Tag: Pregnancyweightgain

31 weeks and the third trimester!

I haven’t posted much about the pregnancy lately as I’ve just been sort of plodding along, trying to stay positive and trying to cope with the many (very welcome) challenges of pregnancy!

Although I am eternally grateful for this pregnancy, I have struggled a lot more than I ever thought I would.  I always thought that the 9 months of pregnancy would be amazing as I could FINALLY relax (after chasing the pregnancy dream for quite some time), but that perhaps I’d feel a little bit rubbish along the way whenever I had morning sickness.  Wrong.

The reality has been quite different.  Firstly, I have been almost permanently anxious.  I think I always would have been as I’m a worrier by nature but, having not fallen pregnant easily in the first place, I’ve always had in the back of my mind that this pregnancy might be our one and only shot at it.  That thought doesn’t particularly promote a chilled-out, relaxed vibe!

Secondly, I have really struggled with my huge weight gain.  At 31 weeks I have now gained about 40lbs.  It’s absolute madness.  That’s much more than many people have gained by the time their baby is born!

Before pregnancy I never ever appreciated just how hard it is to carry around a lot of excess weight.  When I gained weight in the past (like the 20 lbs I gained while TTC) I found it harder to run/play sport and my confidence bombed, but I could still do everything and be as active as I wanted to be, even if I wasn’t setting PBs.  Now, it’s a challenge to just walk down the street.  I make myself walk around as much as I can, because I am simply not prepared to just sit there all day and get even worse, but I hate that I am instantly out of breath as soon as I move and that I am so damn slow.  I also hate that I struggle to put my shoes on or to shave my legs or to get up if I lie down!

I am trying to be kind to myself and not hate myself too much for the weight gain.  Throughout the first trimester and start of the second trimester all I could really stomach was carbs and salt and I felt I had to eat every two hours or I’d vomit (I never actually did vomit, but the feeling was there the whole time and only subsided whenever I ate).  I was also unable to exercise.  On the few times I went out running, I really struggled and would often get cramps and pains which would force me to stop as I worried it was something happening to the baby.  As my weight increased, I found that I (a) simply couldn’t carry the huge load of my ginormous body; and (b) couldn’t fit into any workout gear (even the ‘two sizes up’ sports bra I purchased at the start!).  I cannot wait to be in a position where I can start to get fit again and start to feel a little bit better about myself.

Other pregnancy side effects I have really struggled with are:

  • the tiredness.  OH MY WORD the tiredness.  It’s exhausting…and if one more person says “If you think you’re tired now, wait until you’re a parent” I simply won’t be responsible for my actions!
  • being constantly uncomfortable and in pain, whether it’s the back ache or the swollen legs.  It seems that sitting up hurts (especially if I am kicked when my belly is right up to my desk!).  Walking around quickly gets tiring.  Lying on my left hand side (as we’re told to do) is uncomfortable and unnatural for me.  Lying on my front is obviously impossible.  Only lying on my back is comfortable, but we’re told not to do that as it can be bad for the baby.  THERE IS NO WAY TO WIN!
  • the insomnia.  Now I have always struggled with insomnia all of my life.  I once had to sit an exam having not slept AT ALL over the three previous nights.  I have also lost track of the nights spent just lying there, pleading with some greater being to just let me sleep for an hour or two! So I am sadly used to insomnia.  But in pregnancy it can be that little bit harder because I am just so uncomfortable and in so much pain I feel even more despairing about the situation.
  • commuting.  I have mentioned it before but I commute over three hours a day.  Most of the time I am able to get a seat (when I can book a seat and actually get out of work and make my train) but there have been a few times when I have been unable to get a seat.  On those times I have just sat on the floor.  As a result of this I have been given plenty of disgusted looks, but even before pregnancy I was prone to fainting so why would I risk standing and fainting when it could hurt my baby?! I have also been a little bit appalled at how rarely people have offered me a seat.  I have tried to check myself and make sure my “pregnancy privilege” isn’t getting out of hand, but given that I am very clearly pregnant, it does seem quite poor form that so many people do just turn their heads and pretend they haven’t seen you.
  • needing the loo.  All the time.  Even when I go, as soon as I stand up I need the loo again.
  • heartburn. Enough said.

There are plenty of other less-than-fun side effects.  Being kicked in the ribs is particularly unpleasant, but then there’s something a little reassuring about that so I don’t really mind.

Anyway, there are plenty of fun things about being pregnant.  Above all, we will hopefully have a baby at the end of this.  I never particularly wanted the whole pregnancy thing, but BT and I have wanted children for a very long time so it is the obvious means to the end.  Even before we started TTC we discussed all things parenting (because back then we just assumed it would obviously happen).

We’ve also loved doing up the nursery and I had a wonderful weekend baby shopping with my mum and actually allowing myself to get really excited (BTW Baby Flat is going to be one very spoilt baby in his first few weeks!).

There have also been the special moments where you hear the baby’s heartbeat, or feel/see the kicks or have the scans and it just feels incredible thinking “That is actually our son”.  We just feel so lucky when we think about where we were at a year ago.  Despite having really struggled with pregnancy, I would not change any of this for the world.

Which brings me on to the latest scan we had this weekend.  As it just seemed such a long time to wait between the 20 week scan and the baby being born, we decided to go privately for a 4D scan roughly half way through this time.  The scan was incredible and we saw him doing all sorts (breathing, sucking his feet, punching the ultrasound scanner every time the sonographer put it on my tummy, even smiling!).  It also turns out he’s a bit of a chunky monkey.  At 31 weeks tomorrow, he already weighs 4lbs 5oz and he’s in the 92nd percentile for abdomen and leg sizes.  It’s madness to think that he’s got another two months of growing to do.  Hopefully this is a good thing though and if he needed to be delivered early he would have the best chance possible.  It still absolutely scares the hell out of me though when I think about the labour and delivery…

Anyway, here are two of the scan pictures.  One where he’s being a grump and one where he’s smiling to himself.  He spent the entire appointment with his hand and foot by his face and nothing we did would make him move them!

I’m aware that all babies look the same and the 4D scans just make them look like little aliens, but it does feel incredible to actually really see him and his little face! I just want the next two months to fly by and for him to come safely and to know that he is ok.

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The weight gain dilemma

Scale

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:

Ridiculous model

Ridiculous abs

Naughty plus size model

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.