“Oh my,” the nurse exclaimed as she inched the weight on the scale further and further to the right, while I watched, silently willing the scale to tip and make her stop. Oh my was right, I didn’t need her little outburst to tell me my weight gain for that month had far surpassed the “recommended” medical guidelines.
Being pregnant was more mentally uncomfortable for me than it was physically, as it thrust my weight and body size right into an arena that made it open for comment and conversation. There were coworkers randomly asking how much weight I had gained (yes its true), comments jokingly made over lunch about how I must be “eating for two”, and people, some I hardly knew, asking to touch my stomach. My stomach. A place on my body that, at one time, I wouldn’t even let my husband touch! The thought that others were noticing my body caused me to feel self conscious, and it was in pregnancy I realized just how much I preferred to float under the body awareness radar, "to be small" as my therapist would describe it years later. Not to mention of course I had to get on that scale at my pre-natal appointments each month and be made very aware of my weight and my size. I dreaded those weigh in's.
“You know you can ask to turn around when they weight you,” my coworker, Linda, informed me one day as I was expressing my anxiousness about my appointment that afternoon.
“What? They let you do that?” I asked incredulously. Although I was close to my due date, I had sailed significantly beyond the damn suggested guidelines and the number was shockingly close to one I never imagined I’d reach, pregnant or not. I could only hope I was giving birth to one BIG baby. In attempts to save my sanity, I took Linda's advice, and wow, I whole heartedly recommend the turnaround to anyone who may struggle as I did with all of this.
What bothered me the most was that I didn’t feel like I was being overly indulgent so the fact the scale kept jumping significantly each month left me feeling panicky and out of control. Just how much weight am I going to gain with this kid? My rational mind knew that pregnancy is not the time to worry about weight gain, and although I was grateful all signs signaled my baby and I were healthy, I let that weight thing get to me.
Then it happened. One sunny spring day with Bob Dylan playing softly in the back ground, and Marc looking appropriately scared to death, I gave birth to Dylan MacKenzie Baker, a beautiful, healthy baby boy, (oops not an Emma,) all tiny six pounds eleven ounces of him.
I fell instantly in love. But even with my sweet boy nestled contently in my arms, a thought came sneaking in, like an unwanted guest crashing a party, how am I ever going to lose all of this weight?