Popcorn, Paunches, and Pickles

The baby is moving! I can feel it! A week or so ago I thought I felt something every once in a while, but it could have been just gas bubbling around my inert intestines, or maybe the huge pulse I have in my abdomen now.  But now I can tell it is definitely the baby moving around– the book says this often feels like having little fish inside or some nonsense like that. I think it feels like I am a popcorn popper. I get little kicks at irregular intervals: pop…..  pop pop…  POP!

I’m starting to show as well. I gained a centimeter back on my butt, so while I’m not back to normal size there yet, maybe I’ll get there someday. Meanwhile, my waist has gained 4 centimeters on my pre-pregnancy size, and my belly button is getting oddly shallow. It is usually kind of a dark mysterious cave in there.

Until now, I had not experienced any out-of-the-ordinary cravings. Aversions, yes: in the early weeks I was averse to pretty much anything that looked like food, and lived on cottage cheese and plain yogurt, because I could choke them down and they’d usually stay down. At six weeks, while visiting my parents, we were desperately looking for yogurt on the way to the airport. At the third grocery store, I was ready to cry. I was bending over with nausea, and there was nothing, nothing I could eat. All the yogurts were the sweetened kind, which would have sent my blood sugars through the roof. Finally, my husband spotted a case of single-serving Haagen Dasz ice creams. We pulled out a vanilla ice cream, checked the label, and found it had TEN GRAMS LESS SUGAR than a yogurt, and the total amount wasn’t going to make my glucometer angry. Who would have thought a vanilla ice cream would be safer than a cup of fruit yogurt?  Next we hit up the drinks aisle, looking for seltzer. All we could find was Perrier. So we headed out the door of the grocery with ice cream and lime-flavored Perrier on our way to the airport (my husband still teases me about this). Still, ice cream and Perrier was not a craving. It was dire straits. I was close to puking pure stomach acid on the roadside, and it was all I could find that would stay down.

Lately, though, I have developed… not just cravings, but some fairly odd tastes. The nausea is gone, so I don’t have to worry about that any more. I crave sour things. I made my own Vietnamese pickles last night, and I’ve had them with every meal since. They are so acid, and so good. I believe they may even have been the reason I didn’t have reflux last night, for the first time in days.  I often make chicken dishes that involve broth– which means I braise/boil a couple of chicken leg/thigh pieces for a few hours on low heat. This makes the cartilage bits and the bone-ends pretty soft. And I eat them. I’ve always liked the tendons, but I’ve never been a huge fan of the cartilage before. And I gnaw the bone ends right off, and eat them. I figure between the healing ribs and the baby, I must need the minerals. I’m not sure where the cartilage plays into that, but… my Granny always ate it, so it’s probably good for me.  For about a month I had a serious poultry/eggs aversion, but that (thank goodness!) has abated, and I can eat eggs and chicken again. I’m seriously relieved to be able to cook again.

And the pickles… they are wonderful!