Full Advantage

Early in my first pregnancy, I had to travel to San Francisco for business, and I hated it.

Having been advised to abstain from eating raw fish, I had to avoid sushi –  while I was in San Francisco on an expense account, no less. Alas!

That first time around, I made a whole-hearted effort to follow expert advice (from doctors, books and experienced mom friends) on healthy maternity eating. But I’ll admit that I didn’t always follow the rules. Though my baby and my health were never in danger, I overindulged in my cravings – sweets and carbs – and paid the price with some stubborn post-partum poundage.

The second time around, I got even more lax with my eating habits. I justified extra helpings with ye olde “eating for two” excuse. I couldn’t resist the creamy concoctions of our favorite local sweet shop. And I remember with a certain fondness an all-you-can-eat Mother’s Day brunch buffet. Pre-pregnancy, I could never seem to make it to a second helping at such places.

This time, suffice it to say I got my money’s worth.


Full Advantage

The best thing for me
about my pregnancy
(aside from the child
that eventually would be)

was the way I could behave
with the food that I would crave:
no more calories would menace,
no more diets would enslave.

Full advantage did I take,
eating “for the baby’s sake,”
though my doctor hadn’t quite
recommended chocolate cake.

Nor was ice cream on her list
and somehow she also missed
plates of pasta, fries and pie
in every flavor that exists.

Anchovies, butter brickle —
no, my tastebuds weren’t too fickle,
though I have to say I never
ever ever craved a pickle.

(Now of course I had my share
of the good and healthy fare,
but rhyming “broccoli” and “orange”
is a challenge I don’t dare.)

Bagels, lox and creamy cheese;
crackers, bread and spreads of brie;
had me munching day and night—
“Pass the queso, could you please?”

Mashed potatoes heaped in mounds,
meatloaf sliced in saucy rounds,
made their way into my tummy
made me gain a few more pounds.

And while the weight I gained so fleetly
didn’t go away completely,
I still hunger for those days
and remember them — quite sweetly.

©2011 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz


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