Pondering Pregnancy

Within the past year or so, I’ve been feeling the real urge to start a family. I’ve been married to my husband for almost two years after being together nearly eight years, and I’ve always wanted to be a mom. Ideally, I’ve wanted to be pregnant or have my first child by the time I hit 30 (God-willing).

Well, I turn 29 this October, and I’m really getting excited at the notion of creating life. And since my husband is possibly more eager than me, I hope we will not have difficulty when the time comes in the next year or so.

But I’ll be honest…I fear being pregnant. Getting “fat,” and having to lose the weight all over again daunts me. That sounds awful, I know … as it’s creating life, the most beautiful thing in the world, and I truly can’t wait to be a mom.

Though I’m ashamed to admit it, it scares me: the thought of watching my body transform, even if it’s for a good cause, the ultimate cause. But for someone who is battling disordered eating issues, and who suffers from body dysmorphia, the very notion that I’d deliberately put myself in a position to gain weight all over again is both scary and intimidating.

Still, I am making a promise to myself that I will not let this fear get in the way of becoming a mother. I’m simply putting it out there–that the fear is real and now, it’s exposed.

I want to have a healthy pregnancy, to gain only the appropriate amount of weight and to continue to eat well and exercise as much as I can (within reason of course) for my baby’s health. And when he/she is born, I hope to be able to breast feed and to be a wonderful mother and role model, which is all the more reason I need to nip these issues in the bud now.

I know life isn’t perfect, but I hope to use the tools I’ve learned through Weight Watchers to lre-lose the baby weight in a safe and healthy manner. Still, I am genuinely concerned about how things will pan out when I do get pregnant.

How about you? Are you someone who was heavy, lost weight and got pregnant? How did you handle the body changes?

27 thoughts on “Pondering Pregnancy

  1. Man, I thought I was the only one who had these feelings. I’m turning 35 this year & still have yet to start a family. It’s this fear that all of my hard work will be for not, once I become pregnant. Thanks for your insight.

  2. Thanks, Michele. I think many women probably feel the same, esp. those who have always been heavy and got thin. I think it’s a very different experience for us than for people who have always been thin, gained, and lost.

  3. I did this twice, and I assure you, pregnancy did not forever alter my body. And breastfeeding is a wonderful calorie burner and is oh so healthy for your baby. It is win/win! Your fears are real and legitimate, but it is merely a temporary thing that solves itself really quite quickly. It is such a miracle, that all else pales while it’s happening!

  4. That’s what I am hoping, Lisa…that the fears will go away when I am in the position. I just know I’m also not a rational person, so going at this from my deluded perspective is a bit overwhelming, but I hope when the time comes, I am further along on this path of healing.

  5. I am 33 and have three kids. i will admit i gained about 55 pounds each pregnancy and it took about a year to lose the last twenty…i was very afraid that i would never shedthe excess however i did lose them and have been able to stay around the same weight since(of course I gain in the summer but that’s a different story). The fact that you are so in tune with your body leads me to think that you will have a healthy pregnancy and continue exercising (less than usual) and eating well.Pregnancy is like a science experiment to your body and it is actually a nice way to be bigger because everything is firm and you are doing it for a reason. I always tell people that their body will know what to do…you may gain alot or just enough…I actually didn’t let them tell me my weight until after I had the babies because I was too fixated on the number…very hard at first but then I was less anxious. I would put this out of your mind….you will have NO PROBLEM because you are in tune with your body!

  6. Thank you so much, Brooke. I hope that is the case! Congrats to you on your three wonders and on maintaining!

  7. I’m 26 and 36 weeks pregnant tomorrow. I just wanted to say that no matter how young or old you are no matter how little or much you weigh, going to the doctors and standing on that scale and “officially weighing more than you ever have in your life” is a really hard thing. No matter how you look at it… “Oh but you are creating life…” blah blah blah… it’s still really very hard. I have gained 43lbs so far. I keep telling myself she will be worth it… and I know she will be. I do have to say that being pregnant has been a great experience and I wouldn’t give it back for anything in the world… even my pre pregnancy weight. I wish you all the best of luck when you do get pregnant… Just remember… hormones are a bitch. Try not to let the weight get you down… I know it’s easier said than done but being pregnant is amazing… and sooo very worth it!

  8. Your concerns are absolutely valid, and very real! As you know, I had my daughter earlier this year and have since been struggling to get the weight off. It was hard because I’ve had weight issues my entire adult life and I was finally at goal. In April 2007, I wore a size 6 wedding dress. I felt fabulous – I was fit, I was thin, I had tons of great clothes, and then I got pregnant.

