The Shoulds and Should-Nots of Pregnancy

In an update, I am now at 22 weeks and 5 days and we are having a girl! Her name will be Maggie Sloan Shannon. Here’s a recent pic, though she’s still at that awkward alien stage:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

So, I’ve been getting a lot of, shall we say, conflicting advice on what I should and shouldn’t be eating, drinking, doing and being throughout my pregnancy. Here is my rant on the subject:

Re: caffeine, sweetners, etc. I’ve decided I have the most laid back, cool OB around. I’m not a coffee drinker but I used to drink 3 cups of strong British tea in the mornings. I’ve cut it down to one cup a day (said the girl who is about to have her 2nd cup.) I still drink Diet Coke. Mostly just one can a day but occasionally a little more if I have a soda at a movie or something. I’m eating more chocolate than I ever did. I used to not be a sweets person but I was a drinker and I hear that when you give that up, you crave sweets. Every person I know who is in AA has told me that. That said, I’ve had an occasional drink throughout this whole pregnancy. Maybe once or twice a week, I’ll have a glass of wine or 1 beer if I’m out with friends. Guess what? My OB doesn’t have a problem with it. You know what else? The other thing she doesn’t have a problem with is sushi. I was worried about that one so I kept asking her at every appointment: “Are you SURE that I can have sushi?” She was way more concerned about the mercury and told me that I shouldn’t have fish more than once a week but she didn’t care if it was cooked or raw. She said that if I did get some sort of food poisoning from the fish, it would only affect me and not the baby. That was all I needed to hear and I’ve been eating raw sushi once a week since my 2nd trimester started. Now that I’m showing, it’s getting a little weird. I went to Chiba, my favorite sushi place, the other night and there was another pregnant girl at the sushi bar sitting there eating her cooked fish like a martyr and watching me with a look that I can only describe as horror. I might as well have been doing lines of coke off the counter the way she and her husband were looking at me. I wanted to put a sign around my neck with a note from my OB on it. There was also a recent article in the NY Times about how sushi is generally safe for pregnant women because it’s often frozen fish and that kills the pathogens anyway. This might be an American worry because my sushi guy says women in Japan that are pregnant eat sushi all the time. My OB is Chinese and loves sushi so that might be why she’s so laid back about it.

Guess what? I also color my hair and I’ve sat in the occasional hot tub but not for too long. I think the main issue with that is making sure your core body temp doesn’t go up too much. I used to think it was about not ‘cooking the baby’ but I think it has more to do with your temp raising your heart rate. I also eat medium rare meat, over-easy eggs, bacon, hot dogs, prosciutto and other ‘lunch meats’, soft cheeses (as they are all pasteurized or aged over 60 days in America anyway). I won’t eat raw oysters because they filter sea water and there’s problems with that. What else? Hmmmmmmm, that’s about it. Let it be known that so far, my baby is kicking like crazy, is measuring normal to big, my genetic tests have all come back normal and I feel great for the most part. To each his own. I don’t judge anyone for how they handle their pregnancy. Everyone is different and everyone has different OB’s. I tell you though, I’m thankful that mine is laid back. I would never do anything deliberately to harm my baby and I was worried about everything at first. I’m still weird about exercise and I should be doing more. I make sure I don’t lift anything too heavy. I try not to get overheated or to get my heart rate up too high. I do still sleep on my back sometimes, though I’m starting to get better about sleeping on my side.

I think there’s a definite tendency these days of worrying too much. I’m getting to that stage where I’m starting to worry about future baby-proofing because I’m reading all these horror stories. I mean, really… I should get rid of my window treatments (roman shades) because the kid can hang themselves on the cord? REALLY? How many kids are hanging themselves on window shade cords? Now I’m all paranoid about it. Or is this rule because of one not very bright child ruining window treatments for the rest of us. I don’t meant to sound cruel here, but at what point is this evidence of Darwin’s theory in action? I mean, obviously, there are some things that are vital like guard gates at the top of stairs and latches on the cabinets and covers on the outlets, but come on….do I need to turn my entire house into a padded cell? At what point does personal responsibility come in? It just strikes me that some people just aren’t keeping an eye on their children. I know that accidents happen and it only takes a second and maybe I sound naive because I don’t have kids yet. That said, I’m not investing in coffee table pads or getting rid of the roman shades yet. Anyway, that’s my rant for the day. This is all a sensitive subject for me because when you’re pregnant, EVERYONE has an opinion on what you should and shouldn’t do. As far as I’m concerned, the only opinion I’m listening to is my OB, who is very well-regarded and also delivered my friend’s baby, who is now 9 years old and healthy as a horse. The hardest part is explaining to my well-meaning friends that I’ve got it under control and I don’t need them clucking over me like a mother hen all the time. Everyone’s an expert. Well, guess what? This is my baby and my pregnancy so shut the fuck up. Maggie happens to like salmon with black caviar. She kicks like crazy whenever I eat it.

So there.



2 Responses to “The Shoulds and Should-Nots of Pregnancy”

  1. Sandra Says:

    It still amuses me that so many myths surround pregnancy (coffee, sushi, hair dye, sleeping on back, etc.) when in reality, there frankly isn’t much other than snowboarding that a pregnant woman should try to avoid! My OB was like yours – when I mentioned reading a lot of the myths like deli meat (why would you eat spoiled deli meat, pregnant or not???) or coffee (you gonna fall asleep driving? seems dangerous to baby! drink that coffee!) or sushi (um, back to the spoiled thing – and fish is so good for you!) she laughed.

    This is one laid back mama here, and all four of my children have lived. I can assure you the companies that propel the hype and fears of new moms (babyproofing, jarred foods, etc.) all stand to profit from your trip to BRU… LOL!

    Ah, it’s wonderful that pregnancy isn’t an illness, isn’t it? 😀

  2. clubkitty Says:

    Ha! So true! My OB just rolled her eyes at a lot of the ‘rules’. Just a quick look at your blog tells me you have a baby my daughter’s age! Happy Birthday! My Maggie turns 1 on Thursday. I’m slowly moving my blog over from MySpace because I’m sick of them disabling my links, pulling blogs they don’t like and being general idiots. I’m only up to the middle of last year! It’s lots of work. I’m running back out the door but I’ll stop by and read some more of your blog later tonight!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: