Just for fun, I was thinking back to that first pregnancy with Ben today. No doubt about it, life was C-H-A-O-S for Sam and me at that point, and I think that affected how I coped with pregnancy. It was rough, that first one. The second two were less rough, but equally challenging in their own ways. And this, time I just feel old. While each and every one of my four pregnancies have been different from each other, the most notable variation comes down to - you guessed it - food.
With sweet, chunky baby boy, Benjamin, I spent the first trimester abstaining from meat because I just couldn't stand the smell of it. This included Sam's favorite, Zaxby's chicken, and my former favorite, Sonny's BBQ. Luckily (?), we were back in both of these places before long because the aversion to meat passed, but I assure you that was earth-shattering for this near-carnivore. I subsisted on Cheez-It's, a daily can of Cherry Coke, and a more-than-frequent Twix bar. Almost as surprising to me as the aversion to meat, was my sudden desire for anything and everything sweet. I ate cupcakes, cookies, candy, even Reeses Peanut Butter cups (which I used to despise). All of my life, up to that point, I had been almost an exclusively savory snack kind of person. Unfortunately, that pregnancy changed me to an equal opportunity snacker. And I've been that way every since. (I suspect that explains my "new" body type.) I gained over 40lbs with Ben. Reading this now, that's not at all shocking. The only two specific cravings I remember were for sourdough bread and rice pudding, both of which I satisfied by walking to the grocery store down the street from our apartment one afternoon. Easy enough.
With tiny hiney, Abby, I was determined not to gain as much weight. First of all, I didn't enjoy getting chastised by my OB every time I had a weight check. Secondly, I was terrified of my subsequent children being larger than 8lbs 13.7oz, which the doctors assured me was a very real possibility as kids tend to trend upwards in weight. Thirdly, I just didn't feel awesome the first go round and I was determined to take better care of myself. I drank a lot more water, exercised more regularly, opted for baked potatoes instead of fries whenever possible, and ate way more salads. I did feel better. I gained 26lbs. Not too shabby. Abby weighed 8lbs 8oz, which was still not small but likely would have been easier to deliver than Ben had she not been face-up instead of face-down. My cravings with her were chocolate milk and a new sudden desire to eat black olives whenever possible. Preferably the kind in the Greek Salad at Atlanta Bread Company. So random. What's interesting about my pregnancy preferences is that they last for the rest of my life.
With my "unknown" #3, I would say I averaged my lifestyle between Ben and Abby's pregnancies. I certainly ate better than I did with Ben, but didn't exercise as much as I did with Abby. I ended up gaining slightly over 30lbs. Because we didn't know the gender of the baby, and because I had such dramatically different pregnancies between Ben & Abby, we used to have fun trying to guess the gender of the baby based on my cravings and feelings. Right off the bat, I craved steak and pizza. That was new. My friends guessed that meant it was a boy. After all, those are boy foods. (Unless your name is Jennie.) The only really weird thing with #3 was that I developed a taste for onions. The raw kind - in salads. Suddenly I couldn't get enough of them. I drank a good bit of chocolate milk again. She was a beautiful 8lb baby girl. What in the world would life be like without lil' Sarah? I'm trying to figure out how onions played into her personality...
Here we are with #4. 35 weeks and 2 days into another completely unique pregnancy. Right around 7 weeks gestation, for about two months, I completely and totally lost my taste for coffee. COFFEE. If you don't know, I'm a little bit of an addict. I switch to decaf during pregnancy and while nursing, but I couldn't even stand the smell of the stuff for a solid two months. Strangest experience of my life (okay, maybe not the single strangest, but it ranks right up there). My cravings have included deviled eggs, chicken salad (Sam's recipe - because he's the bomb), and nuts - walnuts, pecans, cashews - I devour them by the handful. It's a regular protein-fest around here. I also have found that I am so very thirsty at night and I find myself chugging water just before bedtime. You know what this means (hello - incessant nighttime bathroom breaks). So is it a boy or a girl? We'll find out in four or five weeks (I hope!).
This go round I've felt...old. I wake up in the mornings feeling refreshed and renewed, and by the time the afternoon rolls around, I'm ready for a nap. If I don't succumb, my back makes me pay for it the rest of the night (and in turn, my attitude and patience-level suffer too). That said, today, I will nap. Especially since I spent the morning moving a wood pile in my backyard. Why did I do that? Because a) I was tired of seeing it out my kitchen windows for the past year, b) it was perfect weather for an outdoor project, c) I figure if my back is going to hurt either way, I might as well do some work to earn the aches and pains.
The end. I apologize to you, blog readers, for this drivel. Sometimes I forget this isn't necessarily my personal diary, and you may not care about all of these details. But just in case you do - did you have any unusual pregnancy cravings and/or aversions? Tell me about them!
And I'll leave you with this - me, at 35 weeks with our #4 (can't wait to meet him/her!)...
A BREAK IN THE ACTION
5 months ago