I’ve always been amazed at moms who “bounce” back right after giving birth. I’ve actually heard of stories where some women take their pre-pregnancy jeans into the hospital with them and literally wear them as they’re leaving with their new babe…hahahahha (actually hysterically laughing)
When I got pregnant I was a very average size. I had a good metabolism, so I didn’t have to worry about an occasional trip to McDonald’s & not working out hardly ever. I had gained maybe 8 pounds in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy and didn’t really show a bump until 22 weeks. Once my bump was showing, I started retaining a lot of water. My ankles turned into “cankles” and I could leave an indent of my thumb in my ankle for over a minute. As time went on, the swelling worsened.
At the end of January, Nathan and I and some friends travelled to Palm Springs, CA. We had a blast, but my swelling got really intense. Upon returning home to Canada, I had a severe, itchy rash all over my legs and body. I went to the hospital and they were testing me for pre-eclampsia, diabetes, etc. Nothing came back conclusive.
By 30 weeks of pregnancy, my ankles were so swollen, that I was wearing compression socks day and night and my ankles were not decreasing in size. I was drinking water, elevating them for hours on end, exercising, and wearing these annoying compression socks. My legs started swelling too & I got tested over 4 times for diabetes. The swelling was causing so much pressure in my legs/feet, that at one point, it felt like the bones in my foot were going to break.
I returned again to the doctor and his words were exactly this:
“Are you not off work yet?”
“What?! I am writing you a medical note to excuse you from work from this point forward until you have the baby. Don’t even go back this afternoon.”
“I have to go back for the afternoon.”
“Fine. But definitely no more working starting tomorrow.”
During that first week off from work, I LOST 8 POUNDS OF FLUID. My doctor was so happy that something had finally helped.
For the last 10 weeks of pregnancy, I walked between 5-10km every day. Usually on a flat sidewalk, but sometimes my mom would drag me out to the water treatment plant hill and I would pant the whole way up and then get major Braxton Hicks all the way down.
When I was 36 weeks, I started seeing an OB instead of my family doctor. He felt my stomach and said, “You’re going to have a big baby.” I felt like I knew this my whole pregnancy. People would ask how much my baby was moving, and to be honest, not much! I don’t think he really had room to move around a lot.
At 37 weeks they tested me again for Diabetes. Thanks guys. Negative. They had me get another ultrasound estimating the size of my “massive” baby. The ultrasound tech was a small Asian man who was quiet and polite. I was laying down on the bed & he put the warm jelly on my stomach and started the ultrasound. He was taking measurements of the baby to determine which percentile it would be in. As he moved the sensor to view the head, it was like he couldn’t even help his reaction, “OH! Big head.”
Not only was my baby in the 97th percentile IN THE WOMB, weighing 8’1lbs at 37 weeks, it had a massive head. Lucky me. (I’m referring to my baby as “it” because we didn’t find out the gender until birth.)
40+3 weeks is when I finally had my precious bundle, a baby BOY. Ecstatic. By this time, right before I had given birth, I had gained 50 pounds. It was mostly excess fluid, but the stretch marks were there to stay as a reminder.
Right now, I am almost 6 months postpartum. I really felt down on myself at first about not being able to fit right into my old clothes, but my body deserved more than that. I housed a human for 9 months!! My body literally created an organ for my baby to thrive off of. My body stretched to create my baby’s organs, skin, bones, everything! (All of the men reading this – if there are any of you – you do contribute, for about 3.4 seconds) My body deserves to be recognized and applauded for even just surviving!
To all of us women who are feeling like we should be something we’re not. Let it go. Do I want to lose my baby weight & into shape? YES. In due time 🙂
To those of you who did “bounce” right back – AMAZING. I wished that were me, but it’s not.
Lets give ourselves a break from the self-judgement and just love ourselves at where we’re at. That’s the most important.