The Hunger Is Mind-Boggling

I do remember being hungry a lot in August and September. But it's different now. Then, I remember I had to eat often (about every two hours) or else I'd start to feel a little ill. Not nauseated, but my stomach would feel a little pang and I'd get lightheaded, etc. But I didn't really need to eat much. A glass of milk, a handful of nuts, a piece of fruit. My eating habits were pretty similar to the year I was on the Dr. Phil diet and lost all that weight (about 35 lbs). Except that I really, really felt like eating every two hours this time, it wasn't just a schedule.

Now I guess I can go about four hours before actually feeling ill from hunger, but I'll start getting hungry after two to three hours. My stomach will actually growl, even after I've eaten a full meal! I don't have to stuff myself at meals to feel full, but a simple glass of milk or piece of fruit doesn't cut it. Now that's the sort of thing I eat just to tide me over while I'm preparing the next meal.

I'm basically on six meals per day-- two each of the main meals. I'll usually have my porridge for one of my breakfasts, some sort of eggs (today Terry made me a squash omelet, yum!) for my second breakfast. My first lunch is whatever Terry and I sit down to eat, but I'll have my second lunch later that afternoon. I try to eat something different to get a variety of nutrients. If I had a sandwich at lunch #1, I'll maybe put together some sort of salad for lunch #2. If I ate leftovers at lunch #1, I'll make a sandwich for lunch #2.

It's not like I'm always hungry; after I eat I feel satisfied. It's just that I get hungry AGAIN in a little while. The first dinner is easy, whatever Terry and planned when we went grocery shopping. But dinner #2 is difficult. Eating so many times per day, I really run out of good ideas. I'm more apt to just "graze" after dinner since I'm just tired and not motivated to prepare dinner #2. The problem with that is the grazing doesn't satisfy my hunger. Tonight, for example, I was full after dinner. Ate a piece of chocolate while we watched a DVD. But now it's bedtime, and I'm HUNGRY. If I wasn't pregnant, I'd just go to bed hungry and eat in the morning. But since I am pregnant, I can't do that.

Not for any reasons so altruistic as making sure my baby has enough to eat, but so I can simply sleep through the night. Last night, I forgot to eat something right before bedtime (I ate around 9pm, so I wasn't that hungry at 11pm). But I woke up around 3am, and couldn't fall back asleep because I was hungry. I had to get up, go downstairs, and fix myself some food. Then I was able to go back to sleep until morning. I suspect I'd have more energy during the day if I could sleep the whole night through. Tonight I didn't feel like cooking again, but decided to try an entree-sized portion of pistachios as dinner #2. I'm eating it now, but while it's delicious, it's not keeping my stomach from continuing to growl. Ugh, I'm going to have to get up out of bed, go back downstairs AGAIN, and fix something more substantial.

I've even been eating carbs in an effort to fill myself up. I used to rarely eat bread, rice, pasta or potatoes, but now I'm eating them daily. I usually don't like them since they ordinarily make me feel bloated and sluggish after I've eaten them. So I'm trying to use that to my advantage now, eating them for my late-night meal (or early-morning, like the 3am feedings). But I'm still so skeeved out by eating carbs that I try to add some protein if I can. Adding leftover meat is the easiest, but when that isn't available I resort to adding dairy.

It's a lot of work preparing all these meals. I'm going to get some food tomorrow that will hopefully make things easier. I'll get another loaf of fresh bread, plenty of cheese, some pate (even though it's on the not-recommended-during-pregnancy list, I don't care anymore). Then I can make myself a delicious yet simple sandwich for my extra meals. I should boil some eggs so I have a supply of hard-boiled eggs in the refrigerator. Those are easy enough to slice up into a sandwich, or chop up to add to a salad. Maybe swing by Bodo's to stock up on bagels and cream cheese. Things I would ordinarily eat only occasionally because they would make me fat.

I'm not really gaining weight now, although my belly seems to be expanding. I actually noticed my cheekbones again tonight-- the first time in months. I was getting awfully tired of my puffy face, it wasn't attractive. But the water-retention has gone down this week, I've even been able to move both my wedding and engagement rings back to my ring finger. I'll chalk it up to a combination of the colder weather and that I'm drinking more water (even though I now have to visit the bathroom more times than I care to count). Plus Terry and I are back to daily exercise since he got over his cold.

Speaking of exercise, we finished the 3-mile walk in one hour flat today. While it's hardly race-walking, I'm satisfied with that pace. Although my legs are so tired during the walk now! I wonder if my muscles will ever get strong enough to carry the extra weight so the walk will become easy again. Or will the weight gain always come just a little faster than the muscles can adjust? What makes me nervous is that this is just the very beginning of the major weight-gain period, and I don't seem to be adjusting very quickly. Yet I have just under three more months of this! I just keep reminding myself that if I can keep up the exercise despite the increasing difficulty, I'll feel like a superwoman once the baby is out. Carrying a 6 lb baby around in a sling all day will be a piece of cake compared to carrying around the extra 20+ pounds I'm currently toting. I'll be able to carry that baby around all the time until it's over six months old, and it should still be less work than I'm doing now!

I've gotta go downstairs and fix something to eat now, so I can fall asleep. Ridiculous. All this eating is a big nuisance. And from what I hear from my friends with kids, it won't let up even after the baby is born. I'm going to need to eat constantly for many months while I'm breastfeeding. It would be easier if I ate more frozen food, but I'm just not into that so much right now. Although there is a certain type of very cheap frozen burrito for which I have a weakness. Who knows what sort of chemicals are in it, but I may be getting desperate enough that I buy a 10-pack to keep on hand. But I shouldn't be so lazy-- I really should get some organic beef and tortillas and make my own frozen burritos.

Yeah, right. As if I'm going to be that together to pull that one off. I shouldn't kid myself.