Monday, March 30, 2009

Give it time

Babyweight. Ugh.

I would like to think that I'm not a vain person. In honesty; however, gaining and losing the babyweight was something that I spent a bit of time pondering during those 10 months. (Yes, 10 not 9. Faulty math is perpetrated on mothers around the world!)

Initially, I swore that I wouldn't gain more than the "recommended" 25 pounds. When only certain things taste good (hello Pringles), and you are HUNGRY all the time, it isn't so realistic. I can honestly say that I ate pretty much whatever I wanted while I was pregnant. Very quickly I realized that it wasn't worth worrying about. And, regarding the "What to Expect ..." recommendation to ask yourself before every bite of food - "is this the best thing I can feed my baby?" Hooey! You'll have a lifetime of feeling guilty as a parent - no need to start so early.

As my chins and feet expanded; however, I thought that I might pay for it later.

Genetics plays a huge role in this. (And everything else, for that matter, says the genetic counselor). I have had several people tell me that your body is "programmed" to gain a certain amount of weight during pregnancy no matter what you do. They eat well during their 1st pregnancy, and less well during their 2nd and gain the same. Also, the rate at which you will lose that weight is probably also genetically determined.

I think breastfeeding definitely helps, but I don't know that it is the "cure" for weight loss. You have to have some fat on you to keep up your milk supply. One good friend told me, per her OB, that the amount of weight you gain by your 20 week visit is about the same amount of weight you will have to lose at your 6 week postpartum checkup. I found that to be true.

At 16 weeks, I am about 8 pounds heavier than the day I got pregnant. I feel fortunate that I have eaten whatever I wanted since Girly was born and have done absolutely nothing to get the weight off and it just keeps going away. I bet that I am reaching the end of that dream scenario and I will need to do a little work to get the rest of it off. Trouble is, you do need some fat in your diet to breastfeed and a lot of exercise may decrease your milk supply. So, it might be slow going, but I'll get there.

As for post-baby clothing - I find this to be the ultimate frustration. As much as I liked shopping pre-baby, I now find it totally irritating. Breastfeeding is part of the reason - when you need easy access 6 times a day, a lot of shirts don't work. Plus, my ample bosom only fits in Large or Extra Large shirts, so in order to have clothing that is work-appropriate, I generally look like I am wearing a tent. Pants are another story ... I squeezed into a pair of former "fat jeans" at about 3 weeks, and some regular jeans at about 6 weeks (albeit I could hardly breathe). I bought some new pants at 6 weeks for a function and they were 3 sizes bigger than I used to buy and they barely buttoned. Now, at 16 weeks, I have purchased 3 pairs of black pants in the last month to have something to wear to work - 3 pairs in decreasing sizes. It kills me to keep buying new pants because the old ones are too big - such a waste of $$! However, I do feel happy that they are smaller, so I guess money sometimes equals happiness. The point is - buy as little as you can until you are the size you are happy with.

As a side note, tests are pending but it appears that an overactive thyroid may have been contributing to the weight loss. Thyroid malfunction is pretty common in women after they deliver a baby, even if they never had a thyroid problem before. I have felt pretty much like a space cadet since the Girl was born. I thought this was normal for a little while, but it sure didn't seem normal at 16 weeks. I happened to have my yearly GYN appointment last week and asked if being a space cadet was part of motherhood. Most certainly not. I'm not sure of the exact issue yet, but the point is .... take care of yourself! It is easy for a new Mom to put herself last. I like to play doctor for everyone who will listen, and while I thought I might have a problem, it seemed like a hassle to see the doctor and get labs done. If I hadn't already had the yearly appointment scheduled, who knows how long I would have been spacey Mom. You can't take care of your family if you don't take care of yourself!