“Go Ahead; Gain More Weight!” — Not Your Typical Doctor’s Orders…
Posted Sep 30 2010 9:22am
Now that I’m in the third trimester, I’m seeing my OB twice a month. At this morning’s appointment, we had an interesting chat that I wanted to share with you today.
The good news first: Baby Girl’s heart beat was 152, her head was down by my pubic bone (which explains why I feel the kicks where I do) and my uterus grew another centimeter to 27, which is pretty normal considering the big spurt I’d had between my last two visits. (I’m 28 weeks/4 days now –new BUMP pic to come on my birthday Sat.!)
Now the bad news: What I’ve gained so far is fine … but I should be gaining more weight at this point. Which, he said, is the exact opposite of what he has to tell most of his patients who use pregnancy as a license to eat whatever and stop exercising!
Here’s the raw numbers: I’ve gained a total of 12.6 lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight as of today (11 according to his scale, when I was already 10 weeks along, so I’m using my official pre-pregnancy weight as my home scale weight) and the gain the past 2 weeks was only 0.5 lbs.
Now, I WI nekkid first-thing at home and admittedly do not always wear the same exact thing every time I WI at the doctor’s office … today was in tights and a dress vs. jeans and a cardigan last time … but it was only 0.5 gain, and now that I’m in the third trimester, I should expect to gain about a pound a week (give or take).
I’ve said before, my mom only gained 17 lbs with me — her first baby — and she carried low and small and has been trying to remind me that everyone carries differently, every pregnancy is different, and that our pregnancies tend to mirror those of our mothers … i.e., not to worry. Still, knowing that, I’ve always guesstimated I’d end up gaining about 20 in total.
While my OB has been saying all along I’ve been doing just fine with my weight gain til now (he’d put me in the recommended 20-25 lb gain camp at the beginning), this was the first time he actually took a step back and asked some direct questions like “Are you making sure you’re eating extra?” and “You know you can eat more, right? Or at least more frequently?” and asked me a little more about my diet, encouraging me to up the intake and not worry –the baby will get what she needs regardless.
So without going into too much detail with him, I told him I’d come at pregnancy from a dieting background but that I’ve really needed to put that aside and have been trying to stick to the guidelines he’d given me (which were actually less than what I’ve been eating).And while I knew I’d need to gain weight –and have — I also saw no reason to just gain extra weight just because, either.
What I’m realizing now in retrospect is that when we had that discussion about my caloric intake needs, we never really took into account that I exercise each day… not as much as before, but I’m burning about 300 calories most days through cardio and walks … so what I’m eating as “extra” (300 calories or so) is probably evening out through exercise …
Which is fine and good if you’re in weight maintenance mode, but not pregnancy mode. So I need to do some reassessing.
Just so my dear readers (and friends and family who read this know) I’ve definitely not been restricting (and have not c/s since March 2009!). On average, I’m eating about 1800-2000 calories most days (there, it’s out there — and sometimes more!) — but (blushing) I admit they’re not all quality calories.
And so I told him what I’ve said here — that I’ve been eating a lot of candy corn, Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts, Chex mix … junky calories– in addition to my usual healthy veggies, fruit, protein, dairy, whole grains. But the fact that so many calories are composed of junk surely isn’t helping me OR Baby Girl. And this is the stage where she needs to pack on good fat … so I do need to eat even more.
Hearing it from my doctor seemed to resonate … and so for the next twelve weeks I really need to focus on the quality of the calories I’m eating which means yes, real foods, but also cutting back on sugar (my weakness). Above all, I want her to be born healthy. I don’t want her to be born premature or underweight. And I want her to have adequate body fat.
So since I’m not planning on giving up my workouts when I still physically feel well, the only way I can gain more is by eating more– and most importantly … better.
This weekend is my 31st birthday and I am going to enjoy every minute of it.
I have to say, when I left the appointment, I felt rejuvenated. To be honest, I think part of what’s held me back from allowing myself to truly let go and enjoy was all the testing drama we went through in the beginning … I didn’t want give myself permission to truly gain if I was going to lose the baby — not for vanity reasons, but because of something much deeper and harder to explain here so I won’t even try.
So I guess you could say I’ve been cautious throughout my whole pregnancy. And I guess I have to, as my husband says, “have faith” that it’s going to be OK. When she is moving and kicking — like she is now — I feel a connection unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. And that should, in and of itself, be reassuring.
I have to remind myself … we’re going to be OK.
Bring on the bread basket
PS–I passed the glucose tolerance test — scored an 81 and anything between 60-132 is normal!)