Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Weighty Realizations

Today is results day. My one hour glucose tolerance test for gestational diabetes test was last week and this morning I went in for my bi monthly OB appointment, knowing that I would also be getting back the results of that test. I, of course, like anyone else, hoped that I would pass so that I could avoid the longer, more involved 3 hour glucose tolerance test and strict gestational diabetes diet. I felt pretty optimistic this morning that I would get good news though, and enjoyed my drive to the office as I stared in the rearview mirror at the gorgeous snow covered mountains behind me. Now that I have been to my appointment, I have good news and bad news.

Throughout my pregnancy, it has been important to me to keep my weight gain within the recommended limits. I haven't been counting calories or obsessing over what to eat, but I have been mindful of it, and also been staying active with daily walks (usually twice daily if my schedule allows it). I have a had a few tiny jumps in weight gain, and although my numbers have been higher than I expected at some OB visits, I have always stayed within the range. After my last OB visit, I resolved to be easier on myself mentally and not worry about whether my weight gain was a pound or two higher than expected since, while occasionally on the high end, I have still consistently stayed in the healthy range.

I haven't gotten much bigger since my last appointment and I've been told by a few friends that I still don't even look pregnant except for my round belly. I am still able to cross my legs, move around easily and even wear some pre-pregnancy clothes (including at least one pair of pants!)
With this appointment being right after the holidays, I fully expected my number on the scale to be a bit higher than what is expected in a two week period. But having this in mind, I was prepared and I felt good. I was not, however, at all prepared for what actually happened this morning. I stepped on the scale totally ready for a higher than normal 3 pound jump, but instead I shot up 6! In two weeks! Which puts me over the recommended weight gain for this stage of pregnancy. In fact, after today, I have just about reached my total recommended weight gain for the entire pregnancy, and I still have 12 weeks to go. I did not handle this realization well. At all.

As soon as the nurse left and I had time to process what the scale had said, I got a little teary eyed. Then Chad hugged me and tried to soothe me and I teared a little more. Then I tried to articulate why I was so upset and a full tear made it out and rolled down my cheek. Then the OB came in and asked what was wrong and I lost it. Full on cry fest in the exam room. It was mortifying but I couldn't make it stop. I told her my concerns and after looking at my chart, she agreed that, yes I was gaining too much. Well, that didn't help the sobbing. She kept saying it would be ok and that I'd just have to eat well and exercise from here on. Which pissed me off because I have been doing that! I will admit, I have not eaten nearly as well or exercised as much over the holidays, but I also have not been stuffing my face with fries and milkshakes and I have still gotten a few good walks in.

The whole thing just made me feel so bad about myself. I have worked so incredibly hard to get here and I was already failing as a mother, not taking good enough care of myself or my baby. I just couldn't stop crying. And for some reason, me crying made Dr. Inconsiderate keep talking about it. All I wanted her to do was stop. The more she talked, the more I wanted her to shut up. I kept trying to pull myself together but her chit chat about how it was bad but not that bad and I could turn it around and slow things down and yadda yadda yadda just kept me from being able to take a deep breath and calm down. I know she was trying to help, but really she was making it worse. Finally she left the room to get my glucose test results and I was able to get it together a little bit.

The great news is I passed the glucose test with flying colors. No gestational diabetes for me and no need for the 3 hour test. The bad news is, I am on the carb/sugar restricted diet anyway for my weight gain.
The only things I have consistently craved since day one has been cereal and fruit. I am addicted to apples, tangerines, pears and grapefruit as well as just about anything made from grain or rice with milk poured over it. Turns out that my biggest pregnancy cravings, while they haven't been fast food or doughnuts, are still my biggest downfall. These foods are filled with pound packing carbs that apparently are sabotaging my healthy goals. So now I have to give them up. Which really doesn't bother me nearly as much as the risk of hurting mine or Snow Pea's chances at having the rest of this pregnancy and the following labor/delivery being as healthy as possible. But it still kinda sucks.

I am also incredibly embarrassed that my emotions got the better of me while at the OB's office. I keep daydreaming about going back to do this morning's appointment over again, this time without looking at the scale or having the subsequent melt down. I had other things I wanted to talk about and go over but once the weight conversation started, pretty much everything else was out the window. Luckily, when I go back in two weeks I will be seeing Dr. Casual again and I know that his much more laid back and non-intrusive bedside manner will be much easier to deal with so that I can discuss other things and not worry as much about any of this.

