While it is the most gigantic blessing ever to not have to bring all three girls along and not have to bribe Lucy into not to tying the spiral blood pressure chord around her neck, my appointments have still brought with them a super annoying amount of stress. But why, Ana? Your pregnancy is completely healthy, you're doing great and so is the baby, why all the stress?
One word: weight.
I have written at length about how my doctor is a little obsessed with weight gain and it is always something I get really anxious about leading up to each appointment; each appointment, that is, but today's. Today something revolutionary happened that was completely in my control, extremely small and seemingly menial, and a total day and game changer: I didn't look at the scale.
My doctor is awesome and has not even really been the source of my stress leading up to and during most recent appointments. She made a really big deal about my weight gain after the first trimester (when I always gain a TON), but has since piped down quite a bit on the matter. However, that wasn't changing how anxious I was getting when thinking about the appointments. The fact is that I am self conscious and about it and I hate how much weight gain goes in to each pregnancy. I hate the build up to each appointment and the walk of death to the scale as I wait to see that I am (SHOCKING GASP) already the same freaking weight I was when I birthed Lucy (you read that right, and that was last appointment).
It is so stupid and small and yet so enormous and huge at the same time to have your weight constantly tracked and shoved in your face while all you can do is gain it. My underlying anxiety comes from being out of control with regards to weight gain. It is definitely the case that I have placed way too much of my sense of worth and beauty in the number on the scale and the size of the pants and obviously this is a problem.
Jenny has written about this beautifully before so I won't rattle on for too long, but the sense of freedom that I felt today when I stepped on the scale and forced myself to not look was fabulous. I did not worry about how many digits above my weight at the end of Lucy's pregnancy it was, I did not worry about what the number meant for postpartum weight loss time, because I don't even know the number.
When the doctor came in to chat, I wasn't freaking out that she was going to chastise me about how much I had gained because if she mentioned it, my plan was to just let her know that I don't know how much I've gained and ask her very nicely to not tell me so that it is not an added source of stress for the rest of the pregnancy. Maybe she would have told me anyways, and maybe me not wanting to know would have bothered her, I don't know. I was prepared to stand my ground and insist upon not knowing though because, really, it doesn't matter. This pregnancy has been much harder for me than the others and there is so much other, legitimately important stuff to stress about and weight is just not one of them.
I ate ice cream every night when I was pregnant with Bernadette, I hit up way to many fast food places at the beginning of this pregnancy, and every pregnancy, but those things are not happening now. The bad habits were formed and then were broken. Somehow I've found it in me to lose the baby weight after each pregnancy, and I'm hopeful I will be able to this time too.
However, if I can't get back to those pre-baby numbers, if control over my weight continues to slip through my pudgy fingers, I will still have control over whether I look at the scale and over whether those numbers dictate how I feel about myself and about life. I have control over whether I let it become something I obsess over and freak out about. And I think that after today, averting my eyes from the number on the scale will become something that I try to make a habit. Because it just doesn't matter.