This weekend I splurged. Nick wanted to go to a burger joint, and being that it was almost noon and I hadn't yet eaten I was ravenous. I got a burger. A huge burger. And I ate the.whole.thing. I went to sleep at 11pm and was still burping up onion. Around 8am I started to get these shooting pains from my stomach to my brain. It felt like that pain you get when wait WAY too long to eat - you know, how any pressure you put on your stomach gives you the worst headache ever? Usually food makes it better, so I ate. 3 hours later it hadn't gone away. It was to the point that I wasn't able to concentrate. Everyone kept telling me to call the midwife, it could be a sign of this or that or oh ya know, death. I decided that if I woke up this morning and still felt it I would call. I woke up this morning feeling great. I'm convinced it was that burger.
For the past couple months I've been sticking to a mainly "clean" diet. Not because "it's good for me" or "good for the baby" but because I literally crave plates upon plates of cooked vegetables and fresh fruit. Do I also crave and consume things like cosmic brownies and sour patch kids? Of course! But I have found that what works best for me is eating mainly things that grow from the ground. Due to not really eating much outside that diet for the past few months I didn't realize how much of an impact "straying" from it would have. There are a lot of pretty common pregnancy symptoms I haven't experienced yet and I'm wondering if my diet may having something to do with it. To list a few:
I'll admit to having to deal with swelling - but only when I haven't been drinking enough water. It is currently 9pm and I have consumed roughly 200 fl oz of water throughout the course of the day. I'm not sure anything can swell with that much liquid running through it. I say my diet helps with this because on the days where I'm "too busy to drink" or just don't drink like I should - I swell like a balloon. Literally. Sausage fingers and all. It gets to the point where bending my fingers feels unnatural and restricted. My wedding rings still fit and unless something unforeseen happens I imagine they'll fit until the end.
Headaches / blurred vision / loss of concentration -
My co-worker said the very thing I was experiencing yesterday plagued her during the last 2 months of her pregnancy. She said no matter what medicines she tried, nothing helped. Just out of curiosity (I had an inkling the big burger was the cause of my discomfort) I asked her what her diet consisted of and if she tried to change it when the pains started. She said her diet consisted mainly of crabs / seafood smothered in butter and cherry kool-aid; and of course, she didn't think to change it at that point because it's what she had craved the most.
Being that my headache / loss of concentration / pains just so happened to occur the day after I dumped a truck load of fast food on my digestive system after staying on a mainly clean diet for 3+ months I don't think it's a coincidence. Now - I'm not going to go grab another burger to test my theory, but I'd like to think it makes sense that a non-clean diet would cause more discomfort and possibly even physical side effects. I'd be very interested to see some kind of study done on that (I'm sure there is one, but I'm too lazy to look for it right now).
Constipation / Irregularity -
Put on your big kid pants, it's time to talk poop. Since I started my clean kick a few months back I've noticed I don't have to worry about constipation anymore! Exciting, I know. This was a big deal for me though in the beginning of my pregnancy. I was having to drink metamucil to stay regular (which isn't all that bad!) and even then there was enough pressure with my expanding uterus to make even minor "back-up" uncomfortable. My clean kick started with plates upon plates of broccoli and being that broccoli is naturally extremely high in fiber I found that there was no longer a need for the nightly metamucil. I can't imagine having "back-up issues" now as the pressure from my uterus is uncomfortable when I'm regular.
Going along with the constipation - I suffered terribly from indigestion before I started eating clean. We're talking I would eat something for dinner and not be hungry for most of the next day. I would wake up feeling as if I had just eaten a six course meal and that awful, full, sludgy feeling lasted far into the day. I can't say I'd ever really get hungry. I ate when I didn't feel full anymore - because it took FOREVER to get hungry and my midwife was yelling at me about not eating enough as it was.
Think of it like this - breastfed babies get hungry about every 2 hours; as opposed to formula fed babies who get hungry about every 4 hours. Why? Because the baby's tummy takes longer to digest the man made food whereas completely naturally made breast milk is digested extremely quick. I get hungry and eat about every 2 hours. I usually try to get a piece of fruit / grain and have some peanut butter or nuts with it for protein. With the aid of the massive amounts of water I drink the food is able to be processed pretty quickly - no indigestion.
Weight gain -
People say "don't put a limit on the amount of weight a woman can gain during pregnancy" and that's 100000% true - there shouldn't be a limit! Your body is going to gain what your baby needs it to. And no doctor or practitioner can give you that specific number. However - I do believe that the reason my weight gain has been so steady and relatively small is because I'm not eating crap that makes me retain water and excess waste. I'd like to see a study where a clean eating pregnant woman who started at a healthy weight gained over 60 pounds throughout her pregnancy. Once again, I'd look it up but I'm lazy.
I have my days. Just like everybody else I get tired and I get pissed off at the world and complain and bitch and moan. However, I believe that due to my diet being able to eliminate most of the common pregnancy complaints, I'm in an overall better mood most days than I would be. If I had the same pain / loss of concentration / headache I had yesterday on a consistent basis I would not be able to deal with my boss or my office mates. I would be a total uncomfortable pregnant bitch that no one would want to deal with, I would lose my job, have to become a SAHM, get a minivan and eventually commit suicide. Okay maybe that's a little extreme.