Several weeks ago I stopped off at Starbucks on my way to work. (Harry was at home with my mother-in-law so I had the luxury of walking IN to Starbucks rather than pull into a lengthy drive-thru line, determine I don’t actually have time for this, and ultimately leave anyways.) I guess I was feeling nostalgic or remembered days before my little guy was here because I wasn’t dropping him off at daycare that day. I ordered a Venti Pink Drink and when the Barista asked if I’d like anything else, I hesitated before adding the Classic Coffee Cake to my order.
As I walked back to my car with my over-indulgent breakfast, I recalled a year ago in the earlier months of my pregnancy ordering just the same thing. I don’t mean just once or twice, but every single day for several weeks. The stop at Starbucks for these treasured items was not an option, but a priority. It would likely be the only thing I’d keep down for most of the day.
I had been riddled with anxiety about my own nutrition, the nutrition of my baby, and superficially – weight gain. Pregnancy, especially early pregnancy, was hard on me. I had aversions to pretty much everything reasonably healthy to eat or drink. Water, meat – I’m still weird about chicken, eggs, anything that was seasoned more than a saltine cracker, you name it – I probably wasn’t eating it.
I worried day in and day out, trying to force myself to keep water and vegetables or fruit down. I read more than one too many articles about nutrition during pregnancy. I read about moms who just, “eat the normal healthy foods that I always do,” or “listen to your body it will tell you what it NEEDS,” and my favorite, “pregnancy isn’t an excuse to just eat whatever you want.” I watched as other mamas on instagram were pregnant and handling it with what seemed like no issue.
Meanwhile, I was drowning in my own anxieties. I had read about how my prenatal diet would determine the health of my child well into their adulthood. I fought with myself over every bite I did or didn’t take. I was concerned with gestational diabetes, making my son pre-disposed to obesity and diabetes, and so many more things you can read about on the internet and in books and magazines.
The nausea alone was unbearable, but the anxiety was soul-crushing. I felt broken and irresponsible. Despite my worry, a Venti Pink Drink with Classic Coffee Cake, brought me just enough stamina in the mornings to make it through teaching my morning classes without having to go home.
As I drove to work that day, I had to smile. For all my worrying and anxiety during pregnancy. Even after the fact that I was SURE I was ruining my unborn child, he had come out perfectly. What I’m saying here is – just do your best, Mamas! I know that everything feels like a huge deal. I know that it is nerve-wracking. I urge you to choose to celebrate the things that make you happy and that you know you’ve gotten right.