Adventures in making and raising our test-tube babies

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Worth the Weight?

I hear that pregnant women strive to get through their whole pregnancy without getting stretch marks. If and when I am pregnant, I will already have lost the battle. Why? I already have fresh stretch marks on my hips.

Nobody likes talking about weight, except maybe skinny people, but this, well, weighs on my mind. I have gained a lot of weight in the two years we have been trying to conceive. I think it's about 30 pounds. Granted, 30 pounds stretched over almost 6 feet of body is not horrible, but it is reminiscent of, well, baby fat. And it bothers me.

I. Reasons for Gaining Weight

A. Real Reasons

1. I'm lazy and haven't been exercising.

2. I started "eating for two" in June of 2006 and haven't stopped, except for the two IVF cycles when I got two embryos put in and started "eating for three."

3. For most of that time I was working from home as an artist and didn't have to fit into my professional clothes.

4. As the process goes on, I've been more depressed, and eating for emotional comfort.

B. Contributing Reasons (at least 40% Rationalization)

1. Two years ago a study came out saying that women who ate ice cream were more likely to get pregnant. Researchers hypothesized that it might be due to milk fat, or might just be due to the fact that these women weren't dieting. Either way, I avoided "dieting," which also meant I apparently avoided any sort of portion control.

2. Studies show that women who lose a lot of weight immediately before trying to conceive have a lower rate of success. When I have tried to lose weight before, I have done it quickly just by beginning to exercise. And I didn't want to do anything drastic.

3. Part of the IVF instructions are to avoid exercise between the egg retrieval and the pregnancy test. Superstitiously, or overcautiously, I want to be as still as possible to keep my babies alive and well. During the other parts of the IVF cycle, I'm too tired to stand up.

II. Reasons It's Bad to Be Overweight

A. Physiological Reasons

1. Women who are overweight have a lower chance of conceiving.

2. Being overweight is unhealthy for all the reasons you already know.

B. Emotional Reasons

1. I already hate my body enough for putting me through this. Feeling unattractive widens the gulf between my angered mind and my offending body.

2. Maybe the saddest: I think I already look pregnant. When I get super-puffy during the IVF and can only fit into maternity clothes, it is heart-wrenching to know that I'm cheating my way into the maternity clothes. It absolutely breaks my heart to think I look pregnant.

So okay, I'm going back to aerobics. If and when I have children, I might as well like their mother.


DAVs said...

Don't be so hard on yourself. I know it isn't easy...but with all we go through we shouldn't be hard on our physical appearance too. I think you look beautiful! Lee and I always call it the "two week weight"--we seriously indulge, too.
But, you know how I feel about exercise and sanity.
Do what makes you feel happy!

Tracy said...

I have had a constant struggle with my weight and it is horrible. The pressure we put on ourselves/our bodies to perform for us and to look good doing it is so overwhelming. Good luck with your quest, and HI!