The other day I was chatting with a friend about weight gain in pregnancy. Based on my height and body my doctor said ideally I should gain about 25-35 pounds. My non-pregnancy diet is pretty routine (during the work week at least) and for the most part healthy. I’ve tried to keep on the same track during my pregnancy with the occasional detour to whatever is going to satisfy my sweet tooth craving.
Based on the scale I’ve gained roughly 5lbs in my first trimester which puts me right on track. I’m short with hardly any midriff so 5 pounds on me looks a lot different then those who are taller. Already almost none of my summer clothes fit. During this conversation with my friend I mentioned how Summer time is so brief in Seattle I really do not want to spend money on a bunch of maternity clothes that I’ll just have to pack away in a month.
When I first found out I was pregnant I quit the gym. I lifted weights and because it took us so long to get pregnant I did not want to take any chances. My doctor says it is OK for me to do my routine workout just go lighter on the weights but I am afraid. For two years I worked out and ate right to get to my goal and it’s really hard to see something you dedicated yourself to go away in less then 4 months. My conversation was overheard by an acquaintance who just had a baby. She basically read me the riot act. “Your baby needs you fat, your baby needs you to gain weight, you worry to much, why do you care”..etc. First of all let me stress – I am happy to be pregnant! It’s not something that just happened for me accidentally or happened in a matter of a month or two. It was a long and emotional process for me. However, I am allowed to be frustrated as I try on my clothes and have none of them fit and I am allowed to worry that I am making the right choices for myself and my baby. This does not make me a bad future mama. I feel the media and society have this idea of what pregnancy should be – a glowing, expectant mother with a smile on her face who is emotionally steady, always put together and no insecurities or second guesses. I can only speak for the first trimester so far, but the reality is, my reality is, that you hardly feel cute, you look like you indulged on a box of donuts more then you look pregnant and if you can lift your head off the pillow you’ve conquered the day. I find myself being my biggest critic during this pregnancy and it’s all so new and foreign to me. Gaining a healthy amount of weight during pregnancy is very important. Why do I feel so judged when I still monitor what I eat and the amount? It’s definitely more then my pre-pregnancy self. Why is it anyone else’s business? Even if I wasn’t pregnant – why is my weight anyone else’s business?
The first trimester has been hard. As I head into my second I find myself a little more (emotionally) steady, a little more awake, a little more confident and feeling a little more like my old self. This weekend Seattle had a heatwave. I tried taking advantage of my new found energy and tried to walk as much as possible for daily exercise. I attended a wedding, had friends in town from California and strolled along Alki Beach. It was a weekend I needed: busy and full of people I care about. It was a nice reminder to take it all in and step back to see the bigger picture.