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Unrealistic Expectations.

BSparl is getting bigger.  (And so am I.)

The BSparl at 16 weeks, 2 days

I spent a lot of time planning this pregnancy, starting from back in 2003 when I decided to go on an insulin pump.  And even though preparation didn't begin in earnest until Chris and I were married, having a child has always been something I've wanted with my whole heart.  So I read up on what to expect, and what to do to help improve my diabetes control, and what prenatal vitamins to take.  

What I didn't do much research on was the actual pregnancy itself.

I didn't expect the low blood sugars that hit hard and fast in the first trimester.  I had heard that I could run a bit lower, but I didn't think my blood sugar and my age would be in sync so often.  And I also didn't expect the exhaustion of the first three months.  I had heard that I'd be "sleepy," but I didn't think I'd be driving home from work on my lunch break to take a nap, and then to collapse back into bed right after work for another hour or two. 

I also didn't expect the weight gain to affect me so emotionally.  I'm starting to feel like a porkchop.  (Thrilled to be pregnant, but shocked by how fast I'm growing.)

I've never been a twiggy little thing, but I have managed to fight the fat that seems to want to cling to my body and instead maintain a healthy, slightly athletic build.  (And for those of you who have ever seen me play sports, I'm begging you to stop laughing.   Just let me go with this, okay?)  Just never skinny, and never without hips or thighs.  The gym and I needed to be friendly in order for me to stay in any kind of shape.  And with the help of Chris's dedication to his own workout routine, I have been holding steady for the last five or six years. 

Except for the last few months.  Because my beloved BSparl is rocking my world with this whole weight gain thing.  Today, I'm four months and 2 days pregnant, and since finding out I was pregnant on August 31st, I've gained 8 lbs.  May not sound like a big deal, but it's definitely an adjustment, not being able to button my jeans (for weeks now) and living in the blue sweatpants I snagged from the Gap.  The weight isn't all just in the belly, either.  I can feel it on my hips, in my arms, and in my face.  And now, in the second trimester, I've entered the "pound a week" club, which means that by the end of this pregnancy, I could end up gaining almost 40 pounds.  

Chris reminds me constantly that this isn't "fat," but "pregnancy."  And it's what's supposed to happen.  My doctor says the same thing.  And believe me, I eat when hungry and I'm not taking any measures to skip meals or skimp on calories.  Even if I gain 40 pounds, so long as my baby is healthy, it's a win. 

What frustrates me are the empty calories I had to consume in the first trimester, which caused me to gain a lot of that weight.  Gulps of grape juice almost every night to treat low blood sugars, glucose tabs by the jar, and an influx of fruit carbs (which were among the only kinds of foods that would keep me over 100 mg/dl for more than an hour) - it's all showing on the scale.  Diabetes is making this pregnancy difficult, and excessive weight gain only adds to it.  And for me, the weight is making me feel a little emotionally bummed out.

Exercising is only just now starting to return to my regimen, since I'm not fall-down tired anymore.  Chris and I have been going for bike rides on the bike train down the street from our house, and we're clocking in a good 7 - 8 miles easily, which makes me feel like I'm accomplishing something.  That, coupled with the ellipmachine that I'm trying to use a few times a week (while watching Glee and Family Guy on Hulu - love Hulu) is making me feel like I'm at least getting some movement in.  It's just an uphill battle.  And honestly, seeing all the magazines with the stupid celebrities who are "Back in their skinny jeans just 10 days after giving birth!!!" makes me want to put blinders on when I am in the grocery store checkout line.

What's the point of this post?  I'm not even sure.  I'm just ranting, I think.  I'm having a hard time adjusting to getting bigger, and I know this is only the beginning. 

But Chris, again, reminds me of what matters.  He puts his hands on my belly and makes me focus.  "This is our baby.  And you are doing everything you can to protect him.  [Or her.]  Stop worrying about the way you look and enjoy this.  You've worked so hard for this."  

What can I say - the guy has a point.  And when I look in the mirror and see that blooming bump, I can't help but picture the baby growing inside of me, and how smitten I am already with this kid. 

Love you, BSparl.  All 40 lbs of you.  :)

Comments

I don't have the same point of view when it comes to weight and fat (I'm a Kate Harding convert and much happier for it), so I'll just tell you to keep listening to Chris. He's a keeper! ;) You certainly aren't alone when it comes to negative associations with weight gain, although I think it's a shame that women have to experience this stress on top of all of the other stresses of pregnancy. It should be a non-issue.

You have a great husband with a spot-on point.

