When I first got pregnant, I was looking forward to having a beautiful bump and not having to worry about wearing massive suck-in pants for a while. I’ve always struggled with my weight but was reasonably happy with my size 16 evenly fat figure (although still touching the obese section on the stupid BMI chart). I imagined myself strutting around in fabulous wiggle dresses not having to worry about my rolls and showing off my lovely bump!
Then the stories from friends starting coming in. ‘I gained 6 stone in my first pregnancy’. SHIT!!! I worked so hard to lose 3 stone for my wedding last year and now I’m going end up as some humungous whale! I’d already had some of the weight creep on since the honeymoon and some of the size 16s were getting a little snug. Bollocks. So within just days of finding out I was pregnant I found myself messaging my Slimming World leader (before my mum even knew!) who told me she’d help and keep it a secret with it being such early days. The first few weeks were great, I manged to lose half a stone and thought I could keep on top of this.
1 month pregnant
Then the puking started. Not sure why they call it morning sickness. Morning, afternoon, evening, night sickness I felt like I was going to puke all the time. I rarely did the physical puking (excluding a few times in car parks and behind walls in public areas), but had waves of feeling sick at any other time mother nature fancied it. With the sickness came the fact I only wanted to eat crisp butties most of the time. Sometimes cheese and crackers, ice cream, milkshakes and kiddie food like chicken nuggets and oven chips. I don’t even have any chicken nuggets and oven chips. How do you explain to the in-laws when you go over for tea that cauliflower and broccoli repulse you all of a sudden and can I please just have potato smiles and chicken dippers? However, I did make real effort to make me and the husband good, healthy Slimming World meals. Slaving away in the kitchen for ages with stupid ingredients like quork and expensive fat-free sausages, then not even be able to bring myself to try mine. I wanted so badly to stick to plan and not gain the weight but it was just proving impossible. The gains started to pop up each week and I couldn’t explain why, so I gave up. I then went into ‘bugger it’ mode. Enjoying a lovely weekend in Whitby, where for once I did not worry about what I was eating and did not torture myself considering if I should allow myself a little treat. I ate all the seaside goodies!! Fish and chips, ice cream, hot sugary doughnuts and just enjoyed it!
2 months pregnant
The ‘bugger it’ feeling soon went, after a couple of months I decided I was going to try and do some exercise again starting with buying a new swimsuit. With each one I tried on, my heart sank a little bit more. Each style did absolutely nothing for the new body which currently at 2 and half months pregnant, just looked fat! There was no roundness to my belly, it was just big! My bottom tyre was still there in full force but now the top part of my belly had started to grow so I just looked like the Michelin man and stood there in the changing room with tears flowing down my face. I struggled for a while coming to terms with the weight gain and the feeling of crappiness making me want to stay at home rather than do any exercise (swimming was a definate NO). My weight has gone up and down over the years but I’d always been quite evenly fat and was struggling with my current new shape.
As time went on I could finally tell people I was pregnant and my belly did start to become more round, though I still had the bottom tyre of fat underneath the bump and then came the back fat! I’ve always hated bloody back fat as its so hard to hide but this was bigger than ever – big fat chunky rolls of back fat and HUGGGGGGE hips!
I realised I’d never seen a fat pregnant lady naked. I’d been naive enough to think that just because I was pregnant my current fat belly would just disappear. I’ve never even heard anyone talk about being fat and pregnant so how are we supposed to know?!
3 months pregnant
When you’re fat and pregnant you are under the consultant at the hospital and they keep an extra eye on you. Obviously they will never use the word ‘fat’ they always say it’s because your ‘BMI is a little high’ The only difference this has made is that it means more waiting around in the hospital. After you’ve spent ages waiting for your scan you then have to spend ages waiting to see a doctor who just asks you if you’re okay and checks your wee and your blood pressure as quickly as posssible, then shoves you out.
I’d given up weighing myself but luckily I wasn’t feeling any fatter. With the top of my stomach becoming rounder, in the right outfit I’d started looking pregnant. I just had to make sure it was the right outfit otherwise I would get the ‘is she pregnant or fat’ look. A random man called me a fat bitch. Couldn’t have been wearing my pregnant outfit. Rude bastard!
