Here’s the good news: I’m six weeks pregnant!

Here’s the bad news: There’s no where to go but up, up, UP in weight!

For the Weightie who’s in her child-bearing prime (or edging a bit past it), getting a positive result on the home pregnancy pee stick stirs up a tsunami of emotions.

bodyparts_tummy.jpgThere’s an undeniable wave of gratitude: “Yes! My body is working! My uterus is safe, sound, and functioning! My eggs still got it!”

And then there’s the other flood of feelings: “Crap, I never did lose the weight I swore I’d lose before I got pregnant…again. Will I balloon even bigger than before? Will my body be able to handle another 10 20, 30, 40, or more pounds?”

The last time I was pregnant, I was 5-10 pounds less than I am now. I had a good, healthy pregnancy, and I was able to lose all the pregnancy weight and then some by just six weeks after I gave birth.

However, I DID gain 37 pounds.

If you’ve ever read the recommendations of weight gain during pregnancy, you’d know the following:

  • “Normal” weight women should gain between 25-35 lbs.
  • Underweight women should gain between 28-40 lbs.
  • Overweight women should gain between 15-25 lbs.

I’ve got a little issue with this. We’re told in no uncertain terms that when we get pregnant, we are absolutely NOT supposed to diet or lose weight – that we could harm to fetus, deprive the growing baby of important nutrients, etc.

Got it.

What I don’t understand is how I’m supposed to be able to gain less weight during my pregnancy than a “normal” or underweight woman is supposed to gain during her pregnancy. Regardless of weight, blood volume doubles, a human being is growing within us, placentas pump up, boobs overflow…all of this has nothing to do with our weight.

So how am I supposed to gain less weight than my size 6 sister? Where, exactly, is this 10-20 lb. wiggle room?

No one addresses this question. They just say the equivilent of:

“Hey Fattie – you’re already fat. Too bad you didn’t take our advice and lose that fat before you got knocked up, huh? Well, you better not get much fatter during your pregnancy, or else. You’re at risk for high blood pressure and gestational diabetes, not to mention the pain you’ll feel with the extra strain on your joints and such. And you want to make sure none of this stresses you out, because stress can harm the baby. Oh, and you’re not allowed to diet, either. Good luck – and have fun finding maternity clothes that fit over your @$$!”

So every day, I thank God I have what I know will be a beautiful, healthy baby growing in my lower belly, beneath the layers of extra cushion. Every day, I am thrilled when I think of the fact that my little boy will have a sibling, and our family is going to grow by one wonderful human being.

And every day, I do my best to ignore the worries that come with the miracle inside of me – what that means for my body, my comfort, my health.

Of course, it would have been nice to solve the mystery of my weight problem once and for all BEFORE I brought another human being into this world.

But I didn’t. And if I waited until I finally figured out how to get this extra load off of me, I might have waited straight through to the barren years of menapause. I’ve been struggling for a decade and have gotten no closer to a solution for my expanding girth. I’d be foolish to put off life and ignore the very real ticking clock until I found the skinny cure.

So I have no choice but to stay positive, accept what is, and get ready for that lovely part of pregnancy that involves constant stepping on and off of scales, bloating, swelling, waddling, and seeing numbers that identify me as a woman who is way out of balance with what she consumes and what she actually needs to consume to stay healthy and satisfied.

Little Growing Baby, you’ll be fine, I promise. It’s Jabba the Mommy I’m a little worried about.

2 Responses to “Torn”

  1. Hey, I love your blog and congratulations! Do you have the book “What to Expect When You’re Expecting?” Of all the books I ever bought re: pregnancy, this one was the best. It gave EXCELLENT dietary advice and recipes too! ABSOLUTELY YES you can have a healthy baby and not gain much weight at all!

  2. fat momma says:

    Thank you for your post. It has helped to see that someone was feeling the same as me. I have all of the same questions as you regarding BMI and weight gain during pregnancy. It doesn’t make any sense to me.

    My baby was conceived through IUI (my husband has a fertility problem) and I was told by the fertility specialist that my weight was not a concern. She did not feel that I should loose weight before I tried to conceive. However, I was just told by my OB yesterday that I have gained too much weight in my pregnancy. I am 26 weeks pregnant and have gained 10 lbs. She is concerned because I am “a bigger girl” (5’11” and 230 lbs) and I should only be gaining 15 lbs over my whole pregnancy.

    I was shocked when she felt she had “to read me the riot act about my weight”. I don’t see how I could possibly have gained less weight. I had such bad morning sickness throughout my pregnancy and have not been eating very much (or managing to keep much down) at all. I have also really been making an effort to make healthy choices. In fact, everyone has been commenting on how I look like I have lost weight. My face is thinner as are my arms. My breasts have not gotten any bigger and I can still fit most of my old pants. My OB’s comment made me feel really awful about myself, insecure about how I look and wonder if I can have a healthy pregnancy.

    I am still trying to figure out what my approach is going to be. Admittedly, I have made few unhealthy choices since I’ve been pregnant. I’ll cut those out. Otherwise, do I try to diet? Everyone says you shouldn’t while pregnant but how else to keep from gaining weight when the baby is getting bigger.

    Part of me thinks I should just not worry at all about it. Everyone is different and I feel like my whole approach to my pregnancy is being judged based on the fact that I am overweight. Part of the problem is the medical system’s inability to recognize the needs of an individual. They seem to feel that everyone should conform to a certain standard, when this is not always the case. Yet, I have to rely on my OB for advise on the best way to have a healthy baby. Of course, this is all that matters.

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