No small loss without some great gain

My plan was to weigh 125 pounds when I got pregnant with baby #2. I weighed 144 pounds, though I did not know I was pregnant till later; I went down to 137 before I found out and am currently at 138. And really, that’s not accurate. My scale is at least five and probably ten pounds off. So I probably weigh closer to 150 right now. But I’m happy to call it 138.

I wanted to be at an optimal weight before becoming pregnant because I gained between 45 and 50 pounds with Sam. And while it is certainly possible that I might gain less this time, I can’t count on it. Every body gains weight differently in pregnancy, and I am just not one of those girls who gains 25 pounds and looks like I swallowed a bowling ball. With Sam I showed by 15 weeks, was huge by 30 weeks, and was pregnant all over. Sure, I plan to be extra careful about weight gain this time–but I don’t think I can change my body type.

A friend of mine asked me straight-up why I didn’t go ahead and get pregnant and just gain that much less (that much being my goal loss), and I tried to explain that it doesn’t work that way. Will thought I was being negative and fatalistic and I really don’t think I was. I just don’t think I can work miracles with my body beyond that little “creating life” thing.

The first thing I noticed after confirming that I’m pregnant (and isn’t it funny how you can BE pregnant for, oh, let’s say two weeks, with zero indications, and then suddenly you get a positive test and WHAMMO! Symptoms galore!) was that my belly, which had flattened significantly and even begun to develop some muscle tone (just from walking!) immediately became flabby. I swear, fat appeared instantly where it had not been moments earlier. I’m not saying I went from supermodel to fat lady–my empty baby house always looked like just that–but it was a marked change.

My work is, as they say, cut out for me.

Naturally I am ravenous and have zero energy, which means I am eating way too much and exercising way too little. The thrice-weekly 2.5 mile walks I was taking those first three weeks? I managed one yesterday, the first in two weeks. Pathetic. Or progress. Something with a p.

It’s hard for me to not feel like a failure. I not only failed to reach this goal, but I failed to lose the weight any time in the last, oh, three years. I did get back to my pre-pregnancy weight, but that weight was 20 pounds above my normal, healthy weight. Twenty extra pounds on my frame is a LOT. I can expect to be at about 60 (the 20 I never lost + an optimistic 40) by Christmas. Yikes.

So I am trying to feel good about my body and the job it’s doing, while also being conscious of my weight without going overboard and it’s a really hard balance.

9 thoughts on “No small loss without some great gain

  1. Lori

    May 23, 2009 at 4:59pm

    i gained about 60 lb. i made a nurse *gasp* with horror! :^D

    when i got pregnant with son #2, i looked 6 months pregnant *immediately*. i had to go through an entire pregnancy of excited grins and “when are you due?!” and then i would say “[in several months]” and their face would fall, then they would brighten again and say “twins?!” good golly.

    *don’t* feel like a failure. your body is programmed to carry around extra baby-protecting/toddler-protecting fat. just roll with it, eat healthy, and know that you’ll eventually slender down later on. or do what i did and eat healthy + cake and gain even more the 2nd time. ;^)

    you’re making a baby and a family! you deserve to feel great.

    Lori’s last blog post..open thread

  2. B

    May 23, 2009 at 6:22pm

    I agree with Lori – you’re making a family so feel great about it. No being down on yourself about un-lost weight. You’ll get back to it by chasing two kids around before you know it.

    I know how you feel – believe me. I’m carrying a bit differently this time around and look like I haven’t gained as much as I have. I looked bigger last time. But I’m not bloating out like I did last time either. I think that has a lot to do with not working a desk job this time out. I’m more active just in that I carry around a 30 pound kid once in awhile. I can’t get out of lifting her, though I do it less than I used to.

    So much of my weight goes immediately to my boobs I don’t think I look as pregnant as I feel or am (i realized tonight that the due date is TWENTY FIVE DAYS AWAY!). My belly is struggling to look big in comparison to those pesky breasts. I think I’ve gained around the same amount as last time overall but look totally different. My clothes even fit differently.

    That whole being ravenous but having no energy thing is a killer though. I get it. And I had a few months there where I could not stand the thought of veggies. That made it worse.

    Enjoy! Don’t go crazy and eat all the chocolate in all the land and you’ll be fine.

    B’s last blog post..Progress

  3. the slackmistress

    May 23, 2009 at 9:19pm

    I can’t imagine what it’s like, but I do get that you can set out to do the best you can and take care of yourself and your body is going to do what it’s going to do. The thing you can control is being kind to yourself, and thankfully you have friends who are happy to kick you in the ass when you’re not. ;p

    the slackmistress’s last blog post..On Michael Vick.

  4. Amie

    May 24, 2009 at 8:42am

    It can be frustrating not to meet goals but one thing I am learning about motherhood is that a healthy and happy child trumps all. And you are a rockstar at meeting that goal!

    Not only is every woman’s body different, but every pregnancy is different too. So you never know, you may carry totally differently this time. Even though everyone says you don’t show right away with your first, I popped out really early and had a huge belly by three months! I have a friend who isn’t showing much at six months. Go figure. Or loss of figure. whatevs.

    If you are eating healthy for mommy and baby then you are doing what you are supposed to do. And your body will carry the weight it needs for the baby.

    I am so excited for you!!!!

    Amie’s last blog post..Where The Sun Don’t Shine

  5. Stephanie

    May 24, 2009 at 9:14am

    “and isn’t it funny how you can BE pregnant for, oh, let’s say two weeks, with zero indications, and then suddenly you get a positive test and WHAMMO! Symptoms galore!”

    I KNOW!!!

    I was probably about 30 to 40 lbs heavier than my normal or optimal weight when I got pregnant with Silas and I gained quite a bit. I just had to put thoughts of weight out of my head, or rather, postpone them. A few more weeks and I’ll really start thinking about it, but while I was pregnant, I just couldn’t let it matter. I even tried to do more exercise-wise, but after a certain point, I was just too tired to do much and had too much back pain. So I stopped worrying about that as well. Growing a baby is hard work.

    Stephanie’s last blog post..The time has come.

  6. liz

    May 24, 2009 at 9:34am

    This is way easy for me to say, but … you are an awesome mama and you have nourished *several* people with that body, and that is better than any number. And this is me blushing through the internets because this is where i say that in my head you are always going to be a supermodel.

    Also. By the time i got pregnant i was at possibly my fattest ever, hadn’t owned a scale for years, and only got weighed in kilograms so i had no idea what was going on: and it was idyllic.

    liz’s last blog post..nineteen months (a breastfeeding retrospective)

  7. Jenn

    May 24, 2009 at 12:23pm

    I understand what you are saying. I only gained 19lbs with Mal. I came home from the hospital 7lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight (180lbs).

    *but* I was up when I got pregnant by about 15lbs and my mind has kept reminding me of that.

    Oh yeah, and now 1 year later I am… still figuring out why I weigh 192 lbs.

    So, um, I don’t know. Bodies are weird.

  8. Delle

    May 27, 2009 at 5:24am

    Well, I look about 5 months pregnant, instead of 5 weeks, so you have my sympathy. I was going to be fit this time and instead I’m heavier than I’ve ever been (including at 9 months pregnant).

    Delle’s last blog post..Update

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