“I LOVED being pregnant,” I’ve said, never.
“I think we should start trying to have a baby,” I announced to Marc one summer evening as were dining on the back deck of a pub in our neighborhood. I watched, amused, as Marc’s eyes grew big, and like a mouse caught in a cougar den, he frantically started scanning the area for the nearest exit.
“Now?” Marc stammered.
“Why not,” I answered casually, “it will take a while, it doesn’t happen overnight, and, tick tock.” At forty, Marc was eight years older than I and I was ready to get this party started. A couple of glasses of Kendall Jackson later, we headed home and started “trying”. Hey guess what? It CAN happen overnight!
From the get go I decided I was going to be one of those cute, don't even look pregnant from the back, kind of women. I was going to stop the take out and opt for clean healthy meals made at home, and of course caffeine and alcohol were immediately kicked to the curb. That was the plan anyway.
However, for weeks, morning sickness (aka, feeling crappy all day) left me needing not much of a plan except to sleep and glare at my husband as he munched on Thai chicken pizza and sipped glistening glasses of chardonnay. I was not optimistic he would ever buy into my lean clean, alcohol free plan. Somehow this didn’t seem quite fair. Then week fifteen hit, and the bossy little beast in my belly awoke and took over. So bossy I was certain I was carrying a girl. Intense, I have to have it NOW cravings, consumed me and it was clear the baby ( I had named her Emma) demanded three things; Bean burritos from Taco Bell, chocolate decadence cake from the market up the street and Umpqua ( yes that brand only) peppermint ice cream. I only had to look at Marc and he’d have keys in hand ready make a run for the border …again.
It was hard for me to get a feel of weight and my body while pregnant, so many changes happening so fast. I didn’t love the extra weight but at the same time, for me, a woman who has always been too aware of my body ,especially my stomach, being pregnant was a strange relief.
After all, a big stomach meant I was growing a healthy baby, and regardless, there was nothing I could do about it. I was only going to get bigger and I wanted to give into that feeling, to just let my body do its thing. Even as I write this I remember so vividly willing myself to enjoy the experience and stop worrying about my body and weight. I kept reminding myself for crap sake Sherri, you are growing a human, would you give yourself a break. And I tried. I indulged in my cravings (as if Emma would let me), I allowed my lunchtime power walks to evolve into slower paced waddles and, I alternated weekend naps with frenzied sessions of kitchen (and bedroom and laundry room) organization. I honestly think if left to my own devices I might have had a pretty solid nine-month vacation from my negative and obsessive thoughts about my weight. But I didn’t live in a bubble and I was not self confident enough to ignore what was swirling around me.