I am trying really hard not to beat myself up about this. I have told Chad I will need his help emotionally to get through the hit on my self esteem, and while I know he has no idea what to do or say, he has really been there with kind, encouraging words and a few wonderfully long hugs. For that I am incredibly grateful. I also can't help but feel guilty for being so upset. Last year, I would have killed to have this be my biggest problem and cried that someone else was crying about gaining extra pregnancy weight when all I wanted to was to be pregnant. And when I remember that, it puts everything into perspective a bit. Am I unhappy about the extra weight? Yes. Would I trade this unhappiness for anything else? Hell no. So, I might go over the recommended weight gain. So, I won't win pregnant woman of the year. So what? I have realized a dream I once feared may never happen. I have a healthy baby growing inside me and that is SO much more important than some stupid scale.


The Gimlins said...

Don't beat yourself up too much. Personally, I think the pregnancy weight guidelines are a bit screwy to begin with. And really, how can there be one set of guidelines that is accurate for every single pregnant woman out there? Its a conspiracy theory, I tell ya! If it makes you feel any better, I'm not pregnant and I've gained 6 lbs in the last two weeks too. :)

manymanymoons said...

I'm sorry you had such a rough time. I hate when the tears come harder the more you try to hold them back. Totally out of your control. Keep your chin up.

Piece said...

new to your blog but i feel your pain. Im worried im setting myself up for disappointment later. Im only 7 weeks but I have pcos and have to watch the weight gain too. good luck to you... do the best you can. no one wins pregnant woman of the year :)


Dea.nna said...

Oh Holly, I can so relate!!! At 29w1d I had gained 30 pounds!!! I've never had major weight issues and this is just so hard for me. I'm not concerned about gaining weight but I am concerned about harming the baby bc I'm gaining too much weight or too much weight too fast. I suck at dieting and I'm even worse at exercising. You're already doing better than me. I'm sorry you're feeling down but you're not alone. You are already an amazing mother!!!

MarfMom said...

I understand being upset by it, but really, try not to be too hard on yourself. When I was pregnant with M, I was over the recommended weight gain for the halfway point. I'd been trying to keep track of my weight, though I couldn't exercise, and the nurse was so nasty to me about it that I burst out crying.

I talked to my OB/MFM about it when I saw him the next week, and I liked his perspective. He told me that I needed to trust my body, and that our bodies know how much weight we need (as long as we're "not eating McDonalds every day, chain smoking, or doing nothing but sitting on the couch"). For many women, their bodies need to gain the "recommended amount" of 25-30 lbs. Other women need to gain more, or gain it on a different schedule.

One of my girlfriends ate well and exercised and gained 70 lbs with each pregnancy. She lost it all within a few months and her babies were all fine. My doctor and I decided I shouldn't keep track of my weight and he'd let me know if it got out of hand. I gained a lot early on and then the bulk of the 3rd trimester hardly got any bigger, so in the end I wasn't too much bigger than recommended.

I'm sending you virtual hugs! You are a great mom already and your baby is going to be beautiful and perfect for you. You are doing an amazing job!!! <3

The (Type A) Nightmare said...

Okay. I'm seriously pissed at Dr. Inconsiderate. My doctor does NOT harp on weigh. Like someone else posted, she believes that our bodies are the best indicators of how much weight we need for a pregnancy. I gained a LOT in the middle but have sort of tapered off now. In fact, in the past week, I lost 3 lbs. So... don't get down. On top of that, it was Christmas. On more than one occasion, I gained 6 lbs in 2 weeks. It will all even out. Sending hugs.

Ally said...

I can totally relate. At my 33 week appointment, I had gained 7 lbs in 2 weeks. It should have only been 2-3, so just like you, I started freaking out. I hadn't been able to exercise for about a month due to my contractions (we were waiting til I got to 34 weeks to be safe again), and all the holiday treats didn't help either. The nurse just told me to watch my carbs, but honestly I only eat whole grains as it is so I didn't really change much about my diet.

Yesterday at my 35 week appt, I stepped on the scale only to find I hadn't gained ANY weight!! So, I'm back on track in terms of total weight gain now, even though the nurse was a little concerned I didn't gain anything in 2 weeks. I honestly think at the 33 week appt I had a lot of water weight going on, not actual mass being gained.

Anyways - just keep doing what you're doing, you're being healthy so don't beat yourself up (I too am obsessed with fruit and cereal!), and sometimes our bodies just do what they want to do regardless. Hang in there mama :)

Randifity said...

I whole-heartedly agree with MarfMom!

It is not like the weight you are gaining is necessarily unhealthy. You are active, you are eating healthy, so what if you gain more than what "they" say you should?

It sounds like you're doctor is just socially awkward and didn't know how to ease the situation.

