Body Positive Pregnancy

When you Google about being fat and pregnant you get a TON of info that’s basically all doom and gloom about how you will die, your baby will die, everyone you love will die, and maybe if you weren’t so damned fat none of this would have happened, Fatty McFatterson. The world, especially doctors, hate you, you damned hippopotamus.

I am NOT ignoring that there are definitely increased risks; however, tons of women, women bigger than me and women smaller than me, have really healthy pregnancies. Tons of women, women bigger than me and tons of women smaller than me, have really complicated pregnancies. Correlation does not always prove causation.

I refused to fall into the mentality of my pregnancy being any less beautiful because I’m fat. I saw a reflection of myself yesterday and thought, “Ugh. You look huge. Not pregnant. Just huge.” NOPE. I am done with that. My body is finally doing this amazing thing I’ve begged it to for the last 2 years and here I am criticizing it? What is wrong with me? I mean, seriously, how many women (regardless of size) can say they did a half marathon while pregnant?

As I previously said, I have an absolutely stellar OBGYN. I say this because not only is he brilliant, but he’s personable and incredibly body positive. (Seriously, if you’re in ATL and needing a great OBGYN – holla and I’ll give you his info.) We had a conversation at our last appointment that went like this:

Me: I’m super scared my weight will play a negative role in this pregnancy. I weigh 40lbs more than I did the first time and that one didn’t end well. I’ve heard that fat women are more likely to have complicated births and need c-sections. I was really hoping to go natural.

Him: Well, here’s the thing. You are at an increased risk for different things – like say gestational diabetes, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to get it. Also, bigger women are more likely have bigger babies, but this doesn’t mean that you will. If you did, a bigger baby might mean that the baby won’t fit down your birth canal. So then we’d need to do a c-section. This will all center around your health and the baby’s health, not your weight.

*Instantly I felt better. He’d taken the shift and the focus off of my weight and put it where it really matters – me and the baby’s health.*

Me: Ok. Also, how much weight should I gain? I’ve heard obese women should only gain 9-11lbs.

Him: I’d like to see you gain around 18lbs, but here’s the thing – if you gain more, you gain more. You know how to take it off. Don’t beat yourself up. You’ve already got nausea and vomiting, so eat what sounds good. Now is NOT the time to lose weight.

*GASP – Did someone just tell me not to lose weight?*

4wk8wk

The left is 4 weeks, the right is this morning (8 weeks). I’m definitely bloated and my boobs have grown over a full cup size. But, honestly, I really don’t think I look *that* different. Not enough to warrant my harsh self criticism the other day.

Come the 2nd trimester (in a month) I’ll start thinking about the gym and adding some healthier components to my diet, but right now I’m just focusing on keeping food down and getting sleep.

I’ve put on some pounds. Mostly because I’m so nauseous that all I’ve really eaten for the last month are carbs and carbs blow me up. Pretzels, rice, pasta, couscous, saltines, TONS of fresh fruit (craving), bread, muffins, ice cream, the occasional ginger ale etc. It’s all I can really stomach the thought of. I never allowed myself such carbs, but then again, I’ve never been nauseous 24/7 with the occasional round of vomit thrown in. Hell, I’m sitting here eating a handful of pretzels and a couple of plums. (Side note: in all seriousness, I actually love the constant nausea – it’s very reassuring.)

I haven’t exercised since the half. I was on bed rest for 2 weeks and well, I’m exhausted – my OB says that the Progesterone supplements will make you feel like you’ve been hit by a truck on top of the first tri fatigue. When they reduced me to only once a day I said to my NP, “Maybe I’ll actually go to the gym now!” and she replied, “Oh my god, Danielle. Stop. The gym can wait. Take a nap.” Have I told you how much I love that office? So, now instead of coming home from a 10 hour shift and beating myself up for not going to the gym, I take a short nap.

It saddens me how so many pregnant women don’t want their picture taken because they think they look fat. I have so many pregnant friends on FB and there are so few pictures of them while pregnant. I wanna see all the different bumps! They’re gorgeous! Kevin and I want to track the beautiful changes my body is going through on a weekly basis – so he’s going to take pictures of me. Though I think I want to start standing to the side to really see it. Grow baby, grow!

7weeks

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5 thoughts on “Body Positive Pregnancy

  1. Hi there! I read your blog frequently and love your posts. You’re inspirational.
    My sister and I recently started a blog about body positivity and all that, trying to make people feel better about themselvs. We’re looking for people to do a quick ‘story’ it doesn’t have to be anything crazy. operationbeyou.com is our site, let me know if you’d be interested in submitting something operationbeyou@outlook.com is where you can send it, if interested.
    Thanks 🙂 And CONGRATS 🙂

    xox Lo

  2. NASA called. They have engineered your new bras. I’m going now to pick up the U Haul to bring them to you in. They were out of 18-wheelers, but I think if we tie them to the top of a moving van, we’ll be ok.

  3. You know what, I’ve ALWAYS been a big girl. I fell pregnant with my first at 245lbs, my second baby I was about the same, when I fell with my third son, I was 278lbs. All 3 children were born naturally, no issues with pregnancy complications despite me being in hospital virtually every week with number 3 with the medics convinced I MUST HAVE gestational diabetes due to my size. I never did. Blood pressure was always a little (and I mean FRACTIONAL) High due to being a bigger woman and therefor my blood pressure would naturally be a little higher. Whereas my friend, a normal 140lb lady, had all sorts of complications and 3 C Sections with her 3 children. EVERYONE experiences pregnancy differently as I’m sure you’d have discovered with number 1 and through friends experiences but there’s so much stigma about being a large mum. You get through it as best you can whatever arises and I wish you a happy peaceful pregnancy. 🙂 Congratulations.

  4. Congratulations!! I am a student in maternity in nursing school now and birth is such a beautiful part of life! Your doctor sounds great, like he said yes at risk but it doesn’t mean you will have it. Continue to eat healthy and you must gain weight for the baby! Remember if you have to have a c-section it is only for the good of you baby and you will have a team of nurses and doctors to help you and your baby to get through it. The nurses and doctors always push for vaginal birth, c-section is last resort atleast where I do clinical rotation it is. Congrats again and enjoy the joys of becoming a new mother.

  5. I’m slender and your post even helped me a lot! The pregnancy community is not a very body-positive place at all. When I post a question about my weight gain I don’t get positivity and reassurance I get criticism and told to stop eating carbs! So thank you!

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