Let’s be real, gaining weight sucks, no matter the method you gain it.
In fact, my pregnancy was the first time I ever truly experienced gaining weight, and while I could always have empathy for my loved ones who have struggled or complained to me about their weight, I never truly understood their battle…until now.
I am going to be 100% real with you here – I gained 65 pounds in my pregnancy. SIXTY FIVE POUNDS. I had a 6lb, 12 oz baby, sooooo essentially 60 of those pounds was a combination of extra blood, fluid, uterus, placenta, etc, etc, and FAT.
Never in my life would I think I would gain 60 pounds for any reason. Since I entered college I have fluctuated right around the same weight give or take 5-8 lbs. So, essentially for the past 12 years I have been right around the same weight. I have eaten what I wanted, when I wanted and however much I wanted and never really had to worry about it…until I became pregnant.
It was probably in my second trimester that I realized I was gaining weight pretty rapidly. By then I had already gained about 10-15 pounds which is quite a bit for your first trimester when the goal is to gain 25-30 pounds for the entire pregnancy. It was around this time that I really began to feel uncomfortable in my own skin. To make matters more difficult, I had been significantly restricted on my activity level due to experiencing some back issues since the beginning of my pregnancy.
Suffice to say, my thighs started touching, I started getting a rash around my armpits because my arms were getting bigger and rubbing, and I hardly had any clothes that fit at this point because my hips had widened significantly.
I was struggling.
I attempted to maintain what activity I was allowed, except it took me probably a solid month to find exercises I enjoyed doing because all of my normal activity wasn’t allowed anymore. During that time, the stress and anxiety really began to take a toll.
I hated the way I looked which is so sad because I was growing a beautiful human, but I couldn’t see it that way. All I could see was a girl in the mirror I no longer recognized…
It was because of these feelings and a few others, that I felt I needed to step away from social media. I couldn’t stand looking at myself in the mirror, let alone posting pictures of my body for the world to see. I couldn’t fit into any clothes and all the postpartum stuff I had was just ugly. Truthfully, the only thing I could really fit into was my scrubs and workout clothes and even with both of those, I had to increase in sizes a few times. I didn’t know how to put myself out there and I truly just wanted privacy away from everyone and anyone that wasn’t part of my inner circle.
It was hard.
Probably one of the hardest experiences I have gone through (up there with child birth itself haha) and I truly have a new found respect for any woman who has struggled, or is struggling with weight gain. My whole body had changed and I experience challenges I never knew people have to deal with regularly. It really opened my eyes and will always be something I carry with me, no matter my size.
Later, I would come to find out that the majority of my weight gain was actually fluid due to a diagnosis of severe pre-eclampsia following delivery, but at the time I just thought a large majority of my weight was because I was eating too much or not the right foods.
I tell you this now, because I think it’s important to share my story. I want women to know that it’s okay to hate their bodies during pregnancy, while simultaneously being over the moon about the outcome. You go through so many changes because of pregnancy as it is that adding the additional weight gain can feel overwhelming and isolating, especially when you are told you should only gain a certain amount.
It was really hard for me to enjoy pregnancy because I felt like a totally different person. I was still so excited for Arabella, but the process to get to her sucked. I didn’t feel beautiful, the journey didn’t seem “magical” to me, and why does everyone tell you it is so wonderful when it’s not?
Everywhere I turned, expecting moms or postpartum moms acted like pregnancy was all peaches and rainbows, well I am here to tell you that it isn’t and THAT IS OKAY. Every expecting mom has a struggle, whether that be nausea, health issues, weigh issues, etc. We all have something, it just looks different for each and every one of us and I don’t know why we aren’t more willing to open up and share that.
If there are other women out there who are pregnant and feeling like Oompa Loompas like I did, it’s okay. I was right there with you. I stared at all the other cutesy pregnant women in the doctor’s office with dagger eyes…I pulled on the new pair of maternity shorts from last week only to find they no longer fit…I sat in your seat…I wore your shoes.
Pregnancy isn’t great for everyone. In fact, pregnancy is hard and it’s okay to say it. Your body changes in ways NO ONE tells you until you google it.
You can be excited for your outcome, but you can absolutely hate the process.
So where am I now?
Well, I am about 6 weeks postpartum. I gained 65 pounds and have lost 37 of those.
As I mentioned, a large majority of my weight was fluid due to my preeclampsia, so when I got home, I had already lost 25 pounds.
I still have 28 pounds to go.
Some days it stresses me out, other days I am at peace with it.
I will be sharing a lot of my postpartum journey on my Instagram, so feel free to follow along there, but as I find a groove with things, I will be sure to share here too.
Stay tuned and if you are an expecting mom or postpartum mom that is stressing about their body changes or weight gain, or just plain struggling with it all, remember that it is okay to feel that way. You don’t have to love this “magical” journey so many women talk about. It’s not magical. It sucked and I am here for you.