October 16, 2011

An Unexpected Challenge

Since I've struggled with keeping my weight in a reasonable, healthy range for pretty much all of my life, I worried that I'd gain 40 or 50 or even more pounds if I ever made it to the end of a full-term pregnancy. I can honestly admit that back before we even started TTC, while we were still just in the thinking-about-it stage, it was more of a vanity concern than anything else.

Now, I could care less about the vanity aspect of it, but I know that additional weight increases the risk of a lot of complications that I'm already at risk for. There are some risk factors I can't do anything about (age, IVF, PCOS), but I'd like to at least minimize the ones that are under my control.

So imagine my surprise that here I am at 16 weeks, and I'm only up 3.5 pounds.

This, despite 6 weeks of bedrest and minimial exercise since then. (Although I am trying to get into a regular, albiet very low-exertion, routine.)

I don't need to gain a lot of weight during this pregnancy. The materials the peri gave me match what I've read online, which is that someone in a healthy BMI range (19-24) should gain 25-35 pounds for a singleton, a BMI of 25-29 should gain 15-25, and a BMI of 30 or above should be around 15 pounds. Since I was at a BMI of about 29 at the start of this pregnancy, I figure I should aim for an amount closer to the 15-pound end of that range.

I think the peri is thinking something slightly higher, because I asked her in general about my weight gain a few weeks ago, and she said to aim for about 10 pounds by 20 weeks. Which means I've got about 3.5 weeks to gain 6.5 pounds.

Normally that wouldn't be a problem for me. But I guess my body is burning a lot more calories than I realized in this process, and apparently I'm not eating enough for that. Although I certainly am eating!

It's not like I'm dieting or skipping meals or anything at all like that. In fact, I baked a pan of brownies yesterday. (Accidentally used 1 1/4 cups of water instead of just 1/4 cup, but it turns out that if you turn the oven temperature down to 250 instead of 350 and bake them for an hour instead of 30 minutes, they turn out just fine.)

I hope I don't sound like I'm complaining about this at all. I just don't want it to have a negative impact on the baby, although Kiddo seems to be growing fine at this point as far as all the ultrasounds show. At 18 weeks, we'll have the big scan where all the bones and organs get measured, so hopefully at that point we'll find out the percentile range the baby is in for size.

With regard to the progesterone, I was supposed to get it re-checked on Thursday, but the order wasn't faxed over until Friday, so I just continued with the every-other-day suppository routine. I'll go get it checked tomorrow.

As you've probably guessed, Friday's ultrasound went fine. This time, we could see the ribs. It still amazes me how we see something new during almost every scan.


Silver said...

My BMI was also 29 at the start of my successful pregnancy and I didn't gain a single pound throughout the entire pregnancy. Two weeks after giving birth, I weighed two stone LESS than I had at embryo transfer. And the baby was absolutely fine - weighed in just under 8lbs.

I worried about it during pregnancy and kept asking my high-risk OB and midwife about it, but they assured me that (here in the UK, at least) they only worry about weight gain in very over- or underweight mothers or where scans and measurements of the baby suggest a problem. My sister was actually the same with her second pregnancy.

I produced a very muscly little boy - I read a while later that boys generally take more out of their mothers during pregnancy due to laying down their muscle. Maybe a wee clue there ;-). In retrospect, although I made no conscious change in my diet, I felt full more easily and went off ice-cream and chocolate - if only that had lasted - and my body was obviously working hard at building a baby. Sadly, I can report that I've gained back one of those two stones and the other may be on it's way too!

Silver said...

Meant to say - I'm so happy the ultrasound went well. Hope you can hear me cheering you along through the ether!

Sue said...

I was supposed to gain a good amount with DD, the OB said about 40, I gained 25...not because of vanity at all but because that was what I was able to gain and it was safe for us all. I did do a lot of swimming and water classes and yoga...but I also ate a lot and often. To be honest, with a singleton, a lot of it comes on through the middle and late pregnancy. This time, I've been shooting for a lot more - about 50 lbs...and I am up almost 38 and I've stalled. I am kinda disappointed, but I can't make myself eat when my babies are so big and I have no room for food. Overall, I think it sounds like you are doing great. Keep eating what you can and do whatever exercise you feel is good (great if you are at risk for pre-e or GD) and you will do great. The baby will get what he or she needs..and you will likely gain a good amount towards the end! Glad all is going well!

SLESE1014 said...

my goal was to gain 15lbs, but I've got 10 weeks to go and I'm already up 13. It seems no matter what I do the weight shows up. I'm taking it as a good sign the baby is growing well. I hope to keep it at 20. My OB said 20 was just fine for me and I have no idea what my BMI was but I'm sure it was ridiculously high as I am extremely over weight. Do what you can to keep your diet and exercise healthy. You'll gain what you need...your body knows best :)

MyTwoLines said...

I think what you're doing sounds fine to me...and yum! BROWNIES!!

Anonymous said...

So happy the ultrasound went well!

I feel like I have seen a huge range of weight gains in mothers, and perfectly fine babies. I gained 55 pounds and had an 8 pound baby. A blog friend gained 5 and had a 7 pound baby. As long as you don't deprive yourself and your doctor isn't worried, I think it will be okay. Yay brownies!