I don't have any advice...only words of encouragement that you do look fantastic and the weight, while I'm sure is a hard pill to swallow, is going to be WELL worth it when BSparl makes his/her appearance this spring! Keep on doin' what you're doin'....b/c you're doing it all right!!!

Have you heard of and/or read "Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat?"? As somebody who works for libraries, I tend to try and solve all problems with books. :-)

I had the same feelings when I got pregnant with Leah. The weight is scary to put on, but I promise you will come off! I lost every pound and then some after giving birth. Want to know the secret- (actually not a secret at all) but simply breastfeeding. I don't know if that is something that you plan on doing, but if you are, it's the best way to feed your baby and drop those pounds.

Until that baby comes out though, enjoy putting on a pound a week. It's not permanent and you may even miss your pregnant body one day!

As long as BSparl is healthy then it's allllll good just like you said.

You've got the right attitude!!!!

He's right you know....that man you married. Listen to him and see yourself through his eyes so you don't regret missing out on the enjoyment of this experience. :-) You are creating LIFE inside of you! (Yay!!) And as for those magazines....it's all crap. Hang in there and have a happy pregnant day!

Can I just point out that it's 8 lbs, not 40? Don't go borrowing tomorrow's trouble today. Also, 8 lbs at about 17 wks? Not too shabby. As a member of the pound a week club from the word go, I'm be totally envious of that number. I gained 40 lb (probably more during labour due to all the fluids etc.). A doula acquaintance told me the non-belly weight is what makes good, high quality milk after the baby arrives. Even the chub is important. Besides, it's an important counterbalance. ;)

I know how you feel! This is a hard stage and I struggled with the weight gain issues a lot. (My past didn't help). A quick suggestion for the ill-fitting pants. Has anyone introduced you to the rubberband trick? My maternity pants didn't fit at this phase, and my regular ones didn't either. A good friend introduced me to the rubberband trick. I found this on pregnancy today that tells you how to use it: "In those early days when maternity clothes look silly but your regular clothes (mostly pants and shorts) no longer fit, instead of buying a bunch of "in between" clothes in larger sizes, grab a rubber band. Simply loop it through the buttonhole of your pants, making a slipknot, and hook it over the button. Ta da! Instantly larger pants. (Just remember to wear a long shirt so you don't reveal your clever trick to everyone else!)

There's also a product you can buy -- the Belly Belt -- that is a piece of fabric (available in several colors) that hooks onto your pant button and increases the girth of your pants. Not a bad investment compared to buying all new clothes -- but remember that a rubber band works almost as well and costs practically nothing."

Hope that helps Kerri! I admire you and know that you're doing a great job!

That Chris-man you married is SPOT ON sister! Don't you worry one little bit about the pounds - once you have the baby you will look back on all this worry and laugh, you really will. Baby weight sometimes falls off, sometimes it hangs on for a good long ride. Whatever it does, it does. Surrender to it, give all that energy you are using on this onto other, more important things in life. Enjoy the pregnancy, the pounds, the feelings, don't go around worrying about poundage. Listen to Chris - he really does know and he will get you through it.

Oh and stop reading those celebrity magazines about the weight 'magically' coming off 10 days after giving birth. They lie.

If it makes you feel better about those "empty calories", two of my sisters-in-law are pregnant and due the same time you are, and both have gained 8-9 pounds so far. Both are non-diabetics. I wouldn't worry about how much you had to eat in the first trimester, sounds to me like you're right on track.

Try not to worry about the weight so much. Baby does what baby needs to and if that means making you gain weight, then there's a reason. I'm a Type 1. When I got pregnant, I gained 51 lbs. But by the 9 month mark, I had lost 60lbs! And I didn't have to do anything special either (I only breastfed for the first 3 months). So try to enjoy yourself (even all that grape juice) as much as possible - this is a very special time and you don't need to burden yourself with something as trivial as temporary weight gain. You look beautiful!

This is one reason I'm looking forward to being pregnant: I can gain weight and not have to think twice about it.

Don't look at those stupid magazines anymore. And like Kendra said, read some Kate Harding!

you look great! your skin is better, you sleep better and longer and the baby is healthy and that's all it's matter!
You look beautiful! Enjoy this wonderful and unforgettable time.

Totally not trying to be condescending or b!tchy, but I'd willingly gain 100lbs or more for the opportunity to have a child. Really, I would.

Don't take your good fortune for granted, especially for something that you'll be able to change once your baby is born. Just enjoy every moment.

Shannon - Believe me, I'm so thankful for all of this. I worried for years about my ability to conceive and carry, and even though I'm almost halfway through my pregnancy now, I'm grateful for even the chance to be in this position. I love my baby, and I'm thankful to be carrying him or her.

