February 16th, 2012 11:11 EST
Okay, so we`re all so much more educated than our parents. We know that eating for two is an old myth.So we continue to eat for one. One pound a week, thirty pounds total is the recommended weight gain for the average pregnancy.
Well somehow it hasn`t quite worked out that way for me...
At first all was well, weight gain was barely noticeable. A pound here, a couple there.
Then came the second trimester and that telltale bump. That`s when I showed up to a monthly appointment to find that suddenly I`d gained not 4 but 5 pounds in one month!
"Four pounds a week," the doctor sternly reminded me.
"Ok," I breathed. " I`ll do it."
But what I was really thinking was how did that happen? I didn`t eat more than usual, yet there was that pesky extra pound begging the contrary.
So I waddled home and minded my diet, eating no more than before the pregnancy. I was never a self-starver and no day passed without a hit of chocolate. After thirty years as a chocoholic, I certainly considered myself an expert in how much was enough to stay within my BMI. Yet it was with horror that, the following month, I was met with a 6 pound weight gain. Now the doctor was really mad.
"Four pounds a week," she reiterated.
"But I`m not eating more than normal," I pleaded.
"Well perhaps you`re doing less," she suggested.
Well, I have a person strapped to my middle, my center of gravity is gone, standing feels like my pelvis is about to break, I need to pee every ten minutes and yes I waddle instead of walk. So perhaps I am doing less, but I never stepped foot in a gym before, so that argument is bunk too.
The final straw came the next month, when a further 7 pound weight gain had the doctor scolding me like a bad schoolgirl. This time, though, I had kept a close daily eye on my weight and noticed that, along with swollen ankles, the gain was inconsistent. No change for several days and then suddenly 3 pounds in one night. Never gained weight like this before, I thought.
So I said to the doc, "seriously I`m not eating more, but my ankles are swollen, is it possible I`m gaining water weight?"
Her reply, "your ankles are swelling because you`re gaining too much weight and not the other way around."
This was becoming traumatic. Every visit to the OB had me walking out in tears of frustration. What was I to do? I was expected to have control over my body, yet my body was responding in a way with which I was unfamiliar. If things continued in this trend, I will have gained at least 50lbs by the end of this pregnancy.
I guess, only once the baby is out will I learn how much weight I truly gained. My doctor is certainly convinced that it`s all my doing and that there is no explanation other than that I`m eating too much and moving too little. But I KNOW my body and I know that is not the case.
So girls, in the absence of an explanation, my advice is to be sensible, but do not beat yourselves up for what you cannot control. Just enjoy this special time.
As for my doctor, I have one thing to say: Thanks doc for for providing no comfort, for leaving me uninformed, for making me feel that it`s all my fault and for casting a shadow over what should be a joyous time in my life. I know I`m not supposed to eat for two, but nowhere does it say that I`m not even supposed to eat for one.
There HAS TO be another explanation. I WILL find it. Meantime I will do my best to not allow this mystery and your silence to mar any more of this precious time that is my first pregnancy.
Dr Annabelle R Charbit
Author of A Life Lived Ridiculously: When a girl with obsessive compulsive disorder, falls in love with a sociopath, she must fight for her sanity and her life
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