My pregnancy with my first child was extremely difficult. The baby was healthy, but I was constantly nauseous. Actually, nauseous doesn’t even cover it. I was an involuntary disgruntled bulimic. Over the course of 7 months, I graced multiple public places with vomit.
My highlights were a Durham Bulls game, the potted plant outside my office building, a red light on Capital Blvd and my own birthday party (which promptly ended the party, long before any wishes were made on the candles).
Towards the end I didn’t even apologize for it, I just wiped up, popped a mint and kept trucking. People gave me all kinds of tricks to get rid of the “morning” sickness but nothing worked. The doctor finally prescribed the little blue pill… Zofran. At that point in my life, I had never loved anything more than the contents of that bottle. I had them near me at all times, they were my life line to sanity.I lived a happy, vomit-free life for a few weeks before the preeclampsia/toxemia took over. I could eat again but was on bed rest for the last few weeks of pregnancy. The combination of toxemia and bed rest caused me to gain a lot of weight… 65 pounds to be exact. 65 POUNDS! That’s a Backstreet Boy y’all!
My round and red-headed baby girl came a little over 3 weeks early. She was perfect in every way. Her mother, on the other hand, was a hot mess. I had to stay in the hospital for what felt like an eternity and because I was so sick, I wasn’t able to breastfeed.
I met with the lactation consultant and she gave me the best prescription I’ve ever gotten. Cheesecake. I was instructed to eat a piece of cheesecake every day to enrich my milk. I was desperate, I would have done anything but was very willing to step aboard The Cheesecake Express.
We finally came home on Superbowl Sunday. I walked through the door, put the carrier on the coffee table and just stared at her. What in the world do we do now? We had spent 8 months getting ready for this baby, now she was laying in my living room and I didn’t have the first clue what do with her. She looked cozy and cuddly so I ate a slice of cheesecake and passed out with her snuggled close.
The weeks passed, the mom gene kicked in and I fell more in love with her every day. I also ate my cheesecake every day. Walking into The Cheesecake Factory was like walking into Cheers, everybody knew my name. I wasn’t loosing any baby weight but my genius daughter had mastered breastfeeding and was growing, which was all that mattered.
The lactation consultant called about a month later to check in on us. I praised her endlessly for her prescription, and swore my love for her forever. She cut me off mid-praise and said “Wait, you’re still eating cheesecake? I meant that you should eat it for a week or so.”
I had eaten a piece of cheesecake every day for a month y’all. A MONTH! That child was gaining weight like a heavy weight prizefighter, and I was definitely still shopping in the spanx aisle of the maternity section.
Nine years later, she doesn’t like any kind of cheesecake and I still cherish every bite. But I’ll only let myself eat it a few times a year for fear of another Backstreet Boy strapped to my midsection.