33 Weeks Pregnant and I'm…Small

I had a check-up with my midwife and her apprentice yesterday, and found out that I only gained two pounds in the last month. I should have gained twice that, or even a little more since I was so petite before I got pregnant. The good news is that the baby is growing just great, he’s right on target in terms of his size. But, it would be better for my energy level, and would be very helpful when I start breastfeeding, if I could pack on more pounds (especially fat pounds!) before the birth. So, we had to have a little heart to heart about my diet and exercise routines. The midwife made several recommendations I didn’t want to hear, but her logic makes sense and I want to do what’s best for me and the baby even if that is not what I originally planned on doing.

First off, I was told I have to quit CrossFit because it burns too many calories, and because she thinks the activity could worsen my abdominal diastasis. Have we talked about the diastasis yet? Basically, the two halves of the outermost layer of my abdominal muscles (the rectus abdominus, best known for looking like a “six-pack” when well-developed) have started to split apart from one another. This is common in pregnancy, it almost always heals up after the baby’s born, and most people don’t even notice when/if it happens. I, however, have been acutely aware of the separation because mine’s a little larger than normal, and because it hurts! This is the price I must pay for having very toned abs pre-pregnancy. I know. Everyone wishes they could have this problem.

So, I broke up with my CrossFit coach this morning, and will stick to the very specific activity limits the midwife prescribed to try to slow my speedy metabolism and get my body to store more fat. I thought I was storing fat! My ass is way bigger and squishier than it’s ever been, and every time I look at it in the mirror I feel proud of my body for knowing how to be pregnant. Apparently what I perceive as a fat ass is, in fact, not. I know. Everyone wishes they could have this problem, too.

Along with limiting my activity, I also need to seriously increase my caloric intake. I knew this, though. For some reason eating has given me the hardest time since I’ve been pregnant. Even though I’m not sick like I was early on, I still have some food aversions and am just pickier than normal. I know I haven’t been eating enough, but it’s been really hard to force myself to eat more. I start to feel ill whenever my blood sugar drops and then often feel nauseous when I do eat, both of which make eating kind of a pain and not something I’m really interested in. Plus, it’s hot here, which definitely decreases the appetite.

In order to get on top of this eating every two hours thing we’re using the air conditioning more (so I don’t get overheated and lose my appetite), and I’m logging my food to keep me on track with eating frequently. My food logs are actually due to the the midwife at my next appointment in two weeks so she can see what I’m eating and how much. She suspects that my diet is too clean and that I need to load up on french fries, ice cream, burgers, milkshakes, etc. She is probably right. When we left her office we went to Hyde Park Bar & Grill and got burgers, fries, and some wickedly delicious peach-buttermilk cake that was served in a pool of fresh cream. So tasty, and satisfying in a way that our quinoa and bean salads are just NOT. The downside was that I wasn’t hungry again for hours, but the upside was that it got me thinking about ways to revise our weekly menus and grocery shopping to get more calories in my body.

Oh! And the last thing I was told I need to do? Everytime I eat I’m supposed to say to myself, “Gain weight! Gain weight!” in an effort to capitalize on the mind-body connection. There are many reasons why I am so much happier with a midwife than I would be with a doctor, but that piece of advice might just top the list!

One Comment

  • Hi, Jessica — I work for HPB&G and came across your post today in a Google search. As a mom myself (my son is now a 6 foot 3 inch 16 year old), I was amused by your food experiences. From what I know (and your midwife will know best), babies actually need lots of fats and proteins while they”re developing to build their brains in particular. The first thing I craved when I was pregnant was a cheeseburger and I had been eating very low fat before then. I ate what I was hungry for, gained 50 pounds (especially at the end), had a 10 pound + baby and lost all the baby weight by nursing within a year.

    The meat at HPB&G is really high quality and hormone-free and there are lots of healthy options that are also calorie-rich. We’re glad you enjoyed the food and hope you’ll be back often — both before & after the birth!

    Congratulations and keep taking really good care of yourself. You’re giving your baby the best possible start in life by doing that.

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