I was eight weeks pregnant. And, I couldn’t help it. I was salivating at that moment for this meal I would typically never opt for, or even suggest. And, to say goodbye and leave him home to put the kids to bed so I can go carryout food is a rare occasion. I called my best friend on my way home, and said, “I just drove twenty fives minutes for pickle slices and French fries, both of which I am devouring in the car right now. I can’t even make it until I get home.” Again, an act involving food that is quite contrary to my typical behaviors, rules, and cravings. But, unlike the year I suffered from an eating disorder, I listened to my body, and enjoyed the meal in which I needed to satisfy the urge. I continue choosing not to deprive myself of anything related to food, but I do attempt to eat healthy within reason.
This is my third pregnancy, and it isn’t any easier or different. There is no doubt I understand how lucky I am to have been able to conceive, carry, and deliver two healthy babies. Having the ability to do it a third time is a dream I have only been dying to come true. And here, even at twenty two weeks along, I have an incredible amount of anxiety related to the pregnancy. I have heard too many stories, and witnessed too many complications to be able to embrace pregnancy, relax, and enjoy it. All I want is a healthy baby. And it is never guaranteed, no matter how many weeks into it.
Positive thinking, Erin. Positive thinking.
But, I feel so large, big, and FAT. You read that correctly. I feel uncomfortably enormous. Am I so exhausted and lethargic because of how much I weigh? Or because I am pregnant? Just today, I weighed myself, and am already at the delivery weight I was at for my first born. I can’t help but compare the three. I know, I wasn’t my healthiest during my first, but still.
“But, Erin, you are pregnant!!!
“Erin, you are older now than you were then!!”
I understand I am pregnant; that I’m supposed to grow, and get bigger to give myself and my baby the best chance for a healthy outcome. But, I can’t help it. These thoughts circulate in my head, sometimes even being my focus. It doesn’t matter what I eat or how much I workout, my weight is still increasing. This is an extremely complex phenomenon for someone who has maintained a particular weight and shape for so many years…especially after recovering from anorexia.
Pregnancy is a crazy experience. I can say it after going through two of them. I like to be in control. Pregnancy is another word for no control. You have no control of your cravings, hormones, body, shape, or size. And, as it gets closer to delivery, you have absolutely no control of when that baby is coming (unless you have a scheduled cesarean section, which I did not!). So, as ashamed as I am to admit I have immense anxiety throughout my pregnancies, related to the baby’s health and my body, I realize I can’t control those feelings either. That is, except to manage them, self-talk myself through them, and continue to remind myself of the fact that this process of pregnancy is not about me–it’s about the living being inside my body. And, that is enough to mute the voices that reappear in my mind.