Pregnancy Weight Gain – My Struggle

Pregnancy weight was something I never thought would really worry me. I’m 165cm short (not tall by any means) and I guess you could say I’m one of those lucky lasses that has remained the same dress size throughout most of my adult life. There was a time when I was 19 and I had what I refer to as my “fat phase” where I went up one or two pant sizes, however eating burger king and drinking far too much alcohol (with no exercise what-so-ever) is likely to do that! The funny thing is my mother also gained weight when she was 19 and it only lasted a short while. Genes eh?

I’m usually a stable size 8/10 (although my booty is a tad curvaceous), and I’ll admit I’m a shocker when it comes to maintaining a regular exercise regime. I just don’t. The best I’ve ever looked was when I went to a pole fitness classes that was all the rage back then, and the time I went overseas for three months with my best friend. We ate healthily and walked everywhere. On my return to New Zealand I helped on my parents farm for close to a year and that helped me to maintain a toned physique. This was almost three years ago now though….

Before becoming pregnant the most exercise I would do was walking the dog with my hubby. Most mornings I’m up at around 5am to get ready and go to work so as you can imagine I’m not too keen on getting up at 4am to exercise. I would then find too often that the one hour drive home in Auckland traffic would make me tired and grumpy and if hubby let me get away with it, I’d make up any excuse not to walk. I’m a shocker.

When I fell pregnant I had terrible “morning” sickness (if you’re a regular visitor to my blog you’ll know that I refer to this as all-day-every-day sickness). Admittedly my spare time was spent feeling sorry for myself, resting on the couch, trying to stomach what I could, and just being generally miserable. I felt sick constantly up until about the 20 week mark.

It was around this time that I started experiencing a sharp pain in my right hip, and after three opinions and an ultrasound later, I was diagnosed with bursitis. Bursitis is basically fluid separation and it causes a sharp pain – it’s painful to walk, to get up from a sitting position, to climb stairs, to sleep… You can imagine how frustrating this was. Aside from having cortisone injections there really wasn’t a lot that I could do except rest and try to avoid any painful movements (easier said then done). This also meant that exercise went completely out the door for me. There I was gaining more weight and unable to exercise and just generally feeling a tad down about this whole thing they call pregnancy.

At 23 weeks my belly popped, and I mean REALLY popped. I looked huge. I went through my previous “bump” photographs and compiled a small collage from 14 weeks, consisting of six photographs. The photograph taken at 23 weeks compared to 20 weeks shocked me – it was as though I had doubled in size. My best friend even joked and said “what did you eat between weeks 20 and 23? Fertiliser??!!” It was crazy how much my body and weight had changed.

Weight-Gain-CollageI also started to worry about the amount of weight I was gaining as I was only in my second trimester. Wasn’t peanut meant to do most of her growing in the third trimester? I tracked back through my midwife notes to assess my weight gain. I’ve never weighed myself regularly but knew that my “usual” weight sat around 54-56kgs. I think I must have been a bit heavier than my usual weight and I blame all the post-wedding/honeymoon bliss! ?

Week 8: 58kgs
Week 13: 60kgs
Week 17: 62kgs
Week 22: 65kgs
Week 26: 69kgs

Wait. 69kgs? Surely that can’t be right. Before my pregnancy weight I was a healthy size 8/10. That means I’ve put on 11kgs.
ELEVEN KGS. This is the part where I wanted to cry.

I checked with my midwife after I’d weighed myself to see if I’ve put on too much weight and tell her I’m worried. She assures me that I’m doing fine and that no my weight gain is perfectly normal. She measures my stomach and says everything looks great. I’m so glad baby is doing well but I realise I’m shit scared. How much more weight am I going to put on? I’m not even scoffing my face! Is it because I’m not exercising? Or is it my sweet tooth that’s betraying me here? My midwife said she would like me to have a growth scan in two weeks time and that they will aassess how baby’s weight is tracking and not to worry about the weight gain. I’m an over-thinker so that comment went out the door!

When I get home I decide it would be a good idea to borrow an exercycle from my mother-in-law to see if doing some low impact exercise helps. Of course that causes some discomfort with my hip, therefore, I’m torn as to what I should do. Cause more pain to my hip or be a lazy whale who is unfit and piling on weight? That’s when my mum reminds that I’m growing a baby and that she’s sure I will loose the weight once I’ve had baby, just as she did. I keep my fingers and toes crossed that I will be able to get rid of this weight quickly and easily!

No matter what I’m being told, I keep obsessing that I’m putting too much weight on. One afternoon I’m actually so upset with my body that I’m on the verge of tears. A lot of women embrace their pregnancy body saying how beautiful it is. Don’t get me wrong, I adore the fact I have a wee life growing inside of me, and I love feeling her kicks and movements, but I seriously hate the way I look. I feel like a whale. I’ve never been so self conscious in my life.

It doesn’t help when you have those people that say comments like;

“Are you having twins?”
“Wow you’re really big and you’ve got three months to go?”
“You look really rotund in that dress.”

Admittedly there have also been kind remarks and most of my weight has been out the front, yet it wasn’t until 27 weeks where I realised just how much weight I’d also put on my thighs and behind – there was no way I would be able to get into a size 10 pair of shorts! I was purchasing a dress from good old trusty Kmart one afternoon and as I got changed I noticed a red almost scratch like set of lines and realised I had my first stretch mark. I’ve never had a stretch mark and was so upset I thought I would cry right then and there. I felt ugly, fat, and just generally unhappy with my appearance. I drove home feeling really deflated and down, scared of what I will look like in the next couple of months as I progress through my third trimester.

Luckily for me I have a supportive husband whom I poured my heart out too. Although he jokes and calls me his little hippo he suggested that once peanut is born I join a gym and get some time out for myself with the goal to concentrate on getting back into better shape so that I can feel good about myself. I’m not sure exactly how that will pan out with a little one but it was the thought that counts, and it’s nice to know I have his support should I want to go down that path.

I still don’t think I’ll ever embrace the weight gain, but the one thing hubby has reminded me is that this is temporary, and at the end of these 40 weeks I will have a beautiful baby daughter and surely that makes everything worth it. Sometimes we all need a little perspective! ?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kylie is a survivor.¬†She’s endured events that no-one should have to experience. That’s why she wants to share her story; to help other women live beyond their pain so that they too can take control of their life, and live the life they deserve.

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