Let me just put this out there: I’m overweight. I was overweight before I got pregnant. I have been overweight my entire pregnancy. I am not “obese” nor am I “morbidly obese”.
I’m big. I understand this. I’m well aware that even though I was on my way to my goal weight prior to pregnancy (diet and exercise were definitely working out for me), all hopes of losing weight went out the window the second that test came back positive. And you know what? I was totally okay with that. It’s not healthy to lose weight during pregnancy, and I wanted to stay as healthy as possible so Future Baby could be as healthy as possible.
But, like many preggers out there, I was very ill during my first tri-mester. I lost weight. I couldn’t help it. I couldn’t eat much, and what I could eat, I couldn’t keep down. Therefore, I lost weight. Granted, it wasn’t too much. Nothing scary. Nothing that would harm Future Baby. But initially, I lost weight.
Weight loss ended as soon as my morning sickness did. Finally, I could eat and not be running to the bathroom five minutes later! It was exciting! And I may have overdone it a bit. Because I started to gain weight. Not a lot at first; but all those fast-food runs and ice cream cravings do add up. And add up they did. Slowly at first, then a little bit faster and a little bit more. I actually didn’t realize how much weight I had put on; I don’t own a scale. And though I started to look more pregnant (i.e. bigger boobs and belly, along with swelling legs and ankles), I couldn’t put a number on how many pounds this pregnancy was packing on to me.
Until I went to the doctor for a checkup during my second trimester. And I had a meltdown on the scale. I had reached the number I had vowed never to reach. And though it terrified me then, I have no issue with it now, so I’m going to put it out there: I was officially *gasp* 200 pounds. Now, this isn’t much if you’re a 6-foot tall muscular man; but I’m a not-so-muscular 5’4″ woman. Two hundred pounds is a lot for my frame. And it’s a big, scary number to me.
So like I said; meltdown on the scale. Thankfully, the nurse was amazing and calmed me down quickly. She reassured me that all women gain different amounts of weight during pregnancy and that if gaining this amount of weight was an issue, the doctors would work with me to come up with a solution. Amazingly, the doctor didn’t even seem fazed at the number. This comes down to a number of factors:
- All of my vitals were fine.
- All of Future Baby’s vitals were fine.
- Even though I had all the symptoms, my gestational diabetes test came back negative.
- I have an auto-immune condition invovling my thyroid, which leads to my body putting weight on easily for no apparent reason (and makes it ridiculously hard for me to lose weight as well).
- I had ridiculous swelling in my legs, hands and ankles since the first month of pregnancy, so it was obvious my body was already retaining a lot of fluid.
Since the doc wasn’t all that worried, and Future Baby has received a clean bill of health at every checkup, I decided not to worry about the weight. Seriously. I was going to embrace my changing body; after all, it’s changing to accomodate the child growing inside me…and that’s freaking amazing. As long as both Future Baby and I were happy and healthy, my weight was not going to matter to me.
Do you want to know who it DOES matter to? EVERYONE ELSE. Not even kidding. I had been warned that having a baby bump will somehow transform your family, friends, co-workers and complete strangers into know-it-alls who graciously impart their opinions and wisdom onto you, whether you want it or not. So I was somewhat prepared for that. What I was NOT prepared for was all those people’s judgemental comments regarding my weight.
“Wow, you’ve gotten so big so quickly!” “Wow! You’re HUGE!” “You MUST be due in a week or two; you’re so BIG!” “What are you still doing working? Aren’t you ready to deliver in a few days?” “Are you sure it’s not twins?” And more. I’ve heard them all. Then there’s the judgemental comments about my eating habits. FYI – it’s perfectly normal to have several meals and snacks throughout the day; in fact, it’s healthy to do that. Also, the only dietary restrictions my doc gave me were no raw food and no alcohol, so don’t begrudge me my glass of Coke. As long as Future Baby and I are healthy, I don’t know what it is everyone is so concerned about.
It’s funny; the second I decided to stop caring about my weight, it was all anyone could comment on (minus a select group of loving, supportive people). I’m still not sure how to react to those comments. Sometimes I get offended. Sometimes I laugh. Sometimes I’m just speechless. But I’m learning to let it go. And I’ve definitely learned weight is a personal matter and anyone else’s weight is none of my business.