The State of My Baby Weight
Truth be told, I've gained twice as much weight with my second pregnancy as I did with my first. But I'm not fretting about the state of my baby weight.
Before I got pregnant with my second daughter, I lost 20 pounds. I made lifestyle changes and the word “diet” never crossed my lips. It took me a whole year to do this—slow and steady wins the race, right? I wanted this change to be about getting healthy and fit in a sustainable way and hoped that it would teach my older daughter to see exercise as something fun. When she would do jumping jacks or push-ups alongside me, and when she would run laps in the house because mama was going out to run, all with a huge smile, I knew I was doing something right.
When I got pregnant with Olive, I had these dreams of having a fit pregnancy, unlike my pregnancy with Abigail. However, the first trimester hit with a vengeance and I ate whatever I could stomach. Having the energy to even go for a walk after a long day at work? Well, that was totally gone.
Every month when I’d go for my OB appointment, I began to see the scale climbing higher and higher. It happened pretty quickly. My body was in shock. I gorged on carbs to quell the morning sickness and I became inactive. Plus, of course, my body was busy growing a baby. I made a promise to myself, though, that I wouldn’t get hung up on weight. My doctor wasn’t concerned, so I decided I wouldn’t be either.
I enjoyed my pregnancy. I ate when I was hungry. I satisfied all my cravings, sometimes when I wasn’t even hungry. I knew that once I had Olive, I’d get back on track. I’d done it before and I’d do it again. This was going to be my last pregnancy and I wanted to enjoy it. I didn’t want the fear of gaining a lot of weight to make me resent my pregnancy. I didn’t want to be the woman I overheard last summer at the YMCA, who told her young daughter about how she used to be able to wear a bikini till she got pregnant with her.
When my third trimester hit, I stopped looking at the number on the scale and I promised myself not to go online to check my virtual chart to see how much I weighed. I refused to fixate on my weight gain the same way I had fixated on it with my first pregnancy. I had already gained more weight than I did for the whole of my first pregnancy. My baby was healthy. I was healthy. And that’s what mattered most.
When I hit 36 weeks, my OB told me that pretty much most of the weight I’d gain from that point on would be water weight, and boy did I ever with my edema getting worse. However, I never had high blood pressure, so I knew the swelling was mostly from working and not being able to put my feet up all day. I was still healthy.
Even when I was registering at the hospital for my induction, I point blank told the nurse that I didn’t know how much I weighed and to please not tell me. She giggled and totally understood. I made sure to tell her early on so that she wouldn’t spill the beans and could pass it on to others.
The moment of revelation came at about two and a half weeks post delivering Olive. I decided to log in to my account and see how much weight I had gained. I was ready to know. I wanted to understand my starting point in this journey to lose the baby weight. Truth be told, it was a lot—about twice as much as I gained with my daughter. But I didn’t freak out, and I was proud of myself for sticking to my guns and not worrying about a trivial number.
I stepped on the scale a few days ago, and I’m already down about a third of my weight gain between birthing a baby, breastfeeding and now cutting out dairy from my diet since Olive is showing signs of having a sensitive belly.
I’m not setting lofty goals for losing my baby weight, such as having it all gone by the time I return to work at the end of April. I don’t want to be disappointed. If I lose it by then, it would be great, but if I don’t, who cares? My plan is to return to my goals before I got pregnant.
I now have two girls watching and studying my every move. I want them to look at me and see me being healthy and not starving myself. I want them to know it’s OK to indulge in sweets every once in a while. I want them to know that being active is fun and not something to be dreaded. Mostly, I want them to know that having a healthy, balanced lifestyle is a great and attainable goal.
For my girls to have a positive outlook on their self-image as they grow into young women, I know I need to be a role model. I need to love myself and how I look, no matter what. It all starts with me.
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