I hesitate in front of the refrigerator in the supermarket. Being a vegan, I usually fast-track past the dairy section, but today I deviate from my normal round. I study the different types of yogurt. Organic, of course. Hmm, blueberries.
This excursion into the realms of dairy, now more than a month ago, is part of a story that started with two lines on a pregnancy test. Freddy and I are expecting a baby! Besides joy and morning sickness, this also made me feel very uncertain about my diet. I always felt that I ate healthy, simply by eating lots of vegetables and legumes and taking vitamin B12. But would it also be enough for a growing fetus?
The Vegan Society provided a good overview, put together by a dietitian. But when I read the section on iodine, I started to panic. Iodine plays an important role in developing a baby’s brain. Apparently I had to take a supplement for this – iodised salt is hard to get in the UK (we managed to find it now) and it’s not added to bread. Iodine is only given to cows and milk is therefore the main source.
I found out that iodine was included in the supplement that we have always used, but that we had just stopped using. So I quickly ordered it again, but I did not want to wait until it arrived. That’s how I ended up in the dairy section of the supermarket. By now, the food stress is under control. Next to the supplement, I eat a bit more of the ‘vegan foodie’ stuff: tofu, chia seeds, kale, walnuts.
The one person who is not panicking, is the little creature in my abdomen. During the ultrasound we saw her/ him calmly drifting around in the amniotic fluid, which showed up in black on the screen. Dark water is where the world started according to most creation myths. It is the place where things can grow, undisturbed by the hustle and bustle around them.
Yesterday we were in Medway for the Walk for Peace and a meal with friends. Good news gets better when you share it — that was my experience when I told the people that I see as my spiritual family about my pregnancy. The person who grows in my belly puts everything in a different perspective. Life finds a way, often despite rather than due to our efforts to do everything perfectly.