I keep saying over and over again here, whenever I get around to writing about something semi-serious, that somehow cultural critics like moi unconsciously start to think that they are somehow (ludicrously) outside of culture just because they (kind of) (think they) understand it.
So imagine my surprise upon finding that pregnancy does NOT erase body image issues; in my case, it has actually exacerbated them. Thanks to commercialism and glossy publications featuring otherwise thin women with cute little basketball-like bellies that sit up super-high and don’t have strange bulges, anyone who doesn’t have the benefit of airbrushing ends up looking like merely a fatter version of herself. Which is not what most women I know want or thought they were signing up for when they got knocked up. I have personally added much thighage to my figure, as I discovered this evening trying on yet another pair of maternity jeans that I cannot pull up past my knees. I know this is because I gained some first trimester weight due to being mistaken about how much I actually need to eat (hint: do not eat during the first tri like you’re supposed to in the third–this includes not taking your pregnancy book’s advice to drink whole milk–ew and fat!). But my body IS beautiful because I am carrying my baby. My skin is actually glowing, which I love, and my belly is gorgeous because the Snapper lives there. Saying that is a far cry from believing it, though, and I find it’s a daily struggle. I try to find the perfect clothing, which is hard because I have a super-long torso–if it’s long enough it’s also tent-ish, which I absolutely hate. If the baby is there I want him to be front and center, not squatting in an enormous tent.
Anyway, body image aside, and that pesky carpal tunnel, things are going extraodinarily well with the pregnancy. The Snapper is very, very healthy so far. Just last weekend I hit a bit of a rough patch when everything piled up emotionally: I was exhausted, weak, pale, and weepy. I decided it was time to dust off the pregnancy diet I followed at the start of the second tri. I’m glad I did. Within in the first three days I felt like a superwoman, which is to say, comparatively normal. If you’re interested, it’s very simple: 7 servings grains (4 whole), 6 veggies (2 folic-acid rich, like leafy greens), 4 fruits (2 C-rich, like citrus fruits), 3 lean proteins (I eat beans, eggs, and a little fish and peanut butter), 3 dairy (I drink 2 glasses of skim milk and eat one serving of cheese), and a whole lotta water. It makes a tremendous difference for me. I plan my entire daily menu the night before and pack my enormous lunch and two snacks to take to work. The best thing is that I get so many veggies that I’m eating all the time and still not exceeding reasonable caloric expectations for my stage of pregnancy.
Finger’s numb–I think I want to write about being a pregnant woman in constant awareness of infertility next. Your thoughts below would be a help. I won’t pose a specific question. Just add your comments if something comes to mind.
Thanks…it was nice to get the fatty McButterpants thing out, and nice to know that some of you will understand.