gaining weight 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??

comparison

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?

Second Trimester – Part 1

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Phew! First trimester is done!

I have to say, I did not enjoy most of the 1st trimester. I think it’s important to be honest about that. Not many people talk about it and I was feeling like there was something wrong with me. Why wasn’t I this glowing, radiant, mother-earth-goddess that was loving being pregnant?? Am I the only one not feeling great??? I think there is this pressure for pregnant women to project that image. Don’t get me started on the added pressure of not gaining much weight, competing in crossfit events up to the day you give birth, and getting your “pre-baby body back” the second you give birth. Unrealistic expectations = mothers feeling inadequate when they are not inadequate at all.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to be pregnant and looking forward to the baby, and I don’t want to come across as complaining–but those first few months were rough. Crazy hormones and mood swings, crying a lot (um hello kitten videos and videos of babies and puppies….so much cute!), feeling sick all the time. Being scared of miscarriage and birth defects…it was a lot of stress. I was wondering when the wonderful part of pregnancy started…

I will say that once the morning sickness stuff went away, I was starting to enjoy the process a lot more and the wonderful part finally kicked in! I wasn’t feeling sick, I wasn’t having food aversions, I was getting my appetite and my energy back and I was feeling happier about the whole thing. The second trimester so far has been much better and I’m actually looking forward to all the pregnancy STUFF. I’m happy being pregnant now that things have calmed down a bit in my body! They say the 2nd trimester is the honeymoon period and it sure is!

Updates 

Week 14

I ran a 5k!  And it was great and I am proud of how I did and the fact that I didn’t walk much. The downside? I think my body has officially started to do that whole relaxin thing. 🙁 I was so incredibly sore. More sore than I’ve been in a really long time.

Thankfully the morning sickness subsided a few weeks ago. I’m getting my appetite back, wanting to eat healthier foods and craving vegetables again (thank goddess!).

Symptoms this week: headaches, acne (still), appetite increase.

Cravings: lemonade, Brussels sprouts, bacon.

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Week 15

It’s weird, SOMETIMES I look like I’m showing. Sometimes I just look a little chubby. I think it depends on what I wear. I am sort of wearing maternity clothes here and there. I am down to only 1 pair of regular pants that fit and I’ve started rotating maternity jeans into my wardrobe (big thanks to a friend who gave me a giant sack of her maternity clothes!!!!).

We shared our news with the world this week. Overall it went really well and positive. I told both my bosses at work and they were super supportive and excited, too. It’s the first pregnancy in our office in years–like maybe 5 or 6? That same day my boss gave me our first gift:

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Symptoms this week: Not a ton, I think I might be starting to have the “round ligament pain”?? But I’m not really sure. It’s low, not quite in my groin area, kind of around my pelvis and where the ovaries are on the sides–before the hip bones. If that makes any sense. Felt some aching, painful pulling and almost like bruising.

Cravings: Craved Chipotle for some reason. Got a carnitas salad for lunch one day at work and that satisfied that craving. Also craving ice cream sandwiches.

14weeks

Week 16

Got our results for the 2nd trimester genetic screening. Our risk for spina bifida is 1 in 17,400. The doctor says these are reassuring numbers! Went to yoga this week and it was hard–my balance was suddenly crap! And doing certain moves was not working (like cobra).

Finally admitted to myself I needed a new bra and underwear. Went up one size in both. Boobs are definitely way bigger. It was such an ODD feeling, looking at bigger bras. I had some mild flash-backs to the days when I was much bigger and wore giant bras. Thankfully not to that stage yet, but I’m sure they will just get bigger as I go along…..!

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Symptoms this week: Round ligament pain. Lots of pelvic discomfort, pulling/stretching/aching feelings.

Cravings: Croissant sandwich with cheese, ham and egg. I’d been craving this for a month! Sunday morning Michael surprised me by buying some croissants and making me this masterpiece:

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One scrambled egg, cheese, bacon on a croissant. It was PERFECT. I want 10 more of these! Also craving milk and orange juice like crazy.

Week 17

This week the baby is the size of a pomegranate — which seems fitting for October!

17weeks

My standing desk at work is getting uncomfortable. I’d gotten to the point where I was spending about 80% of my day all week standing. It was working well and my back seemed to be happier for it. Lately it’s been getting more and more uncomfortable. My legs and feet are very fatigued. I’m tired from standing. I am going to have to ease back into sitting more. I think I might go to the stand for an hour, sit for an hour, alternative like I did when I first got the standing desk. I imagine it’s just going to get harder and harder to stand all day. 🙁

My brother and his wife saw the Oregon Ducks onesie and had to remedy that. 🙂 Too funny. It’s pretty adorable though:

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Symptoms this week: Headache, round ligament pain, nasal congestion!

Cravings: Still craving milk and orange juice. I have no idea why. I stopped drinking my calories years ago so it’s very odd. But I’m giving in and drinking it in small doses pretty much every day. Discovered gelato this week! I think I’m going to have to limit how often I buy it because it’s dangerous having it in the house…

Doctor Appointment: Had my monthly appointment. Basically just getting weighed, they checked my blood pressure (114/70) and answered some questions. I got a flu shot and will be looking into the hospital tour and childbirth classes. We listened to the heart beat–150!

Week 18

This week baby is the size of a croissant. Mmmmm croissants…..

18weeks

Talked to my doctor about calories. She said it’s time to bump it up to 300 extra calories a day. Yikes. But ok. I’ve been starting to feel hungrier on some days (not every day) so I will be increasing my daily intake. I just need to make sure it’s not 300 calories in candy corns (damn my office!).

Have to admit, kinda like that I’m getting a little bigger and starting to show. It feels more “real”, unlike the first trimester which felt so…weird…and disconnecting. I am anxious to feel some movement to make it even more real!

In other AMAZING NEWS…my employer announced they are now offering paid maternity leave! This is HUGE. I was so stressed out about not having enough sick and vacation time saved up for maternity leave and was getting depressed about at least half (probably more) of it going unpaid. Half of my maternity leave with be paid leave right off the bat and then I will have to use my sick/vacation time. I shouldn’t have to go unpaid for any of it (or very little). So thankful and happy!!

Symptoms this week: Getting hungrier. Like wake up in the middle of the night with a growling stomach. Also, dizzy. Lightheaded, dizzy, heart racing a little bit. Supposedly that’s normal for this part of the pregnancy. It’s a little unnerving to be honest–feeling like you might faint!

Cravings: No real cravings right now other than the same old same old–orange juice! And sushi. Dammit. 🙁 🙁 🙁

Previous Posts:   

Secret Keeper

Behind the Scenes

First Trimester

Let’s Talk About Weight

I’ll post part two in a few weeks but next week….we find out what we are having!! 🙂 Any guesses?