You can know anything. It's all there. You just have to find it.

-Neil Gaiman


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Just Eat It

I went to the doctor yesterday afternoon for my monthly prenatal check-up. The very first thing they do is put you on the scale. I had been reading that sometimes a lot of women get upset when they start to see numbers climb into area previously thought to correspond to domesticated farm animals, so I was unsure if I wanted to look or not. I didn't "feel" particularly heavier than I did last month, but I knew that that didn't necessarily mean anything. My belly was definitely sticking out but I hadn't noticed any other areas of my body inflating. Yet.

Plus, I have to know. So I had to look.

It turns out I have gained 2 lbs. since last month. Last month I had actually lost 2lbs. from the very first weigh in, so I was back to where I started. I was happily surprised, though intellectually I know that gaining weight is normal and expected and I know for the most part that I'm eating very healthy (except for the Twinkie I ate that afternoon), but there is something completely irrational that happens to females when they stand on the scale. It is stupid. But it is true.

After that I go into a room to have my blood pressure taken and pee in a cup. Then the assistant leaves and I wait for the midwife.

And wait.

And wait.

I don't know what it is about doctor's exam rooms but they sure like to leave you in there for an abnormally long time. It's like some sort of psychological mind game, leaving you in that little room like a suspect awaiting questioning. So what do I do? I didn't bring a book, so I start to read stuff on the walls. There are informational meetings about an Ovarian cancer fundraiser, and then I read the instructions on the bio hazard box several times. I pull out a large latex glove from the box and compare it to the small latex glove.

I examine the ceiling and try to decide if that little black ball is a security camera. And if it is, is anyone watching the monitor right now.

Because I'm really getting bored I move on to the exam cart. Apparently they also do oral exams instead of just pelvic because the top drawer has dental floss and some weird dental instruments.

The second drawer has band-aids, gauze, tape, cotton swabs, and silver nitrate. Silver nitrate! I'm rummaging around and find it and think, "Ooooo, do I need some silver nitrate?" Then I realize I don't know what it is used for, exactly. I decide I would use it to make silver bullets for the gun I don't own in case I'm ever attacked by werewolves.

I debate for several seconds whether I need my own supply of wooden tongue depressors when someone FINALLY knocks on the door. I slam the drawer shut and slide back into my seat.

The midwife comes in and starts asking how I'm doing and all that jazz. I tell her my lower back has been hurting and she explains why that might be. Then she asks, "So what have you been doing for your back." I tell her, "Nothing." And then she laughs.

She examines my stomach and checks for the baby's heart beat with the little handheld monitor. She moves it around and around, not finding anything. Suddenly, I'm panicked. Where is it? I think. Is something wrong? For the first time I feel anxious and I realized that I am feeling protective of this little alien monkey creature I'm growing. Then she presses on the top part of my stomach and the room is filled with the loud sound, "Whaum, Whaum, Whaum, Whaum..." at a frenetic pace. She tells me it sounds very good and I'm relieved. There are other sounds and she says, "It's really moving around in there."

I immediately think two words. Soccer player.

Then she reads over my chart. "You've gained....nothing." She is not pleased. I explain that I didn't feel good but now I'm feeling better so I shrug and say something like, "Well, it will probably take care of itself." She tells me to eat more calories and try more protein, which I've been doing. I've got protein coming out of my ears. I drink about a quart of milk a day. I've lately had a massive craving for braunschweiger sandwiches. I've been eating eggs like it's going out of style. I average around two eggs a day, usually scrambled with spinach and cheese.

The funny thing is that in the news all I've been reading is how doctors are revising how much weight women should really gain during pregnancy. And a lot of the books keep saying, "DON'T gain too much weight!" I feel like I eat okay, in fact I know my appetite has diminished, especially in the afternoons when I still feel ooky, but I'm trying to make up for it by eating really healthy.

And now I have someone telling me to eat more. Something I haven't heard since I was about seven and wouldn't finish my dinner and would end up sitting at the table until 8pm because I wouldn't eat my cold and wrinkly green beans.

So I really didn't know what to say. I didn't want to say, "I don't want to blimp out, lady!" because, how do I say this gently, ALL the women (except 2) that I've seen at the clinic are what the Germans would describe as "zaftig".

Make that Uber-zaftig.

So I just nodded and said I'd try.

Then I went home and ate a brownie.

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