Monday, July 17, 2006

Of cornflakes and youth

Had my second prenatal appointment today (not counting the ERA ultrasound last week).

The first part was a visit with a nutritionist. It was fine, but let me just say this: nobody likes a super-skinny nutritionist. I swear, I could have encircled this woman’s upper arms with my thumb and middle finger. It’s not like she looked sickly or anything. But she sure was slight. A’s theory (he was along with me today) was that nutritionists probably get into their line of work for the same reasons that neurotic fuck-ups become therapists and shy people become comedians and Monica Geller on 'Friends' became a chef.

Anyway, I’m a fairly healthy eater in general, so no big surprises at this appointment, except that according to my blood work from last time, my iron levels are pretty low, so I’m going to have to take a supplement and try to add more iron-rich foods. Did you know that taking your prenatal vitamin with juice helps your body better absorb the iron in it? And that eating meat or beans in a tomato-based sauce is also a good iron-absorption strategy? Neither did I.

I had to give the nutritionist a run-down of a typical “day in the life” eating-wise, from which she was somehow able to calculate how many calories and grams of protein, calcium, fat, etc. I’m getting on a daily basis. I found it to be a slightly disingenuous exercise. First of all, when you’re sitting across from a woman with triceps the size of Bic pens who is also a nutritionist, you want to be on your best behavior. Not that I was dishonest, exactly, but God knows there are days when I eat leftover pizza and Fig Newtons for lunch (yesterday), not a mixed salad with grilled chicken and a piece of whole grain baguette (today). You can guess which one I used as an example of a “typical” lunch.

I also find the whole portion sizes thing questionable. She had little rubber models of food I had to look at and compare to my usual serving sizes. How many servings of this 3 inch disc of rubber cornflakes plopped into a bowl? Umm…I have no idea. It’s the wrong sized bowl, and I don’t eat cornflakes. Grape Nuts take up less room, Frosted Mini-Wheats take up more. And then there are the times I don’t get the milk to cereal ratio right, and add more cereal at the end. So…2? 4? 14?

Bottom line, I’m doing just fine. Just need a little more iron, and a slightly upped caloric intake as I shift into the goal of gaining 1.5 lbs a week. The belly still looks more of the beer variety than the pregnant, but any day now…

As for the visits with the nurse / doc – they were fine, uneventful. Both babies’ heartbeats were in the 150s, nice and healthy and steady. Go wondertwins! I continue to like the doc, and the husband likes him, too. He listens well, gives straight answers, doesn’t condescend. All good. Next visit is in 5 weeks (August 21) at which time we will get a big, bad, thorough ultrasound, and will find out the babies’ genders. Wahoo! I should report, in the meantime, that the age-old dangling-ring-on-a-string test, performed this weekend with friends, predicted a boy and a girl, though its accuracy with twins may be questionable. I gotta say, though, whether you believe the whole thing or not, it's a pretty nifty trick. We put a ring in front of the bellies of men and non-pregnant women, and it did not budge, whereas in front of my abdomen, the things swung like crazy. Chi, man. It's all about the chi.

I’ll end with a little demographic observation: At 32, I don’t consider myself an exceptionally young first-time mother. But it seems to me that more than half of the women I see in the waiting room at the obstetrics office are older than me by at least a few years. (I should note that it’s also interesting to see the huge cross-section of race, ethnicity and class you get in there – having babies is just so damned universal.) Maybe it’s a skewed sample, because it’s an urban area, with more highly educated / career-minded women who wait longer? Or maybe they’re having their second or third children, and are actually younger than I think they are, and they just look, well, tired? Or maybe I am just so incredibly youthful-looking and well-preserved that my age radar is mis-calibrated? Your theories are welcome, especially if they confirm the latter explanation.


Blogger SER said...

A very skinny nutritionist does seem a bit like a very tan dermatologist. In any case, leftover pizza sounds quite appealing to me at this moment, which is indecorous since it is 8am.

I concur that you are a youthful-looking 32. And that not everyone is blessed with such genes. I'm glad to hear that the heartbeats were cruising along so nicely and that your OB is working out well. But FIVE WEEKS??? How can we, your readers, wait that long for the next ultrasound?

9:09 AM  

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