Friday, April 27, 2007

Weight

Okay, I haven't been completely honest. I guess because I know some people already have opinions on my weight and appearance, and I didn't want to open up a can of worms. However, this is my journal, of sorts, so I really want to write about what's going on with me.

As you know, if you've been reading along, I was quite proud of my lack of weight gain in my first trimester. I was thrilled. I was determined not to be one of those preggers who gained 70 pounds. I started off the pregnancy considerably overweight. You see, I have struggled with an eating disorder for MANY years of my life and was on the tail end of major recovery efforts. I was exercising and eating fairly healthy, but I had not lost too much when the little one decided to join us. I was both excited (yay, baby!) and devestated (fatso) by the timing. I spoke to both my nutritionist/therapist and my doctor about healthy weight gain during pregnancy. We all agreed I didn't need to gain much more than about 25 pounds, if that. I could keep up with the exercise, keep the healthy diet and only increase by about 300 calories a day. I was game.

Then, I started feeling like I had been hit by a truck. Exercise ceased. I was puking and gagging all the time, so it became about what I could tolerate eating and keep down. Plus, we have no kitchen. My tiredness made me even less likely to get up and make myself some healthy something. And, as painful as it is to say, I began eating FAST FOOD. I know, I'm a terrible mother. I never eat fast food in my normal life. And here, when I am pregnant and should be most concerned about the well-being of my child and myself, I am eating McDonalds and Taco Bell (please, don't tell Marco about that one). It wasn't all the time, but it was certainly often. I am blushing at the thought of everyone knowing this. I would throw away the trash so that people wouldn't find out. It's so sad. But when you're hungry and barely making it to work and everything looks disgusting, an egg mcmuffin is fast, cheap, easy and tasty. I tried to keep the rest of my diet full of fiber and nutrients. I took my prenatal vitamins and enzymes and all that. I even attempted to choke down Brewer's Yeast (yuck) that is supposed to be healthy, fiberous and help with morning sickness. But how can you drink something disgusting when you are about to puke? Well, I didn't. I think I made Marco drink it. But he likes protein powder and crap like that, so who cares. Don't go feeling bad for him.

Fast forward to about Week 16 when I started to not gag every time I brushed my teeth and my energy mildly began to improve. I started doing better. My weight gain at the 17 Week appointment was only a total of 9 pounds. However, it was exactly Week 16 when I found myself unemployed. I was home, alone, with food and TV and sadness. I began to lose my focus on my own well-being. Plus, I had the false notion that I wasn't gaining weight. It was still pretty cold outside and not conducive to walking. I no longer had a gym membership, so swimming was out. I just started to stagnate a little bit. You probably know from my previous posts that I was struggling with my feelings over the whole issue and my own value, etc. I even stopped being good about taking my prenatals. This fact has mostly to do with my great desire to avoid constipation at all costs. Plus, my doctor told me I could do two days on and one day off. But I'm really not too good at keeping track of these things unless I just do it every damn day. Did I take it yesterday? Yeah, I think I did.

Well, on Wednesday's appointment (Week 21), I weighed in with a 19 pound total gain. I knew this wasn't good. I was sort of spinning. I have gained 10 pounds in the last month. Do you have ANY idea how this affects a girl with a previous eating disorder and weight struggles??? I was sitting there in the doctor's office looking at the image in the mirror begin to grow. I swear, I began to swell up right before my eyes. I was like a giant pink marshmellow, filled with remorse and devestation. I kept rubbing my tummy trying to remind myself that I was having a baby and that weight gain was normal. I was okay. I had been going through a tough time and would be okay. But I just kept thinking, "19!! 19!! 19!! You are a fat, ridiculous, fast-food and sugar eating COW!" I pictured my little daughter coming out all pudgy and racing straight for the McDonalds. I was doing calculations. You can't just stop gaining weight in pregnancy or start to lose weight. And I still have 18 or 19 weeks left. Holy Crap!!! At this rate I could be 300 lbs when she's born.

