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Yeah…Immaeatthat

Feb 26

21 weeks pregnant with Jojo’s SISTER.

We were initially told (via ultrasound) very early on in pregnancy that baby #2 was a boy, but last week we found out it’s another girl! Both Andrew and I are thrilled. I’d love to have a whole house of girls and the thought of Jojo not having a sister made me sad, since I’m close with my sisters.

I’ve found this pregnancy I’m not really fearing birth at all, which is nice because last pregnancy I became pretty consumed with birth and fearing it’d be awful and painful…but then it was an extremely empowering experience. I’ve chosen to deliver at a midwife practice within a hospital that also has OB’s on staff if anything goes awry. I’m glad there are so many options for how a woman would like to birth her baby so each family can make the decision right for them. I imagine I’m not thinking about the birth as much (other than regularly visualizing me pulling my baby out because I think that would be a really cool experience if I got to have it…but with Jo I was SOOO wiped out that I had zero interest in doing that haha), because I’m very nervous about the early newborn days. I try to think about it in “oh I’m curious what it’ll be like with this baby”, but the lack of sleep (especially the unpredictability of when you will get to rest next) and the desperate/irrational place that took me to with Jo was really overwhelming and awful. Those newborn days are no joke. Many of you have shared that even though the newborn days were insanely hard, you loved it. It’s so hard for me to believe that, but it’s a good reminder that just because something isn’t my experience doesn’t make it untrue for another. I’ve learned a lot and know now that just because I find it insanely hard doesn’t mean I’m bad at being a mom or that I’m doing anything wrong.

knowing my weight this pregnancy

I remember being on a residential eating disorder treatment facility site visit a few years ago (as a clinician who was recovered but didn’t have everything figured out, as I’ve learned no clinician does) and another clinician saying that the end point of ED recovery shouldn’t be for a client to fear knowing their weight or fear finding out their weight. I remember having a really strong internal reaction to her saying that because personally I hadn’t known my weight since I’d recovered and realized I was fearing knowing it. I had the thought when she said this (after my brain calmed down) of, “well, I guess that’s something for me to mull over for the next few years.” 

And now I’m at a place where I agree with her. During my pregnancy with Jojo I chose not to know my weight, and that was the right choice for me then, but now I feel differently (based on me and where I’m at). EVERY woman should gain weight in pregnancy. I strongly believe that I don’t need to know my weight to know if I’m taking care of myself and that my body will gain the amount of weight it needs to gain to grow this baby. The reason for knowing my weight is that I’m curious to see if any negative associations come up around knowing my weight regularly since there’s no hope in learning or growing if you aren’t aware of and acknowledge where you’re still a bit hung up about something. So far I’ve been reminded that…

  1. The eating disorder will always be working to kill you. Something I’ve been thinking about is that my non-pregnant natural body weight (set point weight range beginning) is at least 40#s over what the eating disorder/body-obsessed-part-of-me wanted me to weigh. I find that so interesting. No wonder I was preoccupied with food then! My body was so far from where it naturally wanted to land when I was taking care of it. Also super interesting (and I imagine some of you have experienced this as well) that the farther I’ve gotten from my ED’s idea of an ideal weight the less preoccupied and obsessed I’ve become with my body size and the more at home I feel in my body.
  2. And that’s really my only takeaway so far. If you know your weight and it takes you to a place of obsessing over it, comparing your weight gain to some chart or some friend, restricting/bingeing/overexercising…it likely isn’t helpful for you to know your weight and you shouldn’t. For me this is really just an experiment to see if anything that isn’t neutral comes up as I gain weight and my body changes. 

annoying things that have been said to me so far.

There are 6 midwives (+ 3 OBs) at the practice I’m birthing at and I see a different midwife every time and one said to me, “be sure you’re drinking 10-14 cups of water each day so you don’t eat when you are not actually hunger and are really just thirsty.” Such crappy advice. Hunger and thirst are drastically different sensations in my body (see the below bodily sensations map that is super interesting! It shows where many feel hunger and thirst and other bodily sensation. I love how the hunger sensation is felt in the belly and IN THE HEAD! As in just the thought of food can be an indication that you are hungry and should seek out food).

