Total weight gain/loss? Up 32.5 pounds total. So let's take a minute to talk about this and the fact that I absolutely lost my shit last Friday when I weighed myself and the scale told me I'd gained 5 pounds in one week. (For those keeping score, that is considered "excessive weight gain".) Since then I've actually lost 2.2 pounds. So I was probably seriously retaining water last week. Also I had just come off my birthday week and was eating leftover carrot cake every night. And I wasn't walking more than 6,000 or so steps a day. Excuses, excuses. Yes. Whatever the cause, I am actually sticking to my theory that this time around it has been better to weigh myself more often than not. When I weigh and realize I'm venturing into excessive weight gain territory, I make a conscious effort to scale down on snacking, up my walking and reduce my carb intake. I'm not depriving myself by any means, I'm just more aware of what I'm eating and what exercise I'm getting. And it seems to be working. Something will have to go terribly wrong for me to put on 30 more pounds in the next 7+ weeks to hit the 60+ weight gain I had with Lukas. This is a good thing.
Maternity clothes? Yes and they're starting to really bore me.
Stretch marks? The old ones are getting darker. Yay.
Sleep? After a week (last week) of waking every night to horrible leg cramps, this week has been a joy in the sleep department. I'm listening to a new hypnobirthing meditation before bed and have slept through the night all week. It's great.
Best moment last week? Going to the aquarium with Lukas and having him hold my hand the whole day.
Movement? My little ninja warrior is getting down to business - cramped space be damned!
Food cravings? Nothing particular.
Food aversions? Nope.
Gender? Beautiful baby boy.
Labor signs? The occasional Braxton Hicks contractions.
Belly button in/out? Half & half.
What I miss: My sanity.
What I am looking forward to: Drinking wine.
Milestones: The little dude is 95% daytime potty trained!!! This is a very big milestone in our house right now.
[Some of you may know that I am a contributor to the Parenting 360 blog associated with Primrose Schools - I usually have a monthly post on various topics about being a mom and raising a toddler. In March I wrote about The Wardrobe Fight- The Toddler Clothes Battle - you can read that post here. I wrote a follow-up to that post about mommy clothing battles but it's not being published on the blog due to a last-minute content change. So rather than let it go to waste, I thought I'd share it with you all here! The style is a bit different than what you usually see on TSAN, but I hope you enjoy!!]
I hope my post last month on the Toddler Clothes Battle and the tips to combat the fight were helpful to you! But in my house there is another wardrobe battle raging on: the Mommy “what to wear” Wardrobe Fight. As if keeping up with current trends and whether or not color blocking and chunky wedges are “in” this season, new mommies and moms-to-be struggle with what to wear for their ever changing figure.
Five years ago I was preparing for my upcoming wedding and woke up at 5am to attend a daily boot camp class before work. I lost a few pounds, toned up and enjoyed clothes and shopping! Then I got pregnant in early 2010 and suddenly my wardrobe options shrank. A sixty pound pregnancy weight gain only made matters worse. Flowy maternity dresses were my go-to option for those 9 months. Then my post-partum body was constantly changing and it took me a full year to lose all the “baby weight”. My closet held clothes in six different sizes and I never knew what would fit at any given moment. It wasn’t until my son was almost 18 months old that I figured out how to fit exercise into my working mom life and finally felt good about my body again. And then I went and got pregnant again and the cycle has started all over.
If I could wear yoga pants and tee-shirts every day, I probably would. But my office has a “business casual” dress code and something tells me yoga pants, even for a pregnant woman, don’t count, so I have to try to find an appropriate outfit 5 days a week. While maternity clothes have come a long way over the years (as my mother is happy to remind me), it is still difficult to maintain a positive self-image when I feel like I’m constantly on parade with my growing belly (especially when people decide that comments about your appearance are totally acceptable when you’re pregnant. “Wow, look at you!” isn’t a compliment to a 6 months pregnant woman).
But since mommies and mommies-to-be can’t hide under the covers all day (or only wear yoga pants), how can we best handle our changing bodies and even embrace them? I personally have really struggled with maintaining a positive self-image over the past few years, but have found a few things that help.
