body changes while pregnant

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?

Third Trimester – Part 1

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It seems like the pregnancy has crept along slower than slow…and now all of a sudden I’m in the 3rd trimester. A friend recently asked if I was “over it” yet and said his wife had been done being pregnant around this time–lots of aches and pains. When he asked I said no. Because I didn’t feel “over it” yet. I was still pretty happy and content. Sure I had some not fun symptoms but overall I was still enjoying being pregnant and didn’t feel “ready” for the baby yet. Somewhere around 31 weeks I started to kind of get that feeling, though. I would go back and forth between wanting to be done with all of it, excited to meet our baby, and also feeling like it’s TOO SOON. So basically? Mixed emotions.

Birthing classes started in January! Here’s the classes schedule:

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Week 28

First week of the 3rd trimester and Baby is the size of a large eggplant. This week we did our hospital tour and Michael worked hard on getting the nursery ready to decorate and set up. It was a BIG project.

It’s crazy how I can SEE the baby moving on the outside now. It’s getting much more pronounced and not just the kicks….but like slithering movement. It’s very Alien.

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Symptoms this week: The shortness of breath has come and gone throughout the pregnancy, now it seems to be here to stay. Also, I think my stomach is running out of room. I have the same appetite, fairly normal–nothing too crazy, but I sit down to eat and can’t eat much in one sitting. I get full really fast and have to space out the food instead. I have a feeling it will be like this for the rest of the pregnancy.

Cravings: Not really craving anything these days. Kind of disappointing!

Week 29

I think running is coming to an end. Sadly. While it was more of a slow jog/walk interval on the treadmill once or twice a week, the last time I tried to do it at the gym it was not comfortable. I felt bigger and had a bit of discomfort in my lower pelvic area. It felt like a side-stitch you get when running but it was in a low spot–so I feel like my ligaments are stretching again. I might try running wearing the brace and see if that helps but honestly I think running might be over with for awhile.

I feel like he’s dropped down lower. Maybe it’s just my imagination but the bump doesn’t seem as high up on my chest anymore.

We went snowshoeing!

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Symptoms this week: Officially have heart burn I think! I can’t eat big meals. Even small meals make me feel slightly nauseated. When I lay down, I feel like food is coming back up my throat but I don’t taste or feel acid. Either way, definitely having indigestion and heart burn. It’s not fun at all.

Cravings: Roasted carrots with garlic and herbs. Mashed potatoes.

 

Week 30

Baby is the size of a summer cantaloupe this week.

I finally broke down and bought a new jacket. My jacket no longer zipped up–or, it did but I couldn’t breathe if it was zipped. 🙂 I tried to find one at a thrift shop but there wasn’t really anything that fit properly or was either warm enough or water proof. I didn’t care what it looked like (although black would be nice). Finally I went to Target after Christmas and found a jacket that fit and should fit for the next 2 months on mega-clearance plus a 20% off coupon with their app. The jacket–even though it’s heinously ugly–was only $23. SOLD.

Working on the nursery! It’s slow going. Here’s a photo with primer on the walls. 🙂 Sorry about the awful photo. It was all I got this week.

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Symptoms this week: Still having some pelvic and groin discomfort–it feels almost like a pulled muscle. I will probably take a break from side-lunges for awhile and see if that makes a difference? Feeling dizzy from time to time and definitely feeling more tired.

Cravings: Fish and chips! Will be having it soon for my birthday.

 

Week 31

Definitely experiencing a lot of SI/hip/glute pain, only on the right side. It’s been off and on for a few weeks. It really sucks. Nothing seems to really help it. I know it’s because ligaments are loosening and the pelvic bones are probably shifting and widening. All the work I did to strengthen my glutes to fix my knee issues don’t seem to matter now. It’s a little disappointing I can’t do much to “fix” this issue like I could before getting pregnant.

Feeling emotional and down about this. The pain got worse this week and for four days straight I was in horrible, horrible pain–like make me cry pain. It’s in my butt/SI joint on the right side. I knew that this could happen, but I guess I just thought it would happen closer to my due date.

I’ve been really lucky so far that the discomfort of pregnancy has been mild. Mostly annoying, but nothing too awful that it kept me from being able to do things. I was able to work out throughout (even during the first trimester when I felt sick 24/7). I was able to run until around 29 weeks. I guess I was just hoping that this type of awful pain wouldn’t happen quite so early in the 3rd trimester.

I went to the chiropractor and he was able to do some adjustments. I think it helped. I felt beaten up and sore that night but the next day I felt a lot better and was having less symptoms…so I think I might be going to chiro once a week for awhile to see if that helps. If it offers some relief for the next 9 weeks, I’ll do it. I just want to be able to stay somewhat active for my sanity and stress relief and to not be in constant pain. 🙁

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On a positive note….

I promised myself I wouldn’t buy any baby clothes. At least until after my shower. I know you tend to get a lot of clothes from people…but I was just going to look at the clearance rack at Fred Meyer and I found these adorable outfits and I couldn’t RESIST!

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So cute!

Symptoms this week: Horrible pelvic girdle pain. Horrible! See above.

Cravings: BBQ!! And root beer.

 

Doctor Appointment

Went to my first 3rd trimester OB appointment  at 31 weeks. Blood pressure was good (106/60), baby is measuring exactly on schedule, my belly is measuring right on schedule and the doctor estimates he’s about 4 pounds this week. We heard his heart beat and she poked and prodded and the baby is head down with his feet on the upper ride side of my belly (exactly where I feel most of his movements). He still has room to move around so there’s a chance he might flip back up but she said it’s not a concern until we get to 36 weeks (when I’ll have another ultrasound to check position).

I discussed the back/glute/SI pain I’d been having lately. She suggested I keep up with chiro and massage for the rest of the pregnancy to alleviate some of the pain. She also gave me a new belt. The one I had was from a friend and is now too tight. This one seems to be helping a bit.

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I was given my breast pump. It comes with a DVD so I guess we’ll be watching that soon. LOL I’m totally excited about that (not really, but I need to figure this thing out). I also got the Tdap vaccine booster and she made the rest of my OB appointments…I will start going every two weeks soon and then weekly. I even have some scheduled for the week I’m due AND the week after my due date, just in case…(which I’m hoping I won’t need).

I was weighed at my appointment but I didn’t look and I don’t know that I’m ready to look at the number right now. I’ve been a bit of a hormonal mess the last two weeks (similar to the hormonal mood swings I felt in the first trimester) so I’m feeling a little too “fragile” to see my weight right now, if that makes sense.

Previous Posts:   

Secret Keeper

Behind the Scenes

First Trimester

Let’s Talk About Weight

Second Trimester – Part 1

Old Wives’ Tales

It’s A….

Second Trimester – Part 2

Body Changes During Pregnancy

Drink This and Try Not To Puke

Second Trimester – Part 3

Hospital Tour

Babymoon