Have you ever seen the movie "Office Space"? You know how the Bobs come into the office to evaluate employees and find ways to cut costs? They put up this banner that says, "Is This Good for the Company?" to remind workers to rethink their decisions and make sure they're doing their best to contribute to a healthy bottom line. Well, having a baby is a lot like that...there might as well be a banner strung across me somewhere saying, "Is This Good for the Baby?" Not that I need it, mind you...but that thought, in those words or not, goes through my head dozens of times a day. From the things I eat and drink to how I'm laying on the couch, it's never far from my mind.
Most people think it's just giving up alcohol and smoking, but that's just the beginning. Did you know pregnant women aren't supposed to eat cold cuts? You can if you cook them, but some bacteria in the cold version isn't good. So...no turkey subs at Subway for a while. Caffeine and artificial sweeteners are ok in moderation...which has been the hardest part for me. I used to drink a lot of diet soda...no calories, after all. Well, now I've had to alter my beverage selection. I still allow myself one serving of diet soda per day, to keep my sanity. I drink water during the day at work, but I get sick of it by the time I'm home. So...now I dilute juice or have milk, generally mixed with either Hershey's Syrup or Strawberry NesQuik. They're obviously more calories, but I'm allowed a few extra these days...and milk is obviously a good use of those calories thanks to the calcium and vitamins. There's questions about nuts now, too. The doctor says they're good for the baby, but research came out recently that they could lead to peanut allergies, just as if you gave peanuts to your baby outside the womb. And I thought I felt guilty eating a Snickers bar before. Fortunately, I have been pretty content snacking on carrots and clementines, so that's been nice. But don't get me started on how pricey some of the nutritional supplements are...oy.
I'm deathly afraid of getting sick, not just because of the effects on the baby, but because I won't be able to take anything to ease my symptoms. Pregnant women aren't supposed to lay on their backs for long periods of time because the weight of the baby cuts off blood flow to certain things, so now I have to learn to sleep on my side and find alternate ways of doing ab exercises. Doing cardio is a whole other issue, with having to keep my heart rate down below 140. Not always easy, especially as I watch my waist expand (not sure it's actually baby yet...doh!) and I realize there isn't much I can do to stop it. Even when I'm sitting at work I hope that the way my pants fit on my waist isn't constricting anything.
Don't get me wrong...I'm not worrying about this stuff constantly, even though it does pass through my mind a lot. I still freak out a little bit every time I get the least bit of discomfort, hoping that everything's ok...but generally it seems to be. (Honestly, most of it ends up to be cleverly disguised gas pains...did I mention the digestive system gets cranky while you're pregnant?) It's just a new way of life, and I'm happy to do it because I know the end result is worth it. In the meantime, that silly banner in "Office Space" will make me laugh for more reasons than one :)