Diabetes

The Weight Gain

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I wanted to write a post about how I’m feeling because, after all, this was a blog about gaining and losing weight and addressing body image is important to me. Read these two recent posts about the topic of weight gain and pregnancy:

Let’s Talk About Weight

Body Changes During Pregnancy

For the last few months I’ve been handling the weight gain pretty well. It was slow in the first trimester, most of the second trimester it was steady but not extreme. Then around 26 weeks I had a big jump. Even though everything I read said this was normal around that time period, it was kind of devastating. I was shocked to see an 8 pound difference from last doctor appointment. 8 pounds in one month?!

After talking to some friends that had had babies and reading that this jump was normal, I was able to talk myself down a bit and not beat myself up about the weight gain. After all, I had been staying consistent with my fitness (working out 5 days a week) and I was still counting my calories and 85% of the time I was staying within the range my doctor suggested.

Then at 27 weeks the bump POPPED. It wasn’t a cute little bump anymore, it was a “wow there’s definitely a baby in there” bump. It’s crazy to see a drastic change in just one week. Where did that big bump come from?!?

Once I was in the third trimester and the weight was consistently climbing and the baby was getting bigger, I was struggling. A lot. I’d have good days and I’d have bad days. It was hard to see my body changing in such a major way. It was HARD not to compare those changes to the OLD body I used to have. I kept trying to remind myself that this is pregnancy, I was gaining weight for a healthy baby, not because I was obese.

Those old memories were hard to shake, though.

It was hard not to focus on the number.  It was hard not to feel like I was back at my 25 year old self when I was obese. At my highest weight I was 255 pounds or so.

What’s hard to ignore is just HOW HARD I WORKED to lose that 110 pounds. It took nearly 2 years of hard work, daily effort, diligence and focus to lose the weight. So seeing the number on the scale tick up and up felt like a failure to that success.

It’s difficult to articulate just how it feels. Because logically I know it’s ok. My doctor isn’t concerned with my rate of weight gain. Everything has come back normal, right on target, baby is healthy. I’m happy I am able to stay active and workout, even if I am modifying a lot of activities. That has definitely helped my body image, self-esteem and just general mood. Working out gives me a boost of happy feelings and that’s good. So if I can still workout, feel good and I know logically that things are normal and ok, why do I get bummed out when I see my body getting bigger??

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It’s been said before many times but it’s really true. Comparison is the thief of joy. It is SO HARD not to compare yourself to other pregnant ladies. I’ll see them at the gym and it looks like they are further along then I am, yet they are all stick thin with a basketball belly. You know the type. They don’t seem to be gaining weight in other parts of their bodies…like I am…and I compare myself. Then I feel badly and then I shame myself for comparing myself and it’s a vicious cycle.

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It’s weird not having ANY control over your body changes. Something that happened when I lost 110 pounds was that I realized I was in control of my body and I COULD lose weight. Then when I spent 6+ years maintaining that weight loss, I was still in control. I could make decisions on what I ate and I made good decisions most of the time and was successful. Then all of a sudden, I was no longer in control of what happened to my body, even though I was still TRYING to be in control of it. Letting that go has been a struggle for me — I am not good at giving up control.

What sucks is the comments I get from other people. People who either think they are being charming or funny, but are not. Just don’t. Never make judgmental comments, even “joking” about a pregnant woman’s body.

I was looking through some Facebook posts recently and saw some photos of myself from last year and the year before–when I was feeling down about having gained 10 pounds or so. My first thought was, Damn, I was so much skinnier! Then I thought, why didn’t I realize it at the time? PERSPECTIVE.

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I came across this article: The Dirty Little Secret About Pregnancy Weight Gain and was a little uneasy…expecting it to be gimmicky or a waste of time but reading through it, it really spoke to me. It was more about finding perspective, and not the judge-y article I was expecting. Here is a tidbit from that article:

“According to experts, these are the main concerns:

  1. You’ll be more uncomfortable with all that extra weight to haul around.
  2. You could develop gestational diabetes.
  3. You might have high blood pressure, which can lead to scary complications.
  4. Your baby could be big, making labor more difficult and possibly leading to a C-section.
  5. You’ll have your work cut out for you to lose more weight after the baby’s born.

For me personally, I have no signs of gestational diabetes, my blood pressure is consistently low, and my baby’s growth is right on track.

Leaving only concerns number 1 and 5, which are really just about my own convenience. After talking to my midwife and reading up on the risks, I’m not concerned about my “high” pregnancy weight gain.”

It was kind of an eye-opening DUH moment for me. Perspective. I do not have gestational diabetes. My baby is not measuring extra large, my blood pressure is normal and I’m not having any other issues. On top of that, I am counting my calories per my doctor’s instructions and I’ve been exercising pretty much the same throughout. Those are all positives! So what if my body is gaining a little bit more than I was hoping? All signs are pointing to healthy–isn’t that the most important part?

I have no idea how much I weigh at this moment. Once I got to the middle of the third trimester I stopped looking at the doctor’s office. I didn’t need to know how much weight I was gaining because really…this pregnancy has shown me that it’s out of my control and feeling badly about myself isn’t going to be a positive thing at this stage in the game. Besides, I’m almost to the end. Why do I need to know right now? Maybe my focus needs to be on other things for these last few weeks.

So I’m not weighing myself, I’m still working out when I can, doing what I can, counting my calories and eating healthy, and LETTING IT GO. My mind is now focused on the baby and not the weight, even if I do have a “bad” day. I can’t wait for him to be here and I’m happy my body is doing so well as he grows.

