Monday, June 30, 2014

ignorance is bliss

One of the many benefits of having Mike work from home is the flexibility of his schedule for my prenatal appointments. Today I got to devour a whole chapter of this book in peace while waiting to have my name called, pure bliss I tell you.

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).


yikes.



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.

4th bump with 7 weeks to go.

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.



16 comments :

  1. Weigh gain during pregnancy is so hard! You pretty much have no control over it unless you're eating ice cream every night...and even then I don't know if you do. It's not like you can just go do a couple hour long workouts to fix it when you're pregnant.

    Luckily, I found a midwife who doesn't care how much weight I gain. She never weights me and encouraged me to not step on the scale at all. She always tells me that you need to gain weight to help you breastfeed later. AND that there is a big difference between the weight gain from eating doughnuts and eating healthy options.

    I personally think you look great!

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    1. That is fabulous about your midwife, that would make a huge difference for me.

      Thanks so much!

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  2. You go, girl.

    I think you are looking fab, and we should get together!

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  3. By my third pregnancy I quit looking at the scale, period. It was not worth the stress of worrying if I was gaining too much, or how I was going to lose the weight postpartum. I figured the OB would let me know if it were a problem, and as long as I was eating healthy it would be fine. I think you look fantastic, you really do!

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  4. So beautifully written! And you look fabulous, by the way… and even if you didn't, you're doing the most miraculous thing on earth - bringing a child to the world - so you'd be awesome either way!

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  5. Weight is such a pesky little thing. You're awesome and you're doing a fantastic job (and looking good too) growing a tiny human.

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  6. I stopped looking at the scale during my second pregnancy. It is just too much stress really and it is so freeing to not have to worry about a number.

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  7. I know this isn't really the point of this post, but Unbroken is FANTASTIC. It's such a page turner, but sometimes I just had to put it down for a few hours because it was so intense. I got all kinds of worked up reading it. But it's so worth it. Incredible story. Also, you look fabulous. If not looking at the scale eases your stress, go for it!!

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  8. Ana, such a beautifully written and honest post. I, too, suffered with, and still do at times, the same thing. It was especially hard this past time with my fourth. Anyways, you look wonderful and it was great seeing your family on Sunday! We should try to get together soon!

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  9. I started this pregnancy weighing more than I did when I gave birth to my last son. I was doing so well, having been very active and losing a lot of weight before that pregnancy, but after I had him (#3) there were too many kids for the stroller. Add to that a move, a bad winter, and a knee surgery that kicked me out of my jogging shoes forever, and wa-lah! You have super big pre-pregnancy Katrina.

    IT REALLY SUCKS. But I finally had to make the choice you are making -- stop looking at the scale! I am trying my hardest with what I have, and as soon as things calm down (--> husband graduates and we get a REAL job) and we have the resources we need for me to make time to exercise (or have equipment necessary to cart four kids five and under along), things will work out, again. It's so frustrating, but I let it pull me down too far for too long.

    Plus, I try to give myself a free pass during pregnancies... I lost enough during my first trimester that my doctor was talking to me about gaining enough throughout the pregnancy... little did he know! (I always lose a ton in that first trimester.)

    :) Hang in there! The light is at the end of the tunnel!

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    1. I know, it is so hard! I just keep telling myself that it will pass, so so fast! Thank you, Katrina!

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  10. I've heard from friends that you gain more weight with boys than with girls. I don't know if it is true, but I am going with it. I gained a pound a week for the first 2 trimesters with Henry and then I would alternate weeks of gaining nothing and then gaining 5 pounds. I was so stressed about it until my doctor said, "You'd have to be eating Thanksgiving for every meal, every day to gain that much weight. You just need to try and lose all the weight by his first birthday." And then she never mentioned it again. I lost all 60 lbs plus another 6.

    I think it is amazing that you were able to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight for the first 3 and I have no doubt you will be able to do it with this one. You look great. I applaud you for not looking at the scale. Excellent decision. :)

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  11. You look average weight to me, so I wouldn't stress. I would try to eat as healthy as possible and stay active. Good for you for being honest with your doctor! Sometimes they don't realize how much their comments can stress people.

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  12. Thank you! I stress about this with every doctor's visit! And I have the crazy doctor who told me to gain NO weight with the pregnancy....

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    1. Thanks just flippin crazy! I would not handle that well, just don't listen and don't look at the scale!!

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