Sunday, January 21, 2007

Milk Chocolate Baby

In our household, we believe that Hershey's Nuggets--do you know them? do you know them and their chocolatey, addictive goodness?--are made from, apparently, chocolate and cocaine. How else to explain the fact that, once the bag is opened, we are powerless to stop eating them until all we have left is a shameful pile of little shiny wrappers? And when I say "we," I mean mainly me. But not entirely. Damn those Hershey's people! How do they do it? How do they make those Nuggets in such a perfect, chunky, nuggety shape that I just adore? Plain milk chocolate, with almonds, with almonds AND toffee--the flavor is irrelevant. It's all addictive.

Which is to say, YES I am back to eating copious amounts of chocolate, since Genevieve doesn't seem to mind anymore. (Now, the dairy? Not so sure about that. Could that have been the cause of Sweet Baby's monstrous constipation?)

But, you know, I'm sort of afraid all this butterfat bypasses me completely and simply goes straight to baby Genevieve. I mean, I must be consuming a million calories a day here, and though I know I have worried in the past about the departure of the nursing-mom metabolism, the truth is that my outrageous appetite--and thus, my outrageous diet--just doesn't affect my weight very much. I may gain a pound or two on occasion (after too many Nuggets), but without fail, after a day of extreme nursing, it's still gone again, and overall I'm pretty effortlessly maintaining my pre-pregnancy weight. But Genevieve? She's chub-a-rrific, as everyone knows. Her cheeks are setting records, I'm sure of it. Her thigh rolls are impressive indeed. She's scrumptious as can be, as scrumptious as any (or should I say, "many"?!) Hershey's Nugget, but....I can't help but wonder if my babies hang out in the 90th weight percentiles all the time because I single-handedly chub them up with my sky's-the-limit-high-fat nursing diet(s). I mean, maybe if I didn't eat my weight in butterfat each day, my children would be 30th, or 50th, percentile babies. Not that those sizes are any better than the fabulously roly-poly states of baby-fat that my girls achieve--I still say that fat babies embody the grand prize of adorableness; but what if they're only that big because I made them so? And deep inside their baby-genes, they're not actually meant to be that big, but are only reacting to, well, the Hershey's Nuggets? Is it fair of me to inflict my fatty diet on my helpless nurslings, just because I can get away with it with little personal physical consequence?

I don't know. But the other day my friend Rachel, newly postpartum and nursing as well, tried to reassure me about the wonders of breastmilk, how its content is magically ideal no matter the nursing mom's diet, how the body knows what the baby needs and creates milk to order, regardless of what mama is consuming. Then she told me how every couple of nights she makes her husband run out and buy her a bag of M&Ms--the big bag, the pounder, you know?, not some wimpy single-serving package, mind you--because the baby is sucking the life energy out of her and nothing else will do. Her argument was that she beats me in the junky-high-fat-high-calorie-chocolate-intensive-nursing-diet department, so I should shut up already and stop worrying. Maybe even eat some more chocolate while I'm at it. It's great to have friends like that, you know?

And, speaking of things sweet and addictive, Julia's pretty much as sweet as they come. The other day, unprovoked, she said to me, "Mama, I love you. I love you more than anything." Since she still says her "l's" like "y's," it was all the more heart-melting. It felt like early Valentine's Day around here. Love and chocolate--it's all good.

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