I felt like I was being given a second chance at something and the tools to stop this cycle so I can raise a healthy child.

Now, four and a half months pregnant, I still feel wonderful.  I don’t have any of the more unpleasant pregnancy symptoms and have not yet gained any weight, but am also not trying to NOT gain weight.  I’m eating well; everything is just very balanced so far and my doctor is pleased with my progress.  I did have a span of four or five weeks where I was seriously turned off by most meat (especially ground meat) but I ate a delicious nearly vegetarian diet those weeks and still felt great.  I’ve always wondered if I could be vegetarian and it felt like the baby gave me this little gift of finding out that it was probably possible (although after that period passed, I had steak quite a few times – still can’t look at ground meat).

I have to think that we really do know intuitively how much to eat.  It’s a lifetime of dieting and super-sizing and advertising and social pressures that cause us to learn all these disordered habits.  Never before or after my gastric bypass did I ever feel the same kind of content fullness after eating as I do now since I became pregnant.  It’s been the most amazing gift of this journey so far.  I feel like I’ve been given the privilege to tap into something that some of us lost long ago.

Comments

14 Responses to “Pregnancy and Satisfied Eating”
  1. lissa10279 says:

    Thank you so much for this post, Candice! As someone who hopes to be a mom in the near future myself, your post really resonates and shows us the potential our bodies have when we just let them be!! (i.e., trust them to eat intuitively!) Congrats on your pregnancy! And I LOVE the idea of connecting with your baby like that already!

    • CandiceBP says:

      I think learning to trust our bodies is the hardest thing. I know that I’m still learning when I’m actually hungry and when I’m just hungry in my mind (anxious, bored, etc).

  2. McLauren84 says:

    Great post! I’ve always wondered what it would be like to find out I’m pregnant, so I found your first-hand account fascinating.

    Congratulations to you and your husband!

  3. Jen says:

    Congratulations!!! I look forward to reading more from you!

    I also just found out I am pregnant (7 weeks). My pregnancy wasn’t planned and I definitely felt all those things….especially the pounding heart! I’m so looking forward to having a healthy- I HOPE- pregnancy!

  4. Congratulations, Candice! Such a happy time, made so much more so by your peace with eating. And such a huge gift to your child.

  5. love2eatinpa says:

    congrats! i can only aspire to eating intuitively as you are already doing! you and your baby are already on your way to a great pregnancy and relationship.

  6. Lindsay says:

    Thank you for this post.

    I have a seven-month old now, but when I first found out I was pregnant I was terrified of weight gain. However, what happened was amazing. I, too, learned to eat intuitively. For the first time in 10-15 years I wasn’t dieting and I wasn’t bingeing. There was no “tomorrow I’ll start a diet” binge and there was no restricting. In a sense, the pressure I put on myself to lose weight was off. I could do what I wanted, and I what I wanted was to be “normal.” I gained exactly the right amount of weight and delivered a very healthy baby boy.

    Good luck to you!

    • CandiceBP says:

      Thanks! That’s so much how I feel – the relief at not having to constantly stress. Just eat well, when I’m hungry, and it’s all good. It seems so simple sometimes. LOL

  7. cggirl says:

    How wonderful! I’m so happy for you and wish you the best, and perhaps this will continue for you for life now! :)
    (It also makes me rather optimistic about the prospect of pregnancy. I mean, whether I can raise an actual CHILD is another issue, haha.)

  8. LG says:

    What a beautiful post! This makes me excited about starting a family. It will be so strange/exciting to grow a baby.

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