How am I feeling now?

At 35 weeks I am finding that I care less about the weight gain. Maybe that’s because I haven’t been to the doctor in a few weeks and I don’t know how much I weigh…ignorance is bliss? But I’m honestly feeling pretty good about my body right now. I feel like I’m in the homestretch and just generally feeling happy with my body these days!

If you’ve had kids, how did you feel about the weight gain?

Drink This and Try Not To Puke

I’ve been dreading this since getting pregnant and finally had to do it. The gestational diabetes test. Yuck. This has been on the back of my mind even before getting pregnant. I wanted to lose those 10 pounds I gained, thinking it might help my odds against getting GD when I did finally get pregnant. It was definitely a concern because of my history. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to lose that 10 pounds first, so it kind of made me worried.

My doctor said to take it between weeks 24 and 28. I had the option to take the 1 hour test (non-fasting) or the 2 hour fasting test. At first the 1 hour test sounded like the better option but she kind of talked me out of it and said if I failed that one I’d immediately have to take the 3 hour test.

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I didn’t want to take any more time off work because as it is my sick time has been sucked up with OB appointments and most recently, multiple dental appointments. Saturday I set my alarm, skipped breakfast and then went to the doctor to take the test.

I was glad I asked her what to expect at my last appointment because she said I wasn’t allowed to leave. I had stupidly hoped I could go, start the testing, then run errands or something waiting out the time. Nope, they want you to stay at the doctor the entire time. I packed my Kindle with a bunch of books, my phone charger and took my phone to watch Netflix while I waited. I recently started watching “Madame Secretary” and it’s REALLY good! It’s funny and smart and I love the casting. I’m about half way through the first season.

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I got there early and despite having to fast, being hungry and not getting to have my coffee, it wasn’t as bad as I had been anticipating. I did my initial blood draw (later results showed the first fasting blood draw was 84, which was a good number). Then they had me drink the drink. The lady said that it can sometimes make people feel sick and she said if I threw up, I’d have to come back another day to take the test again. UGH! PRESSURE!

She suggested I don’t chug it but that I had to drink the whole thing within 5 minutes. I sat there and took big gulps. It was nasty. It tasted like super duper sweet flat Mountain Dew. I finished the drink, felt nauseated and gross, and then sat in the lobby for an hour watching Netflix while I waited for the next blood draw.

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I had the next blood draw and then I had another hour to wait for the last one. As I was leaving the lab I ran into a friend who was there to get some lab work done, too! So after she was done she hung out with me for the last hour, which was really nice. We chatted and that helped pass the time. I wasn’t feeling quite as nauseous as I had been during the first hour and then it was time for my last draw.

It was nearly noon by this time. I’d missed breakfast so I stopped at Subway and got Michael and I a sandwich for lunch. I wasn’t feeling great and it took a few hours after eating to finally feel better.

I made the mistake of looking up how many calories was in that glucose drink. 300!!! NOT COOL. 300 wasted calories for something that was gross, made me feel sick and didn’t satisfy my hunger. Major fail. I want a refund on those calories.

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After lunch I went to the gym. The only upside? The gym wasn’t crowded by the time I got there! I wasn’t feeling my best and so I totally phoned-in my workout, but I did something so that’s good. I warmed up and then did the weight machines and finished up with 2 miles on the elliptical. My ankle is much better than it was last week but I’m still taking it easy (no jumping jacks, nothing too aggravating for my ankle, taking it easy on the cardio machines, etc.).

I did realize at the gym this weekend that I can no longer do planks (even side planks) and push-ups are soon to be a no-go, too. It’s become too difficult and with the planks I was feeling strained. So I think it’s time to quit those.

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Test Results

From The Mayo Clinic: Gestational diabetes: If you’re being tested for gestational diabetes, your doctor will consider the results of each blood glucose test. At Mayo Clinic, if your blood glucose level is higher than 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L) after the one-hour test, your doctor will recommend the three-hour test. If your blood glucose level is higher than 190 mg/dL (10.6 mmol/L) after the one-hour test, you’ll be diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

For the three-hour test:

A normal fasting blood glucose level is lower than 95 mg/dL (5.3 mmol/L).

One hour after drinking the glucose solution, a normal blood glucose level is lower than 180 mg/dL (10 mmol/L).

Two hours after drinking the glucose solution, a normal blood glucose level is lower than 155 mg/dL (8.6 mmol/L).

Three hours after drinking the glucose solution, a normal blood glucose level is lower than 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L).

I got my results that evening. The numbers LOOKED okay but I wasn’t positive and wanted to hear from my doctor for sure.

Pre-drink:

Component Your Value Standard Range
Glucose Fasting, for Prenatal 75g/2hr GTT 84 mg/dL <=91 mg/dL

After 1 hour:

Component Your Value Standard Range
Glucose 1 hr, for Prenatal 75g/2hr GTT 106 mg/dL <=179 mg/dL

After 2 hours:

Component Your Value Standard Range
Glucose 120 Min CHR 75 mg/dL <=152 mg/dL

My doctor confirmed that I passed the test! WOOHOO!! Such a big relief. I really felt so much better about it. I know, I know, I worried about it for nothing. But it was a legitimate concern for me because of previously being pre-diabetic, so it was a giant weight off my shoulders. The blood tests also came back to say I am still anemic, despite adding an iron supplement to my vitamins over a month ago. So we’ll see what happens with that.