When I first got pregnant, I did what I'd done with both boys: threw up.  A lot.  I lost weight.  Part of that, I am sure was still adjusting to the gluten-free diet and weight melting off because my body could finally digest food, rather than horde it in my intestines.  When I went in at 8 weeks, they logged me at (…).  By the time we'd gotten all the vomiting under control (a quantitative hormone panel showed levels high enough to be considered a sufferer of hyperemesis, but that's the same thing that happened the first two times, so again, no big surprise), I was down 10 pounds.  Not horrible, but not great.  Now I'm right back in the middle, 5 pounds down. 

So…  When I went in at 16 weeks and was given the glorious Z drug, I was told that they wanted to see some weight – just a couple pounds – on me when I came back in at 20 weeks.  That didn't happen.  I was heavily chastised and questioned about my diet, but my appointment was with the midwife I love above all others, so I wasn't upset.  I told her what I'd been eating, just that I'd not been eating much of it, and she agreed that my food choices, for the most part, packed enough of a nutritional punch, that I was fine. I went home and was ecstatic.  I admit, I have really been nervous about gaining weight…  With Mega Man, I went from a comfortable (usually, anyway) 108-112 to (hold your breath) 160.  I got back down to 125-130 in the year before we decided to try again.  With T-Rex, I went up to 178.  NOT cool.  I didn't lose much after him, despite breastfeeding and having to keep up with two very energetic little boys and it destroyed me… 

There I was, 22 years old with stretch marks that made me look as though I'd been mauled by a tiger, and considered morbidly obese on every measurement tool known to modern medicine.  With Mega, I got some stretch marks, but they faded very rapidly, and weren't too noticeable.  With T-Rex, they went berserk and some are still so bad over two years later that they really do look like scars from a vicious animal attack.  I also discussed that issue with my midwife because, shallow as it may seem, it has done some severe damage to my already-almost-non-existent self-esteem.  She said, "Yes, some of it was probably due to excessive weight gain…  However, most is usually due to genetics, and knowing now that you had Celiac Disease, your nutrition and resulting tissue integrity was probably to blame and that was totally beyond your control."  While that made me feel a little better, it didn't make it any easier to undress, even when no one else was around…  Don't get me wrong: I have the BEST husband in the world and not only has he never made me feel bad about my post-baby body, but has tried every day since Mega was born to assure me that he still finds me attractive, and now, even more so than before, etc., etc.  Still, some part of my mind whispers that he's just saying that because he has to, and not because he really, truly means it.  It's damaged our intimacy tremendously, and really, even my every day life: making sure I'm not in pictures, or that if I am, it's my head only, etc.  If you look through my childrens' photo albums, it looks as though DH is a widow.  You may find me in there 3 times throughout the 30+ pages.  I always find a way to be the one holding the camera… 

So now, back to this pregnancy…  I'm gaining weight.  And I'm miserable.  I can't stand the thought of hitting 200+ pounds (and while I'm just letting it all hang out, I may as well just tell you I was 145 pounds at 20 weeks) an standing 5'2"…  5'3" on a good day, but I seem to be having fewer and fewer good days…  I think my spinal curve is/was worsening due to improper nurishment and I am consequently shrinking, but I digress…  I am really struggling right now.  I kept telling myself a health baby was all that mattered, especially since we've been reassured multiple times that her heart DOES NOT have the same defect as the boys' did because of my improved diet, etc., but still…  (The boys' heart defect is often linked to a deficiency in B vitamins, which I was found to have.  After birth, they were able to metabolize it for themselves and by Mega's 2 year check up, his heart was fine.  T-Rex's heart took a bit more time, but he was probably in greater nutritional debt, so it makes sense, but he's also now, just fine.)  I think about all that weight and it makes me want to just not eat…  Though I know I have to for Kili's sake.  I have to force myself to eat…  Add the emotional kaka of all of this to the adjustment of a very unwanted permenant dietary alteration, and you've got a recipe for disaster…  Then stack on the fact that I was self-conscious and thought I was "fat" even at 108-112, and it's even worse…  (Seriously, I look at my wedding pictures and think, "WHAT THE HELL WAS WRONG WITH ME?!  I WAS SMOKIN'!!!"  I'd kill to look that way again…)

I am still so, so appreciative of the fact that we were even able to have another baby, that she's healthy, and that we've had only one run-in with the ER and hospital visits.  We've already dodged the bullet with the Really Big Medical Center with Fancy Schmancy Equipment, so really, I am thankful beyond words…  But from a very selfish standpoint, I wonder if I will ever be able to love this body…  Or let anyone else love it, either.  I wonder if I will ever be able to feel the way I think or believe a 24 (I'll be 25 by the time Kili arrives) year old should feel about their body…   I wonder if anyone will ever look at me the way I think a 25 year old should be looked at. 

*Day 15: I am grateful for a beautiful day, the ability to be home with my family and watch them play.  I am grateful, even, for the power bill I just paid that was double what I thought it would be because it means my children were warm.

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