I don’t care what anyone says, one of the first things a woman is going to think about / fret about / worry about / consider when she gets pregnant is how fat she is going to get.
Obviously you know your body is going to change – you are growing another person after all – but until you get pregnant for the first time you have no idea how it will or by how much. It was this lack of control over my own body that I struggled with.
I haven’t owned a pair of scales for years. Not since I became obsessed with weighing myself as a teenager. I think at one stage I did it about eight times a day. Thank God I grew out of that. Not sure what people would think if they walked into the company toilet to find me standing naked (you only ever weigh yourself nude) calculating how much weight I had gained since I’d last got on them two hours previously.
However, when I found out I was expecting a baby, one of the first things I did was purchase a brand new pair of digital scales. Wise? Probably not. I knew that by doing this I was stepping into dangerous territory. Should I for the first time in my life just relax, go with the flow and let my body do whatever it wants to? Not a chance.
I weighed myself as soon as a bought them and found I weighted exactly what I thought I did. I was happy with my weight. It was the idea of it rapidly going up that I was not happy about.
I found the first three months hardest. My appetite hadn’t changed, but I was feeling different. I felt sick. All the time.
This wasn’t the sort of sickness where you can’t even think about, let alone eat food. It was the sort of sickness, where you can probably eat, but you’re not sure you want to, yet you’re too afraid to not eat in case this horrendous nausea continues and eating could be the one thing that gets rid of it. You also have to eat. You have no choice, because your baby needs it.
So I ate. More than I should have done. I over-ate. I didn’t gain masses, but I did gain more than I should have done for the first trimester. How did I know this? Because there are baby websites that calculate how much weight gain is ‘normal’. These sites are the equivalent of googling illness symptoms. Don’t do it. You’ll drive yourself mad. I felt like a teenager all over again.
As my body changed I admit I struggled. Were my clothes not fitting because of eating too much, or because of my ever expanding bump? My jeans were definitely tighter on my legs and bum, but was this because of my changing body shape or my ability to suddenly consume whole Easter eggs? I didn’t know. Perhaps my fancy new scales will tell me? Nope they just screamed out high numbers. Nasty numbers. I swear if they could talk I would get on them and they would simply laugh at me.
As I reached the second trimester and the sickness went away, things became somewhat easier. I relaxed a bit and stopped obsessing about it so much. This was until the last few weeks when I put on more weight than at any other point of my pregnancy. I freaked out. The scales were now in hysterics.
I spoke to my ‘no nonsense’ midwife about this and voiced my concerns. She had no sympathy. “You’re going to put on weight, you’re pregnant. You’ll probably put on two and a half stone”. I’ve decided she is evil. Actually she’s really nice, but I totally disagree with her. A baby and all it’s luggage weighs about a stone, I will not be putting on an extra stone and a half (as I relay this to my hubby I comfort myself with cake).
Going for your antenatal appointments don’t help. Even if I didn’t own scales myself, they insist you get on a pair every time you go for a check up. I defy anyone not to look down and check out what the numbers say. The first time I did this I nearly had a heart attack. It took me a few minutes to work out they were in kilograms and not stone and pounds.
I’m now 36 weeks and I haven’t put on 2.5 stone (see, midwife I told you so), but I don’t know how. I’ve eaten more than I’ve ever eaten in my life.
What I do know is that I wish I had been more relaxed about it. I wish I hadn’t spent so many days worrying. I still ate very healthily, ensuring I was getting everything my baby needed. But on the occasions I haven’t, I wish I’d just enjoyed it rather than thinking about it clinging to my arse. Whether I have a stone or half a stone to lose once baby is here then so what? I’ve just made a human being – I can be as fat or as thin as I want.
So for the last four weeks I’m not going to worry. Well, I’m going to try my best not to. It has made the cream tea and chocolate ice cream I’ve eaten today taste all the sweeter. It’s just a shame the baby is now sitting under my ribs so I seem to get full after a mouthful of food.
Oh well, you have to eat a lot when you’re breastfeeding don’t you? Only 4 weeks to go then…