My body pulled a Natalie Portman


And I don’t mean I woke up one morning looking like she did in Black Swan.

In fact, quite the opposite, you know, considering I’m pregnant.

I am! But I hadn’t written about it because I know it can be an awkward subject since every knocked up woman in the history of the world has felt her pregnancy is the most. important. thing. and of course to her it is, but so many others around her are going eh. Can’t blame them (or you, if that’s your case) because the baby baking isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

But now that we got the (potential) awkwardness out of the way let’s tackle today’s class, which I have lovingly titled Dear body, seriously WTF.

I love questioning myth vs. fact, old wives’ tale vs. scientific evidence, what is vs. what isn’t, and no other moment in life offers more of these comparisons than pregnancy. Oy. We’ve heard it all: tie a red ribbon to your shirt for protection! Wear this little medal of St. Whoever’s-in-charge-of-pregnant-ladies so that everything turns out fine! (at least if you grew up Catholic like I did), don’t stare at the moon or the baby will be hairy (ok I may have made that one up)… you get the hint.

But along with the myths are a myriad of facts: it’s a fact that the body will change; for some women the changes are precipitous and obvious, while for others they’re imperceptible and almost only internal– but they’re there.

It is also a fact that during pregnancy the body produces all sorts of hormones and baby forming ingredients. However, this fact comes hand in hand with a shitload! of myths. It is a myth that you have to puke. It is a myth that you have to end up with the emotional stability of a ravenous murderer. It is a myth that your hair has to fall out or your skin has to break. While all of these are possibilities, there are many different variables that will determine what, in the end, will be our own personal outcomes, symptoms and effects.

With this in mind I was pretty determined to not be a textbook pregnant. I decided I was fine without morning sickness and that the change in shape of my body would be gradual and slow. Awesome, right? I was like, bitch, I got this.

But then something happened that I wasn’t expecting. The body reveled. The body was like dude, fuck this shit. Surprised and in shocked awe, all I did was sit back and observe it happen.

It all began with a salad. I love salads! For a few weeks out of my first trimester though, my body was having none of that. I could have slapped whoever dared offer me spinach. RAGE. Also my beloved fruit smoothies: Just opening the freezer and seeing the bags of fruit made me want to go she-hulk on someone’s ass. It was awful.

But the worst came after: I was all, get me fucking fried chicken NOW or prepare to DIE. Is this embarrassing to admit? Absolutely. Did it ground me down from any shadow of a holier than thou attitude I may have been flaunting? Hell yes.

Everyone and their pet fish will have a theory of why this sort of thing happens: The regular meat eater will use it as obvious evidence that the body needs meat and will feel vindicated. The militant activist will point fingers and blame a faulty will power and lack of commitment. One opinion or another, it doesn’t really matter; this personal case of mine is for me to understand and learn from, and boy, did I ever!

And this is the story of how Natalie Portman and I are twinsies: From a life of predominantly vegan eating, to a pregnancy where the body says fuck all and takes a different direction. It’s ironic, too, because I’m willing to bet that Portman, much like myself, really desired to eat only the healthiest, purest and most peaceful food during a time in which what we eat matters most. Has the occasional cheese and burger turned me into an awful, unworthy mother? Well, I believe that if there’s anything that poisons the body more than unhealthy food that would be guilt, so I’ve chosen to free myself in this one.

What about you, any psycho swings experienced during your/your partner’s pregnancy? OR AM I THE ONLY ONE.

6 responses »

  1. I’m pretty sure the one with the moon involves the baby having moles or something of the sort.

    At the risk of being accused of feeling vindicated because I’m a regular meat eater -and no, I don’t feel vindicated because I couldn’t care less what other people choose to eat- I do feel that the body asks for what it needs, and I do believe you need to listen to it and feed it what it asks you to. So don’t feel guilty or bad about it. Just listen to your body.

    • I agree! It can be tricky though, because sometimes out of habit (or ‘addiction’, if you will) the body will also ask for stuff that is completely unnecessary, like sugar. I think as a rule of thumb we’ll be fine as long as we’re conscious and aware of what we’re choosing, maybe even questioning why the craving is there in the first place; like, *really* listening.

      Moles! snort

  2. When I was pregnant with Emilio I used to have for breakfast EVERY DAY a peanut butter and nutella sandwich…
    I’d go cuckoo if there was not enough nutella for my so craved breakfast (and I have to admit, sometimes, lunch, snack, dinner or even midnight snack).
    Once, my hubs and I went on a family trip with my in laws and….OHHHHH MYYYY GOOOOD!!! There was NOOOO nutella, NONE AT ALL! They had gone for groceries for the week, but had forgotten MY NUTELLA!
    So I did what every other pregnant woman would have done in my place:
    I prepared a peanut butter sandwich, cut a piece of the chocolate brownie my mother in law had made the night before and put it right in the middle of my new invention: the peanut butter and brownie sandwich.
    Three years have passed and I still can’t hear the end of it.

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