A drive-thru lesson in mommy guilt.

As a mother, I worry a lot. I start worrying about my child the amazing, unforgettable moment I learn I am pregnant, even if it happens in the produce section of Publix.

I worry about chemicals I come in contact with, the amount of sun I’m getting, the supplements I take, and the extreme danger of the recent influx of snowbird traffic.

Even when I am not pregnant, I focus heavily on the food I put in my body. So when I am “eating for two” I worry about what I’m eating almost constantly.  However, during my last pregnancy and so far in this one, my food choices have been very limited due to constant and extreme nausea. Unfortunately, they have not been what one would define as healthy.

Pregnant Athlete

10 Weeks into my pregnancy

So you could imagine my heightened concern when I read this article.

Basically the article states that mice born to mothers that consumed a high-fat diet in their third trimester had impaired brain connections that help fight against obesity. In other words, their brains were actually wired in a way that increased their likelihood of becoming obese.

Another study also found that children born to mothers who gained more then 40 pounds in their pregnancy had a higher probability of becoming obese.

This makes complete sense to me. As an athlete that largely focuses on nutrition, I believe garbage in, garbage out.  But it is horribly terrifying since my last pregnancy I fell into both categories and this one is heading down the same path, full steam ahead!

But let’s put science on hold for just a minute. I’d like to take this time to clear the air about something, and that’s the word “craving.”  A craving, by definition, is a great or eager desire, a yearning. Yes, some women have cravings during their pregnancies. A need, however, is by definition, an urgent want, something necessary.

However, the definition of need as it relates to pregnancy is this: I must have this thing or something will die, and I must have it now! In fact, nothing but this one thing can pass through my lips without coming back up. The thought of anything else is nauseating and if I don’t have it now, I am not responsible for what might happen to others around me. 

I do not have cravings, I have needs. Big fat juicy cheeseburger pregnancy needs, with a pop and a side of ketchup-covered fries.

So what do I do as a mother, when I have these pregnancy NEEDS that could potentially set up my child (especially if my child is a mouse) for health problems down the road? Am I granting my child a more difficult future simply because of the choices I am making before he or she is even born?

No, really, help! What do I do? I’m looking for suggestions here.

Right now, all I know is to do the best I can do each day. I wake up in the morning and I start my day with positive thoughts around health and happiness for my entire family, even those unborn.

Sometimes it works out, other days it’s truly out of my control and I am left to the mercy of the baby and my new found hormones. And yes, sometimes it makes me cry. But I remind myself that no one is more suited to grow this little life then I am, and once the baby is on the outside of this world, I will work hard to create a healthy, happy, McDonald’s-free home for my entire family.

On our wedding day, Scott and I promised to always, “support our active, healthy lifestyle and competitive nature as a bond that keeps our life strong and flourishing.”  For the next seven months I may not always keep this vow, but I will never lose sight of the importance it holds for both my growing family and I.

wedding day photo

Scott and I all smiles on our wedding day!