Being pregnant is tough. Your body is not really your own anymore, you have to get prodded and poked a lot often in places that are used to be treated gently (!) and suddenly you’re an emotional wreck. It is not easy. Add in to the mix that folk suddenly think it is perfectly acceptable to comment on your appearance and touch you without ask and it leave you want to run screaming to the hills (or wherever).
When I was pregnant with Dylan, like a lot of ladies do, I went very much in for the “I’m pregnant so I’ll eat what I fancy” approach. During this pregnancy my already sweet tooth took on a mind of its own. I didn’t have any particular food aversions or cravings as such but I did very much favour the sweeter foods and my appetite was fairly insatiable at times. I also stopped going to the gym and cancelled my membership when I was about 10 weeks pregnant. I was really tired a lot of the time and basically just vegged when I wasn’t at work. As a result, inevitably, I ballooned. I am really not sure how much weight I actually put on during pregnancy because I didn’t weigh myself until about 9 months after giving birth but by that point I’d gained just over 4 stone. Not good.
I have always been “the fat one” in my group of friends and for the longest time I thought I was ok with this. But really I was uncomfortable in my own skin and my peacocking of loud, brash confidence was just for show. I lost a lot of weigh in my late 20’s and kept it off until my wedding and I felt like a new woman. I felt so much more confident and happy, I still felt like “the fat one” but I’m not sure that that mentality will ever go away as it seems to be a bit ingrained now. After having Dylan and eating a lot of chocolate (like a lot, a lot) I found myself unhappy again, embarrassed about how I looked and ashamed about “letting myself go”. And then after my first baby’s first Christmas I found myself deleting photos of Christmas that had me on them and something in my head clicked and I knew I needed to get rid of most of the junk in my trunk. Anyway long story short, I joined SW and lost 4 and a half stone and reached my target weight just in time to announce that I was pregnant with baby number 2.
When I was pregnant with Eilys I was really disciplined and stuck to the Slimming World plan for pregnant ladies. I felt really in control and really good about myself. I didn’t “look” pregnant until I was about 30 weeks and I didn’t really need to wear any maternity clothing. I found it really quite easy to stay in control and to be completely honest, I was quite a smug nobber about it (I am really sorry). I only really craved marmite and I mainly wanted to eat savoury foods. I went to the gym at least 3 times a week until 2 days for she was born and I kept really active otherwise, chasing around after Dylan where possible and we walked everywhere. I only gained 17lb during this pregnancy and a week after giving birth I was back within my target range by losing 15lb… annoyingly I missed out on Slimmer of the week as I missed my slimming group the week before due to having a baby come out of my special area! And I missed out on Slimmer of the Month due to some nobhead bloke losing 1/2lb more than I did… He lasted another month and then was never seen again, not that I am bitter about it, nope, not at all (but he really was a nobber). After giving birth to Eilys I lowered by target by 1 stone and started to do yoga, a bit of jogging and jumped back on the workout train, choo choo.
I reached my new lowered target exactly a year after reaching my previous target but this time Eilys was ill and it was more to do with stress than anything else and I really didn’t care. Then we got Eilys’ diagnosis and I was angry. Angry at myself to focusing so much on a number on some scales when I should have been enjoying being with her and now I was going to lose her. I kept going to group as my bit of normality and my group were amazing with me, so supportive and so caring. My weight crept up very slowly. It didn’t matter though, I could and would lose it. I didn’t feel out of control but I wasn’t sticking to plan at all. I was just living my life and eating in order to do that. A big part of me thought that I would lose a lot of weight after Eilys died. This wasn’t something that I dwelled on or something that I was fixated on but I just figured that I would. I was so very wrong. I tried not to eat after she died but I felt so empty anyway that physically being empty as well was pretty unbearable. Comfort eating helped and especially eating things that reminded me of her. Things like kinder eggs and ice cream will always be Eilys foods.
By the time I got pregnant with baby number 3 I had gained about 2 stone from my lowered target (a target that I honestly think was too low anyway). I am now 22 weeks pregnant and I have put on 11lbs so far this pregnancy. I feel huge and I am constantly berating myself over it. I know that this year had been a tough one and I know that I should be kinder to myself but I am finding it very difficult at the moment. The first few weeks of pregnancy up until I had the CVS procedure to tell us if the baby had SMA or not I was stressed out and as a consequence I ate more than I should have, plus it was Christmas. I feel ravenous all the time anyway and my horrendous sweet tooth from pregnancy 1 has reared its ugly head once more. My only really pregnancy symptom has been that I am ridiculously knackered all the time and during those first 12 weeks before we found the baby was SMA free I barely slept. Even after the CVS results I have really struggled to get more than 2 good nights sleeps in a row. I have been trying to get to the gym but I have only been managing it about 1 or 2 times a week and my gym sessions have been quite pathetic, mainly just a 40min cycle and a few weights. I am trying to stick to the slimming world plan but this baby seems to want me to eat avocados and sweets, neither of which are brilliant on Slimming World.
I am trying really hard to be positive and I am trying really hard to embrace my pregnant body but it really is a daily struggle. I know you are probably reading this thinking “jeez woman, give the moaning a rest” but I just need to vent a little bit. The hard reality is that pregnancy is tough and the emotional side of this one is really kicking my ass. I also think that my resentment of how much of Eilys’ time I wasted on weight loss is coming into play. I really don’t want to gain 4 stone during this pregnancy but in the same breath I don’t want to be stressed and upset if I do. I am pleased that I have a good baby bump this time but even that I also dislike. I hate the way that people oggle at the bump, I don’t really like the “pregnant or fat” look people give me (sometimes accompanied with patronising head tilt) and I really hate the way some people feel the need to touch you. I think I am being very over sensitive at the moment and I am hoping it’ll pass but the 10 week silent feud I am currently having with someone I know who made a very inane comment on me looking “lumpy” would imply that maybe this isn’t going to happen.
So I’m trying to improve my state of mind and I’m trying to be kinder to myself. I have been giving some hypnobirthing relaxation techniques a go and I am reading a book on self love and being more positive, so I’ll keep you posted on my progress. I think I just need to stop being a whiney bitch or start eating a lot more healthier than I am and stop pretending that chocolate is going to help me lose weight. I really wish I could just stop feeling so much guilt and I really want to be able to enjoy being pregnant but I just seem to be constantly miserable. Any tips would be greatly recieved.