Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Choosing to not obsess... and to not overeat.

I am almost halfway through this pregnancy. It's a little mind boggling how fast this is going. I'm only showing a little, though I can feel my pants getting more snug around my middle. The twinges of stretching ligaments and flutterings of movement from within remind me daily that, yes, this is really happening. And hearing the heartbeat for the first time was...amazing.

During the first 12 weeks, I was terrified of gaining a lot of pregnancy weight. As an overweight person, I knew things would be more challenging if I just ate what I wanted. There are so many possible complications with starting a pregnancy at a higher weight. Scary terms like shoulder dystocia, preeclampsia or gestational diabetes can haunt you. Our midwife was very direct at our first visit and assured me that I really didn't need to 'eat for two'. She said the baby would take what it needed, like a parasite (a fantastically unfuzzy but totally apt term), and as long as I was getting what I needed, we would both be good.

The first trimester offered little problem as most foods were suddenly disgusting to me and I was just trying to eat anything that didn't make me ill. I actually lost weight. My activity level changed from gymming it 3-4 times/week to walking at least 2 miles a day, 6 days a week. I hit week 12 and BAM! food was good again. I started eating regularly and continued walking. Now well into tri #2 nothing has changed and I still haven't gained weight. Sure, I have moments where the idea of 4 bagels with cream cheese for lunch with a side of french fries sounds AMAZING, but I don't give in.

I've come to realize that while there are a lot of potential challenges as an overweight pregnant person, there is something to be said about having the habitus to support the pregnancy without having to change my diet much so far. While my body goes through changes that are normal yet surreal, it's nice having the normalcy of a regular diet. Sure, I could have probably supported this pregnancy at a lower weight, but I didn't start underweight, which can have its own challenges.
And there is something to be said about already being familiar with being heavy. Between March and July of this year I lost 20lbs. If I gained that back over the next 20+ weeks, it would be within a weight range that I am already familiar with. No, I don't want to gain that much, but it wouldn't be the end of the world if I did.

I don't know what the second half of this pregnancy will bring. Maybe I'll hit 32 weeks and gain weight no matter what I eat or how active I am. Maybe I'll develop high blood pressure. Maybe I'll have other complications. Or maybe it will continue to be smooth sailing with people at work staring at my lower abdomen to see if I am showing yet. I've never been more aware of how little I can know about what is coming down the road than I am now, gestating away. And worrying about the 'what ifs' just takes too much energy and that is in high demand right now. I'd much rather use said energy to make it through the workday/week awake and for planning out weekend adventures with James. Pre baby adventures await.

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