For most moms, pregnancy is a joyful and blissful time. You always hear about the fun parts of pregnancy like food cravings. Women begging their partners for pickles and ice cream at 3 A.M. or inhaling economy size bags of chips and salsa.
When I was pregnant with Lily, I craved oranges, strawberries and Yoplait yogurt. Normally, I’m a Dannon yogurt girl, but for some reason, while pregnant with Lily, I only ever wanted to eat Yoplait. I loved oranges. Every afternoon around 3P.M. I would have this strong craving for an orange. And they tasted delicious. I swear they were the best oranges I have ever eaten. Again, that was a result of Lily because the oranges were certainly not in season. Every night, I would have strawberries and whipped cream. We ate a lot of fruit, but strawberries and oranges were the biggest hits.
The cravings stopped almost immediately after Lily died. I remember eating an orange the day after her birth/death while still in the hospital, and it did not taste good. The magic was gone.
Lily was my first child and she was stillborn. When your first pregnancy ends in a loss, you also lose the joyful, blissful, magical pregnancy. I went on to have three more babies – all born healthy and at term – but the magic never returned.
I never experienced the fun food cravings. No fun stories to tell people about what I made my husband do to satisfy an urge. In fact, during my pregnancies after loss, I do not remember having any strong food cravings. The first trimesters I could barely eat because I felt sick all the time. Even though my appetite returned during the second trimesters, I still did not crave anything really. During one pregnancy, I was on a modified diet because of gestational diabetes so even if I had cravings, I could not really give into them. My lack of an appetite and cravings was probably due to anxiety.
I did, however, have strong cravings while pregnant after loss. These were intense and palpable. While pregnant with my first rainbow, and after constantly being asked about my cravings, I wrote this list:
What do I crave?
To just make it another week further in this pregnancy. This craving and the next have been the only constants this entire pregnancy.
To hear a heart beat every week at our doctor’s appointment.
Now that the baby is moving, to feel him/her squirm every day. And some days it is the only thing I want, especially if the baby is not particularly active that day. I have come up with all sorts of ways to get the baby to move to make mommy feel better.
To make it to the scheduled procedure to remove the cerclage, so I no longer have to worry about going into labor and possibly tearing my cervix.
To hear my baby cry. I swear that will be music to my ears.
To hear the doctor say “It’s a boy” or “It’s a girl” after delivery rather than “the baby has no heartbeat” and the silence that follows those words.
To snuggle a warm, live baby.
To bring my baby home and to watch him/her grow up!
Those were my pregnancy cravings during PAL. No cravings for pickles and ice cream, just an intense craving for another life to come into and stay in mine.