Tomorrow, I will be exactly 15 weeks. I can’t believe that I have actually made it to the second trimester!
I have had a bit of a shock though. Despite recommendations saying that a woman should aim to gain between 0 – 5 lbs in her first trimester, after 14 weeks I had gained a stone (14 lbs).
Obviously all I really care about is that I am pregnant and that my baby is healthy, and I would gain 100 lbs if it guaranteed that, but I am a little concerned and confused.
I am concerned because the second and third trimesters are when the weight gain apparently really ramps up. If I have already gained this much weight, how much more will I gain in the next 5 – 6months? Will this affect/harm my baby? Will this make the birth harder? Also, and I appreciate this is incredibly superficial, will I be able to lose all this weight post-birth? I was already 30 lbs over my ideal weight before I got pregnant, although still in the ‘healthy’ BMI range…although BMI is obviously b*ll*cks, and was feeling incredibly self-conscious about my weight.
I am not surprised that I gained weight, and I would have even expected to be at the higher end of the “normal” first trimester weight gain. After all, I:
- haven’t had any vomiting;
- had several weeks of nausea, which could only be satisfied by eating crisps/chips/pizza/cheese on toast;
- have been starving all the time (possibly now because I have got used to eating more);
- have been anxious all the time, so have comfort eaten a fair amount; and
- have done hardly any exercise as I have been exhausted and have struggled physically when I have attempted to exercise.
It is no surprise that I have gained weight, but 14 lbs!? That’s madness and I am confused as to why I have gained so much. Surely I have not been around THREE TIMES worse than other pregnant women with my eating and exercising?!
I just don’t really know what to do for the best now. Obviously I can’t diet, as I can’t risk my baby missing essential nutrients or getting distressed (I imagine s/he is a little fatty like me and will be upset if they miss out on food). I have spent the last 3-4 weeks being more careful about what I eat (lots of fruit, salad and veggies etc), but I have still gained weight during this time.
I know this sounds like an excuse, but I want to start regularly exercising again but I don’t know how. I can definitely do more at the weekend (Im going for a run today!) but during the week I am out of the house between 6:30am – 8/9/10pm. I would like to do something on my lunch break at work, but when I even get a lunch break it is for an absolute maximum of 30-45 minutes, so if you factor in changing time (x2) and washing, that doesn’t leave a lot of time for exercise! There’s also the cringe factor of running near the office…
I appreciate this really is a fortunate position to be in and I would much rather be worrying about this than the hell of worrying about getting pregnant! But I do find it difficult and I think it’s made worse because there’s such an expectation in society about how women (and pregnant women!) should look.
Since I became pregnant I have been bombarded with stories like this:
It’s the comments sections which are particularly vile.
These are just a few of the latest ones. There have been all sorts, including one that went viral comparing two women who were both 5 or 6 months pregnant. One was pretty big and one had washboard abs. But why should we care? This story was allegedly released to show that “pregnant women come in all shapes and sizes”, but ultimately it was about the general public commenting on who was a “good pregnant woman” (i.e. the type that is still f*ckable, to use the language found in these comments) and who was a “bad pregnant woman”. Many were quick to defend both types (they shouldn’t need defending) but on the whole there seemed to be more of the “Wow, her abs are amazing” and the “Sh*t, she’s let herself go” type comments. If both mothers are eating and exercising as best as they can for their baby, then it just should not matter.
Although I’ve not had too many comments, I have had a few from people at work (females) about my weight gain or about how much I’m eating. Others (males) have said that I “haven’t been looking well for a while”. Apparently they were referring to my look from a health point of view, but what they were actually saying is “you have gained weight and look bloated and have stopped wearing the tighter fitting clothes. I can’t say you’re less f*ckable, so I will just punish you for your weight-gain-sin by saying you don’t look as well“.
It’s just incredibly sad that people feel they’ve got a right to say something. Generally, unless something is going to make someone feel good or help them (and don’t assume your opinion is actually helpful), you probably shouldn’t say it at all. Funnily enough, prior to these comments I was actually aware of my weight gain and the fact that I was eating more. I didn’t need them to tell me. In fact, on any given day over the past 17 years, I could tell you my exact weight to the pound and I have hated myself almost every single day.
So I am trying to be level-headed about the whole weight gain thing, as deep down I know that as long as my baby is healthy and that I am healthy that is all that matters.
But it is hard when society places so much value on your weight. When your popularity and sense of self-worth depend on the number of the scale, and when your chances of promotion or being put in front of a client depend on your appearance.
I wish I didn’t care, but deep down I really really really do.