Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Article Comments

Pregnant, Diabetic, And Gaining Weight

BSparl is getting bigger.  (And so am I.)

The BSparl at 16 weeks, 2 days

I spent a lot of time planning this pregnancy, starting from back in 2003 when I decided to go on an insulin pump.  And even though preparation didn’t begin in earnest until Chris and I were married, having a child has always been something I’ve wanted with my whole heart.  So I read up on what to expect, and what to do to help improve my diabetes control, and what prenatal vitamins to take.

What I didn’t do much research on was the actual pregnancy itself.

I didn’t expect the low blood sugars that hit hard and fast in the first trimester.  I had heard that I could run a bit lower, but I didn’t think my blood sugar and my age would be in sync so often.  And I also didn’t expect the exhaustion of the first three months.  I had heard that I’d be “sleepy,” but I didn’t think I’d be driving home from work on my lunch break to take a nap, and then to collapse back into bed right after work for another hour or two.

I also didn’t expect the weight gain to affect me so emotionally.  I’m starting to feel like a porkchop.  (Thrilled to be pregnant, but shocked by how fast I’m growing.)

I’ve never been a twiggy little thing, but I have managed to fight the fat that seems to want to cling to my body and instead maintain a healthy, slightly athletic build.  (And for those of you who have ever seen me play sports, I’m begging you to stop laughing.   Just let me go with this, okay?)  Just never skinny, and never without hips or thighs.  The gym and I needed to be friendly in order for me to stay in any kind of shape.  And with the help of Chris’s dedication to his own workout routine, I have been holding steady for the last five or six years.

Except for the last few months.  Because my beloved BSparl is rocking my world with this whole weight gain thing.  Today, I’m four months and 2 days pregnant, and since finding out I was pregnant on August 31st, I’ve gained 8 lbs.  May not sound like a big deal, but it’s definitely an adjustment, not being able to button my jeans (for weeks now) and living in the blue sweatpants I snagged from the Gap.  The weight isn’t all just in the belly, either.  I can feel it on my hips, in my arms, and in my face.  And now, in the second trimester, I’ve entered the “pound a week” club, which means that by the end of this pregnancy, I could end up gaining almost 40 pounds.

Chris reminds me constantly that this isn’t “fat,” but “pregnancy.”  And it’s what’s supposed to happen.  My doctor says the same thing.  And believe me, I eat when hungry and I’m not taking any measures to skip meals or skimp on calories.  Even if I gain 40 pounds, so long as my baby is healthy, it’s a win.

What frustrates me are the empty calories I had to consume in the first trimester, which caused me to gain a lot of that weight.  Gulps of grape juice almost every night to treat low blood sugars, glucose tabs by the jar, and an influx of fruit carbs (which were among the only kinds of foods that would keep me over 100 mg/dl for more than an hour) – it’s all showing on the scale.  Diabetes is making this pregnancy difficult, and excessive weight gain only adds to it.  And for me, the weight is making me feel a little emotionally bummed out.

Exercising is only just now starting to return to my regimen, since I’m not fall-down tired anymore.  Chris and I have been going for bike rides on the bike train down the street from our house, and we’re clocking in a good 7 – 8 miles easily, which makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something.  That, coupled with the ellipmachine that I’m trying to use a few times a week (while watching Glee and Family Guy on Hulu – love Hulu) is making me feel like I’m at least getting some movement in.  It’s just an uphill battle.  And honestly, seeing all the magazines with the stupid celebrities who are “Back in their skinny jeans just 10 days after giving birth!!!” makes me want to put blinders on when I am in the grocery store checkout line.

What’s the point of this post?  I’m not even sure.  I’m just ranting, I think.  I’m having a hard time adjusting to getting bigger, and I know this is only the beginning.

But Chris, again, reminds me of what matters.  He puts his hands on my belly and makes me focus.  “This is our baby.  And you are doing everything you can to protect him.  [Or her.]  Stop worrying about the way you look and enjoy this.  You’ve worked so hard for this.”

What can I say – the guy has a point.  And when I look in the mirror and see that blooming bump, I can’t help but picture the baby growing inside of me, and how smitten I am already with this kid.

Love you, BSparl.  All 40 lbs of you.  :)

*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*


You may also like these posts

Read comments »


Comments are closed.

Return to article »

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

Read more »

How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

Read more »

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

See all book reviews »