Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Weighty Matters

Yes Dinah, what a difference a day makes! Or rather, what a difference ten days make. First there was the outpouring of support, publicly and privately, from all of you! Thank you so much, it was both sorely needed and much appreciated. Why is it that we hold this taboo on disclosing a pregnancy before the second trimester when it seems that those first fourteen weeks are so filled with new physical and emotional changes? Why do we insist that women keep all their confusion, apprehension, fear, and elation to themselves during those first three months of impending motherhood when we as potential mothers, and the delicate life just taking root within, are so very vulnerable and so in need of support? The argument that the very fragility of that new life (that as many as one in six new pregnancies may result in miscarriage) should both temper one’s hopes and still one’s tongue seems counter intuitive to me. What is the message here? If life is lost then that pain should be kept within; that women who have had such heartbreak are not deserving of our support and understanding? I find that logic both bizarre and tragic.

Thankfully, those sad and lonely days are now past for me and this child, and oh woman, does it ever feel good. Being able to share my “condition” with friends and family has been not only a welcome relief (I have never particularly liked holding secrets) but it has also helped to bring the reality of the whole situation into sharper focus. I am going to be a mother! Hooray! There is a real, honest-to-goodness, (very tiny) baby inside of me! The wonder of it is astounding, breathtaking, heart-stopping! I feel like a miracle worker, for who can deny that it is a miracle that as I go about my day-to-day business I am, nearly unconsciously, creating a brand-new, totally unique human being inside my body!

I was blessed to spend Thanksgiving with my family in Virginia (well, most of my family—we missed you Gerka!) and as soon as I walked in the door of my mother’s house, she remarked that I looked pregnant. My sister wondered over how strange it was to see me with full breasts and a little belly bulge. Even my brother said my stomach looked cute. Perhaps strangely, perhaps not, these comments made me feel proud.

I want to look pregnant; I’m excited about it. My first trimester saw the rather sudden and painful expansion of my bosom, but little else. In fact, the little monitoring of my weight that I did do only documented a rather slow and steady decline in total poundage. To be fair, I was heavier this spring than I have ever been, weighing in at one point at nearly a whopping 138. Not that I minded. I have always had more difficulty putting weight on than taking it off, and personally I prefer my limbs a little rounder and my figure a little fuller. It was marvelously exciting to really have an ass for a change. What to Expect, my pregnancy bible, said that weight loss during the first trimester is nothing to worry about, so although I was a little annoyed, I was not unduly concerned.

However, starting at 12 weeks I began weekly weigh-ins and waist measurements. What to Expect said I should expect to gain about a pound and an inch a week for the next twenty or so weeks with a few weeks of leveling out towards the end of the last trimester. Well, things are not going as expected.

The changing shape of my body is a delight to me—I have most definitely begun to develop a little pooch below my belly button—but the total diameter of my midsection is growing, or not growing, at a maddeningly slow pace. I actually lost more than two pounds and half an inch from my waist during this past week! Over Thanksgiving week of all times! I try not to let this bother me. Reason says that at some point during this experience I will probably wish I were carrying less weight, not more, but right now I am frustrated. And those of you who know me best know that it is in my nature to brood. Over everything.

I am not freaking out (yet), but since I am sharing my thoughts with all of you through this blog: this week I am preoccupied with weight. I have this weird vision of myself growing skinnier and skinnier as my belly expands until I resemble a malnourished child whose stomach has begun to bloat. Ridiculous, I know, but it is so hard not to feel concerned that I am somehow abnormal with so little to go by except an outline in a book. So, all stories illustrating how foolish it is to believe that any book can describe the “proper course” that a woman’s body should take through this experience are most welcome. As are, of course, admonitions to stop being so silly and just enjoy this special time. I need those sometimes.


  1. You are cracking me up. :-) But, I think you're right about keeping stuff secret...it helps a lot to just put it out there and receive the help that you need. It truly takes a village, well before the baby comes.

