Why you really should eat a good breakfast when you’re pregnant, part 2

My sweet and wild second child
My sweet and wild second child

This morning (the morning of the day that I would be totally humiliated) had to be different.

There was a funeral scheduled for late morning and I was to play the piano. That meant I had to be up, showered, dressed, made-up, beautified, practiced, and fed. Yes, fed. I was so proud of myself when I sat down to eat my breakfast of Cheerios and grape juice. Wow, I was really taking care of myself. This morning I knew I had to have all of my energy and strength at top-notch.

Little did I know that in less than twenty-four hours people would be chastising me for eating this  meager breakfast that at the time I was so proud of.

Everything was going completely fine with the funeral. Maybe, maybe, I felt a little tired, hot, and thirsty; but seriously, I don’t think I thought of any of this until it was too late.

A soloist got up to sing “The Old Rugged Cross” before the message. Somewhere during the second or third verse, the darkness and stars started to invade my vision. That’s weird. I had passed out before in high school so at least I was familiar with that sensation. Oh well, I’ll be fine; I know how to play this song without looking. 

By this time all I could see was complete black, but I could still hear the man singing and my playing sounded okay… until it stopped sounding okay. Wait, that’s not right. I’m supposed to play a B flat chord here. I remember still not being worried; I know where that chord is; but I kept searching for it and couldn’t find it. Wow, this sounds bad; this sounds weird. 

At that point, I stopped having thoughts. I just knew that whatever I was playing was not right.

People in the crowded auditorium started to wonder what was wrong. The soloist began to wonder if he had made a mistake; he kept coming back in, trying to find where he was supposed to be. My mom, who was in attendance, told me later that she was thinking, “Someone better get up there and do something.”

Thankfully, my knight in shining armor realized I needed help. Paul came up to the piano and put his arms around me (which was good, first because I always love his arms around me, and second, because this particular time it kept me from collapsing on the ground)

“Hey Bud, are you okay?”


“I’m going to help you walk off.”

“No, you don’t understand; I can’t see you. Everything’s black. You’re going to have to carry me.”

So there I went, off the stage, carried in my husband’s arms.

There went the little girl everyone had watched grow up. There went the girl who had played the piano for everything that had happened in that church for the last who knows how long. There went the person who had never needed anything. There went all that pride. Wait, actually, I think it stayed on the piano bench.

This would begin my realization that pregnancy is different from normal. Something wacko is happening with my body, and I better figure out what to do about it.

Seriously, Christie, why did it take blacking out at a FUNERAL?????

Why you really should eat a good breakfast while you’re pregnant, part 1

My first little monkey
My first little monkey

When I got married I knew how to part-write pretty well; I could analyze preludes and fugues; I could sightread about any piece of music that you could put in front of me. I could wash and wax a car until it gleamed; and that’s about all. (Notice I didn’t say anything about cooking, preparing food, knowing what a well-balanced meal was, etc.)

When I found out I was pregnant, I knew I would need some help. So I drove my husband’s little white truck to our little local library. There I checked out as many books as I could regarding pregnancy, went home, read them, and became extremely grossed out at the pictures.

At our first doctor’s appointment, the nurse went through a very specific list of foods and drugs that I could not eat and also a few items that I could take, just in moderation, or after so many weeks, and whatever.

Everyone I knew expressed their deep happiness over our coming baby. I got oohs and ahs and hugs and pats and well-wishes ’til I could not contain anymore.

But in all of this, I missed out on something very important. Either I failed to read it in the library books, or didn’t hear it in the doctor’s appointment. I definitely did not receive any advice from friends or family regarding it; perhaps they just didn’t understand how ignorant I was about it all.

But I learned. Oh, did I learn.

When you are pregnant, you have to eat

There’s another little person in there, and they’re hungry, too. Even if you’re as sick as a dying goldfish, you have to eat.

Because if you don’t, your body will take whatever sustenance it has stored and give it to that new, sweet, deserving little person.

And that will leave you with nothing. And when your body has to run on nothing, it isn’t pretty.

Case and point:

With my first pregnancy, I was sick at night. About seven o’clock I would begin to feel just awful. The thought of eating would make me groan. Even lying down felt awful, and it would be late before I could get to sleep.

For this reason, it was very hard to wake up in the morning. I would stay in bed ’til the last possible minute and then rush to get ready to go teach piano lessons. Most mornings, I went without eating. (Remember the whole not knowing anything about food part? Well, I didn’t know at all how to stock a pantry, or even buy groceries; so most of the time there wasn’t even anything to eat in the house.) If I grabbed a granola bar or an apple, I thought I was doing good.

But then it came. The morning of the day that I would be humiliated…