When I found out I was pregnant, I felt a little like I had to let go of my whole life. Like I would have to change anything. Like my friends wouldn’t want to have anything to do with me because no one wants to hang out with “the pregnant girl”. Because God knows, I never wanted to hang out with the pregnant girl! I would have to refrain from smoking and we couldn’t go to the dive bar down the street and listen to really bad live music or karaoke. And she would probably want to go home and go to bed at 7:30. All of these things suddenly became true of me. And I couldn’t bare to drag my free, without-parasite friends down. I did, however, find solace in the glorious dream of food. Before you are pregnant, you hear other preggos say things like, “I wouldn’t normally eat this, but the baby wants it.” or “I could never eat this much food if I weren’t pregnant.” I delighted in the idea of chili dogs and french fries and massive quantities of lasagna for dinner. And mid morning snacks of ice cream and potato chips. But there are things they don’t tell you, internet. Oh yes, there are things.
In the first trimester, I wanted to eat my weight in double cheeseburgers, as you know. The main draw of these McDoubles was that the grease factor was such that they coated my stomach and actually prevented my getting heartburn and/or vomiting my face off for several hours. Well played, McDonalds. But once that severe nausea was gone, McDoubles started to taste like the craptastic pseudofood that they actually are. This made my heart sink. For the emotional attachment I had developed for them and they comfort that they gave me could not easily be replaced.
There were also no chili dogs. Does this mean I didn’t dream of chili dogs all day long? NO. It means that chili dogs or anything containing tomato sauce (including lasagna) caused so much discomfort that I would have sooner gouged my eyes out with spoons than eaten them. I sat daily, eying my now fiance, MB, wishing that I could dip him in chili and cheese and eat him up without experiencing karmic and regular heartburn. (There is a moral here, never fantacize about eating the one you love.) But the hunger that I experienced without constant McDoubles only caused MORE heartburn and MORE nausea.
During the second trimester, I told myself that, because this would be the “honeymoon phase” of pregnancy, I would eat salads and things that were not cooked in a vat of oil. This is easier said than done. Because I don’t want a salad. I want cake. I want cake right now. And I don’t care what kind of cake it is. Or who this cake belongs to. I will eat this cake lightening fast and with little to no remorse. Your cake is my cake.
I don’t even eat sweets, internet. I am a potato chip girl. I love the delicious, salty crunch of Ruffles. I want to dip them in buffalo cheese dip that I reserve to make for special occasions and put them between the bread of ALL sandwiches alike. But now? I can’t eat potato chips. They are too salty and they are not cake.
A misconception about the glory of eating during pregnancy was that you will have a crazy, huge appetite and can eat constantly. I was looking forward to this. Not because I have been a restricter or anything in the fast, but mostly because I really just effing love food. My Norwegian grandparents taught us to eat like we would never eat again, but along with that Norwegian tendency, I also inherited the ability to gain weight by THINKING about food. So, I was excited to be pregnant and to have an excuse. They don’t tell you, though Internet, that you will salivate over food all day long, but when you begin to eat it, ravenously hungry and close to inhaling the person who is kind and brave enough to dine with you, you will not be nearly as hungry as you think. In fact, you will take exactly three bites of that beautiful me
al and then realize that the baby inside you has shifted to sit on the exact place that simultaneously makes you have to pee and vomit. You are full. After dreaming of this giant plate of pasta deliciousness all day. (And you don’t even like pasta.) You will have to-go boxes from every establishment you have passed by over the course of the last three months because, let’s face it, internet. You are full now, but this will not stop you from stopping at 13 more restaurants on the way home and trying again.