weight gain

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 3

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So the “nesting” part of me actually started this summer in the 1st trimester…I just didn’t do a whole heck of a lot about it because I wasn’t feeling great. But the urge was there! Suddenly all the house projects had big, glowing, blinking, neon lights attached to them and I couldn’t go anywhere in the house without noticing it. Sure, some of it wasn’t necessarily a “must finish” project before the baby came but…some of them were.

I did spend a lot of time cleaning out the spare bedroom we use as a guest room (and the closet has been packed full of my off-season clothes, old mementos in boxes, etc) and made a decent dent in it but honestly didn’t finish it. The rest of it needed to be stored in the garage, which needs to be tackled next to make room for that stuff (including my old bed, an antique four-poster bed that is at least 120+ years old). I donated a ton of old clothes. I packed up clothes I knew wouldn’t be fitting me for a long time and stored those in vacuum-seal bags.

The nesting feeling is strong. I want to get everything ready. I want to clean and organize and purge everything. It’s been a slow process so far.

Week 23

So excited about the kicking! I love it! It’s like a special little secret between me and the baby. No one else can feel it or see it yet, but he kicks me to let me know he’s awake. 🙂 It’s such a cool feeling. Every night when I lay in bed and he starts kicking I talk to him and poke my belly a little bit and he kicks back and I can see it! Like I said in Week 22, it’s subtle and you can barely see the kick, but it’s there. I’m looking forward to when Michael can finally see it and feel it, too.

Went to acupuncture and baby was kicking up a storm. Either he loved it or hated it, not sure. Then later I did some reading and it occurred to me that he probably had the hiccups! That’s what it felt like. Rhythmic, patterned kicking that went on for about 30 minutes. I think he had the hiccups!

23weeks

Symptoms this week: Charlie horses! Still! I talked to my doctor about it and she suggested I take a combo calcium/magnesium vitamin and that was one we happened to have on hand so I started taking one every night. It seems to be helping a bit! Back is starting to ache a bit.

Cravings: Thai food, still.

Things I Miss: I miss the hot tub, steam room and sauna. I’d use them after swimming and it was relaxing. Now that winter is officially here (brrrr) I really wish I could relax in them, but I can’t…

What I’m Looking Forward To: I’m looking forward to Michael being able to feel the kicks! Hopefully soon!

 

Week 24

In terms of maternity clothes, I don’t have a lot. I got some maternity jeans and shirts from a friend (awesome) and I’ve bought a few pairs of leggings and about 3 maternity shirts on my own. I’ve also bought a few shirts that weren’t maternity but are a little bigger and longer and are working well. Sadly, I think I need to invest in a few more items soon. I definitely need a swimsuit. I was hoping to get a few more weeks out of this one but it’s not going to happen.

Most of my normal shirts still “fit” but aren’t long enough. 🙁 So I need to get a few more shirts and sweaters for this winter that cover the bump. And the big expense is going to be a new jacket. Sadly, mine is ALMOST to the point where I can’t zip it up. It sucks that I’m going to have to buy a jacket that I’ll only use for 3 months or so, but whatever. It’s necessary. I figure I have a few more weeks with this jacket and then I need a new one.

24weeks

Symptoms this week: Okay, not sure quite how to describe this but I feel like the baby has moved positions and is now kicking me in the colon. The kicks feel down low and in the back, not in the front. It’s a super odd feeling–a sudden thump, in a weird place!

Other symptoms have been sore, tired feet and legs, some back and hip discomfort and my nails are breaking for some reason. Throughout the pregnancy my nails were amazing and strong–I’m guessing in part due to prenatal vitamins. But all of a sudden they are thin and breaking. Not sure what’s up but I’ve cut them down to zero. No nice fingernails for awhile I guess.

Cravings: Spicy food. Mostly Thai. Been craving anything spicy! And the baby seems to like it. He kicks up a storm when I eat Thai food. 😀

Things I Miss: Soft cheeses! I’d really love some herbed goat cheese on crackers….

What I’m Looking Forward To: Scheduled our hospital tour in a few weeks. I’m looking forward to that. Also signed up for childbirth classes for January!

