I had originally intended to write this week’s blogpost about our birthing classes, which we just wrapped up. But then I stepped on the scale and saw that I had reached a monumental point in my pregnancy. I had gained 20 pounds.
I saw a number I had hoped to never seen again after shedding 40 pounds nearly two years ago.
At first, I was filled with horror – berating myself for eating that Gigi’s cupcake the other day. (Oh the buttercream and its magical properties!) I thought about how I just needed to eat more fruit and maybe hit the gym for longer walks. I needed to cut out fried foods and maybe avoid eating sweets at all. I was going to have to crack down on myself.
Don’t get me wrong. I knew I’d gain weight while pregnant, but I just didn’t mentally prepare myself to see the number on the scale. I immediately went into panic-mode.
Then, my wise mother talked me off the ledge by reminding me that I was eight months pregnant. Eight months - and throughout that entire time, I only gained 20 pounds – mostly in my belly and boobs. (I am seriously front heavy now.) And even when I am not gaining weight, the baby is. He has to plump up sometime before he makes his debut.
I guess working so hard for so long to lose weight, I am having a problem turning off the “scale phobia.” I asked my doctors last month about my weight gain, and they seem to be thrilled. Only one of the docs suggested that I gain less than 3 pounds a month for the remaining months.
I think that is what set me off this week. I had gained 4 or 5 pounds this month and I figured this is the moment I start blowing up - the moment pregnant friends told me about when you just pack on the weight.
I have responded to my fears by eating more fruit and veggies and even squeezing in more time on the treadmill. But the thing that helped me the most was seeing a breakdown on the Similac website that shows where the weight is actually going.
Here is their breakdown:
Baby: 6.5-9 pounds
Placenta: 1-1.5 pounds
Amniotic fluid: 2 pounds
Uterus: 2 pounds
Boobs: 2 to 3 pounds
More blood volume: 3 to 4 pounds
More fluids: 3 to 4 pounds
Fat storage: 6 to 8 pounds
All of that amounts to the average 25 to 35 pound gain that doctors suggest, according to Similac.
So, I have decided to throw some caution to the wind and not hop on that scale once a week. In fact, I am telling the nurses I don’t want to see the number. I know I am trying to eat healthy with the baby and if I slip up and indulge in a craving, I am entitled. I am eight months pregnant – my back hurts and I got a future bongo player in my stomach!
What other time in my life will I be able to eat a cupcake at my desk in the middle of the afternoon and not feel guilty? Bring on the buttercream!
Did any of you struggle with pregnancy weight gain issues? Was it hard to lose the weight after the baby? What tips do you have for me in this final trimester? I feel like I want to eat everything all the time!
Kathy is editor of WRAL.com's Out & About section. Learn more about Kathy on her website. Last year, here on Go Ask Mom, Kathy chronicled her efforts to lose weight before she and her husband started a family. Now, due with her first baby this fall, she's writing about her pregnancy. Find her here on Wednesdays twice a month on Go Ask Mom.