Week 15: Hunger pains
I am the first to admit that I was perhaps […]
I am the first to admit that I was perhaps a bit too vocal about the unpleasantness of the first trimester. All day nausea is enough to make anyone complain. And while I couldn’t be more relieved to have the constant threat of vomiting off the table, I wasn’t really prepared for what takes over in its place. Gone is the nausea, here to stay is the hunger.
When I say that I am always hungry, I am not over exaggerating. I feel like the Cookie Monster. When I wake up for my midnight bathroom run, I have to ignore my angry, hungry stomach and force myself back to sleep. The absolute first thing I must do every morning is eat. I know it’s unhealthy to skip breakfast, but before I got pregnant I never ate breakfast. Now, sleeping in is almost impossible without feeling like I’m starving myself.
The pregnancy books do forewarn about the hunger, but I never thought it would come with what I can only describe as pain. Hunger pains are generally reserved for those who are actually starving, but I don’t know how else to describe the fury my stomach sends my way when it wants more food. If I don’t feed it the moment it starts to let me know it’s hungry, it gets angry. I always keep snacks on hand, as if I already have a toddler to appease, but sometimes I forget to eat them. A busy day at work is enough to sidetrack my hunger, if only temporarily.
Yesterday I filled in for a coworker and covered a shift I normally don’t work, which ended around 7 p.m. With a steady flow of work to keep me occupied, I didn’t realize until the drive home just how hungry I was. My stomach was growling so much, I thought it was going to eat itself. Luckily, my husband knows my new dinnertime is that of a senior citizen, so he had dinner ready for me the moment I walked through the door. I barely took the time to put my purse down before grabbing a plate.
One of the downsides to constant hunger is the cravings. Why are the cravings always for junk food? Life would be so much easier if my pregnancy cravings were for kale salads and spaghetti squash, but they aren’t. I have to make the conscious effort to eat healthier foods. By now, it’s been beaten into my head about a million times that a healthy balanced diet is especially important during pregnancy. So, the moment the nausea began to dissipate and my stomach became more tolerable, I did my best to eliminate the junk from my diet.
Of course, so many women who were pregnant before me tell me to avoid depriving myself of what I’m craving. I do indulge; I just try to do so within reason. Someone brings a dozen doughnuts to work, I’ll be the schmuck that cuts a maple bar in half. Craving ice cream, I buy the smallest container possible, have a few spoonfuls and make my husband finish it off. What can I say? The belly gets what the belly wants.