Monday, June 13, 2011

A Skinny Girl's Weight Issues

Jordan was born January 31, 2011; you can read all about that on my other blog.

But this isn't about parenting. This is about the effects of having a baby. The raw truth of what I really went through.

Let's start with the few months before I got pregnant. In December of 2009, I married my wonderful husband, Kris. I was the heaviest I had ever been at a whopping 145 lbs. To a lot of people, a lot of real people, that actually sounds pretty nice. But I have always been active and, although I didn't know it at the time, I was skinny--120 lbs skinny. My birth control was, for some unknown reason (because I never went to my doctor), making my body retain water like crazy. My ankles would swell up like they were sprained, and I could press on them and leave little indentions from all the fluid. So, smart me, I quit taking my birth control in January or February. I immediately dropped about 10 lbs. I had been tanning for my sister-in-law's wedding, and I looked so good. And for the first time, I knew it! In May, I graduated from college (woohoo, here I come, world!), and, 5 weeks later, found out I was FIVE weeks pregnant.

I was terrified. I had been wanting a baby, but not then. I took four pregnancy tests, all positive. When I finally settled into the idea of having a baby, I became excited. I wanted a boy for several reasons. 1) We already had Ali, and I was afraid if we had a girl, there would be problems with competition, especially since Ali isn't biologically mine. 2) Kris wanted a boy, and I wanted to feel like I had somehow given him what he really wanted.

I didn't gain much weight in the beginning, but the weight I did gain was all in my face. People would say, "You look so cute!" and I wanted to punch them. In the end, I had put on a little over 40 lbs. I see pictures from us in the hospital and I want to throw up. I had major issues the whole time. I was over emotional, yes, but at times it seemed like a real problem. I watched a documentary over woman who only gained 15 lbs, which, for her size, was very dangerous for the baby. She didn't want to gain weight. She rarely ate, and she walked like 8 miles a day trying to burn the few calories she did eat. And instead of feeling sorry for her, I was actually jealous. I envied someone who had such discipline. I wanted to be like that. There were times when I would cry and just want it to all be over--and this was at a mere 24 weeks along.

I hid my insecurities very well. I pretended that remarks on my weight gain didn't bother me, and acted like the phrase, "You're not fat, you're pregnant!" really did make me feel better. But it didn't. I felt so guilty about it, too. I loved my baby. I wanted him to be healthy and cute and perfect. But I also wanted to be skinny again. I wanted people to stop looking at me and asking me how far along I was. I hated taking pictures. I asked my midwife about being depressed, and she said baby blues were normal. But, looking back now, I don't think that what I went through was normal. I threw up food all the time because of the pregnancy, and it actually made me feel better about myself. It made me feel like I wouldn't get fat if I kept getting sick. How awful!

The day Jordan was born, I was so relieved. I wanted to start working out right away. Did you know some people don't get stretch marks during pregnancy? And those of us that do, we're told that they are evidence of a miracle. Ummm.. I'm pretty sure a miracle is when you have a 7 lb baby in your belly and you don't get a single stretch mark. A miracle would have been if I had kept my tan the whole 9 months. I miracle would have been if I had lost all 40 lbs as soon as Jordan was cut out of my belly.

And now that he is four months old, I am STILL dealing with the issues. I started running exactly six weeks after my C-Section. I was counting calories, trying to take in less than 1500 a day. Then I dropped down to 1300. I was losing my weight, yes. I was putting Bio Oil on my stretch marks, yes. But my body, to me, was destroyed. When my husband would say, "You're getting so skinny!" I would get mad and think LIAR. As of today, I have lost 40 lbs. I have reached pre-pregnancy weight. I thought I would be SO proud of myself, and I was--at first.

My sister had always been bigger than me, and when I got pregnant, she started losing weight like crazy.
Now she is roughly 115 lbs. When people see us together, they usually say something like, "My word, you're a lot skinnier than all your sisters now!" And, although they're not calling me a fatty, that's what goes through my head. If she's skinny, and I weigh at least 20 lbs more than her, then what does that make me? I had been feeling so good about myself. I would look in the mirror and not see all those rolls and double chins I had been seeing before. I'm not tan by any means, but I'm not porcelain anymore. And then I see her, and she is putting on her size 2/4 jeans, with the extra small shirt. I see her with her brown tan. I stand next to her and look at us in the mirror and see a beautiful woman next to a whale.

People don't normally associate weight issues with people who aren't overweight and don't have an eating disorder. Medically, I am really healthy. Normal weight, good blood pressure, etc. But every person I see that's smaller than me, I envy. They work really hard to look so hot, and I should be proud of them! But I'm not, to be honest. I don't like wearing shorts. I don't like showing my arms. I hate seeing myself in pictures, even with my kids. I don't like when people say I look great because I think they're lying. They're not, but in my head, they are.

My experience with pregnancy makes me never want to do it again. Jordan was 1000% worth it; I love him with all my heart and soul. But if we ever decide to have more kids, we're adopting!