Sunday, January 28, 2007

A Pea In a Pod. Of Whales.

Except for my right arm that is completely numb every single morning - and, the inability to brush my teeth without gagging ... thus far in my pregnancy, I feel great.

However, I was so accustomed to what it took to carry triplets, this transition to carrying *only* one baby has been a big, fat challenge for me, on the dietary front.

When I was pregnant last time ... I was instructed to maintain a diet of 4,000 calories a day. It wasn't uncommon that I would put away a 1/2 gallon of ice cream, by myself, in two nights. Rather - it was uncommon if I didn't put away a 1/2 gallon of ice cream, by myself, in two nights. Because I highly doubt that the 21 pounds I've packed on in the past 18 weeks is entirely due to fluid retention (that was my initial thought) ... and considering the baby only weighs 3/4 of a pound ... there is no question my insatiable appetite is to blame.

Such a pity. I'm so very good at eating large quantities of food.

Since my doctor's appointment on Thursday, I started paying close attention to what I eat.

I tried to limit the amount of ice cream I've been ingesting and the amount of bread I've been inhaling. For example, last week, when the kids were sick, for several nights in a row, my dinner consisted of 10 pieces of Sheepherder's bread ... lightly toasted ... and covered with melted butter. That's got to be where my pregnancy glow is coming from, the grease from butter across my dimpled cheeks? I'd also have a bowl of ice cream and a cookie or two. And a taco. And, some strawberries dipped in chocolate - because I know how important protein and fresh fruit is for a gestating woman.

My whole life Since I've been pregnant, I have had an absolutely ravenous appetite ... but I also haven't been nearly as active as I was, pre-partum. Over the past four and a half months - rather than taking the kids for a power walk during the day ... I'll lay on the floor and play with Legos. Or ... I'll lay on the floor and watch the kids play with Legos. When I climbed out of the shower Thursday night and took a good hard look at myself in the mirror - I could clearly see what eating a loaf of bread complimented with a stick of butter for dinner, and laying on the floor during the day does to your body.

Pregnant or not ... it isn't a pretty sight.

Friday morning, I decided to change my lifestyle and eating habits. To start things off right, I was going to take the children on an outing, by myself. I packed a picnic lunch with PB&J and cheese sticks for the kids ... a granola bar and celery sticks for me, loaded them in the car and drove to the San Diego Zoo. I put two kids in the double stroller and took turns with the third child who was free to walk, or hang on my leg, whichever they prefer.

After four hours, we had covered at least 3-miles of steep terrain. I'm certain that I burned over 5,000 calories between pushing two kids in a stroller up steep hills and carrying a third child, most of the way, on my hip.

And, chasing and grabbing them before they fell in to the antelope enclosure.

And, jockeying the bulky double stroller full of secure toddlers, and a roaming unsecure toddler into a handicap restroom stall and desperately trying to keep those kids from touching every germ infested object while I did what needed to be done - on four separate occassions while at the zoo - because Baby D has deflated my bladder.

Even more calories were burned as I scorned the profusion of pregnant women, cruising around in velour jumpsuits, that looked like they just stepped off a model shoot. Protruding bellies were everywhere.

I noticed more pregnant women on Friday, than I ever did when I was struggling with infertility (which was all the time). But these pregnant women on Friday looked like none I had ever seen before. Their bodies resembled a toothpick with an olive strategically placed, mid-way down. They were absolutely perfectly proportioned from their hands to their feet. And - they all had tans. Every single last one of them.

I was ashamed. And inspired.

After I was fully drenched in sweat and unable to breathe, we drove to Costco, grabbed a nice shady parking spot, and all four of us took a power nap in the car. When we woke up, I loaded everyone in the grocery cart and completed a week worth of healthy shopping. Fresh salmon, lean meats, loads of fresh veggies and fruit, whole grain breads, raisins, nuts and yogurt. Around that time, the little voice in my head that was chanting "You, too can be a red hot pregnant mama!" Was drowned out by a more familiar voice that was shouting "CRAZY LADY, YOU NEED TO EAT, RIGHT NOW!!!"

