Hi! Happy Halloween!
It’s 1:38pm EST and I am yet to put a piece of candy into my mouth today. Lactation cookie, yes (just 1). But no candy…as of yet. It helps that we have all of about 2 trick of treaters most years, and so we just plan to steal from Mr. Prevention’s everyday stash of fun size candy. Lily is sporting her tutu, just as she has every Halloween. I mean, if it still fits, she’s wearing it.
Speaking of clothes (costumes, whatever) still fitting, I thought it’d be nice to open up about my pregnancy weight gain…and loss.
It’s no secret if you follow along that my pregnancy was pretty tough. I didn’t suffer from the morning sickness (THANK GOD!), or even the extreme fatigue, but I did have severe carpal tunnel (almost all gone!), major swelling, and back pain that was excruciating much of the time. It was tough for me, as an active adult, to not only side line my most favorite workouts (hockey, running, and all things moderate-to-high intensity that would have my heart rate above 150) on account of fertility treatments, but to watch the scale climb. Until last weekend, I hadn’t had a great sweat session in nearly 8 MONTHS.
It was hard for me to watch my body change, especially at first. There was a solid 6 months of weight gain without having that very defined baby bump that had me looking unquestionably pregnant versus overweight. Never fun or easy, especially for someone like myself who has battled my weight my entire life.
By the end, I looked as though you could pop me with a pin I was so puffy and miserable. I took a week of vacation prior to my induction simply because I couldn’t bear the thought of putting on nylons one more day to go to work. In fact, I don’t know that I was physically capable of putting on nylons without assistance. I say that jokingly now, but by the end, I was truly exhausted by the time I’d hop in the car to head to work in the mornings.
I saw my personal trainer twice a week until week 36/37 (you can see at week 35 I was looking pretty chipper but by week 36/37 I was puffy and looking…over it). We would do 30 minute workouts that consisted of strength and core, with very little cardio thrown in (heart rate restricted me). I tried to continue workouts on my own, but it was a futile battle. I did, however, stick with tennis (carpal tunnel and all!) until about week 35.
But, I gained 40 pounds.
My diet never changed throughout my pregnancy – no cravings of insatiable appetite. If anything, I was perhaps eating less on account of my decreased activity and need to control my weight gain based on my pre-pregnancy weight — I was encouraged to limit my weight gain to 15 pounds. I felt like a failure and I was sure that I would struggle immensely to get the weight off after Shea arrived. It was something that I regret to say weighed on me (no pun intended) heavily during those last few months. And for those who have been pregnant and know the stupid comments people make…it didn’t get any easier as time went on.
“You look huge, are you sure you’re not having twins?”
“Girl, you look ready to pop!”
Not. Okay. People.
And around week 36 is when 9 pounds hopped on in 11 days. I got scared, even though I knew it had to be (mostly) fluid. My blood pressure started to rise and I began to feel like garbage. My OB was closely monitoring me for pre-eclampsia and I was encouraged to do even less. So, yes, by the time I delivered I had gained 40 pounds (on my 5’2 frame) and I wasn’t happy about it. Frankly, I was really upset by it.
We welcomed Shea into the world on October 6th (you can read all about that here), and something crazy happened. I was down to my pre-pregnancy weight SIX DAYS after her birth. I ate, drank, and did very little other than nurse her, cuddle her, and occasionally catch some shut eye. I couldn’t believe it. And of course, I was hoping the downward trend would continue, but it has not. DARN 😉
My post-baby body is a little softer (belly) and my weight is redistributed a little differently, carrying my abdominal weight a little higher than before. Otherwise, my recovery was a breeze (especially when compared to the horrific labor and pregnancy…) and we were taking family walks the day I got home from the hospital, about 36 hours after her birth. I returned to tennis less than 3 weeks after her birth, and even went on a 2 mile jog less than 3 weeks after her birth, being sure to listen to my body. It made me glad that I not only worked out prior to conceiving, but also grateful that I kept up some type of regimen throughout my pregnancy despite a lot of restrictions.
I feel good and for having a baby less than a month ago, I’m feeling like I look pretty good, too! It’s a huge boost of momentum to continue healthy eating and regular exercise despite the huge life change that is motherhood. Being a mom to a newborn and on maternity leave means a lot of time on the couch, especially in Michigan as the seasons begin to turn and being outdoors is rarely a feasible option. It also goes to show that the scale is not always indicative of what’s going on with your body as I didn’t lose 40 pounds of WEIGHT in 6 days…I lost 40 pounds of baby, fluid, and other “stuff” that had appeared on the scale as a result of the pregnancy. It reinforces the fact that when you make healthy choices (most of the time) and lead an active lifestyle, you need to dissociate healthfulness from a number appearing on the scale…as hard as that may be at times. 🙂 Even I need to be reminded of this!
A huge thank you to Allison from Allison Christians Photography for all the images in this post (with the exception of the photos of me on the swing with Mr. Prevention and Shea 😉 ).
And a huge thank you to all of your kind words as we enjoy our beautiful, growing family…as well as your patience in my getting blog posts up! Have a wonderful weekend!