I am not known for my healthy eating habits. I’m not a terrible eater, I just have very little will power when it comes to things like bread and chocolate.
Throughout pregnancy, people asked if I had any cravings. Truth is, not really. I had aversions. After eating a particularly spectacular lobster roll (the true kind, hot and buttered) in early pregnancy, I suddenly couldn’t stomach it anymore. Sauteed spinach grossed me out. I developed dysgeusia- water tasted like metal, which can be associated with pregnancy. I couldn’t stand drinking water from my home faucet. So I started drinking seltzer, which I never liked before. I wouldn’t say I craved it, I just developed a taste, out of necessity. My husband could argue that I craved ice cream, but I’ve always craved ice cream. I happened to eat more of it pregnancy because it was my go-to comfort food when we got bad news, since drowning myself in wine was out. I ate a lot of ice cream.
When I was in the hospital, I had many visitors bearing gifts. Word got around that I liked chocolate and so I was showered with every kind of delicious treat you can imagine. I started making anyone who came into my room leave with a goodie in hand. The cleaning lady left with some cookies. I made every nurse leave with a candy bar in her pocket. At one point a few people asked Chris if they could bring me a desert- he suggested something savory or even with veggies. I received five different kinds of cheese and a chicken pot pie!
In the hospital I was also gifted some very special ice cream. In my room I had a mini-fridge, rumor has it that the Maternal Special Care floor is the only one in the hospital with such luxuries because of the diabetic moms. But the freezer in it was tiny and not cold enough to support my ice cream habit. There was a main fridge down the hall, which patients could use. It was well signed, stating we should label our food and it will be thrown out after twenty-four hours. I risked leaving my ice cream in there, figuring there are many long term patients on the floor and I was kind of well known. Day after day my well-labeled ice cream stayed in the freezer, so I stopped worrying. It was a few days before I had the chance to try the special ice cream- from the Midwest with chunks of chocolate the size of candy bars (Graeter’s) because of the plethora of goodies I had stocked in my room (see above). The night I finally went to try it, it was gone! Someone had cleaned out the freezer. I was heartbroken (remember, I was on a tether and couldn’t just run to the store and get ice cream when I wanted). When word got around, then nurses practically ran a witch hunt. The poor manager who threw it away (to her defense the fridge was signed saying it would) felt so bad she gave me some hospital bucks to use in the cafeteria- which we used on the night I went in to labor, to get some Valentine’s Day ice cream.
In the beginning of pregnancy I started eating more healthily. I really tried to incorporate more fruits and veggies. So as I waited in my midwife’s office for my very first ultrasound, I happily munched on carrot sticks, thinking how good I was being! I was hoping someone would see me and comment on what good choices I was making. Moments later, as I looked at the ultrasound screen and saw no baby, no heartbeat, nothing but an empty sac, I lost my taste for carrots. I didn’t eat carrots for the rest of pregnancy.
Now carrots have that special meaning. At first, every time I would see them…a side dish at a restaurant, at the grocery store, as an Easter decoration… my stomach somersaulted in a jumble of both craving and aversion. Thinking lovingly about my little carrot and then reminded that she’s gone. But now, especially after witnessing Mabel was here, I see carrots and my heart warms. Because now, my friends and family and even strangers see carrots and think of Mabel. Today my friend sent a text photo saying last night at the store her boyfriend said “Mabel!” and she turned around to see:
Today I tilled our garden, getting it ready to plant some carrot seeds. Happy 3 month birthday to my Karate Carrot.