 

Week 25

I’ve been having some Braxton Hicks Contractions off and on for a few weeks. From what I’ve read it’s normal after 20 weeks and nothing to be concerned about. I talked to my doctor and she said it wasn’t a big deal unless it started to feel like real contractions. I was like, “how can you tell?” She said you’ll know the difference because real contractions are painful, consistent and timeable. The BH I’ve experienced are not painful, more weird and slightly uncomfortable, and feels like a tightening in my belly and like my belly gets hard. They last less than 30 seconds and don’t happen on a regular basis.

I watched the pre-term labor video at my last OB appointment a month ago. It was an awful video–from the 90’s, terrible acting, terrible clothes, super dated and cheesy and kept saying (several times!!) “your baby could DIE!” Thanks, I totally needed one more thing to worry about. The video was ridiculous. And one of the actors was saying that she wouldn’t mind a preemie baby because it would be smaller…? Who says that??! They need a new video to show people. I would have much rather been given a list of “pre-term labor signs” to watch for and called it good. But whatever.

So that’s when we discussed BH and telling the difference between them and possible pre-term labor. The doctor also said that dehydration can be a cause of BH, too, and I’ve noticed that when I feel them most it’s first thing in the morning when I’m still in bed. So I just need to drink some more water I guess (when I get up 10x a night to pee, I’ll drink some water I guess!).

25weeks

Symptoms this week: The back pain and hip pain have officially started. I am doing what I can to take it easy, rest, use a heating pad on my back when it gets bad and I am trying to pay attention to my posture. It’s hard because my body seems to be naturally pitching forward instead of the usual straight posture.

Skin has been super dry and itchy lately. Partly pregnancy, partly weather I think. Acne is back with a vengeance. 🙁

Cravings: Raw veggies (specifically cauliflower) with blue cheese dressing.

Best Purchase this Week: Trader Joe’s Coconut Body Butter. I used to use it religiously (especially after swimming) but stopped buying it for awhile and now it’s back! And my skin feels much better for it!

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Week 26

Apparently this week Baby is the size of a butternut squash. That seems huge!

Had my last OB appointment of the 2nd trimester! I now get to pee into a cup at every appointment. Yippee? They tested for proteins and sugars in my urine and both her negative. The baby is measuring right on track and everything is going well.

I’m not excited about the weight gain. I’ve gained 18 pounds total so far. Doctor wasn’t concerned and said everything is measuring properly. She’s not concerned about pre-eclampsia because I don’t have any symptoms of it and my blood pressure has been great throughout (it was 110/72 at that last appointment and the week before it was 113/62 at the dentist).

I did some reading and I guess it’s common to have a big jump in weight around week 25-27 (baby starts putting on fat around this time) that is abnormal compared to the previous months but still….it made me panic a little. Supposedly around this time most women have gained 20-23 pounds. I’m hoping that the rest of the gaining is slow and steady as opposed to this massive climb I had in one month!

26weeks

Symptoms this week: I think I’ve been having acid reflux. I’ve been asking Michael if I have heart burn (because I’ve never had it before and he unfortunately suffers from it) and he keeps saying no. I don’t have the burning sensation that he describes, it’s more like burping and having a little bit of acid in my throat. But it doesn’t burn in my throat or chest. So no idea!

Fatigue in my legs, low back and hips. Tossing and turning in bed is really difficult. Having no ab muscles sucks! LOL It often feels like my hips are not attached to my body anymore…

Cravings: CAKE! I am usually not a cake fan. It’s my least favorite dessert option–give me ice cream, brownies or homemade cookies and I’m happy. Cake is usually the last thing I’ll want but dammit I want a piece of really good chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting.

 

Week 27

Um…..yikes! The 2nd trimester is over?!?! How is that possible?

Baby boy is kicking like crazy! I’ve been calling him Thumper. Seriously. It feels like he’s doing somersaults in there and his kicks are getting fierce. It’s funny because whenever Michael tries to feel it, the baby suddenly gets quiet or shy or something…!

Had my Gestational Diabetes test done. Thankfully it came out okay.

27weeks

Symptoms this week: Hip pain, SI pain, dry itchy skin, I feel bigger. I LOOK BIGGER! Holy cow baby.

Cravings: I’d been craving those apple fritter donut things for weeks and finally had one and it was disappointing. Other than that I’ve been craving carbs like mad. Especially like flaky butter rolls or garlic bread. Stuff like that. I have no idea why because I never used to eat bread-y type things like that.

GOODBYE SECOND TRIMESTER!

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