The message that you have to be careful around food is one I find very annoying, because it keeps people in a place of believing they can’t trust their body. I didn’t say anything in the session to her because I didn’t feel like it. My reply in my head was, “I actually need more water now because when pregnant if I don’t drink enough water I end up with a massive headache by the end of the day (I guess due to increasing blood volume?), which is reason enough for me to drink water.”

So even though the midwives (and the OBs who would join a midwife practice) share my birth philosophy more than my last OB, which I’m grateful for, they still say things that are unhelpful for me from time to time, and that’s to be expected. I am now the person I needed in my early 20s and I don’t expect anyone else to always say the right thing for me based on the life experience I’ve had (since that may not be the life experience they’ve had). I’m strong and resilient enough to handle the diet-y things people say and know they aren’t for me, it doesn’t mean the person doesn’t have anything helpful, useful, and true to say. One of my favorite sayings is –> “eat the hay and spit out the sticks.” Not everything a person says will be for me and not everything I say will be for someone else. Krista Murias wrote a IG post on this recently that I thought was very good. I especially resonated with the caption.

placental lakes

At my 20 week anatomy scan, baby looked great, but they noticed a couple placental lakes. I’ll be having a few more ultrasound than normal to make sure baby girl continues to grow well in-spite of them. The studies I found on placental lakes seemed to say that there weren’t any more adverse health outcomes for mom or baby in mothers who had them vs mothers who didn’t. Still, when everything doesn’t go 100% right at the 20 week ultrasound it’s stressful. I believe worst case is that I have to deliver early if baby isn’t growing correctly, but we’ll cross that bridge when/if we have to and (as a pretty pessimistic person) my prayers are focused lately on asking to not be overcome by fear + what-ifs and so far I’m feeling pretty calm and I’m grateful for that.

And that’s really where I’m at so far in this pregnancy! Any thoughts? Has anyone had placental lakes? Did you choose to know your weight in pregnancy or did you recognize it was more helpful for you not to know? 

36 comments on “21 weeks pregnant with Jojo’s SISTER.”

  1. I enjoyed knowing my weight even as someone who used to get caught up on that sort of thing. I gained 40 pounds and I loved seeing the number go up. My OB who was amazing at most everything with my pregnancy and delivery kept saying things to me about not gaining enough weight or that I was measuring small and this was a little stressful to me so I was glad I was checking my weights at home the days of my apts naked first thing in the morning and knew I was doing well. When my 7 pound, 11 oz baby was born at 38 weeks before he was even weighed just looking at him I said to my OB “he isn’t small” It’s amazing how much talk is put on weight! Our bodies are amazing!

    • So much focus IS put on weight. And for someone who is already preoccupied with their body size, that additional weight focus can be SO unhealthful. Thanks for sharing your experience, Amanda!

  2. The newborn stage is so hard! Just wanted to say that I just had my second baby six weeks ago and, while there have been many new challenges related to having a toddler and newborn together, I have found taking care of a newborn is much easier this time. Obviously every baby and everyone’s experience is different, but I hope it’s easier for you this time!

    • Thanks for sharing, Christina! I really think I’m gonna have a lot more confidence and less fear this time around…but who knows. Postpartum hormones can be their own animal and take you to a really confusing/anxious place. So glad it’s gone smoother for your family this time around!! Love hearing that!

  3. My OB wasn’t at all concerned with weight as long as I was gaining which was helpful, but I noticed that I was uncomfortable with it, so after a couple of appointments, I started not looking. I ended up seeing the last time by accident because I gave birth and it did bring up a negative reaction. Something to definitely think about this time around. I think I’m extending myself and my body more grace this time around remembering all the things the body does so beautifully.

