Flashback three years. A colleague and I are sitting having lunch when I happen to mention a Dunkin Donuts having opened its doors down the street from my house.
“Like, in 9months?!”
She recalled the day before her daughter was born, sitting in the car park of the opening tomorrow Dunkin’ Donut shop, crying and cursing it for not opening until the day after her ‘freedom to eat pass’ would run out. I laughed.
“So, just how heavy was the baby, then? 3kilo? Huh? Sorry, think i must have misheard”.
i’m sorry for laughing then, B.
This morning was my 27 week check. Alhamduillah, all’s healthy with Bump & all looks good with me too. Then came the weight check..a little extra this time, she said, 3kilos, she noted. Ice-cream, i winced.
When M was conceived, i was happy -well, satisfied- with my weight. For my height, age and activity level, my BMI sat at the lower end of normal and I had room to gain or loose. During pregnancy with M, I gained almost 18 whole kilo. I went from 52 to 70, and M weighed only 3.5. I was sure I’d overdone it, somehow, the eating thing, but I couldn’t quite fathom it because I hadn’t eaten all that much. With both of my pregnancies, the morning sickness was what blew my diet. Whilst many women don’t want to eat feeling rough, the babysickness hit me like a hangover of the most ironic, twisted kind and to loose it required stodge, in a burger and milkshake and fried cheese way. I ate bread, white at that, and I didn’t step on a scale. Once the sickness had passed, i felt better, reurned to salad, thought the weight gain would slow down. Nope. With M, though from 4-9months I ate healthy as could be, the scales numbers increased week upon week steadily until one day they read 70 and I cried for the first time in months.
N.B : 70 kilo is 11stone, or 154lbs. Were I not pregnant, this would still be a normal weight for my height and frame. It would out me in size 10 clothes, with a sturdy, not chunky, healthy frame. At 9 months pregnant, this was a super healthy weight to be.
This week, 27weeks pregnant with my second child in the space of two years, i weight 65kilos. With over 10weeks to go, taking in the predicted gain of 1/2kilo a week from here to the end, i’ll probably come out of this pregnancy the same weight, perhaps one or two kilos heavier. I’m happy with that, but I know this time, some of those kilos are more ice-cream than baby; again B, I now understand.
See, this time around i have eaten..for me, for the baby and for M. I’ve been hungrier than I was first time round, breastfeeding while pregnant will do that, I guess, but I”ve also been lenient in indulgences too. If chocolate has screamed for me, I’ve answered it with a big grinning face, and if ice-cream has beckoned with a spoon, I’ve grabbed a shovel, tucked into the tub.
Because now I understand that ex-colleague and the majority of women around me ; pregnancy is the only time in our lives when it’s “ok” to be bigger, it’s “ok” to get fat.
So can you really crave ice-cream or is it simply an excuse?
For me, i think excuses. This pregnancy, there’s been little I’ve craved – week of jalepenos, but that’s about it. With M, each week was different and they were cravings not merely “mama wants”. Each craving I had corresponded perfectly with what my body needed to help the baby grow at that moment in time..red meat when M’s muscle was building, milk and cream when his bones were growing in, salt, salt and more salt when his little brain was developing early on. My cravings with M were my brains response to my bodys requests, the first conversations between mother and child. This time, mummy likes ice-cream and there’s little more to it than that.
So am i bothered, right now, about weight loss? Not really, honestly. I’m well aware that the false sense of security in my bodys ability to loose the weight as easily as it gained it that post-partum with M lured me into is as false as can be, and I’m well aware it’ll be harder this time; I’m also aware that just as my outlook changes after M’s birth, it will change this time too. After M, especially now as my stomach stretches out again for Bump to grow, I’m in awe if my body, and other womens. Our wombs stretch, skin elasticates, hips expand to allow a life to grow within; not a life that’s cute and kicking on the screen, but one which will learn to talk, slowly toddle and one day feed themselves. Our bodies are the most advanced forms of technology ever to be given into human hands and we need to remember and embrace this fact.
27kilos is too much ice-cream for my tummy to handle, but for my frame, another 7 could be ok. And I’m ok with that. I’m ok with giving my body and my mind the space from the false, media defined confines of what is healthy, acceptable weight. At this moment in time, my body is facilitating the growth of a miracle, is nurturing a new life, and for that, I think it deserves an extra scoop, or two. Don’t you?