    Pregnancy wasn’t that bad, actually. I had to work hard – really hard, actually – but I was able to manage my weight gain, and I gained 34 pounds (the healthy recommendation is 25-35 pounds.)

    My pregnancy weight gain was reasonable, but I have been struggling since my daughter was born to lose the weight. I did lose some right away, but long nights with a crying baby and busy days as a working mom and the scale started going to wrong way.

    Suddenly I feel like I’m that old me from years ago again – finding excuses not to be photographed, hiding under baggy clothes, ashamed of what I see in the mirror. But a baby really does change anything. Before my daughter was born I would have said that I was the most proud of running 2 half marathons. Now I look at my daughter and clearly she is the most amazing thing I’ve ever done. I was so proud of my body when my arms were strong and defined, or when I sailed across the finish line of a race, but that thrill doesn’t even hold a candle to the feelings I have for my daughter. Yes, I’m flabby where I used to be toned and wide where I used to be thin, but look what my body did – look what I have now.

    I may have stretch marks and flab, and my boobs will never be the same after breastfeeding, but I grew a tiny speck of an embryo into a beautiful baby, and she brings me joy every single day. Now that is a pretty freakin’ amazing thing that my body did.

    Sometimes I do get frustrated, especially when I see a picture of how I looked before pregnancy, but when I feed my daughter and she looks into my eyes and lovingly runs her hand over the side of my breast I realize that she doesn’t care how I look. Yes, it is in her best interest to be a fit and healthy mom, but she doesn’t care if I have a little extra belly flab. She doesn’t care about stretch marks. She doesn’t care if it takes me a year or more to get back down to goal.

    I know I’ll lose the weight. I’ve done this before and I’ll do it again, and so will you. It might take longer, and I might never get back to the way I was before since my shape did change (and because there just isn’t time anymore!) but I’ll get there.

    But it is so amazing. I remember my mom telling me that I couldn’t understand how much you could love another person until I had my own kids and I always thought she was exaggerating. It turns out she was right. I got a card after my daughter was born that said that having a baby was like having all the love you’ve ever given returned to you in the form of a tiny baby and I cried when I read that because it is so true.

    If it meant that I would never lose a single pound and I’d stay this weight forever, I wouldn’t change a thing. My daughter was worth all of it and then some.

  9. Kaytie, thank you so much for sharing your story. I believe you that it will be worth every second when I am there; and I am glad to know my fears are justified but that there is hope. When you look at what you’ve created I am sure it’s the most amazing thing and trumps all these disordered eating issues. I hope to approach pregnancy the way you have and with the wisdom you and others have shared. Thank you, honestly…

  10. Being pregnant was the most liberating time of my life, food wise. I ate whatever I wanted/craved and discovered that I mostly crave healthy foods. I continued to exercise daily until I was 10-days post term. I felt great. I didn’t get fat, though I am still working on a little belly pooch (I am short, I stretched a lot!). And really, once you’ve created life, body image is less of an issue.

  11. Thanks so much for writing, Ellie, and sharing your experience. I hope to have a similar pregnancy tale when it’s my turn!

  12. That is PRECISELY how I felt… But as your last reader shared, I am holding onto the belief that the miracle of becoming a mother and holding your child for the first time completely eclipses the resentment of gaining the weight to support him/her for 40 weeks!

  13. I too have the same fear… I hope to start a family one day. I’m 31 now and not even close, but when I am at that point in my life, it terrifies me to think that I could gain weight back. Absolutely terrifies me. I lost 112 lbs and am so petrified that the pregnancy journey might cause me to fall back into my hold habits and use the excuse, “I’m eating for two” in order to binge and overeat. I’ve worked so hard to get where I am that I am so afraid that pregnancy might set me back.

  14. Hi Mandy, it terrifies me, too … I think it’s only natural. Congrats on losing 112 lbs, wow! That is awesome!!!

    I don’t think we will fall into old habits — if anything, I hope learning to live a healthy (nondisordered) life will help us have healthy, successful pregnancies when the time comes.

    Anything the mind can conceive, the body can achieve. 🙂

  15. Ugh what a problem that is after over induldging. I tend to eat only healthy item (no sugar, no chocolate, no chips, no soda etc…) after having a week like that. It’s merely to get my brain back to remembering how special having those indulgences are. I’m not entitled to them, like I once used to think. And truthfully am having problems thinking just now during my second trimester. 🙂

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