Remember WHY your body is changing/has changed! You’re growing another human being and are literally creating new life! This is an amazing thing and should not be forgotten when you look in the mirror or fail to button your pre-pregnancy pants.
Indulge in one outfit that makes you feel beautiful. During my first pregnancy I coveted one designer’s maternity clothes but opted for cheaper dresses and outfits since I’d only be wearing them for a short period of time. Big mistake. The second time around I purchased a wrap maternity dress from the designer and I LOVE it. I wear it at once a week and feel great about myself every time I put it on, even on mornings where I’m otherwise feeling less than pretty.
Accessorize! Shoes and chunky necklaces (particularly in fun, bright colors) don’t care what size your waist is and are a great way to liven up any outfit (especially when you’ve resolved to only wear black the last few weeks of pregnancy).
Be kind to yourself. Remember that no one else is as critical of your body or outfit as you are. And if someone compliments you, don’t dismiss them off hand. Say thank you and smile a little brighter. Your baby and older children don’t care how you look, all they see is mommy and they love you for who you are, so try to do the same for yourself!
How have you handled your changing figure during pregnancy and beyond?
I've been hesitant to write lately because if I write the truth it's not pretty. And I don't like to sugarcaot things here so its been easier to just stay silent. But I figure it's not doing anyone any favors for me to just sit here and give off the vibe that things are hunky dory when they're not.
About ten days ago a funk set it. It started on a Saturday morning when I just didn't feel right. Julian was hyperactive all morning and his kicks, jabs and headbutting made me feel off. I was uncomfortable by his antics, but not in pain. But I felt, well, blah. Friends came over for a festival in our neighborhood and were a welcome distraction for a few hours. After they left I could only convince myself to lay on the couch and moan to Mr. Cob. The next day was Mother's Day. My boys were sweet to me all day and we went to brunch with my parents. I felt down most of that morning as well, but just chalked it up to being pregnant. Later in the day we went to our good friends' house with a few other friends, but I didn't want to go. I may have cried on the way over. I just didn't have it in me to be cheerful. Luckily these friends don't expect me to smile all the time and they get it. Lukas enjoyed playing with his best friend and Mr. Cob had a nice break from me. But I'd be lying if I said that the entire time we were gone I wasn't waiting to go home.
The next day I had an OB appointment. I mentioned to my doctor that I was feeling off and slightly depressed. She asked if it was the same feeling that I had when the postpartum/post-weaning depression set in. I told her it was close, but didn't feel that strong yet. She said we'd keep an eye on it and to call her if it got much worse, but in the meantime she advised me to stop doing any "extra" stuff. Meaning: go to work, take care of Lukas and chill out/relax. So I'm trying to do that.
The rest of last week sort of floated by in a haze. Work is busy and a welcome distraction.
And then last Friday happened. With the intention of filling out my weekly pregnancy survey I hopped on the scale to determine my weight gain for the week. This was a mistake and was the push I didn't need to send me over the edge. That was the moment the tears really started. I went to work that morning in a major slump. I shut my door and kept to myself. But all day I was seriously down. I had plans to go out with girlfriends that night, and had enough time to treat myself to a pedicure before dinner, hoping to relax. It helped a bit. Dinner and a 50 Shades of Grey musical parody helped a bit as well. But I got home that night and resumed the sulking.
Saturday morning I woke up sad. My in-laws were in town visiting and Mr. Cob convinced me to join the group for a walk to the local farmer's market. I tried to be cheerful. I failed. I'm sure I was short with my in-laws. I know I was short with my husband. They all left me for the majority of the day to go watch Mr. Cob play two soccer games. I sat on the couch and watched a Fast and the Furious marathon. Paul Walker and Vin Diesel didn't even help. That night we had plans to go out with a group of friends to dinner for my best friend's birthday. I love my friend dearly, but I did not want to go. I cried in the car ride to the restaurant and told Mr. Cob that I wasn't sure I could do it. I just could not pretend to be happy at dinner and I did not want to go. But we went. Thankfully we went. Dinner pulled me out of the funk a bit. My BFF's honesty that "actually I looked good" made me laugh. Not having to pretend I was OK was nice. I actually really enjoyed the evening. It was a welcome change.
