I finally bit the bullet.
I weighed myself this morning at 39 weeks pregnant.
Having a midwife, I didn’t have to track my weight at my appointments if I didn’t want to, as long as my other numbers where in check (blood pressure and fundal height). I’ve always measured 1-2cm behind my current week (at my 39 week appointment I was measuring 37cm), and my blood pressure has hovered around the 90-110/60-75 mark.
When I was so nauseous in the first trimester, I literally ate every two hours. And I will be the first to acknowledge the choices I made were often more unhealthy than healthy. I couldn’t stand the sight of salad, vegetables, and most fruit besides bananas. I wanted carbs, cheese, and more carbs. I was sick for 7 weeks straight. During this time, I did weigh myself a few times. And I felt sad at the numbers I saw because they were very much more than I was supposed to be gaining during my first trimester.
I stopped weighing myself at the 15 week mark with the permission of my midwife because the number I saw did play on my emotions. It didn’t constantly effect me, it didn’t make me want to restrict or binge, but it did play on my self esteem. And that was something I didn’t want to have on my mind during the pregnancy. I wanted to focus on being as healthy as I could within my means to foster the baby’s growth. I didn’t want a silly number to make me feel bad about growing my child. I wanted to, and decided to trust my body to do what it needed to and to gain the weight it was supposed to.
Seeing the number that I saw this morning was… well, not nice. It was definitely more than they recommend you gain in a pregnancy. But it wasn’t earth shattering. It didn’t send me into a depressed state or cry “Woe is Me”. It didn’t make me regret eating McDonalds or drinking all the Tim Horton’s Iced Capps I could get my hands on during the first 14 weeks. It did make me think that maybe it would have been different if I had started taking the Diclectin earlier? Would I have been able to eat vegetables instead of Beefaroni and toast? Would I have kept up more thoroughly with my exercise routine? Continued Yoga every day? Taken more group fitness classes? Would the weight gain have been significantly less if I could have eaten more normally and wasn’t pretty much confined to my bed or the couch for almost 2 months? Those are things I can’t know, because I can’t go back and see. Maybe it would have ended up with the same number on the scale. It’s hard to say.
It did make me very grateful for my husband. My sweet husband who worked away and came home every few weeks probably thought on more than one occasion “Wow” at my changing size. But he never let on to it. He never said anything to make me feel bad, much less to be acutely aware that I looked so starkly different. He touched my belly and said I didn’t look as pregnant as other women who were as far along as I was. He never once made me feel like my pregnant shape was any less desirable than my pre-pregnant shape. Whenever I did let on that I wasn’t feeling super awesome about my body he told me he thought I was beautiful and when I said “I won’t be this size forever” he said it didn’t matter what size I was. How did I get so lucky?
It also made me grateful for my kind friends who all said with sincere enthusiasm “You look great!” and to the people who still don’t 100% realize I am pregnant and say “Oh you can hardly tell!” I honestly don’t get it, and I don’t quite believe it. They are probably just being polite, or they think I’ve gotten insanely fat in a short amount of time, which makes me kind of chuckle. But that is besides the point.
The point I guess I am trying to make is that it is okay that I have gained this weight. I’ve never weighed as much as I weigh now before. None of my pre-pregnancy clothes fit, and probably won’t fit for months after I actually have the baby. My level of fitness is nothing like it was before I was pregnant. But I’ve spent the last 39 weeks letting my body do the coolest thing it has ever done. And I’ve found a way to trust it like I never have before. Those are both priceless life lessons. And there is no place for body shame or weight shame in that. There is only room for love. Love for my body, which has worked so hard to grow my daughter, and love for my daughter, who I hope with all my heart will grow up to love her own body.
*Don’t forget to enter my 5 Year Blogiversary Giveaway!