21 April 2007

response to fat mum/fat baby

I was 35 when I finally became pregnant with my first child and grew 14kg during the course of my pregnancy. I didn't find the weight too problematic at first until I was noticeably bigger in my mirror at home. Having always been a relatively slim person I found it quite hard to see myself that way but I knew it was not in my best interest to worry about it. I was aware that stress was much more harmful to my unborn child than any weight I might put on (unless that weight was really excessive, which it didn't appear to be). I think being older did help me to set my priorities better and consider the health of my baby as paramount. My Obstetrician was very helpful and refused to weigh me at all throughout my whole pregnancy. He was aware of how seriously women felt about their weight and knew there were other ways to see if there were complications rather than weighing his mums to be. Early in my pregnancy at 14 weeks, a friend commented that at that stage my weight gain of 4kg was more than she had put on during her whole pregnancy. I pointed out that it was very likely I would have a larger baby than her 3 with her largest baby being only 5 1/2 pounds. Wasn't I right about that prediction. I felt my weight began to be a real issue when my very insensitive co-workers started in with comments. This was right around the same time as my mirror image seemed to change dramatically so I had already started to find it difficult to view my new body. My first one was by a Human Resources Manager (who certainly should have known better, even being male) who came up with "I knew it was you because I heard the waddle". The same day I received another insensitive comment with "Please don't hurt me I'll get out of your way". This was by a female who had a child already. Needless to say I was feeling quite upset that day but I moved on and tried not to think about it. I was realistic about my weight and didn't get on the scales too often or obsess about my diet. I did what I have always done and stuck to predominantly healthy food with occasional not so healthy snacks when I felt inclined. No guilt, no stress and therefore no harm to my unborn child. After my delivery the midwives were shocked that such a large baby (10lb 9oz, 4.8kg) came from such a compact stomach. Clearly they were not concerned about my weight gain. I was lucky (or not) after my delivery to be so stressed with trying to breast feed that I lost the weight plus an extra 4kg within 4 weeks of my delivery. Not the way to do it. I carry a bit more weight around now that my son is 2 1/2 but nothing too serious. 68kg at 5'7" is not that bad. My Obstetrician advises that my second child is likely to be even bigger. No doubt my weight the second time around (if it ever comes) will be even more. I consider it is the price I have paid for taking on the most important job there is in becoming a parent and I don't regret any of it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

At 34, I have four children. I stopped triathlon training when pregnant with my last baby. I have always been fit, and always put on between 15 and 28kilos for each pregnancy. I never cared so much about weight, I believed that I was the incubator for my baby and just let my body do what it needed. I was in the hospital coffee shop with a girlfriend and my baby one day after my last caserarian delivery, we were approached by a mother and her two teenage girls, the mother congratulated my girlfriend on the birth of her baby and I was asked when mine was due....it set the tone for comments over the next eight weeks. I was in a chemists shop and the pharmacist asked me when my baby was due - I was holding a week old baby!! I could be pushing my brand new baby at the shops and strangers would ask me how hard is it to be pregnant so quickly again....It sucked, I stopped counting those comments after I reveied 14 unsolicited nasty remarks from strangers. Nobody wants to be large after the birth of a baby, if supermodels get six weeks to get back into shape, can't I , an ordinary working class woman, with a career, study, home and children take just a little longer???? It is not women who put pressure on themselves, it is all of the jerks and thier dreadful rude comments. A sleep deprived new mother does not need to be told anything other than "you look wonderful, your baby is beautiful" etc. If you don't have anything nice to say....
P.S. My latest baby is almost four months old and I am still a size twelve, I feel unfit and unattractive, I have veins, stretch marks and sagging breasts, I don't have time to dye my grey hair or apply eye cream, I also have four beautiful children and a wonderful husband who loves all of me, for my real body and the life that it has given. I will lose the weight, in the june mid semester break I will have more time to exercise and nurture myself, until then I am thankful for my health.

Creative Commons License
The Baby Bump Project by Meredith Nash is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.