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It turns out, the world is a really dangerous place, eatingwise, we just never knew. As I mentioned before, I got me the OCD which is related to my anxiety stuff. And so I have a pretty darn strict set of food related hygiene rules. Trust me, I annoy everyone I live with with them. But actually, most of them are pretty standard – they’re mostly what you would do in a commercial kitchen (a lot of illness at home can be attributed to incorrect food handling).

Anyhoo, pregnancy brings with it a whole new set of food rules and I gotta admit, for someone who is in therapy for their food rules crazy (among other things), even *I* think this shit is out of the park. Let’s see … no soft cheeses, no processed meats like salami (I’m a vegetarian), no smoked salmon :( , no uncooked eggs of any kind – so, no poached eggs, no hollaindaise sauce, no chocolate mousse, no commercially made custards, no exciting desserts out at restaurants – no prepared salads and no unwashed salad leaves including the prewashed salad mixes you can by at the supermarket. No sushi. No eating prepared food that has been sitting around for more than 24 hours, including at your house ie no leftovers from more than 24 hours ago.

The world is completely unsafe for pregnant women! Seriously, we should look into that! My developing theory on this, by the way, is that “pregnant women” – the subgroup in society – is a moving target. So you’re never really inconveniencing the same people for more than 9 months. And then they got other things to do and so get distracted. But really. This shit is just ridiculous.

I already have a bunch of eating issues – I have some food allergies (nuts, sulphur) and intolerances (dairy, gluten, deadly nightshades food group (tomatoes, eggplant etc)) and then some other foods I avoid because of my bowel diseases (meat, seeds, grains). And it turns out, that all the foods I’d been relying on to eat to fulfill my daily nutritional requirements as a person are in the above group pf outlawed foods whilst pregnant. And further, that when restaurants cook for vegetarians, they add only the above, banned for pregnancy ingredients. Over the last weekend, I ended up eating meals like – boiled pasta with butter stirred through it at a very nice Italian restaurant because they could not remove the soft cheese out of any of their vegetarian options and when I asked well what did they have for pregnant vegetarians? all she could offer me was pizza. At the con hotel, there were three vegetarian options on the menu two of which were chips. And the third had uncooked eggs. There was also a buffet meal option but the food looked like it had sat out for quite some time. The soup of the day remained creamy mushroom for the entirety of the con which raised other concerning questions. I took to stealing boiled eggs in their shells at breakfast in order to be able to eat something at lunch.

So over the weekend I lived off bread, muesli bars and eggs. I dunno about you but there’s some kind of fucked up irony where you end up feeling gross, bloated, unwell and wondering when you last ate protein, cause you can’t fucking eat anything in case you accidentally kill your baby. All these stupid rules leave you thinking … but now I am eating a stupid arse unbalanced diet. How is this right??? Seriously. How?

I’m lucky because my friends have been travelling with me at cons for a while and they know my Crohn’s gets triggered and we’re starting to pinpoint how this happens. Mostly because I am a difficult eater, and I don’t like to be openly difficult so I will tend to eat things I know I shouldn’t just to fit in. I eat too much gluten and it doesn’t end nicely. This time round Terri and Tehani made sure I got gluten free options by including it in the Coles runs they did to source food (how lucky am I to have such great friends?) and I didn’t feel as bad as I usually do.

And it begs the question, has part of why I’ve felt so horrible in my first trimester been because in order to follow the stupid “don’t leave your stomach empty” rule to supposedly avoid/manage morning sickness, the easiest thing to grab is gluten filled carbs? You’re supposed to only eat 200 extra calories whilst pregnant but bugger me if I can figure out how you do that AND maintain a constantly non empty stomach. When you have that raging hunger abyss in the pit of your stomach, a carrot stick just ain’t gonna cut it.

I read an article on an online news site yesterday which said that women who eat (primarily) junk food whilst pregnant are more likely to have babies who are addicted to junk food. And I thought – fuck off! When you rule out all the fucking healthy shit I’ve been eating in the last year because of risk of listeria, what the fuck else does that leave you?

So. Yes. Welcome me to the world of never can win, eh? The guilt and shame of being a pregnant woman and being constantly at fault. It’s delightful.

At the con, I drank a juice and halfway through I thought that maybe it was fizzy – maybe it was? maybe it was supposed to be? maybe it was reaction with my mouth (I had a minor flare up over the con and my mouth was full of ulcers, hello not being able to eat properly, and my tongue gets funny). Anyway. I panicked cause I thought maybe I had drunk off juice. And I asked those around me, “OMG have I killed my baby?” to which I got two very matter of fact “Nos” from Alex and Rachel (love you both). This is what we do to women with all these fucking rules.



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  • By Helen on 1 May 2013 at 10:04 am

    Welcome to the joys of pregnancy where you are continually told what you should and shouldn’t do by other people, whether they know what they are talking about or not.
    I’m sorry you had such a bad time food wise at the con. Even as a non-pregnant vegetarian (compounded, I admit, by food allergies and digestive system disease) finding something to eat was a challenge. Apart from the various chips, we did find two items (neither of them were gluten free so wouldn’t have helped you) which we ended up eating every day. I am so pleased to be home to proper, healthy food.

  • By Shane on 1 May 2013 at 10:11 am

    Once my partner got over her morning sickness for the current pregnancy all bets were off. She tries to take some care and avoids some of the “danger” foods but she generally eats what she likes. The recent tragic listeria outbreak was cause for pause though. We’ve also just come back from a holiday in Japan and one does not simply avoid sushi when in Japan. Apparently baby’s taste is developed in the womb (and breast feeding) so exposing them to variety is supposed to be a good thing. Probably why our 2 year old loves truffle cheese and sushi and a bunch of other stuff mother’s are warned against while pregnant.

  • By Emma on 1 May 2013 at 11:19 am

    I love the debate on whether to avoid nuts / peanut butter, because if you eat it then your baby may develop an allergy to nuts! really!?!

    Its ridiculous. Some legit (listeria etc) but really, others…. its frustrating because a lot of it plays on the guilt factor i.e. what if something happens and I didn’t follow food rule #203!

    Good Luck :-)

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