Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What I Eat

I have this organic cotton tank top that’s screen printed with lovely purple vegetables and the words, “what I eat.” I wear it to channel that sexy-hippy-chic vibe.

Lately I’ve been considering creating an updated version of the shirt, or at least taking out a Sharpie and sketching in a few additional food items to more accurately reflect my breastfeeding diet. Because I’m really just a liar if I omit the fact that half-cooked brownies have become the staple of a food group I like to call “calories: get ‘em fast.”

Although I did not enjoy pregnancy, I am adoring my newly acquired role as a mother. Throughout my pregnancy, there were two aspects of motherhood that I particularly looked forward to: cloth diapers and breastfeeding. More about diapers later. When I was pregnant and would explain to people that I planned to breastfeed not one, but two babies, I got a lot of mixed reactions. Especially when I’d add in that I hoped to nurse the twins for about two years. Oh lord. One of THOSE.

I have to admit that I’m quite proud to be successfully breastfeeding twins. It was a rocky start trying to learn to breastfeed in the NICU. The doctors told me that I couldn’t make milk rich enough in calories to get the twins to grow. They tried to convince me to mix Enfamil formula with my breast milk and feed it to the babies from bottles once they were discharged from the hospital. I took a tip from the DARE program and ‘just said “no.” So it’s pretty amazing to consider that at ten weeks old, my little preemies are almost triple their birth weights.

Needless to say, I am a fan of boob-feeding. I won’t review all the benefits babies get from breastfeeding; but the benefits are wonderful and the main reason I was adamant about nursing. But I think that the benefits moms get from breastfeeding sometimes get left out. For instance, boobs are a nice little bonus. Large boobs have replaced my medium-sized pregnancy boobs, which replaced my small-sized regular boobs. I may become a wet nurse after the babies wean just to keep these puppies around.

So boobs are good. But they’re not nearly as great as food.

I can eat anything.

I’ve read that you need an extra 500 calories per day to nurse a baby. So I’m guessing that I need an extra 1000 to nurse two. But the reality is, no matter what I eat, I can’t seem to eat enough.

Here’s an example. A few nights ago I was cooking a healthy meal salad with chicken on top. After cooking the chicken, I removed the skin and set it aside to throw away. Mere seconds after doing so, I found myself innocently cutting carrots while absolutely devouring crispy, dripping, chicken skin. And not just a little taste. Every. Last. Piece. Ouch. And for those of you with relatively normal appetites who aren’t nursing two insatiable little babies, I totally groove with the fact that this is DISGUSTING. In fact, many items in the “calories: get ‘em fast” food group are fairly disgusting to the non-calorie deprived person.

Perhaps less disgusting but similarly disturbing is the maniacal way in which I consume sugar, which packs a nice calorie punch. I’ve taken to making batches of brownies from the box, and sprucing them up by dumping loads of caramel sundae sauce, chocolate sauce, and coconut on top before cooking. And I use the term “cooking” rather lightly. Because these days, I only allow my brownies to cook until the edges are firm, at which point I remove them from the oven to let the goopy middle “set.” Once set, I dive in. I can put away a batch of those bad boys in about a day.

And sometimes I just go straight to the source. I wish I was lying when I tell you that in the last two weeks, I’ve eaten three jars of caramel sauce straight from the jar with a spoon. I try to tell myself it’s like pudding, but I hardly even care because it’s just so damn good. I’ve been brushing my teeth a lot, lest they should realize what I am doing and just go ahead and rot and fall out as a good preventive measure.

Here's where it’s really amazing. Cellulite that I used to pretend didn’t exist seems to have taken a hint and hit the road. I once again fit into my skinny underwear - you know you have some - the ones that suddenly cut the circulation off at the thighs a little bit. Circulation is cut no more - not for this caramel swigging babe. I’m eating and eating, and I’m the amazing shrinking woman. With large-ish breasts, mind you.

I’m not sure I’d ever realized life could be this great. I eat naughty, naughty foods. I’m the skinniest I’ve been in years, with the biggest boobs of my life. I think they should make a breastfeeding commercial out of me. Because hey Enfamil. Does your formula do all that?


WannabeMommy said...

Dang.... if I ever get pregnant, I am breast feeding FOR SURE. Thanks for putting that out there!

Anonymous said...

You are friggin' awesome April!

MainelyMama said...

You rock!!! Obviously you know how I feel about nursing, Nate's 2 1/2 and still going strong while I'm PG. Thanks for articulating this so well though! I cannot give you enough credit for standing up to those doctors and saying no! I can't believe they told you LIES about the formula. Seriously, what they said about the calories is an outright LIE!!! Argh, doctors aren't even trained about lactation at all and yet they give out advice. Kills me! Anyway, your boys are so lucky to have an informed, thoughtful mama who is willing to fight for the best things for them!

Keep on rocking the mamahood April! You're amazing!!!!! Enjoy those brownies!!!

Jilliane said...

I knew you looked wicked skinny last time I saw you! And those boobs make my eyes bug out of my head. Speaking of, when am I going to see them, I mean you, again?

pam said...

Enjoy it!! I would love to eat sundae topping right out of the jar.

Congrats on the birth of your babies, and way to go on the nursing:)

Christa said...

Great post April! I nursed my twins until I miraculously became pregnant again and during the first few months of pregnancy. It takes a lot out of you but keep eating! I found donuts and ice cream to be helpful in the calorie department!

Congrats and good luck!

Amanda said...

I wish I could find the formula that did that! Oh how I wish I'd been able to breastfeed (damn barely functioning breasts).

Little twin boys rock my socks off!

Sarah Fisher said...

I love reading your blog April!! I too am breastfeeding my twins and love it! Everyone seems to think I am crazy but I find it much easier then bottle feeding and love the bonding! Good luck and hopefully we will be able to get all of the little cuties together soon!