It’s humbling when you become a version of a person you used to hate.
Obviously while I was doing treatments, a lot of women around me got pregnant. Inevitably, they’d start complaining about how fat they felt.
This used to annoy the shit out of me. You are not FAT. You are growing a BABY. Your body is changing because it’s doing something miraculous (insert stabby eyes and frustrated sighs).
And yet, here I am.
It started early on, because that first trimester bloat before you get a bump can be very demoralizing. That’s probably the case for any pregnant woman, but when you add the tail end of an IVF cycle and ongoing progesterone supplements, things can only be worse.
Before I started IVF, I was in great shape. I had been working out hardcore and eating a decent diet. I was a muscular 151 pounds, size 8 in pants. I felt great. Not thin, but healthy.
I wasn’t all that concerned about weight gain when I got pregnant. In fact, I wanted to gain weight because I so desperately wanted that belly!
The pregnancy books all say you can expect to gain 25-35 pounds throughout your pregnancy. Here’s a breakdown of my weight gain:
Sept 12 (retrieval week): 151
Nov 23 (12 weeks): 157
Dec 22 (16 weeks): 159
Jan 24 (21 weeks): 166
Feb 6 (23 weeks): 168
Feb 29 (26 weeks): 176 (!)
Mar 13 (28 weeks): 181
I am clearly on track to outpace the 35 pound “maximum”.
And as much as I don’t want to be that person, I hit the roof when I broke 180.
This has been a major wake up call for me about the ways we are conditioned as women. Even though I knew I would gain weight, expected to gain weight, and had prepared myself – even though I had been frustrated with others in the past who were panicked about their weight gain – despite all these things, I still hate seeing the numbers climb on the scale. I’m still deeply conditioned to want them to go the opposite way.
I finally have a beautiful pregnant belly that everyone looks at and thinks “baby” (as opposed to “six pack” or “gummy bears” or “pasta”). But I also have a lot of new weight around my hips and thighs, and I can’t even guess how much each breast weighs.
This, combined with my constipation troubles, makes me feel heavy and weighed down. I walk pretty slowly these days (my husband is usually waiting for me to catch up). I get out of breath easily. I am not my young, in shape, self. What did I expect, right?
But there is still a sense of mourning. My pre-pregnancy body, which I constantly berated, never lived up to my expectations. Now, I miss it with a deep, heartfelt yearning. My C cup breasts! My (not so flat but relatively flat) stomach! My non-swollen face!
I’ll never get it back all the way, that body that I was never happy to have in the first place.