Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ah, the irony

I believe I have mentioned my lifelong struggles with my weight on this blog.  Apart from infertility, being overweight is the only health problem I've had so far.  (I've been very lucky in that regard.)

I do come by this problem honestly.  First, genetics: nearly everyone in my mother's family is either overweight or obese.  Second, habits: my default is to eat a "typical American diet," and since childhood I've preferred to devote more time to intellectual pursuits like reading than to physical activity.  There have been brief periods when I've established a habit of daily exercise, but it's a continual struggle for me, definitely not something which comes naturally.  (In contrast to my husband, who feels antsy and odd if he skips more than one day at the gym.)

As an adult, my weight has fluctuated between 150 and 230+ lbs, depending on the intensity (or lack) of my efforts to control it.  Most of the time since college I've weighed somewhere in the neighborhood of 195-210; that seems to be a weight range my body likes for some reason.

Many is the time I've lamented my trouble losing weight.  I have often cursed my genes--which I can't control and are therefore easier to blame than my behavior--for predisposing me to weight gain.  Many is the time I've envied others who are able to maintain a healthy weight, some of them seemingly effortlessly.

So given that my difficulty maintaining a healthy weight has been the bane of my existence since I was an adolescent, I have found it more than a little ironic that I have had so much trouble gaining weight since I've been pregnant.  The one time in my life when it would be OK--indeed, encouraged--for me to gain weight, and I haven't been able to do it.

I've been concerned that by not gaining enough weight, I'm not helping our babies have the best possible outcome.  A popular and well-regarded book on multiple pregnancy recommends gaining 20 lbs by 20 weeks for optimal outcomes, and I've obviously fallen far short of that goal.

My OB has not been concerned about my lack of weight gain thus far, and I have discussed it with her at nearly every appointment.  She just says that the babies will take what they need and that there is no cause for concern as long as they are growing.

At my anatomy scan at around 20 weeks, both babies' estimated weights were slightly ahead of what would be expected for my dates, and that was reassuring.  However, their growth rates and weights haven't been checked since then.  I have a growth scan this afternoon, and I hope that it shows that they are both growing appropriately.

Of all times for my body to suddenly decide not to gain weight!


  1. If you started off being overweight, it is not that uncommon not to gain a lot of weight with the pregnancy. I've said it before, I gained 3lbs for my entire pg of a singleton. She was 7lbs1oz at 38 weeks delivery. I lost almost 30lbs after giving birth (within 2 weeks). I am sure your boys are doing very well.

  2. Hope the growth scan went well. I bet your babies are doing just fine. Yes, they'll take what they need from your bones and muscle. Easier said than done but try not to fret and instead spend your energy trying to get the nutrients you need vs calories/weight.

  3. Sweet Georgia is right. There is a chart SOMEWHERE but for the life of me I can't remember where I saw it, that shows how much weight should be gained, depending on your starting height and weight. It sounds like you are doing great. Prayers for a perfect growth scan today!

  4. Thanks for your kind comment on my blog :-).
    I had the exact same "problem" in pregnancy. I have been overweight since my early 20s and, like you, healthy eating and exercise don't come easy to me. I put on no weight at all while I was pregnant - I weighed the same on the day I went in to be induced as the day I went fro embryo transfer. Two weeks after giving birth (first time I weighed myself) I weighed 28lbs less than that! Sadly, it's all gone back on again. I was worried about my lack of weight gain but my ob gyn was not and the midwife told me that they only worry about weight gain in women who were VERY over- or underweight at the start of pregnancy, or where there was evidence that the baby wasn't putting on weight appropriately. My scans always showed a healthily sized baby and my son was 7lbs 14.5oz when he was born, so no problems there. I never made any effort to eat differently or exercise more when I was pregnant, but I went off chocolate and ice-cream (my two worst frienemies) and tended to feel full quicker so probably ate a little less. My body was clearly working hard to produce the baby and I've read that boys take more out of their mothers than girls because they lay down denser muscles. My advice would be that as long as your babies are doing well, just enjoy the fact - and take warning from me that it'll only last when they're out if you don't get complacent like I did :-(!


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