Sometimes the day to day of this wears on me, and the emotions get confusing. Today felt like one of those "Oh geez, I barely recognize myself" sort of days. They will come and go, and I can't pretend that it's all rainbows and unicorns. But believe me, I don't take this for granted for even one second.

/diatribe. :)

I understand what you mean Kerri...i felt happier with my body when i had a massive bump and the whole world could see i was pregnant..rather than being in the 2nd trimester and just feeling fat!

Pregnancy is hard work and no matter how much the baby is loved and wanted sometimes it's difficult, especially when you've got type 1, i've been there!

I'd rather do the births than the pregnancies again!

Aw. You are wonderful. And just like Chris said, this is an okay weight gain. Don't worry.
And thank you for writing about your whole experience. It will be great future reference, if and when I decide I'm ready for children.

Kerri-

I know there are a lot of ladies who enjoy being pregnant, I'm not one of those ladies. When I got prego I was 125 and when I delivered I was 172. Although I enjoed feeling Niya kick...I didn't enjoy the extra weight gain, I didn't like my feet swollen and I missed sleep! You'll experience the whole sleep thing further down the line. N-e-way...

Keep listening to Chris...it's all about BSparl:)

Kerri - I can't possibly blame you for having ups and downs. I never meant to hurt you with my comment; I only wanted to remind you how lucky you are (which you obviously know).

Just as you're struggling with the day-to-day of being pregnant, the day-to-day of TTC is wearing on me, and the devastation that comes with another period is sometimes unbearable. I try to be positive, but after almost two years, it gets difficult - especially when it seems as if everyone around you is pregnant. Seriously, I've got nine (9!) pregnant friends right now.

So, I apologize if I've caused you pain. That was never my intention. Now, I'm off to play with some unicorns under a rainbow ;-)

I promise you.. and I'm never wrong.

You are having a baby GIRL.

I've NEVER guessed wrong and I've guessed for MANY people already!!!!

Just reading your cravings and how you are growing tells it all! So what are your girl names so far?!

I always appreciate your honesty, Kerri. And that weight matters to you and that's ok. You are entitled to feel as you feel! You just keep yourself strong and healthy for YOU, that sweet baby, and your hubby. Go, Kerri. Go!

for me with both my pregnancies, until I actually LOOKED visibly pregnant I just felt fat. I knew that I was pg, and I knew that the added pounds meant something, but I still just felt fat, not glowingly pg. I felt SOOOOOOOO much better once I hit the point where people would say "oh when are you due?"

I hope that points comes quickly for you now that you're this far along (even if it does mean more weight)

Just wanted to say I sympathize. It's not easy to accept the weight gain when you've spent so long trying to keep it off. I say allow yourself to be frustrated about it and then move on. It's hard! It's okay to be a little upset about it. And being diabetic and pregnant is HARD!! I went through all the same feelings as you. I hated seeing my face grow rounder. I gained 40 pounds with my baby (about 10 were in the first 2 months!). I lost most of it and am now finally kind of accepting my body as a woman who's carried a child.

If you are planning on breast feeding the weight will come off faster than you put it on, so eat healthy and dont worry!!

I swear those magazines should be outlawed!!! They played havoc with my emotions too when I was waddling around preggo with my babies. And in hind sight, I wish I hadn't wasted a single tear drop on them (because I DID shed a few tears, complements of pregnancy hormones.) It's all a bunch of shit anyway, Kerri! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! Before you know it, you'll be slipping into your pre-pregnancy jeans wondering when you can do it all over again. And YES to breast feeding. It's magical... and helps shed the weight.http://sherry-jennaspetmonkey.blogspot.com/2008/11/our-screwed-up-society.html

Try not to worry about the weight. I found it hard not to gain too much weight, especially later tin the pregnancy because of all the insulin and trying to regulate lows and whatnot. I gained almost 75 pounds, and I am only 5 feet tall. And I swear I did not pig out. Anyway, all that to say, about 50 of it went when she was born, and then pretty rapidly another 5-10. The last 10ish were the hardest, but heck, it was worth it!! Don't let it get to you. Love the belly :)

You know, your husband is right....I lived my whole life on diets etc., but when pregnant I allowed myself to eat. There's more than enough time to lose the weight...just by breast feeding, you'll lose pounds!!! Relax, and enjoy yourself, and don't feel guilty. As long as your Dr. says that you're ok, well, then you're OK! Relax and enjoy....you only have the first child once..LOL (Thank God!!). Don't beat yourself up about it. You WILL lose it later....Relax and ENJOY!!!
Lots of love, and looking forward to you next post...I read you every day.
Beth

I'm 5 foot tall and gained 50 pounds on my normally 100 pound body. 12 of which were gained in that blasted 1st Trimester with all the lows.

