Weight gain during pregnancy is a touchy subject.
If you’ve been with me for a while, you might remember the fruit midwife from Baby Woww’s pregnancy. She was worried I was having too many milkshakes. So she did a little PSA about how fruit grows on trees and that in Oregon they sell it at these magical places called farmers markets.
“Maybe you could try boysenberries…?” My response was something like, “Maybe you could stick your wet fingers into a light socket.”
Not surprisingly, in this wild and crazy round three, we’ve upped the midwife ante.
I didn’t gain much weight the first twenty weeks; I was really nauseous. I also started the pregnancy kind of underweight. Anyhoo, the last four weeks I’ve been feeling sloth-level tired, and emaciated-lion-level hungry. Still, I maintain my low-grains, low-dairy, low-sugar diet that is high in veggies and protein. I started this diet overhaul last year in the throes of recurring bronchitis.
But Midwifey’s scale don’t lie. And when I went in last week it said I’d gained 12 pounds.
I was seeing this particular midwife for the first time. Let’s call her Minka. “Twelve pounds in four weeks,” she said. “You know, when some people stop being nauseous, they start eating everything in sight. Have you been eating a lot?”
It was kind of like her saying, “So your husband likes a little meat on his bones, eh?”
I was taken aback. I imagined the midwives at their midwife meeting, discussing the question “What do you tell a patient who is gaining too much weight?” Minka answers, “I start telling ‘yo mama’ jokes. She gets the point.”
I answered her: “Yes, I’ve been eating a lot: I’m hungry. But I eat a really good diet, and I don’t eat a lot of sugar.”
At this point, K-Pants, who along with Baby Woww, make the most terrible tag-along medical appointment team in the world, shouts, “That’s not true! You eat treats!”
Like what, man? Granola and vegan cashew cream? The one ice cream sundae I had in March? Please! Stick to fighting with your brother in the corner instead of ratting me out.
“I do eat a lot of fruit,” I admitted.
“Fruit has lots of sugar.” She decided my high intake of apples and oranges probably wasn’t the problem. It was bananas. “They’re very high in sugar.”
“But I eat them as part of kale smoothies.”
“Well, be careful. We don’t want to see this kind of weight gain again.”
At this point I was mad. I’d just had to do that horrible gestational diabetes test where you drink a disgusting sugar syrup so the medical team can measure your blood sugar. Now I was being told that I was ballooning out of control because of the four bananas a week I eat.
“I’m not changing my diet,” I said.
“Well, maybe you could exercise,” she countered.
“I have a bad cold and I’m constantly exhausted,” I said.
“Well you do have to kick that, first.”
Ha! I’d won!
This being March still, I felt like we were in the last 45 seconds of the second half of a Sweet Sixteen game. It was all stategery and a well-placed zinger. I was going to keep my unsweetened kale, tofu, zucchini, banana, and apple smoothies, dammit. This woman was cray cray. It helped my cause that the gremlins were frothing in the corner and she knew that with a word I could unleash their snotty noses and sharpened incisors.
But when you see me next, feel free to say, “So Evelyn, when you sit around the house, do you sit around the house? [Nudge, nudge.]” According to the midwife, this kind of thing is a sure winner where pregnant ladies are concerned.