My children are now old, 31 and 28 to be exact. Memories of pregnancy, childbirth and screaming toddlers have shifted into a distance blur. However, there is one thing that stands out as clearly as if it were yesterday and that is the day I, a committed vegetarian had to gorge myself on meat.
It happened twice. The first time was the pregnancy with my daughter. We were sitting in our kitchen and I started to scream at my husband,
“I have to have a salt beef sandwich, Now.”
He started to laugh, “You’re vegetarian.”
“Not today,” I remember screaming.
When he realised I was quite serious, he rushed out to see if he could find a suitable sandwich with extra salt beef.
When he arrived home I snatched it from his hand and devoured it as if I was a crazy, half starved animal. I still remember the look of complete shock on his face. I have been a vegetarian since the age of 16 and he has never seen me eat meat. I ate the sandwich quietly, relishing every bite, licked my lips and that was the end of the craving.
The second occasion I was pregnant with my son. This time it was chopped liver!
The craving came over me like a sudden, mad wave and to be honest I would have killed to get hold of a lump of chop liver and stick it on a cracker. I felt I was going mad. “Now, now,” I remember screaming to my utterly perplexed husband. Usually I am quite calm and have a strict no meat diet. Somehow he managed to scrounge some chopped liver from some kind neighbour and I remember eating it without any remorse for the dead animal or for breaking a long dietary regime. I just needed chopped liver and that was it.
As with the salt beef, the craving came and went and not a mouthful has touched my lips ever since. The joys of pregnancy!