Somebody made a comment on a pregnancy/motherhood message board that I read today that really resonated with me:
I don’t so much trust my body, though. It’s hard to be fat and pregnant and not feel that the other shoe is bound to drop at some point.
The mother in question was talking about the prospect of experiencing complications, and the possibility of having to be induced before her due date. To be honest, it’s an attitude that I’ve been wrestling with since I found out I was pregnant back in November.
Over the last year, I’ve been working intermittently (when not too blown off course by school) on trying to change my eating and moving habits to get into better health. Unfortunately, I happened to get pregnant more towards the beginning of that process than the end, and the fact that I wasn’t feeling great at the beginning of my pregnancy really took a toll on my efforts to exercise. I mean, who feels like going to the gym when you’re gagging at everything and feeling so tired you want to die? Not this guy!
I remember going to my first appointment back in December with my midwife, and agonizing over the possibility that I was simply too heavy to be able to give birth “naturally”, that I’d be classified as high-risk and would have to transfer my care to an obstetrician. I can’t tell you how relieved I was when she told me that I was under the cutoff! But she did warn me of the risks of going through a pregnancy at a higher weight, like being predisposed to pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, possibly having a “harder labor” or a bigger baby, and other things like that. She let me know that they’d want me to steer towards the lower end of the weight gain spectrum throughout the pregnancy, trying not to gain much over 15lbs. Fifteen pounds! I always hear about women who gained ridiculous amounts like 60lbs or more, and I was going to have to do my best to barely gain any at all!
Honestly, if these were ideal circumstances, I would have worked my ass off and gotten down to a more healthy weight before ever becoming pregnant. Hindsight is 20/20, though, and I can only do what I can do.
So, what am I doing to work through this?
- I’m (we’re) eating healthier. We’re already vegetarian, so that makes it a little easier, although we’re working on being more careful about the amount of carbs and empty caloried crap we’ve been putting in our mouths.
- We’re trying to take walks as often as possible. Walking is really good endurance prep for labor, so this is especially important. I’ve had some hip/pelvis pain that I’ve talked about before that’s limited my mobility a bit, but we at least take the time to walk to the Farmer’s Market downtown every Wednesday night, and try to do more when we can.
- Taking vitamins (hippie prenatals from our co-op, along with omega-3 fatty acid supplements, which are important for neurological health of the mom and baby, since we don’t get a lot in our diet without fish), listening to my body, and trying to get enough rest
So far, I’d say I’ve been pretty successful! Despite my doctors having concerns even within the last few years about me having borderline high blood pressure, I’ve been at normal and lower-than-normal BP levels throughout the pregnancy so far. I’ve stayed within a healthy range for weight gain, and in fact LOST a little bit of weight between my last two midwife appointments. Although I failed my 1-hour gestational diabetes screening test, I passed the 3-hour test with flying colors. I’ve stayed active, even through the hip pain. I just told Kevin the other day that we’ve walked downtown more in the time that I’ve been pregnant than during the entire three years we’d been in the house beforehand combined. That’s pretty great!
I’m keeping it posi, people. We’re on the homestretch.