The doctor came in and went through all my stats. I am super healthy. My blood pressure is great and low. My sugars are fine. The baby is fine. Nothing abnormal. He even said, "Weight gain is fine." I stopped him there. "Well, I was concerned about that." He looked again. "Well, it is a little high. Most people have gained 10 pounds at this point. (heart sinking) But we'll keep an eye on it. You should be fine." But I am sure that deep inside he was thinking, "You are a terrible mother. You've probably been eating fast food, haven't you, you fat pig!" Defensively, I said, "Well, we've been under a lot of stress. I lost my job..." He just smiled and said I'd be fine that they would keep an eye on it. But I was thinking, that keeping an eye on it just meant that they'd determine next appointment (Week 25) whether I should be chained up and fed only water and vitamins. By then I could be massively overweight. What if I put on 15 pounds in the next month? Be still, my heart!!!

I expressed to my dear husband that I do not want to continue down this dreaded path. I would cut out the sodas and sweets I'd been eating and start walking. He said he loved me, but he wanted me to be okay so he would help me if he could. I had new resolve. I wanted to do this the healthy way for my baby. I wanted to be Earth Mother, Super Mom. I could do it.

The first problem arose when Marco did his first "helping" with the new plan. For him helping meant saying, "Watch it there" when I put parmesan cheese on my homemade and healthy pizza. I was so excited and hungry and proud of my healthy self. I knew in my head that a sprinkle of cheese (20 calories) was not the cause of my weight gain and would not be my downfall. But his comment put me in a foul mood. I found myself going down that thought path of complete obsession. I grumpily ate my small amount of pizza. I did tell him he RUINED my meal and my life and this was not what I was hoping for in terms of helping. I continued in silence and anger to sit there while he ate however much he damn well pleased to eat. I was bitter and sad and fat.

It occurred to me that in order to be this healthy mama I also have to be mentally and emotionally healthy. I can't be puking up my dinner because I don't want to be gaining too much weight. Now, of all times in my life, I have to have a grip. I cannot go back down the path of ruin. And I get it in theory. I have to have balance. But this is SO much harder than you would think. How can I continue to gain weight at a steady pace that is healthy? Should I seriously start keeping detailed track of my caloric intake? I just think that will cause me to obsess. This is exactly what I was trying to AVOID. Dammit!!!

And, I should mention, I am hungry very often. I try to eat small amounts more often to prevent myself from reaching that state where I want to eat large quantities of fatty food. But when the hunger strikes so ferociously, it's very difficult. I go from fine to starving in a few minutes. And that's when the bad decisions are made. I try to keep fruit and healthy munchies around me, but sometimes I need real food. Then it's a struggle to know the right thing to eat. I can't have deli meat, so sandwiches have to be tuna or chicken. Grilled chicken grosses me out for some reason these days, and you can only eat so much tuna in a week. That is just the beginning... Plus, I have a way higher craving for sweets than I ever did before. I'm sitting here thinking about the grape soda in the work fridge and the cookies I baked this morning (part of my job).

Anyway, I'm not sure there's really any resolution. I was just hoping I could really revel in being pregnant and big-bellied. And I do like my baby belly, but I still feel rather enormous and not cute. Does everyone feel this way? Am I obsessing about it too much? Should I just do my best and let the chips fall?

I need a servant and personal chef. That would solve all my problems. Oh, and if someone else could get up in the night and pee for me. That sure would be nice.

1 comment:

Katie Collins said...

Seriously, WHEN can we hang out?! Heather, I really could've written this exact post when I was halfway through my pregnancy. Except I'd gained 12 pounds in a month at one point. After that it went kind of back to normal gaining, but with no help from me since I just drowned my sorrows in lots of bowls of ice cream. My point is, I hope you can trust that your body knows what it's doing. It will take care of you and your baby. Maybe this is naive and maybe this is too easy for me to say now that my pregnancy is long over, but...really, hang in there. I know it sucks and is so hard in so many ways, but really, you ARE a great mom, you will be a great mom, and your little girl is going to be wonderful! I mean, I think it's totally normal to freak about this stuff, don't get me wrong, but only in retrospect do I realize and believe my body knew what it was doing way more than I did.

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