No, I'm Not Pregnant, But Thanks for Asking!

A few weeks ago I saw a distraught post from a neighbor and fellow mom on Facebook. She had been working hard to lose her baby weight, and another mom had just congratulated her at the playground for being pregnant with baby #2. Catch is, she wasn’t. And now she felt awful about herself.

WTF? I was so disgusted that anyone, especially another mom, would be so thoughtless.

I’ve seen this mom a number of times recently, and I never once suspected that she was expecting. But even if I did, I’d never actually ask someone if they were pregnant. Bloating happens. That’s why we all have fat jeans in our closets.

Then, last Friday, the same thing happened to me.

Chris and I were walking up the street to our apartment. I was carrying Mason (similar to the way I carried him over Memorial Day Weekend, left) and we were all laughing,  in a good mood because it was the weekend and Bug had a fun new toy to play with.

Suddenly some random women passes us and yells: “You shouldn’t be carrying him!”

Startled, I stopped walking and asked “Why?” I know–I shouldn’t engage with randoms on the street, but I was just so caught off guard.

“You’ve got a baby, don’t you?” she demanded.

Horrified, I responded that no, I did not.

Her reply? “Oh.” And she kept on walking, totally unapologetic for her mistake. As if we had just had a quick exchange about the weather.

Now I was the one who was devastated. I hate to admit that her comment ruined my night, but it did. Despite countless hours of therapy I still care way too much about what other people say. It sucks.

Chris spent the rest of the walk to our apartment insisting that I looked great, to ignore the rude stranger, but I was just so mortified! I’m not stick skinny, and I was admittedly looking a little bloated, but I don’t think I look knocked up.

I sent an emergency email to my trainer, and then started texting about the horrifying encounter to a few close girlfriends. Of course each one jumped to my defense, slowly rebuilding my confidence. (That’s the flip side of putting too much stock in what other people say; you feel built up as quickly as you feel torn down.)

I’ve been sucking in my stomach ever since and glancing at my profile every time I walk past a window. Must hit the gym lots this week.

Jessica Simpson: Lamaze Class Zaps Your Energy

Being a mom has introduced me to the kind of exhaustion that you can feel in your bones. It’s so worth it, but it’s astonishing how draining it is to keep up with an 18-month-old. The eating battles alone wear me down, not to mention chasing him from here to there since he no longer walks, he runs! So I had to laugh–no, crack up–when I heard  Jessica Simpson  tell Jay Leno last night on the Tonight Show that she’s skipping Lamaze class because she thinks it would make her too tired to actually deliver her daughter.

“You watch these women in Lamaze class and they just get so out of breath,” she says. “I feel like how do you even have the energy to push if you’re completely out of breath and seeing stars from breathing?”

Her quirky logic cracks me up, and I’m looking forward to her first interview after her baby is born. I imagine that there will be many jaw-dropping Did she really just say that? moments. (Remember the “Chicken or fish?” convo on The Newlyweds?) Let’s just hope she rests up while she can. I can assure her that parenthood is way more draining than Lamaze class–and the exercise clause that’s probably in her “lose the baby weight” deal with Weight Watchers will be, too.

Reality Star Bethenny Frankel Talks About Miscarriage

Today is one of those days that I’m going to go off-topic. As many of you know, I’m’s Pregnancy Editor, so occasionally I write about pregnancy-related topics that catch my eye, usually a story in the news. My next post will be about food and nutrition–I promise!

I think pregnancy is magical, exciting, terrifying, and, for some people, difficult. I remember my fear of miscarrying when I was pregnant with Mason, and so I was incredibly touched when Bethenny Frankel bravely revealed on the Today Show this morning that she had suffered a recent miscarriage at eight-weeks-pregnant.  My heart broke for her as she shared her anguish with host Savannah Guthrie. The 41-year-old admitted that she’s still struggling to make sense of the devastating loss. I’m sure, for her, it’s even more difficult because people are constantly asking her when she’s going to have another baby–and while they’re interviewing her on camera, no less.

Like many women today, Bethenny established her career before she got married and had a baby. Her adorable daughter Brynn is 21-months-old–and she had said previously that she wouldn’t be able to wait long if she wanted a second baby due to her advanced maternal age. I hope with all my heart that this miscarriage is an isolated incident and she goes on to become pregnant again with a healthy baby. But the reality is that it’s much harder to become pregnant in your 40s than it is in your 20s. It’s easy to forget that there is a time stamp on our fertility, particularly in New York City, where Bethenny and I live; it seems like everyone here waits until they’re older to have a baby.

I’m incredibly lucky to have never suffered a miscarriage (knock on wood). However, I think and sometimes worry about my fertility all the time (my mother would call it “borrowing trouble”). Blame it on my day job–I’ve edited quite a few pieces on infertility. I’m also just months away from my 35th birthday, and after 35 there are increased risks in pregnancy. I’m not a millionaire TV star, but  I did delay having a baby until I was in my early 30s so that I could get to a certain point in my career first. If I do face secondary fertility, I’d like to think that I’ll be as gracious as Bethenny and be grateful for the baby I have instead of fearful that I may never have another. Do you ever think about secondary infertility, or have you struggled with infertility in your life?

Photo: Bethenny Frankel at the American premiere of “Couples Retreat” at Mann’s Village Theatre, Westwood via Featureflash/

Did Your Pregnancy Cravings Influence Your Child's Eating Habits?

UPDATE 1/18/12: A friend sent me this photo last night, taken five days before Mason was born. We were mini golfing and, in the middle of the game, I just had to have a giant rice krispie treat–one of my pregnancy cravings–from a nearby coffee shop.

Last night a very pregnant Jessica Simpson told Extra correspondent Mario Lopez that she was craving “the stuff she ate as a kid,” including mac ‘n’ cheese from a box, pop tarts, and Cap’n Crunch cereal. Ugh, how can she eat that junk? I thought. Then I flashed back to my pregnancy and remembered that while I ate very healthfully most of the time, I enjoyed my share of indulgences, too. Hold that judgement, sister.  There was the mid-morning dish of ice cream every day at work for the last four weeks of my pregnancy, not to mention giant rice krispie treats, globs of cream cheese on gluten-free pretzels, and spoonfuls of peanut butter directly from the jar. Mason’s had the good stuff I ate, including lots of fresh veggies, fruits, chicken, and salmon, as well as the cream cheese and the peanut butter, and he’s a fan of it all. While he’s gotten picky about when he will and will not eat specific foods, and his preferences seem to change by the minute, we’ve been blessed with a child who will eat a range of different foods and spices.

But did my morning strawberry-banana smoothies translate to Mason’s love of these fruits? After all, they’re both pretty popular. Is he destined to have an ice cream addiction because I did? I guess we’ll have to see (my 16-month-old rarely eats ice cream). Will he eat spoonfuls of peanut butter directly from the jar, too? Probably, but don’t lots of people? Does he like roast chicken, lobster, and grilled salmon because I did? It’s hard to say….

Curious, I Goggled the topic. There were lots of old wives tales, of course, but then I stumbled across a news report on a related study, which was published by NPR last August: “Research shows that what a woman eats during pregnancy not only nourishes her baby in the womb, but may shape food preferences later in life.” While the study’s results were not definitive, a connection between a mother-to-be’s eating habits and her baby’s preferences does make sense. After all, fetuses drink amniotic fluid, which is flavored by the foods and beverages their mother consumes. Julie Mennella, who studies taste in infants at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, in Philadelphia, adds that there isn’t a single flavor they have found that doesn’t show up in utero, according to the report. Makes sense to me–I’ll buy the theory that what I ate during my pregnancy did shape Mason’s eating habits, at least somewhat. What do you think? Does your baby or toddler enjoy the foods you craved most during your pregnancy?

Jessica Simpson Isn't Trying to Make New Moms Feel Fat

Tonight I’m veering off-topic. Normally this blog is about feeding your baby and toddler, but I’ve got baby weight on the brain. (Blame it on the day job: I’m’s Pregnancy Editor!) I’m not talking about my own baby weight, which is gone at this point, I’m talking about Jessica Simpson’s baby weight. The starlet isn’t due until early next year, but how she’ll shed those post-pregnancy pounds is already a hot topic.

If you haven’t heard, the New York Post is reporting that Jessica did indeed “ink” an estimated $3 million deal  with Weight Watchers. (Rumors have been swirling about a deal for weeks.) “‘After having her baby, she’ll start with Weight Watchers to lose her baby weight,'” according to a source quoted by the Post. “Simpson has another reason to get in shape fast — she hopes to wed her fiancé, Eric Johnson, soon after she gives birth.” Since that report came out, I’ve been reading some pretty harsh criticism on — and I just don’t get it.

There’s still a lot of speculation about the terms of the agreement,  but I don’t see anything in the Post‘s article about Jessica going on a crash diet the second she pushes the baby out. Rather, it’s noted that she’ll start working with a reputable weight-loss program to lose her baby weight. What’s so wrong with that? Is it because she’s monetizing it?

In my opinion, Simpson is making a responsible decision. Some Hollywood celebs promote an unhealthy body image, and they lose their baby weight in ways unknown at lightning-speed, but Jessica Simpson has never struck me as one of those celebrities. (In fact, the press repeatedly calls her fat.) I interpret the deal as her making a sound weight-loss plan. Furthermore, Jessica Simpson will not be the first new mom to turn to a weight-loss program in the postpartum months. Nor is she the first new mom who has hoped to lose her baby weight soon after her baby is born.

If a factual report comes out that Jessica’s deal includes crazy weight-loss tactics, then I’ll take all of this back. But for now, based on what we know, I say that we give Jessica a break. Who’s with me?