Doctor’s Appointments & Pregnancy Weight Gain Frank Talk

I went to my “first pre-natal” appointment last week with my family doctor.  I really do like her a lot.  She’s really down to earth and very relatable.  All the things I’ve read had prepared me for this long and thorough examination (you know, all the “unpleasant” stuff included) and I had my fingers crossed that she would have the “doppler” to be able to hear the baby’s heart beat.  During my first ultrasound (at 11 weeks, 4 days), we could see the little peanut’s heart beating very strongly, but we weren’t able to hear it because it was an ultrasound ordered for “medical purposes” (in my case to date the pregnancy) and they don’t let you have any pictures or anything fun during those ultrasounds because it’s purely for “medical purposes.”
Side Note: In Nova Scotia (and this could be the case for most of Canada, but I’m not sure), we have to go to a private ultrasound clinic and pay to have those kinds of pictures. However, the upside of that is that I also don’t have to worry about any medical bills at all throughout my entire pregnancy and delivery regardless of what kind of medical interventions and/or tests that may be required for me or the baby and I can only imagine what kind of burden that would put on top of everything else
I was happy just to be able to see the little fluttering of  his/her little heart beating away, but every parent can’t wait to “hear” it.  So I was secretly hoping we’d be putting the doppler to use at my first pre-natal.  However, not all GP’s do deliveries and it turns out that because my doctor is Scottish and they have the midwifery system in Scotland, she is not a GP here in Canada that is trained specifically to carry patients through to delivery, so she has referred me to another GP who does and who she says “loves it” and will do a fantastic job with my pre-natal care.  She said that I am not “high risk” (yay!) and so there is no need to refer me to be followed by an OB at this point.  Okie dokie.  I have now heard from my pregnancy doctor and my first appointment with her is in 3 1/2 weeks where I will be exactly 19 weeks pregnant.  My next ultrasound will be when I’m at 20 weeks which is what they call the “anatomy” ultrasound and I can hardly wait!  I am still waiting for the exact appointment time on that.
Another Side Note:  They also will not tell you the sex of your baby during these ultrasounds either and if you want to know, you must go through the private clinics.  I’m a bit relieved about that actually because I would rather wait until s/he is born and it’s REALLY tempting to find out!
So of all the things that I expected to be examined at my appointment (most of which are generally unpleasant), the thing I was MOST dreading was being weighed.  It is no secret that I hate stepping on the scale at any other time than first thing in the morning, so doing it at lunch time inevitably leaves behind a bruised ego!  My “pre-pregnancy” weight was around 185.  My first visit to the doctor when I found out I was pregnant, her scale weighed me in at 187.5 in the afternoon (I heart her scale) while mine had me in at about 191 in the morning.  When I had to step on the scale the hospital when I was having some bloodwork done (boots and all!) a few weeks ago and that mother lovin’ scale put me at 198! (I wanted to die!).  Yesterday, my doctor’s scale put me at an even 190 which is only up 2.5 from my last visit and around 5 lbs in total which I was VERY pleased about.  However, then I realized that my scale that morning put me at 195 which is technically about a TEN pound gain from pre-pregnancy. 
I have a few thoughts as to why I think my first trimester gain was more than it “should” be:
  1. The constant state of nausea which I am still battling with, ironically can often times only partially alleviated by food;
  2. I’m stressing about weight gain in all honesty and of course it causes me to eat more (we all know this song and dance and I’m not going to pretend to be perfect);
  3. You all know that I have been a weight watcher and a calorie counter for what is now YEARS to lose a significant amount of weight.  This required me to aim for an average of 1500 calories per day (sometimes more, sometimes less) for a long, long time.  There’s nothing wrong with that, but generally when you are ready to increase your calories, your body and your metabolism handles it more readily when you slowly re-introduce the increase of calories over time, and from what I’ve read is generally by about 100 calories a day for a week at a time, then increasing it again, etc.  When I asked my doctor where I should be aiming for in my calorie range, she said around 2000 – 2300 is reasonable, but not to go below 2000.  Of course she also went into the point what we all hear all the time nowadays in an attempt to combat the idea of “eating for two” of how “it’s really not that much more food and is only equivalent to two mini yogurts and some nuts.”  But in reality, for ME it IS a lot more calories!  That’s a minimum of 500 MORE calories per day and not on a gradual introduction.  So I believe that in the beginning, I gained more than average because of this increase in calories may have been more than my body was used to handling.
I didn’t stick to everything perfectly, because after about a week of trying to count it out just to get a better handle on what a 2000 – 2300 calories a day looks like, I stopped counting it because, well it makes me nuts, always has and I already have more than enough things to think about right now that are going to make me nuts!  Interestingly, when I stopped counting, was right when my weight held steady for a few weeks too.
So, I have been keeping an eye on the scale and I stayed steady for a few good weeks so that is promising.  I am hoping that the gains in the next few months will be more gradual and will keep me within the range that I am “supposed” to be in for pregnancy weight gain for a person of my size.
What I do know is that I know how to eat healthy and I need to trust myself and just listen to my body.  It’s very easy for people to say, “Just enjoy your pregnancy and don’t worry about that and let it happen,”  but with all do respect to those people, while I know that probably 99% of all women struggle with the fear of pregnancy weight gain, most of them have not been through the process of losing 130 lbs and the fear associated with seeing pounds come back.  That is an entirely different animal. And I am only making this point to illustrate why I feel the way I do.
I am a smart girl and I “know” better, but I’m just being honest with my feelings and it’s scary!  And by “know better,” I mean that I know that I should just “let it go” and roll with it and trust myself and just trust nature!  There is a lot of emotional stuff that goes along with pregnancy in itself, some hormone related and some not.  Day by day I am becoming more and more adjusted to this shift in mindset.  I am beginning to think that there are many more reasons other than baby development as to why it takes a baby nine months to join our lives, don’t you? 😉

Video: Behind the scenes of Classified’s “Oh Canada” video shoot

2009 year-end stats released