  4. I really, REALLY appreciate you. Your thoughts and your explanations truly make me think through things that I’ve not fully worked through and that is so helpful! Especially the part about “eat the hay and spit out the sticks”. I’ve been struggling with that the last few years and I am finally getting to the place where it doesn’t  seriously mess with my peace! My first pregnancy I chose to know my weight and I found it quite interesting; I also realized a few parts of myself that were not fully recovered but I’m okay with being a work in progress… like not being where I want to be but okay with being somewhere in the middle. I’ll probably find out my Wright again… we’re trying! Thanks for being so truthful and for having this space! You give me hope for our profession! 

    • Aren’t we all a work in progress? Always somewhere between avoidance and acceptance with something in our life that is affecting us.

      Thanks for commenting, Abigail!

  5. I HATED the newborn stage the first time around. The second time around, I did enjoy it. But, both times PPD/PPA got me. I love what you said about even if a particular time is hard it doesn’t mean you aren’t doing things right/aren’t a good mom. I am going to remind myself of that when momming is overwhelming. You are such a light in this world.

  6. I can totally relate to what you said about the newborn phase. Like you I was consumed with the unknown about birth but I would honestly take birth any day over the first few weeks at home with a newborn. I also don’t look back on that stage and loving it and would get mad when people would ask me “but aren’t you so happy?” I can’t relate to women who loved that stage. I definitely have that fear about having more children but I’ve talked with so many moms who said the second time around is way easier. In addition, because my trauma from the newborn stage was so severe I had some brain treatment done called EMDR which helps treat anticipatory anxiety related to trauma. It was the BEST thing for me. Highly recommend it to anyone dealing with anxiety or trauma. Praying that it’s easier for you this time around, thanks for being so honest it helped me feel more normal!

    • I am not a fan of the newborn stage either! I joked with my husband that the only thing getting me through the newborn stage of our second child was the fact that I would never have to do it again! We only planned on having two. However, I find a lot of joy in the toddler stage (which some people dread) so I think all parents have their preferences and that’s ok! Some phases of life just aren’t as fun as others. Thanks for sharing your PPD and EMDR experience. There is a lot of research about the effectiveness of that therapy and I’m so glad it was helpful for you! 

      • Agreed about finding a lot of joy in the toddler phase more so than the newborn phase! Even the tantrums don’t take me to that place of overwhelming/jarring/nervous-system-totally-taxed-out-and-on-fire feeling because the things Jo will get upset and meltdown over are just hilariously ridiculous…I have to focus on not laughing and instead comforting her. I’m sure it’s frustrating for her learning to be a person, but I like watching her evolve and grow and getting to be there for her. Newborn life was just a hot mess. Nothing made sense to me then about why baby was miserable and it was all so confusing and unpredictable.

    • So cool you did EMDR around this, Nicole! A lot of my clients who have had trauma have had great success with it! Thanks for sharing!

  7. I did not enjoy the newborn phase the first time around but am LOVING it this second time around (my daughter turns three months on Friday). It is definitely difficult managing a toddler (2.5 years old) and an infant and there are days I feel like one of the three of us is always crying but there are also so many moments of joy. Also, I found out my weight in both pregnancies and because both were high risk (type 1 diabetes), I had very frequent appointments. I found it SO amazing that my body gained exactly the same both times (45 pounds). My team was awesome and never commented on the “extra” weight gain and instead focused on the fact that I was keeping my A1c in “non-diabetic” range the whole time. 

  8. Congratulations! So exciting that Jojo will have a sister. I’m 35 weeks pregnant with our first (a boy), and I truly feel like God has used pregnancy to help me fully recover from my ED. I love seeing my body change and grow, and I’m surprisingly not afraid of what my postpartum body will look like. I have felt super fearful of labor/delivery — lots of “what ifs”! — and even had a panic attack around Christmastime. But since then, God has been super faithful in providing more peace. I just can’t wait to hold our little guy and be his momma!

    Thank you again for sharing your experience. It’s so very helpful!

    • What a wonderful thing to not be fearing your postpartum body changes, right? I think the body changes just go along with how life is gonna be different now and nothing will ever be the same!

