I’m almost done with my first trimester, and so far it’s been pretty smooth sailing. I’ve been tired but not exhausted (at least not all the time), I had really strong food aversions for a couple of weeks but those seem to have died down, and overall no other serious symptoms to speak of (which is great because after reading some mommy memoirs I am terrified of what could have happened!). I feel very fortunate to have had such a balanced overall healthy and happy first trimester, but there are in fact some downfalls to having such a well-balanced, “just right” first three months of pregnancy.
For one thing, my body has pretty much forced to eat healthy. Some pregnant women, due to cravings or morning sickness or what have you, talk about how all they could eat during their pregnancy was ice cream and cookies and fried chicken, and oh sure they gained a few extra pounds but it was SO worth it. But nooooo, not my fetus. Or maybe it’s my hormones to blame and not the kid. But either way, that ain’t happening for me, no sir.
Except for a couple of bumpy bus rides to work I have never gotten nauseous this entire time, hallelujah! I do however have what we’ll call a “sensitive stomach” in that it really isn’t sick, but I certainly don’t feel awesome when I eat the wrong foods. What are those wrong foods, pray tell? The short answer: too much of anything.
- Too much sugar – we’re talking as little as a cup of low quality hot chocolate or apple juice (the real dark stuff seems to go over much). Especially too much sugar first thing in the morning, which sucks because I really like having a piece of fruit for breakfast, but instead I’ve switched to plain yogurt with a little jam and raisins in it, which seems to work okay.
- Too much fat – one handful of almonds is awesome, but two handfuls, forget it! Thinly sliced deli ham is okay (yes it’s okay to eat most deli meat during pregnancy), but pork roast is out of the question. I definitely have been craving fats, but we’re talking the amount of fat in eggs, or butter on popcorn, or salad with dressing, very well mixed-in fat.
- Too much fake food – notice I said poor quality hot chocolate or apple juice. Any super fake foods (what Michael Pollan refers to as food products rather than food) like Starbursts or hot cocoa powdered mix or some candy bars just don’t work at all (small Snickers bars are surprisingly okay).
- Often just eating too much food can make me feel shitty – literally something like an extra bite or two of sandwich and I suddenly feel like I just ate Thanksgiving dinner. My husband has even picked up on this; last night at dinner I was praising myself for an amazing quiche, and said something about eating just for taste, to which he replied, “well you better stop now or you’ll get sick.” Sure enough, within 30 minutes after dinner I reached that full feeling which would have been much worse had I finished my last two bites of quiche.
I get uterine cramps if I drink black tea on an empty stomach, not terribly but enough that I only go for the stuff with breakfast and if I’m truly exhausted. I haven’t even touched coffee (although numerous times I have smelled it wafting out of the numerous coffee shops near my office and suddenly craved a strong espresso).
So what all this means is I pretty much have to eat five or six small, well-balanced snacks or small meals a day. Lots of vegetables, lean meats, dairy is okay, and only a couple of fruits a day. At least I haven’t gained any weight yet (although my belly’s definitely starting to pop). Ziggy is just so damned healthy! It’s awesome but also sometimes very annoying when all you want is a giant piece of cheesecake!
Other issues with having a Buddha fetus: not being able to play the sympathy card with various members of your family. Thankfully I was able to work in a little something with my dad, which I’ll share in Part 2.