Sunday I woke up happy. I cooked waffles from scratch and we spent the day at the Aquarium. My little man held my hand as we looked at the fish. His amazement and joy made me smile. I started to feel like me again. I hoped it would last.
It didn't. Monday morning I cried within 5 minutes of being at work. A very small thing sent me over the edge again. And I cried on and off for the morning. Mr. Cob took me out to lunch. We talked about whether or not my behavior was similar to the post-weaning depression and he said he thought it was. I think he's right.
So I'm left deciding what to do. I have 8 weeks until Julian is due. That's not a short period of time when we're talking about depression and sadness. I did some research and I don't feel comfortable taking any medication. Apparently acupuncture has helped some women in this situation, so I'm going to do some research on that. And last night I downloaded a new pregnancy relaxation/meditation program. I feel asleep half way through the meditation, but I felt calm while I was awake. And I slept all night without waking up. And today I haven't cried and I don't feel quite as down. Here's to hoping the meditation and renewed effort to exercise helps keep the stress and sadness away.
Despite the sadness, the sincere truth is that I am so excited to be having this baby. And I cannot wait to meet him. I look forward to being up in the middle of the night with him nursing him and smelling that sweet newborn smell. I know Lukas is going to be an awesome big brother and my heart bursts just thinking about the two boys growing up together.
But it's not sunshine and roses every day right now. On the one hand, I am overjoyed to be pregnant and expanding our family. I hope to be pregnant at least one more time in the future. (Crazy, perhaps). But the day to day part of it is hard right now. My poor husband is bearing the brunt of it, and he's been amazing. Nothing he says helps. Nothing he does helps. But he keeps trying and more importantly, he keeps showing up. He lets me be sad. He lets me lay on the couch. He lets me complain and he still loves me. For this I am thankful.
So that's what it's feeling like to be 32 weeks pregnant right now. There are some sad days and some really happy days. And I'm just really hoping the scale tips back permanently to the happy side soon. I don't like this glass half empty side of myself.
Total weight gain/loss? Up 29.7 pounds. And you'll be happy to know I've stopped weighing myself every day and have been much calmer since then.
Maternity clothes? There is nothing else at all that fits now.
Stretch marks? Nothing new has popped up, thankfully.
Sleep? Meh. I'm waking up every night with cramps in my calves, which makes for a less than peaceful night's sleep. Otherwise, I'm sleeping well - unlike with Lukas, I don't feel like I've yet gotten to that point where I cannot find a comfortable position to sleep in. Once I hit the pillow, I'm pretty much out until my bladder or calves wake me up.
Best moment last week? Having my boys shower me with love on my birthday. And the week before that we were at the beach, so that was a pretty amazing week all around.
Movement? Dude is busy in there. I'm starting to fear I'll birth an octopus (with sharp elbows) rather than a baby boy.
Food cravings? Cucumbers with pimento cheese.
Food aversions? Bread products seem to be giving me heartburn, so I'm trying to stay away from too much bread, but that doesn't always go so well. I love carbs.
Gender? More blue for this girl.
Labor signs? Just some Braxton Hicks contractions.
Belly button in/out? Half & half.
What I miss: Raw sushi, high heels and wine.
What I am looking forward to: Spending the weekend with my boys. I really enjoyed spending all day for seven days with them at the beach...I think I could really dig the stay at home mom thing.
Milestones: We've officially decided that the boys will share a room. And by officially decided, I mean until I change my mind again next week. But really, they'll share a room. Oh and another milestone, though not exactly pregnancy related but worth noting, I've been downgraded to "mom". Lukas has started calling me mom rather than mommy or momma and for some reason it makes me really sad. He's no longer a little baby or even little toddler - he's a growing-up-so-freaking-fast boy.