      I remember feeling like “WHO AM I?” when I was so comfortable and proud of that body!

      Also, (everyone’s different but…) I remember Robyn (Real Life RD) posting about her birth experience and saying she had a lot of pre-labor anxiety about dying during birth, but in the moment (when actually giving birth) that didn’t cross her mind and she felt safe and present, albeit if working hard and determined to get baby out. It’s so easy to fear the unknown. I get that and feel that constantly. Excited for your boy to get here!

  9. Congratulations on your second baby girl! So exciting!!! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. As always, your posts are extremely helpful to me as I navigate recovery from anorexia. 

    I had two subchorionic hematomas during my pregnancy. I’m not a doctor, but my understanding is that placental lakes are similar but the location of the bleeding is different. I totally understand your anxiety, and I wish you a healthy, full term pregnancy :)

    I have different thoughts on the newborn stage. My son was born at 24 weeks and spent 4 months in the NICU. So, I missed out on the whole newborn, bonding stage at home, and I would give anything to have had that time with my son. Even after he came home from the hospital, we didn’t really experience a “normal” newborn stage. I’m sure the sleepless nights are hard, but don’t take them for granted b/c the alternative (missing that time with your baby) is really awful. 

    Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and experiences! I look forward to following along your second pregnancy journey!

    • Hi Amanda! Thanks for commenting. I was initially told I had some subchorionic hematomas that hemorrhaged and caused the initial bleeding we experienced…and now the placental lakes are there. Thanks for the pregnancy well wishes:)

      Having a NICU experience would be so extremely difficult! You are definitely right about that!!

  10. The hay and sticks thing I have heard as “chew the meat and spit out the bones”. Hearing diety advice is maybe where that verse in Proverbs comes in about overlooking an offense. Some things are worth standing up to and against, but diety rhetoric is unfortunately so incredibly common that it would be really quite draining to engage every bit of it we encounter.

    As for baby weight, I never thought of refusing to know my weight during my pregnancies but my mindset has changed since then. Interestingly during my last pregnancy I gained what is considered probably (at least) double the amount of weight that is recommended, but then lo and behold I had a baby with an almost 10 lb birth weight. I guess some might say he was “overweight” at birth. He and I were/ are both healthy.

    • Agreed it’d be draining (and probably not very effective) to engage every bit of diet talk we encounter. Also, body knows how to grow the right sized baby IMO! I’m taller than the average women and I don’t think that’s often taken into account when baby’s are growing/born. Like when they say “your baby is in the 83% for weight this week” and I’m like does that take into account my body type or is that based on the averaged sized women who is shorter than I am? I’ve always wanted to know that. I should look into it more…

  11. I’m glad to know these posts about pregnancy and ED are here for when i (hopefully) and pregnant in the near future to come back to and reread for support. I am curious, could you explain the bodily sensation image a little more? it’s a map of where people tend to feel those sensations? or a heat index? and where it came from (if possible)- i find it super intriguing, both in general and as a person working to better sort out emotions and sensations and care for myself appropriately,  and am enjoying looking through them all- thank you!

    • Yep! Thanks for asking for more clarification. Not a heat map. It’s a diagram that shows where a sample of people identified sensing emotions or body cues in their body.

      I first saw it in a talk by Evelyn Tribole on Interoceptive Awareness, which is the perception of physical sensations originating from inside the body. People with eating disorders tend to be highly sensitive/feel-feelings-very-strongly type of people. As a way to cope with this part of them they develop some level of alexithymia (aka the inability to identify and describe emotions in the self). Increasing interoceptive awareness is key to being able to intuitively eat and take care of ourselves well, so the bodily sensations map can be useful to help one identify what the sensation in their body is signaling (i.e. “oh this achy sensation in my ‘x body area’ is fear about ‘x event/upcoming conversation’) . Here’s a post on IG Evelyn recently did about it! https://www.instagram.com/p/BuUF-8RlQcf/