If it makes you feel better, cut back a bit on the carbs a bit but fruit and grains are healthy for you. Indulge in some of your cravings. You ARE pregnant, it is your perogative! Enjoy it!


Astrid said...

Oh man, reading this made me really angry for you. If it was me, I would be finding another doctor for a second opinion. The numbers on the scale are just numbers, and are sometimes useful indicators of other things, but not always. If you've had a healthy diet and exercise regularly throughout your pregnancy so far, and especially since your glucose tolerance test came out normal, and since you're clearly not putting on a ton of weight in the wrong places, whether you're tipping the edge of the charts numbers-wise is completely irrelevant. Hell, my midwives say I don't even have to weigh myself at all during my pregnancy if I don't want to and everything else is looking good. There really doesn't seem to be any need for you to drastically alter your diet. I say just keep on keepin' on.

Mrs. Type A said...

I cry really easily too - in all kinds of bad situations - including at work! Try not to be too hard on yourself - the holidays are SO hard to maintain weight even when not pregnant. You might find that now that the holiday eating is over your weight will plateua for a few weeks and you'll fall back within to range. Try not to dwell on it and just keep giving that baby the nutrients it needs! Hang in there!

Waiting Lisa said...

Okay, so, I know I don't know anything about pregnancy, but it seems ridiculous to me that your dr would give you a hard time about that small of a weight gain. And it feels really counterintuative to hear you giving up fruit and cereal. They are giving you so many vitamins the baby needs.

Also....wow...I just saw a picture of you on twitter and you look amazing. I have no idea where any extra weight is on you.

So, again, I am clueless when it comes to pregnancy but it seems like you are doing great and I wish you would just ignore the scale.

I love you. Bunches and bunches. And I am so happy for you that you passed the glucose test. You are doing great. <3 <3

Chasing a Miracle said...

Can i just say something? I am thinking that it may sound silly, and i am thinking that i may come off as rude, but i am going to say it anyway...

Your pregnant.

You are meant to be gaining weight.

I have always been cautious of my weight, as long as i can remember i have always been on a diet, and a few years before i became pregnant i became a gym junkie. When i fell pregnant i made a decision - to eat. Before pregnancy there were no carbs, no treats, no pizza, no doughnuts, no icecream - nothing but lettuce leaves and cauliflower... so i made the decision to enjoy 9 months when i had an excuse.

In australia they do not weigh you, they do not tell you your gain, and they do not tell you any limits, nor to cut out any food (unless of course you get diabetes)

i knew throughout my pregnancy that i was packing it on, i knew that i was gaining much more than i should have, but you know what? I LOVED IT! I ate icecream, and i mean i ate icecream... i baked cookies, i made cakes, i ate even more icecream, and i loved it, i loved it, i loved it - for the first time in my life i felt free!

The day before the csection i got weighed for the anesthetic - i gained 30kg - i think that is doubled for pounds - so i knew that as soon as my miracle was out of me i would have to work.

And i have... I dropped 20kg the week after the csection which i wasnt expecing, but there has still been 13kg to loose...

I wont lie, it has been hard and it has been emotional, but i am halfway there and i am proud of myself.

I am proud of myself for learning that food doesnot define who i am, i am proud of myself for enjoying the moments when i could eat some cold icecream and make my baby move, and i am proud of myself for getting back into being a gym junkie, and when the world told me i would never do it - i did....

Sometimes i ask myself if i regret eating so much, if i had wished that i watched my weight more, and the truth is no i dont regret it, i proved many things to myself, and most importantly i wasnt worried about something more.

I think that being pregnant after all that you have been through, after all that we have been through means that we already have so much to worry about without adding something else into the mix. I am not saying overdo it, but dont let it define you, dont let your weight gain worry you, dont let something else make what should be the best nine months of your life more stressful than it already is for you.

Make sure you are you. Make sure you do things for you as well.

I am always thinking of you and i hope that my words didnt come across as rude.

sending you my love


oh and ps - jam doughnuts FTW

Kelly Barrett said...

Hi Holly,
I have dropped in on your blog a few times over the past couple months and I just wanted to say I admire your openness in sharing your experiences and up and downs--even if they seem as "trivial" as weight gain. Because you can't help what bothers you, everyone is different and recognizing your feelings is better for you ultimately than pretending they simply don't exist. That's why blogging is so great, it lets you express yourself and find other people who can relate.

Anyhow, it sounds like you've been fortunate to have a supportive husband with you throughout infertility problems and now, into your pregnancy (congratulations, by the way!). I thought I would bring your attention to this project, By My Side http://mydestinationfamily.org/bymyside. I think you have got a really great story to share.

Best of luck with everything :)