Hi everyone!!! I know I start every post with an apology for my absence, and this is no different! Things have been so crazy getting ready for baby! I am officially 5 days until my due date, although my OB didn’t really seem to think the baby was in any real hurry to come out…but Mommy is!
I wanted to share a little story with all of you that I hope will be helpful. At 35 weeks (about a month ago), I had an ultrasound just to make sure the baby was head down and everything was looking good. At that appointment, my doctor explained that they baby was measuring a little on the small side (which I was super surprised about) and they’d like to do a follow up in a few weeks. She didn’t seem real concerned, but any concern at all is scary for a first time mom like me! So 2 weeks later I went for a follow up and during the scan I found myself way over analyzing everything the ultrasound tech said (or didn’t say). She said the baby was small (panic) and my amniotic fluid was high (panic), and everything looked fine (PANIC she didn’t say perfect!). Overall, the doctors were happy with the baby’s growth, s/he is just on the smaller side and these estimates can be way off and I should stop panicking (yeah, right). Fast forward another week and I’m at my 38 week appointment. I’ve been very diligent about not finding not knowing my weight throughout my entire pregnancy. I get on the scale backwards every week and remind the medical assistant that I do not want to know the number. Well, I got on the scale backwards and figured since the assistant knew me by now, I didn’t need to remind her. Guess again. She put her hand on my belly to maneuver around me to see the display, then announced my weight. It felt like I had been kicked in the gut.
“Oh, no, I don’t want to know!” I cried as she announced
“Oh! Oops! Did I mess up?? Sorry!” She giggled.
I literally started to vibrate. Of course then she took my blood pressure and it was through the roof. She left me in the room to undress and I took many deep breaths to keep away tears. “Don’t panic, relax, it’s ok” I said aloud to the sterile room. “Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale”.
The doctor came in and said that since my blood pressure had been steadily rising for the past few weeks (news to me!), she was going to redo my blood pressure measure and then we’d decide if I needed testing for preeclampsia. I explained that hearing my weight may have triggered the spike and the follow up measure was more normal, albeit a bit elevated. She sent me for testing anyway, it came back normal.
I cried in my car, as I often do, and called on my support team (Chris, my mom, my best friends) to calm me down when breathing wasn’t doing the trick. “You look great!”,”The baby needs you to gain weight”, “You’re doing everything right”, “It’s all in your belly!”, everyone told me. I didn’t feel better.
The next day, of course I got online and started looking for tips and tricks for losing baby weight. That was a mistake, as is googling most pregnancy related topics. I kept finding bloggers explaining “OH EM GEE I was sooooo gross during my pregnancy. I ate Little Debbies and didn’t work out at all and I gained THIRTY pounds! EWWWW”. Which made me feel exactly 0% better for the following reasons: A. I have been eating really well. B. I’ve worked out and stayed active through my whole pregnancy and C. I’ve gained 40 pounds. That’s right. Forty. 4-0. And I have at least another week of pregnancy.
So I share this story with you for a few reasons. One reason is that, similar to when I was researching Gestational Diabetes (I really never learn), the internet is filled with scary stories and worst case scenarios. Also, every pregnancy is totally different. I stayed active, ate well and did everything I was “supposed” to do and gained more than the OB/GYN recommended 25-35 pounds. I know other women that gained more and others that gained less. And some that have gained none at all. All healthy pregnancies. Would I have preferred to never know this number? Yeah, sure. Do I feel more empowered now that I do know it and was able to come to peace with a number that doesn’t hold power over me any more? Yeah, definitely. I know I did everything right during this pregnancy, including the occasional ice cream and pizza. I could have restricted my intake and pushed my workouts to my limit throughout these past 9 months, but I’d be miserable…and no better off.
Just like my pre-pregnancy weight, this scale number is just another number. My pre-pregnancy weight was higher than I thought it should have been, but I was also my healthiest, fittest and happiest. A reminder of what that looks like:
Had I not been happy, fit and healthy, I probably would not have been able to get pregnant. Yes, I do hope that I can get back to that body, but I’m also trying to give myself some space to be a new mom and not push myself too quickly. Right now I’m trying to refocus my thoughts and energy. There’s nothing I can do about the weight now, and probably not a lot I could’ve done to begin with. My body will be different after baby, and that’s OK. I will be different! Here’s what 39 weeks looks like around here:
So that’s my pep talk (for myself and for all of you). Pretty soon these concerns will seem really silly. Hopefully sooner rather than later!
Have a great week!