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Protein Woes

As a gastric bypass patient, I have been dedicated my entire journey to getting at least 100 grams of protein per day for the past two years since my surgery. Unfortunately, pregnancy has completely changed all of that.

I tried and fell in love with AchievOne, this DELICIOUS protein drink that one of my support group buddies recommended to our group. Nevermind that it’s 37.00 for a case of 12 bottles, I didn’t care because I LIKED it. Well, that is, I liked it before I got pregnant. Now, I don’t know why it has to be this way, but pregnancy simply changes a woman’s tastes, or so it seems. Almost overnight, I developed a STRONG aversion to my beloved AchievOne drinks (which, in a way, I’m glad because of the expense) and am finding it harder and harder to choke down ANYTHING related to my protein regimen. And this makes me a sad momma!

Before becoming pregnant, I could get in 100 to 120 grams of protein per day. Most of my protein intake came from protein powders and supplements and ready-to-drink proteins like the AchievOne. I’m not a big meat eater and because of these braces on my teeth I have trouble chewing food anyway, so obviously I had to find a do-able source for nutrition. Now, though? Fuggetaboudit. The thought of protein…the mere THOUGH…turns my stomach. Right now, I’m sipping on an EAS ready-to-drink carb control that offers up 17g of protein, but I wince with every drink. It’s not that I dislike the stuff now…it’s just that I would RATHER be eating something salty, or carb-y or a combination of salty and carb-y!

Todd bought a jar of Vlassic Zesty Dill Stackers. The entire jar lasted less than 24 hours and he didn’t get even one pickle! I polished off an entire jar of manzanillo olives and bought more within 2 days. Each time, I washed the pickles and olives down with a glass of Dutch Chocolate chocolate milk. Hey, at least the milk has protein, right?

So. Combined with whatever I can get down the hatch for lunch and dinner without throwing up, I would say I get about 40 grams of protein per day. I am deeply concerned about this because I’ve seen gastric patients who DON’T do their protein supplements and to tell you the truth, they look drawn up and OLD. I do NOT want to look old before my time! I’ve always looked younger than my real age and I don’t want to start now by screwing myself out of my youth, hehehe. I’m also concerned because protein is very important to a growing fetus. Todd read in one of his books that protein helps the baby’s brain and cognitive development. It scares and concerns me that I have gone from 120 grams per day down to a measley 40 grams. As a gastric patient, we absorb only about HALF of what we consume (which is what causes the weight loss)…so in reality I’m only consuming half of whatever protein intake I’m getting right now. And that ain’t a lot, let me tell you.

At our first appointment a few weeks ago, I expressed this concern to my OB. He was not concerned at all, stating instead just to eat whatever I could possibly get down. The bad thing is that I can eat sweets and carbs until the cows come home but protein sources make me want to gag. Still, he was not at all concerned, stating instead that this should change or go back to normal by the second trimester. THIS WEEK, I’m heading into my 9th week of pregnancy, with only 3 more to go until I hit the second trimester, and I can’t wait. I’ve been nauseous, tired and very pukey feeling for the last I-don’t-know-how-long, and I cannot WAIT to feel “normal” again, whatever that means, and get back to eating the correct way for my lifestyle.

I am disappointed in myself in the area of exercise, also. The doc said I was fine to exercise and that it would make delivery easier, blah blah blah, and I have videos and an eliptical just waiting for me in the living room, but have I tried either in the last 9 weeks? NO. This is ridiculous! I got on the scale this morning and it said 146.0,which isn’t bad considering I WAS 149.9 last week. I’m not TRYING to lose weight, trust me. I eat every sweet thing in sight, too.

I keep telling myself that when the weather gets nicer, when it stops raining, I will walk the dogs. They need the exercise just as badly as I do, only Buttons COULD stand to lose a few pounds whereas Peety and I are fine how we are, hehehehe. My friend Bobby says Buttons has TREASURES, not junk in her trunk, but she is a hefty pooch anyway! LOL. You know what I REALLY want to do???? Strap on my rollerskates, put on my iPod and get after it at the track or the church parking lot. THAT is excellent exercise and it really doesn’t feel like exercise. But, I have a husband who’d freak out if I put on rollerskates while preggo! LOL. Even though I have all the protective gear, he would still have a conniption fit!

Anxiety is high for me right now due to the fact that a small part of me keeps waiting for this pregnancy to take a wrong turn, and for something bad to happen. I know, I know, that is not having faith in God to take care of things, but I’m still human. I was at about 8 weeks when I had the miscarriage so I’ve pretty much secretly been holding my breath, waiting but praying that nothing bad happens. So far, everything has been great. My doctor isn’t concerned at all and he even told us to just keep the faith. So. As I head into my 9th week this week, it is with a grateful heart. Every day, it is becoming even more real that in less than a year, we’ll have a real live baby of our very own. OMG! Life as we know it will never be the same.

And for that, I am excited and hopeful and nervous all at the same time!

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