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…
- 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.
- 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.
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?