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Heather's Pregnancy Journal

Week 23 ~ June 5, 2002
~ Weighty Decisions

Weight gain: Such a taboo subject for so many women. How much can we gain while pregnant? What foods should we avoid? Can we give in to cravings? What are the consequences of gaining too much weight? Why should we be obsessed about our weight while pregnant? Aren't so many of us obsessed with it while not pregnant? Shouldn't pregnancy be the one time in our life that we don't have to worry about our weight?

So many questions and no real answers. When I became pregnant, I had many detailed conversations with my husband about my eating habits and whether I would be strong enough to maintain them in the midst of raging hormones. I talked myself into believing that I could control my habits. I told myself I would only eat healthful foods. It shouldn't be a stretch, I thought, as I eat pretty healthy anyway. Well, I set my standards a bit high (or a bit low, depending on how you look at it).

I've had a terrible time battling with my weight and related emotions. It all started while reading a certain pregnancy book that said we should ask our husbands to disallow us to eat unhealthful foods. I'm sorry. Disallow? After reading that section, I tossed the book aside, never to open it again. I decided, I guess, to rebel against those offensive words. After all, am I not the one suffering from all the side effects of pregnancy? Should it be anyone's business but my own if I eat a bowl of ice cream every night? Am I not an adult, responsible for making my own decisions about eating? If I am to be a mother, is now not a good time to make the most appropriate decisions for both Sam and myself without interference?

I am not an advocate of gaining 50 or 60 pounds while pregnant. I do believe that I should eat well and make calories count. I recognize that McDonalds and Burger King are not ideal components of my daily dietary ingestion, but I would also like the ability to indulge without questions. While I don't believe it is healthy to binge on high-fat, high-sugar foods, I do think that any book advocating zero indulgence is just plain wrong. How can I live without my carbohydrate comfort foods for the duration of the hardest 40 weeks I've ever had? Besides, surely my daily walks and bicycle rides make up for some of my supposedly "forbidden foods?"

I'll just say that after visiting my OB yesterday, I became extremely aware of my weight gain. I've joked about it, I've complained and whined about it, but the fact is, I guess less indulgence is better. I've vowed to stop using pregnancy as an excuse to eat all the good stuff, all the while blaming some book for my rebelliousness. Don't get me wrong, I will still eat ice cream, cookies and other fun stuff, but toning it down may be the key. Does this mean I'm falling into the "always-be-thin-even-while-pregnant" hype? Or am I just trying to be more aware of staying healthy for Sam? Why do I have to find an argument for both sides? Too bad so many paradoxical views have to exist. It just adds to the confusion.

Anyway, about my OB appointment yesterday: I called Dr. F's office on Friday because I had a rash that appeared on my legs the previous weekend, and it was spreading to my abdomen. I was instructed to come in for an appointment. Dr. F believes I have some early signs of PUPP, a pregnancy-related rash. I'm a mess-you should see me. I am trying to stuff that hamburger in my mouth all the while frantically scratching my legs and belly! While there isn't much I can do about the rash now, as my pregnancy progresses I will be able to sparingly use some topical steroids.

And our windows finally came in (this is the part where you gasp in complete and utter shock and surprise). Steve and my stepdad got them installed over the weekend, but the inside still needs to be trimmed out. I will also need to get the exterior painted. I'm so excited because I can finally start on Sam's room. We chose a Whirligig Bug motif, and I am planning on painting the walls sage green and the ceiling sky blue. I'll try my best to sponge paint some clouds on the ceiling. We'll see how that turns out. We've already got the crib set up, and my parents bought an antique armoire to refinish for the room. They'll get it painted, and my stepdad will gut the inside and add drawers and some hanging space. I know it will look perfect.

Well, off to eat my carrots and raisins . . .

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