Pregnancy cravings are overrated. They’re like the measly ripples before the actual tsunami hits. And by tsunami I mean Breastfeeding Hunger.
Sure, I had cravings when I was pregnant. In fact, I spent my entire pregnancy devouring watermelon, much to my Asian mother’s dismay. (There’s a superstition that eating “cool foods” like watermelon during pregnancy can cause a miscarriage.) But I was hardly that stereotypical pregnant woman you see on TV who demands that her husband buy her ice-cream and pickles at 3 a.m. in the morning. Well, if you ignore that one time I was craving biltong, anyway. (Side note: If you’ve never heard of biltong, you are seriously missing out in life! It’s the South African version of jerky, except a million times better.) I happened to crave it one night but my husband refused to buy it for me.
“Why not?” I demanded childishly.
“Because the nearest South African store is bloody four hours away and I have work in the morning,” he replied.
Admittedly, I did tear up a little. But I compromised by eating a ridiculous amount of jerky. Then I washed it down with some chocolate. And I felt much better afterwards, because chocolate makes everything better.
That was the worst of my pregnancy cravings.
Now let’s talk breastfeeding hunger. To sum it up, I eat like I just got out of prison. It’s crazy. No matter how much I eat, I’m always hungry.
I mean, I just consumed an entire week’s worth of groceries in one go. And that was only my morning snack.
However, the problem isn’t just that I’m hungry all the time. It’s also that I get irrationally cranky if I’m not fed. I imagine this is what a desperate drug addict (who also happens to have PMS) feels like when trying to find her next fix.
My husband and I went out for lunch one day and the meal I ordered was surprisingly huge.
“I’ll help you eat it up,” my husband offered, reaching for his fork.
“No you won’t!” I snarled and actually blocked off his advances like a lioness protecting her cubs. I felt a primitive instinct to protect my food at all costs, even if it meant having to draw some blood. Breastfeeding hunger makes me violent! (Which is why the title of this article is so fitting.)
My other problem is that I have no self-control. I actually had to instruct my husband to hide all the leftover Halloween candy. However, after doing the 3 a.m. feed I was ravenous.
“Where’s the candy?” I asked my husband.
“I’m sleeping,” he mumbled.
“Tell me where it is!”
“You told me to hide it.”
“TELL ME WHERE IT IS!”
“Chocolate’s not healthy. Why don’t you eat a banana instead?”
“I’m going to kick your balls if you don’t tell me where it is!”
“Then you can’t have any more children.”
“I’ve just barely survived the newborn period with twins. I haven’t slept properly in seven months and my vagina still doesn’t feel quite right. Do I look like I want any more? Your balls have served their purpose. NOW TELL ME WHERE THE CHOCOLATE IS!”
And that’s how I found myself eating an entire stash of chocolate at some ungodly hour of the morning.
We had some guests over for dinner the other night and my husband bought a chocolate cake for dessert (because who has time to bake when you’re a twin mom?). The next day my husband commented on how rich it was.
“It was so sweet that I scraped off all the icing and threw it away,” he said.
“You threw it away?” I asked incredulously.” That’s the best part. Why didn’t you give it to me?”
Then I proceeded to burst into tears at the thought of all that gorgeous chocolate sitting uneaten in the garbage can.
I feel sorry for our poor husbands who have to put up with all our crazy mood swings! They really deserve an award.
Anyway, the up side to breastfeeding is that it’s the world’s best-kept dieting secret. I read that you burn about twenty calories for every ounce of milk you produce. With twins, that’s a lot of calories. It’s brilliant! I eat like a pimply teenage boy and I’m actually losing weight.
Image via The Rules of Motherhood (http://www.facebook.com/Therulesofmotherhood)
I do feel guilty about all the crap I eat though. I really should start eating healthier for the twins’ sake.
I’ll start as soon as I’ve finished this tub of vanilla bean ice-cream.
I’m a twin mommy who will make you feel better about your parenting skills. Sign up for e-mail updates at the bottom of this page if you want to follow my journey into insanity. You can also follow me on Facebook.