If you know any of the women in my family, you know that we all have at some point or another had a real issue with Diet Coke. It’s honestly all I remember my mother ever drinking growing up, same with my Aunt, Grandmother, sister, and me.
We’re also picky about its service. My aunt Meg likes it with lemon, my mother with lime. My mom prefers it on ice. I personally prefer no citrus, straight from the can. The only thing preferable to that is a fountain Diet Coke from McDonalds, and I’m just not sure how they make it so good. I read somewhere it has something to do with how much they sell, so it’s always fresh. (Can soda be fresh/not fresh?)
Anywho, I got told to put the kibosh on all caffeine about three weeks ago at an OB appointment, and although I haven’t been like, OVERLOADING on the Diet Coke since being pregnant, it’s inarguably been one thing I have REALLY craved. One every two days will pretty much make me happy, but since I’m not supposed to have any caffeine, and I obviously can’t stop eating chocolate altogether (which has caffeine) it’s been rough. One day at work, I found one of those teeny cocktail plastic cups and poured half a can in and I freaking savored it. Caffeine free diet coke is not nearly as good and only makes me feel about halfway better, but at least I can drink the whole can and only have to feel bad about the aspartame I’m feeding the baby. Being perfect when you’re pregnant sure is hard, right? I’m fairly sure I’m not even close.
Not for lack of trying - I’ve been stubbornly in the camp of “I’m going to do this better” for the entirety of my pregnancy. I know, it’s ridiculous - why should I try to be better at pregnancy than anyone else? It isn’t a contest! Who would I even be competing with? But I’m a type A/oldest child/Virgo and if anyone could make a contest out of pregnancy, it would be me. Also, I think motherhood often becomes a contest between women and I’ll admit - I got caught up in it. I even completed an entire yoga teacher training DURING my pregnancy, and even though I was exhausted for the last few weekends, I was staunchly unwilling to admit it.
The past few weeks, I've been stressing out about my birth plan, going back and forth between a few different options, and feeling guilty about the ups and downs of each one. Every time I would read a woman’s birth story, I would get what I wanted out of birth pushed out of my mind and end up changing something….probably because of the inevitable comparison. The inevitable “who is more of a mother” of it all.
Then there was a little panic attack upon arrival at my office on Tuesday a couple weeks ago. I had planned on it being my second to last week, but when I got out of the car after a 2 hour drive and headed inside with my bags I felt dizzy and disoriented within seconds. Nothing crazy - it was probably just from sitting still in the car for almost 2 hours, but it was proof that maybe it was time to discontinue the out of town work trips. Of course, that required me to admit a little weakness. I’m working from home for the rest of my pregnancy, but I am a lot hesitant about losing my actual presence in the office. I'm stir crazy after just a week of being at home so much - coming to terms with the difficulties of the 3rd trimester hasn’t been easy for me. I’ve been stubborn about admitting this is hard, and I’m not even having a difficult pregnancy…I’m just pregnant.
Which brings me back to that random ditty about the Diet Coke - there are things about pregnancy that you don’t think will be a big deal…and then there are things you never considered that absolutely are. Like alcohol for example - I assumed I would realllllly miss it. But I don’t, not really ever. I miss Diet Coke, and not being able to go to the grocery store alone for fear I won’t be able to carry the bags in myself, hot yoga classes, not having to monitor how much tuna I eat in a week, and raw fish. I don't feel like I have any right to complain about feeling huge, but I do miss my waist. I miss walks longer than 30 minutes that aren’t cut short because I have to find someplace to pee. I miss laying on my stomach a lot. Some of those things I haven’t been able to do for a while, and you’d think that it would get easier over time to go without them, but mostly at this point I’m just reaching the end of my rope. Luckily, at the end of the rope is the baby I'm anxious to meet, so getting to the end is exactly what I need to be doing.
Whenever she arrives, here are the items from my “most missed list” that I expect delivered to the hospital room at the earliest convenience post-labor.
Darrell, your orders:
a nova lox bagel from Einstein’s with smoked salmon shmear
and a fountain diet coke.
Extra points if you bring peonies.