Takes Some Getting Used To


When I share this with people, their eyes usually widen and look at me like I’m some kind of idiot. But, it’s the truth, and I stand by it. I am going to share the three major things that have been really hard for me to get used to during pregnancy. It isn’t nausea – I expected that and have coped with it pretty well. It isn’t the messed up hormones and emotional swings – those have also been taken in stride. It is the following:
1.) I Gain Weight
I know, you’re thinking, “Duh… you’re pregnant.” And, my brain fully agrees with you. But, being a weight conscious girl my whole life, there is something really depressing about not being able to button my favorite jeans or to see the scale go up in numbers. Again, I know that weight gain occurs in pregnancy and I have accepted that I am just going to gain around 30 pounds (give or take). (Pic is of me on April 8th at about 17 weeks.)
The point is that I always thought girls who were severely under or over weight were the ones who took our culture’s perspective on being thin too hard. But the truth is, I do too. I have always been an average weight and now, for the first time in my life, I fear that people will think that I am fat.
Especially early in my pregnancy, I couldn’t wait until I looked more pregnant so that people wouldn’t mistake my newly acquired baby belly as master’s degree weight. Even last week, someone told me I looked a bit “too big” considering how far along I was. What’s the deal? My doctor said that everyone wears their weight differently (and she said I looked totally average anyways considering how far along I was). From what I’ve gathered from other previously-pregnant girlfriends, I will encounter insensitive people judging my weight gain during the whole pregnancy. I haven’t had to deal with people questioning my weight before, and now some annoying people bring it up like it’s a casual topic. I’m thinking of just starting a “I won’t discuss my weight with you unless you’re my doctor” policy.
2.) I am Hungry. Really Hungry.
So, last week I had my regular breakfast (toast, banana, & decaf mocha) around 7:30 a.m. By 9:30, I was SO HUNGRY I thought I was going to commit some heinous crime to get something in my stomach. It was so bad that another teacher asked me something about using the copy machine, and I replied, “Have you tried adding salsa?”
On a break, I ran across the street and had the nice folks at Caffe Adria whip me up a California Omlette (egg whites, spinach, mushrooms… YUM!) with a huge cup of salsa. I downed the entire thing like a ravenous beast. And then I almost had an emotional breakdown. I was thinking, “Oh my gosh! You’re going to gain so much extra weight if you eat like this!” (See #1)
Eventually I came to my senses with a “eat whatever you want as long as it’s not a case of Milk Duds” pollicy. Luckily, I have been wanting to eat things like strawberries, carrots, and salsa. (Salsa is HUGE for me, I put it on everything: eggs, bread, crackers…) So, I have decided that as long as it’s something that has nutritional value and is not packed with sugar or fat, eat it. Eat as much as you want. Just control the “junk.”
We were at a friend’s house the other day and they were making dinner. Dinner wasn’t done and I was STARVING, I finally broke my normal polite manner and said, “Dude, I have got to eat NOW. Do you have any carrots?” Luckily, they had a bunch of carrots and I sat there happily munching away.
I still can’t help but feel emotional twinges of guilt though. My emotions keep telling me that I shouldn’t be eating outside of my regular meals. But, my brain steps in and reminds me that eating small amounts throughout the day is better, that I won’t crash or hurl as often, and that as long as I’m eating healthy I’m okay.
3.) I Can’t Concentrate
As a really focused, driven person, I have always been able to sit down and plunk out a paper or make a project or do whatever needed to be done. Any lapses I’ve had in concentration have been for brief moments, and just sitting down and plunking away has always opened up doors to successful completion of work.
Now… it’s like I’m not me anymore. I was writing my IT Portfolio as part of my master’s degree and it took me two hours to write the introductory paragraph! I kept a copy of my fourth draft of the topic sentence because it was so deliriously bad: “I hope to use my experiences in Instructional Technology to help my students experience all of the great experiences in the wonderful world of art.” After typing it, I thought, “Yeah! That sounded good! Maybe reread just to make sure…” *Gasp!* After reading it, I started weeping and pounding the table exclaiming to the heavens that I wanted my brain back. And that I should get punished if I ever refer to the “wonderful world of art” again.
With my tail between my legs, and no actual good thoughts coming into my head, I submitted myself to the outlining method that I teach my middle schoolers to write most of the introductory stuff in that portfolio. I consider it to be my most horrible writing to date, but at least I passed. *Whew!*
I’m used to flowing ideas. I’m used to being able to generate several key points in my head and to organize and unleash them with relative ease.
If I could use prayer for anything, it would be concentration. I still have three classes and a comprehensive exam to pass before I can graduate at the end of May. Normally, I’d tackle it and get it done, but my brain has been slower and distracted lately and I’m beginning to worry that I may be trying to accomplish something beyond me.
Well, enough ranting, I have a ton of work to do and only four days left until Spring Break is over. Then I get to juggle work with my attempts to finish. Oh, and here’s a pic of the little tyke at 16 weeks on April 5th: