UP THE DUFF Week 17: The Hunger Games.

UP THE DUFF Week 17: The Hunger Games.

up the duff Wed week 17

Pregnancy hunger is like no other hunger in the world.

It goes above and beyond any willpower you think you have, any willpower you once had or basically any logical or rational thinking whatsoever. Of course, you can try to play hunger games with yourself – ie, push yourself beyond just peckish, which may never have been an issue before – but expect 100 percent to turn into a crazy person who does crazy shit in order to EAT IMMEDIATELY. Your baby may the size of an ant, but that kid has some cojones when it comes to getting sustenance.

Take the time I rocked up to the chemist to get some medication. I was a bit hungry, and it was the early days; maybe week 8 of my pregnancy. I was still ignorant about the sudden hunger thing and had neglected to pack snacks. I had assumed – wrongly – that once I picked up my meds, I could go to a lovely cafe next door and order a great Moroccan chicken salad and the bump and I would be sorted.

How wrong I was.

The bubba, deep inside, was thinking: 10 minutes in the chemist, and that’s if no one with a gammy leg and an out-of-date prescription holds up the pharmacist, five minutes walking to the cafe, ten minutes trying to get the waitress’s attention and at least another 15 until my Moroccan chicken salad arrives. That’s like 40 minutes away. I AM NOT WAITING FORTY MINUTES TO EAT MAMA SO YOU CAN JUST FORGET THAT SHIT. 

Soon after, something I like to call The Hunger Mist descended and like an automaton I made for the chemist’s display of black jellybeans, ripped open a packet and started to pour the contents into my mouth. I noticed the lady at the counter watching me with some consternation and I stopped mid gobble to reassure her. “I’m sorry but I’m pregnant and if I don’t eat these right now I will probably kill someone,” I said, wild-eyed.

She just smiled and told me to go right ahead. She’d either had her fair share of crazy pregnant ladies in there stealing jellybeans, or she didn’t want me to knife her. Don’t worry, I paid for them.

Another time, probably about week 10, I went to visit my friends Tim and Lisa when I was dangerously close to That Time When I Needed To Eat Or Else. I vaguely remember Timmy opening the door and me pushing past him into the kitchen. When The Mist cleared, I was in their kitchen shoving Vegemite toast into my gob while they stared at me like I was a complete lunatic. Which I was. Who rocks up to a friends’ place, barely greets them and goes and makes toast in their kitchen without asking? A hungry pregnant woman, that’s who. Lucky they have a sense of humour.

My parents have also been bit players in The Hunger Games during the past few months. When I stayed at mum and dad’s with a bout of the flu AND bad morning / all day sickness, they had to feed me regularly and if they didn’t I would bellow from my bed down the stairs, ‘WHERE IS MY TOAST I NEED TOAST NOW’. I was also going through a popsicle phase so they bought them in bulk and fed them to me at hourly intervals like I was a crazed animal in the zoo. I’m not proud of the fact that my diet in the early days basically consisted of popsicles, toast and squeezed orange juice. (It’s much better now, promise.)

Mr Chick has also been very understanding. When I was very sick and very hungry, he bowed to my every whim. Ice-cream and hot chips, I whimpered one rainy Saturday. A peri-peri burger. A ramen. A noodle soup. A popsicle. A berry smoothie. Dumplings with chilli sauce. Vegemite toast. Homemade pasta with pesto like the man on telly did it. My husband has cooked and toasted and scoured Newtown eateries to feed me and his future child for months and been nothing but patient about it, no matter how irrationally hangry I get. One night recently after ignoring my growling hunger a wee bit too long (you’d think I’d have learned my lesson by week 17, but no) I even turned on him in the street and said, Exorcist-like, I NEED TO EAT RIGHT NOW MAKE IT HAPPEN OR THERE WILL BE TROUBLE.

Five minutes later, I was in a comfy restaurant chair with a bowl of pasta on the way. He gets it.

horseyRemember the hunger? Did you have any crazy hungry pregnant moments? Please share so I don’t feel like a total freak. Oh, and if you had a weird preggo craving I would LOVE to hear about it. So far, mine have all been boring (Vegemite toast, anyone?)

Journalist. New mama. Mr Chick's missus. Blogger at The Mama Files, Reality Chick, Letter To My Ex and Rachel's List. Author of sex advice book, Get Lucky. Writer for Good Health, CLEO, Woman's Day, Inside Out, NineMSN and many more. Current fantasy: adding a rooftop hot-tub to the house.


  1. juzzy 8 years ago

    Hmm – it’s a funny one. I never felt that crazy craving food thing with my first pregnancy but the second pregnancy was a whole different story. My craving, that lasted about 8 months? McDonald’s! ! Seriously 3 times a week – absolutely disgusting and no wonder I was enormous after he was born!

    • Author

      I know someone else who also said she ate Mackas like it was going out of style … and this is someone VERY healthy. Like, quinoa and kale healthy 🙂

  2. Wacky 8 years ago

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news but the mist grows even stronger if you’re breastfeeding. I know I know, it’s hard to imagine, but I remember looking at my darling husband in the kitchen thinking if he doesn’t move away from the fridge NOW I will stab him!!!
    You’re not alone….
    Oh and my weirdness was I couldn’t stand the smell of chocolate! Chocolate I tell you! Couldn’t stomach Thai food either. I love both of them!

    • Author

      That is bizarre. (The chocolate thing, not the stabbing thing.)

      I love Mr Chick really – but he has learned not to stand in the way of me shoving food in my gob 🙂

      As for breastfeeding hunger, don’t terrify me – I can barely manage as it is haha

  3. Sim Star 8 years ago

    I remember being so hungry during pregnancy too (I had to eat every 3 hours despite the hearburn). I would eat then feel the heartburn and gag it all up only to do it again and again all day. Now I remember why I stopped at two kids. hehehe.

    When I breastfed I reckon I consumed about 4000 calories a day mainly in cereals (mmm Just Right and Sultana Bran were my favourites with cold full cream milk). My babies were born 10 pound and then 9 pound and so they also had mighty appetites.

    I gained so much weight breastfeeding for 1.5 years each baby and so did my sister. We weren’t the lucky ones who lost weight breastfeeding.

    The good news is it eventually comes off (even if it took me 10 years) and now I’m smaller than I was prior to falling pregnant.

    • Author

      I definitely went through a weetbix phase, although it was usually a midnight snack thing – and yes. COLD full-cream milk on top for me too! Mmmm.

      I’ve heard that before about mums who end up slimmer after falling pregnant. Given weight loss is a major struggle for me no matter what I hope this is my experience too 🙂

  4. Cyndie 8 years ago

    You are so funny Rachel! You make me laugh! I’m so happy for you, congrats again on the fantastic news! 🙂 xx

  5. Trudi 8 years ago

    Oh this made me laugh. 2 things to share with you:
    1. You will never, never believe the size those puppies are going to be when your milk comes in
    2. If you think pregnancy hunger is bad, wait till the first few weeks of breast feeding!! Oh my god, I had a muesli bar on my bed side table for the middle of the night, its crazy. And the best bit? You keep eating and just keep getting skinnier!
    Good luck and waiting to hear about next weeks plight!! X

    • Author

      I did the muesli bar nightstand thing in the first trimester. I remember eating it once and trying not to rustle at around 3am!

      Now I carry a muesli bar in every bag when I leave the house… once I forgot it and it wasn’t pretty. Crackers don’t seem to do anything for me (unless it’s cheese and crackers, and I carry those too on occasion).

      I hope you’re right about the breast-feeding. I’ve heard the opposite from a few women who say they put on weight / didn’t lose weight until they stopped!

      This week’s is a doozy. Stay tuned. X

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