…the advice. When we first found out, I was enormously flustered – what should I eat? What should I stop eating? Should I exercise more or less or only on days when the moon is still visible after eight a.m.? What about hair products and household cleaners and chemicals at work?
I may not have been quite obsessive about it, but I easily spent hours on pregnancy and parenting websites, reading forums and articles,saturating myself with information that was, in most cases, particularly unhelpful.
I bought some vitamins. Then we started to break the news, and everybody had a little something to contribute.
In the first week, I was told that I should eat peanut butter every day (for the protein), but also that I should never eat peanut butter (because it might cause peanut allergies); I should drink orange juice often (for the vitamins) but not too often (because of the acidity); I should eat fish everyday (for the protein), but no more than once a month (because of the mercury content). Then, just yesterday, I heard a radio announcement stating that US doctors are now recommending that pregnant and nursing mothers eat fish at three meals a week, which fortunately by now made me laugh instead of dissolve into a confused and overwhelmed little puddle.
But fish or no fish, I’m learning a lot about moderation and trust through all this. The information out there changes so often, and every mother and every baby is so different, and each generation follows such a different set of guidelines (people used to smoke while pregnant, remember? And – I’m not condoning this, you know – some of those babies turned out just fine), that it’s easy to get bogged down by all the potential risks involved in a “healthy pregnancy” and so miss out on the fun and wonder of it all.
I realize that I must flatter myself that I have much more control over things than I really do, as if following the right diet plan is a flawless recipe for a healthy baby, but I think that sifts some of the mystery right out of the whole process. God is creating a life right now, not just a set of functioning cells and sinews and bones, and that just floors me. Of course I’ll do the very best that I can, but I know (because he reminds me often) that he’ll do the rest.