Sadly for my figure, my energy levels bonked and I lost the momentum to go home - unload the groceries - and prepare a organic basil chicken spinach salad, like I had planned.

Instead, I manuevered my cart to the food court and bought the largest chocolate frozen yogurt they had for sale. While I ate this larger than life chocolate frozen yogurt, I pondered why in the name of peanut butter, I would subject myself to walking for 3-miles, up huge hills, at the world's largest zoo, while pushing a stroller with two toddlers and carrying a third ... with nothing more than celery sticks and a revolting granola bar to eat. When I'm pregnant.

(At least it was frozen yogurt and not ice cream. Of course I would have elected for ice cream - had that been an option.)

Tomorrow, I'm leaving for a one-week business trip while Charlie stays home, flying solo with the kids. This time, I will remember to pack my shoes. But, considering my maternity wardbrobe is limited to a pair of pajamas that Alex and Kathleen bought me for Christmas, I'm at a loss for what else will go in my suitcase. (This is a strangely familiar, antithesis, to the dilemma I faced last year.)

I can guarantee I won't look like this ...

Although, I'm thinking this isn't too bad of a look...


  1. Oh, Superhuman Jen, it is good to hear that you struggle with the stuff we mere mortals struggle with too!

    But mostly, I wanted to point out that Costco DOES have ice cream, in the form of chocolate dipped, almond covered ice cream bars at their fine food establishment. So, next time, please eat one of those and chuck the frozen yogurt!

    Good luck on the healthy eating, seriously.


    PS I like the 1976 housecoat look. You might want to buy a few colors...

  2. I loved this blog and I was laughing out loud. Thanks for sharing. Having struggled with my weight since I can remember, I appreciate this post!
    Thanks for keeping things real!

  3. Jenna-
    You have to come with us on Tuesday night to celebrate Mark's birthday! Call me!! - or if you feel like you need to be around a 2-year old, you can babysit Shayna!! LOL

  4. Jen- you absolutely kill me! Why would you ever think to take the kids to the zoo WITHOUT FOOD? Good grief! I wouldn't have attempted that! (Okay I would have attempted it with my scooter.)

    I absolutely think you should wear the housecoat with your running shoes. Do it! Take pictures! I dare you!

  5. "Around that time, the little voice in my head that was chanting "You, too can be a red hot pregnant mama!" Was drowned out by a more familiar voice that was shouting "CRAZY LADY, YOU NEED TO EAT, RIGHT NOW!!!" - That is CLASSIC!!! I hear you. I am convinced that nothing is more volatile than a pregnant lady who needs some food. Immediately. It's more urgent than pretty much anything I have ever experienced. :)

    My favorite part of this post? That you all took a nap in Costco parking lot in the car. Oh, you don't know how grateful I am that other people do that sometimes, too. :)

  6. So funny as usual! That second picture may not look the hottest, but it definitely looks comfortable. Have fun on your trip.

  7. hurray for naps in parking lots! i've done that many times wihen my girl was a little younger and needed naps but refused to take them unless she was in the car.

  8. You are truly my hero! I would have never attempted all you did in this day...and I'm not even pregnant!!!

    Please don't ruin your pregnancy by watching each and every thing you eat! This is one of the times it's okay to chow! You lost the weight last time around (and there was THREE of them). You'll be fine after it's all said and done. I know how miserable it can feel though to know that the weight gain is inevitable. Just relax and take lots of pictures. You'll look back and realize how far you've come.

    Love the parking lot naps.......

  9. Naps in the parking lot...?!? You crack me up, Jen. EAT. The baby needs it. 2,100 calories is a good place to be with one baby aboard. Don't go too crazy with cutting back...!

  10. Don't worry Jen, I put on 70 pounds when I was pregnant with only one. It comes off eventually.
    Do you have "belly belts" in the States?
    I found this was product was perfect for me, right up to just before the birth.