Last week I had a doctor's appointment with a doctor I hadn't seen yet, who happened to be the first doctor at my practice who has discussed how much weight I've gained so far. I've enjoyed the blissful ignorance up to now. Not really knowing, except for a rough estimate, how much weight I've gained, if what I've gained is normal or not, and if I should maybe start eating less. While I know some women are plagued with heartburn or feeling exceptionally "full" no matter how little they eat during the third trimester I seem to have the opposite problem which is that I can eat and eat, and still be hungry. Finding out the amount of weight I've gained, however, turned out to be no problem, as I'm right on target (if I keep gaining at my current pace) to be within the guidelines for the recommended weight gain during pregnancy by the time I have the baby. This news was rather freeing, I must say. I hadn't given any thought to how much I was eating up until a couple weeks ago. My eating habits have been healthy, definitely, more so than when I'm not pregnant, but not neurotic. I mean, if you read a guide on what to eat when you're pregnant, you come away thinking kind of insane things, like "Jesus, I'm not getting enough kale" and I decided after the first month or so of pregnancy that common sense (like eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and protein) is probably just as good as any pregnancy diet guide.
Anyway, I'd been doing just fine, until a couple weeks ago, when I looked at my, you know, girth, and thought, "What if the baby is, like, 12 or 13 pounds?" J assured me this was a ridiculous concern, but I need not tell him (or you) that ridiculous or not, I'm rather good at dwelling on just this kind of fear, saying things like "If the baby is 12 pounds, it's not going to come out," over and over again. And explaining that if the baby is 12 or 13 pounds, I'll know it's because of all the ice cream I ate.
People have asked me if I have any cravings during pregnancy, and when I tell them ice cream, they tend to say things like "Well, yeah, I crave ice cream all the time so that doesn't seem that strange," and I'm like, "Haha, yeah, YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND."
I've never been that much of a fan of sweet stuff. Of course I like it, love chocolate and cake and all of that, I'm not nuts, but I don't go crazy over it. Until now. My desire for ice cream, which occurs at least a few times a week, might begin at, say, 10 a.m. and stays with me the entire day until I allow myself to have it, which, when I'm home, usually comes in the form of a modest, but satisfying, ice cream sundae with M&Ms and whipped cream on top. And when I say that it "stays with me" all day, what I mean is I think about the ice cream that I want so badly probably four out of every five minutes. See? That's what I mean.
Needless to say, the completely irrational but still horrifying thought that I might be tipping the charts in the weight department and therefore growing a giant child inside my body was worrisome because, well, I didn't want the doctors to yell at me, first of all, and I didn't want to have to go through what would be an undeniably uncomfortable birthing process.
But I was also worried that I'd all of a sudden feel limited like I hadn't yet in these many, long months.
So, the discovery that my weight gain is "just fine" is more to me than an indicator of my good general health. It's like the doctor told me that what I believed was my worst habit is not only harmless, but maybe even good for me. Like just when I thought all the fun was over, someone tapped another keg and the party can go on.