I don’t usually worry about my weight much. I’m a little bit on the big side, but I’ve stopped worrying about it for years now because the only way I could be thinner is to eat very little and that has effects that are much worse than being on the large end of a size 12. I also don’t go in for any of that “I just want to be healthy’ bullshit. I am fairly healthy. I know this because I can run and move and bind in marichasana C. It’s got nothing to do with my weight, or size. Calling ‘thin’ ‘healthy’ doesn’t make people’s obsessive behavior any more bearable and diet chat is still tedious even when it’s disguised as health chat. So I’m not lying when I say weight and size are pretty low down on my list of things are worry about.
But now I’m pregnant I do worry about my weight (I sort of alluded to this on Friday). In the opposite way. Until week 19 now and I was still to break the 3 kilo barrier – even now, in week 20, when I finally got a bit of a growth spurt I have put on only about 3.5 -3.8 kilos. And it doesn’t seem a lot when the typical weight gain for someone my start weight/size is 12 kilos and I do worry about it, even though I know I shouldn’t.
While I was in Brussels, I weighed myself every morning like some kind of pavlovian dog, it was bizarre. Partly this is because I had these snazzy digital scales in my flat, and I don’t at home, so it’s just the gadget being there, but partly I was actually a little bit obsessed.
Rationally I know not to worry, that weight gain has no direct relation to the health or even size of the baby unless it’s extremely limited (less than 7 kilos), and that every pregnancy progresses differently, but I can’t stop. Being pregnant is such an alien thing and since no one has been pregnant I’ve been close enough to talk about this stuff in detail, I have no proper experience.* I have no idea what’s going on inside my belly and whether stuff is progressing normally, and with the not exactly very intensive NHS maternity care** weight (and belly size) is the one thing I can check myself.
It’s weird that at a time when many people seem to have better body image, I am somehow reverting to this stupid obsession!
* People do tell me stuff of course, but it’s all contradictory and one off.
** In Belgium, you get a scan every month. On the NHS you get two scans for the whole time and when I phoned up after an upset stomach with a belly that was pulsating to check if I needed to see a doctor in Brussels (which I would have had to pay for) I actually had my midwife tell me ‘oh that’s weird’ but that unless I was bleeding I was ‘probably’ ok and ‘you are week 17, there’s nothing a doctor could do to check anyway’ which I’m sure is a lie. And if I was belleding I’d hardly have waited til 4pm to call her, I’d have gone straight to hospital! She might be right to not get over worried but there are better ways to get this message across!
Update from Tuesday (I originally wrote this on Sunday): I had a different midwife at my appointment today, who was a bit more understanding of my clueless first time mother anxieties, so I don’t feel quite so complainy. And of course I’d like to point out that I’m not anti-NHS at all. I’d rather have a slightly malfunctioning system that looks after everyone than an US style system where everyone that doesn’t have insurance and can’t afford the fees gets no help whatsoever. And I don’t think the malfunctioning has anything to do with the way it’s funded, and certainly privatising it all a la Cameron isn’t going to fix anything. Sorry, politics!
p.s. the picture of bebe is from the 13 week scan. 20 week scan on Friday!