I am 22 weeks + 5 days, and I am feeling faintly ridiculous. I am worrying about my weight gain. I feel ridiculous for worrying for a couple of reasons; first, this pregnancy feels a bit like a miracle so getting dragged down by the mundane and ridiculous upset of a bit of weight gain is annoying, is irritating my logical self and is making me feel vacuous and vain. Second, getting upset about weight gain while pregnant, seems counterintuitive. I am pregnant with a high risk pregnancy, unable to exercise as I usually do, and in order for baby to grow healthily and survive that naturally necessitates my weight to increase as baby gets bigger and weighs more, therefore my weight gain should be something I embrace as it means I am supporting the placenta and thus baby. Unfortunately my rational and logical self knows this, but that part of me seems to have shrunk to a tiny, quiet, quavering voice in my head, as each week of my pregnancy progresses the ridiculous, irrational, vain, vacuous voice has gotten louder and more consuming.
Let me catch you up…
In the first few months of my pregnancy the OBGYN was ‘unconcerned’ (read puzzled) by my lack of weight gain (we’ll keep a close eye on this…’). Now I have gained weight, I feel like both an apple and a cow, unfortunately the OBGYN is still ‘unconcerned’ (read faintly concerned) about my sudden weight gain in the space of a month. Queue feeling ridiculous, I know logically that the weight I have gained, so quickly, is normal for my gestation particularly as it is has been Christmas (mince pies, chocolate, sausage rolls, cake, Christmas dinner, all yum) and I have not been exercising at all (not even my approved exercise of gentle walking) but the gain in kgs is not only affecting my self esteem, the way I see myself, but it is also making me feel anxious about my vain and vacuous thoughts and about the impact of weight gain as a whole on the pregnancy (could it be caused my something more nefarious than simple Christmas greed?!?). As someone who rarely weighed myself, the weigh in at the OBGYN’s office is in my thoughts far too often. I have gone from using my bathroom scales to check how heavy my holiday suitcases are to weighing myself! Unfortunately, the numbers are encouraging my ridiculously unhelpful belief that I now resemble a giant apple while dressed and a cow while undressed (complete with swollen udders and belly), hence my new moniker Applecow.
I know that my Applecow image of myself is most likely all in my mind, and even if it isn’t and I do resemble an Applecow, I look this way because I am pregnant, a state which doesn’t last forever and is a miracle that I am even in, and still in. However ridiculous my despairing anxiety is, for me it is real and consuming. For now, I remind myself that being an Applecow isn’t the worse state I could be in and focus on the fact that the baby is alive, healthy and growing. I would rather be an Applecow that is the mother of three children, two living and one not, than the mother of three children, one living and two not.