    Meanwhile, I'm hoping I can come to grips with my stretch marks and wrinkly bellybutton, instead, viewing them more as badges of honor. :-)

  2. Kerry, I am sure that you look beautiful and perfect for someone just starting the second trimester. (Funny, we just started the second trimester in school too, but you will be done several weeks before we are...) Most folks I know, including me the first time, didn't gain much in the first trimester and didn't even really show (except to family and close friends who can notice a pimple behind your ear)until they were 5 months along. So please, do not worry about your weight. I only gained 14 or 15 pounds with Mason.

    Actually, don't worry about anything! Enjoy your pregnancy! So many people have difficult pregnancies and are concerned about looking fat. I LOVED being pregnant. I LOVED pregnancy clothing. I LOVED the attention. I LOVED my belly. (Sometimes I touch my honest-to-goodness fat belly now and reminisce about when it contained a living being as opposed to way to much food and waste products!) So, go ahead and be proud of your accomplishment thus far!

    And sleep. Get all the rest that you can. And have all of those important conversations with people that you want to have because uninterrupted talking time will be hard to come by come June.

    Love you. You are doing great! And I can't wait to meet the new member of the crazy clan we come from.

  3. CONGRATULATION! You are about to embark on the most wonderful journey known to mankind. Don't be preoccupied with the weight gain unless you have some complications. A baby is a small price to pay for the loss of a girl's figure. :) Take one day at a time. Journal those funny moments that happen along the way. Take many pictures...perhaps one at the beginning of each month to remember how you "blossomed." Before each of my girls were born I wrote a heartfelt letter to them. You'll be amazed at how much they'll enjoy reading it when they are 7-8 years old, especially that part about "not always knowing all the answers." Take care, and God Bless!


  4. Hey, you know that weight you lost over Thanksgiving, I FOUND IT! On MY thighs! Come back down here and take it back, please!

    But seriously, I lost weight over the first few weeks, and then didn't gain much for a while; everything just got redistributed. I gained less than 20 pounds with Jason, if I recall correctly. (Of course, I am now over my pregnancy weight and there is no little miracle growing inside me, but that is neither here nor there.) And the way you describe yourself looking like a malnourished child with a huge belly reminds me of how mom describes herself looking when she was pregnant with Ericka and me. (Funny, now that I think about it, I can't remember how she looked when she was pregnant with you or Curtis. My memory SUCKS!)

    While you were here, I found myself surreptitiously sneaking glances at you - your belly, your bum, your breats, your glow. I am SO happy for you, and something about seeing a woman who is pregnant makes you see that person in a new light. You are going to be a great mom, although I think you need to nip that brooding habit in the bud. Motherhood provides such a fertile ground for worrying - find a new hobby before it is too late!

    I'm so glad you are blogging - it is nice to "hear" your voice whenever I want to. Ericka's too, now that she has figured out how to leave a comment. (Speaking of Ericka, did you notice that pimple behind her left ear?)

  5. Ok so it took me 30 minutes to figure out how to leave a comment! Anyway, I lost lots of weight during my pregnancy. I assumed it was because I was already big in the first place so I was eating healthier than ever before and it was fine. A midwife at the birthing center I used didn't agree and said I should gain 15-20lbs by the end. WRONG. You said it yourself. We were designed to give birth - and everyone's body will handle the task differently. As long as you are eating and drinking healthy and taking pre-natal vitamins etc. I'd say let nature take its course. And of course check in with your midwife/doctor if you feel your paranoia is cause for real concern. The only thing I didn't do was drink enough water and I fixed that immediately as soon as it was bought to my attention that it could potentially affect the baby. By the way, who is handling your pregnacy? Are you planninng a home birth? Birthing Center? Hospital? Natural? Epidural? We need to talk because I am curious and I don't think blogs are designed for a two-way conversation!!!

  6. Hey baby girl, as your mother I am concerned that I didn't take proper care of you while you were here. I know John was glad to have you back, but I have sorely missed you. With the twins, I didn't weigh myself on a regular basis but I do remember wondering when I was going to show. Other than a slight thickening through the waist, I was comfortably wearing the same old clothes until well into my sixth month. Boy did I ever make up for it the third trimester. Make sure you get plenty of rest. Sing a lot, laugh more, and believe that everything is just as it should be ---'cause it is.