Food, glorious food: life as a pregnant VMIFie

IMG_7808.jpgI would say that I am Very Much Into Food. I don’t like the term Foodie as to me it conjures up someone very pretentious making a jus or a glass or a foam. That’s definitely not me; I have no interest in it and I’m pretty sure I would fail miserably if I tried to make a foam of anything (even my husband makes my bubble baths for me as I’m too impatient so instead I have to loiter round the flat, occasionally dipping my head into the bathroom: ‘is it ready yet?’ only to be shushed out to wait until I get the go-ahead. It’s v sweet though). But I am Very Much Into Food so I’ll call myself a VMIFie instead. Less catchy but it has connotations with MILF which will be my next role in life anyway…

Like most couples my husband and I have a clear separation of household jobs (him: baths, me: food) and man am I glad I married a man who has little interest in cooking. Now, I’ve definitely heard younger single women throwing around the ‘oh, I love a man who cooks’ but, ladies, if you get one who doesn’t then you get to CONTROL ALL THE FOOD IN THE HOUSE. There’s nothing better. The food planning, shopping and cooking is all my domain. If I want to eat super healthy after a bad week, we do and he will smile and say it’s delicious. If I want am craving comfort food like fish fingers and chips, or in contrast if I decide to cook vegan for a week, I do and he will smile and thank me for cooking. He won’t even notice the difference. And if, in a gastronomically inspired moment, I plan intricate dishes over a weekend and spend double the usual at Ocado, NO-ONE WILL SAY ANYTHING. I love the control and I love love cooking.

For the last few years I’ve had a weekly organic vegetable delivery from Abel and Cole which I top up with extra bits from Ocado or Sainsbury’s. Getting our Thursday box of vegetables has been a surprising highlight (seriously, that may make me sound like a loser, but don’t knock it til you’ve tried it) but one of my tragedies of trimester one of pregnancy is that I lost the ability to eat anything with any remote nutrient-rich content, and had to knock my poor little box of organic veg on the head for a few months. Quite how my baby grew on a diet of crisps and bread I’m really not sure. I tried to make up for it with gallons and gallons of orange juice and the odd yoghurt but I know I wasn’t really doing the right thing for my body. I tried and tried to eat a healthy diet (my pre-pregnancy dinners usually consisted of fish and steamed veg; for the last few months the best it has got has been beans on toast) but I was just buying food that I could not force my body to eat.

Like most mums-to-be I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time online reading pregnancy websites and diving into oh so many pregnancy forums. You can google literally the most bizarre pregnancy symptom and will find hundreds of women who have been discussing it online in the last few years. In one low moment when probably googling something very hormonal and pregnant like ‘am I hurting my baby by only eating beige food’ I read a comment from someone that was exactly what I was looking for. It said (and I paraphrase):

‘You have plenty of time later on in your pregnancy to eat well. Your baby is getting what it needs, just eat what you feel like for now’

I could have kissed the screen. This was what I needed to hear. I realised that fingers crossed there are six whole months during pregnancy where I can face ‘normal’ food so why don’t I just go for it if all I want for the time being is Bombay mix and a tub of Ben and Jerry’s? So I did. I ate and ate and ate and felt no shame.

A month or two on, I’m now at the point where I can stand to look at, and even eat, most foods again now. My husband has, with visible relief, exited the kitchen where he had gallantly stepped in for a few months (often with me slumped in a kitchen chair giving him step by step instructions) and I’ve tentatively re-taken my rightful place as the VMIFie of the house. The Abel and Cole delivery came again for the first time this week. Hooray! My only minor problem now is that I’ve conditioned my body into expecting beige food and going on autopilot to the pastries aisle or to my office tuck shop. Sometimes I don’t even realise it’s happened until I’m two pain-aux-raisins in. So I’m in ret-raining this week. This afternoon I’m going to be going through my poor neglected recipe books and finding some nice dishes just to remind my mind and body how much we do actually love to do this.

Watch out little baby – some vitamins are on their way!