It was a huge adjustment for me as well, I work hard to keep a trim body while controlling diabetes, as you know all too well that is no easy feat.

My daughter was born healthy, though. Nothing wrong than just a few low blood sugars after her birth and she was 9 pounds (to which I blame my husband).

Borrowing a line from Juno I was a "Planet" in size and hated it - but my husband was great and always said "You're not fat, you're pregnant!" Christ is a great guy and he's right! You're not fat, or getting fat, your pregnant! :)

For what it's worth - Although I gained 50 pounds I was able to fit back into my looser normal jeans (with buttons!) at 2 weeks after and lost it all by 2 months. Breastfeeding did wonders for losing weight (and low blood sugars...).

You're doing a great job, and BSparl will love you so much for it!!

That Chris guy is pretty smart! And as someone who has seen you relatively recently - you are absolutely beautiful, especially with the added pregnancy glow! :)

I gained what felt like a LOT of weight (38 lbs) when I was pregnant, and I gained a lot of that in the first trimester b/c I was treating so many lows. I had issues with it because I've always been self conscious about that... I gained it everywhere-- my arms, my hips, my thighs... no place was safe! But I lost ALL of it within 5 mos., thanks to nursing and running. Now my weight is lower than it was before I was pregnant. So please try not to worry about it!!! When you first hold that baby it will put things in perspective and you won't care as much. :)

Hi. I hear you about your troubles, never being able to be pregnant I fully do not understand but totally empathize. Anyway, try to remember that babies do not care what their mommies look like. They do care if they are picked up, loved, talked to nicely, fed and changed. Enjoy these early times with baby.

I hear ya! But it's only been a month and a half since my little one was born and I am already below my pre-pregnancy weight. Breastfeeding helps those pounds, but be warned....it also helps you eat a lot more for all of those feeding lows!

I agree, breastfeeding is a great way to lose the excess weight.

Like others have said, i was in the same boat too. Treating those first trimester lows put me at a 10lb weight gain in the first 10 weeks. Yikes! It did slow down though and i gained roughly 35 over the whole pregnancy and lost it relatively quickly afterwards. What matters now is your healthy baby and your healthy blood sugar levels. Deal with the weight after pregnancy! Enjoy these 9 months!

I gained 40 lbs, I must have shown you the picture of me in all my fat face glory.

I had to get my license renewed when I was 8 months pregnant and pre eclamptic with Gabe. I looked like a blow fish and a Cabbage patch doll inbreed. :) And I get to stare at it and share it with other people every time I go to the bank or buy beer! HAHA!

Us Type 1 gals have so many extra challenges with not getting too low or we'll meet our immediate doom, not getting too high or the baby will be too big....

Chris is wise, try not to worry about the weight gain. You are a determined chick and the weight will come off quickly if you focus after the baby is born! Right now focus on your awesome little BSparl and getting him/her safely from point A to point B.

You rock! You can do it! :)

LOL.. This is the cutest post ever. Oh BTW, congrats on the pregnancy, mommy to be ;)

Touche to that! I loved your post. It is so important to respect people and their ways. People need more tolerance!

Since this blog is about Diabetes. I wanted to share an article about Green tea. It is related to my grandpa, who suffered from Diabetes too. Hope it helps someone!

Hi Kerri,
Longtime fan here. I'm all in agreement about the KateHarding-ness.
I've struggled with body image and I think I've finally gotten the upper hand, but weight gain is such a personal and challenging thing. I have type 2, and I took insulin while trying to conceive, while pregnant, and while breastfeeding, and I know how easy it is to gain weight -- HOWEVER, I did find it pretty easy to lose weight after pregnancy while breastfeeding. I was pretty much at my usual place by the time I had been nursing for a year ( I nursed my baby girl for almost 2 years). Your body knows what it's doing.
Managing diabetes is all about "control" and then there's so much about pregnancy that you can't control, it's really, really nervewracking. But focusing on managing your blood sugars, getting pleasurable activity in when you can, thinking of this as temporary and not worrying that you won't ever lose the weight (I bet you will, especially if you choose to breastfeed).
You are going to be a great mom.
Your little one is super lucky.
Try to focus on the miracles and not quite as much on weight.
Your slightly, temporarily larger body will be beautiful to everyone who matters, too.

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