  12. I have hated the fact that I am seeing different doctors as part of a large practice each time I go to the OB. I love each of them, but each has a different perspective on weight gain during pregnancy so I feel like I am getting conflicting comments and it makes me totally confused and unnecessarily worried. One said I am gaining the perfect amount, the other told me to eat more, the last said to focus on what makes me healthy… all of which have said the baby is growing perfectly and there is nothing to worry about him. I am now 37 weeks pregnant and I have told them to stop giving me conflicting reports if the baby is healthy. That’s all I really care about at the end of the day. When they told me to “drink milkshakes” I was scared I was doing something wrong and as a first time mom, I need to be reassured that I am doing what I need to have a healthy baby. I don’t mind knowing my weight but when I get conflicting reports on what it is supposed to mean and how it will effect my child, it makes me angry.

  13. Thanks for this, Kylie:  

    “The eating disorder will always be working to kill you. Something I’ve been thinking about is that my non-pregnant natural body weight (set point weight range beginning) is at least 40#s over what the eating disorder/body-obsessed-part-of-me wanted me to weigh.”

    It really resonated with me and it’s something I plan on remembering and applying to my own recovery – there’s still a big part of my brain that thinks what I weighed during e.d. is what I “should” weigh.  It’s hard to remember that the e.d. voice is not trustworthy.  Your blog helps me so much and I’m so thankful for you!   Congratulations on the new little one on the way.  :)  

  14. I gained 55 lbs with my first baby & only 30 with my second.  My first has always been big & tall & my second has always been little & short.  Absolutly love that my body knew what each baby needed!!  Congrats on #2 (:  

  15. congratulations! so happy to hear you’re expecting baby #2! 
    really appreciate your wisdom about weight-gain and set points in this post!

  16. Congratulations! I’m so excited for you! I’m one of four sisters, so I know first hand that the tight bond sisters share is truly irreplaceable. I’m currently expecting baby #1. I use wanted to say that your posts have been so helpful for me. I like your point about being able to know your weight without fear. I aspire to hear my weight and be completely neutral one day. For now, I am focusing on not weighing myself I unless I go for a checkup, and reminding myself that my body is perfect becuase it is literally creating my baby as we speak. Anyways, just wanted to say thank you. :) 

  17. Newborn phase is SO hard! My little girls are 3.5 and (almost) 2, so very close in age. Newborn and toddler was so overwhelming, but my second one slept SO much better than my first, she was sleeping through the night at around 10 weeks. The hardest part for me was when my littlest one became mobile at around 9 months, and it’s just now gotten a little less overwhelming as the oldest potty trained.
    Biggest advice for have 2 that close together is to give yourself grace, and write about (even if it’s not shared) your birth experience. I found that even just a few months after having #2 that my birth experiences were blurry, and I had to really concentrate on distinguishing which experiences went with which child.

    • Oh interesting about the two birth experiences getting muddled. Will try to write it early! I feel like all of my positive affirmations/mantras around birth/newborn days are geared towards the newborn phase rather than the birth with this pregnancy. Like instead of “you grew this baby, you can push her out” it’s more “newborn time isn’t your new normal, it’s a season” or “baby needs a mom, not a child…keep going.” It’s just such an overwhelming time and was more challenging than I ever anticipated. Thanks for sharing, Britney!

  18. I accidentally found my weight out several weeks ago. My doctor was really understandng about me not wanting to know and he doesn’t tell me my weight at appointments (I’ve finally switched to a midwife but I was seeing him until I got in with a midwife), and he warned me that he had to write my weight on one of the forms for the genetic testing, and he tucked it in the back and stapled it together with the other forms so i didn’t have to look at it. Then i saw it when i had to pull out the form for something… and I was surprised that I just didn’t care. I just thought, ‘well, looks like my body is doing what it has to do to grow baby.’ And left it at that. I haven’t seen my weight in 4 weeks, they just say ‘everything looks good’ and leave it at that so far. I actually don’t think I’d care either way at this point, but I’m not choosing to seek out the number just in case pregnancy becomes overwhelming and my brain chooses to cope with weight obsession. 

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