If you ever see a lady you’re not sure if she’s pregnant or fat, don’t stare – she may be both!
4 months pregnant
By this point I’d pretty much given up on bras altogether (apart from the odd night out) and my knickers were now as big as the hubby’s boxer shorts when hanging them on the washing line. Crop tops all the way which didn’t really do a lot for my large bust but even with extendy bits, bras were just not comfy. Hanging out naked would be my favourite option.
The hot summer days starting to come in full force did not help. Everybody else loving it. Me – fat, ginger and pregnant. Not loving it. Hiding inside with the fan on full blast in just my big pants (Bridget Jones has nothing on these!) Though when doing this I must remember to close the curtains so as not to scare the neighbours or visitors that turn up uninvited.
Note to self: next time, get pregnant in the autumn.
5 months pregnant
By 5 months pregnant it’s the worst. I was given a whole bag of maternity dresses and I was trying to find something nice to wear for my niece’s birthday barbecue. I happily picked a lovely polka dot number and used the opportunity to put make up on, did my hair and I was ready to go until I caught a side view in the mirror! My back fat looked awful! Cue full melt-down and dresses flying out of my wardrobe as nothing seemed to look good on the new roly-poly back. Obviously I ended up arriving 30 mins late in the original dress. I just tried to keep my back to everyone for the whole event.
6 months pregnant
As the sickness had subsided, I no longer had any excuse to get my fat ass back to Slimming World so after a few days of stuffing my face with all the naughties I went back to get weighed. I was pleasantly surprised. I was exactly the weight I had been when I joined Slimming World 2 years previously and this time I had a little person on board. I’d really dreaded hitting the next stone mark. Even though it was just a number, I wasn’t ready to deal with seeing that number on the scales. The next few weeks I did really well losing half a stone and sticking to the plan. Getting double dairy and fibre allowance made it so much easier and I was feeling very positive that the double chin hadn’t made it up to a triple! I wasn’t feeling as podgy and bought myself lots of nice charity shop and car-boot dresses which I actually felt quite nice in. I managed to stay on plan for the summer, then we went on holiday. Two weeks in France and if I couldn’t drink all the wine I was definitely going to eat all the baguettes and cheese (and the pastries and the puddings!)
7 months pregnant
Then it happened, I didn’t just hit that awful number on the scales but 4lb over it. Officially the heaviest I’ve ever been. A whole stone gained in two weeks. Being told over and over this is the time where the baby starts really growing didn’t help. I had to fight back the tears. I’ve been writing a blog for years about the ups and downs of trying to lose weight and the positive comments were coming in thick and fast:
‘Don’t worry about your weight, you’re creating a baby’
‘Use this time to eat whatever you want and enjoy it’
‘You shouldn’t be following a diet, give yourself a break’
But when you’ve spent all your adult life trying to lose weight you can’t simply turn off. I know how much heartache that would bring to me. So, I was straight back on the wagon and over the next few weeks I lost half a stone. Not bad considering this is the hardest stage to keep it off!
Normal things are now getting hard. Even the small amounts of exercise are getting hard as I approach 8 months. The dog walk to the park round the corner is hard on my own. Bending down to put the lead on or pick his poop is near impossible and I defo cant run after him when he decides to chase a cat/squirrel/frog/leaf/nothing in the wind. Its making me wonder if I’ll ever get back to how fit I used to be. Which wasn’t too bad for a fat bird.
You see these women that are going to spin classes weeks before the babies due and I struggle even to turn the tap off in the bath. Then that lady with a six pack on top of her bump pops up on the internet. I mean what the actual fuck?!
8 months pregnant
I actually like my pregnant body. Maybe I just got used to it, I’m not sure. The back fat is still gross but it hasn’t got any worse since month 3. My belly is huge and it’s still not a perfect bump. It’s still a big round bump with a more wobbly fat part at the bottom. It now has some purple stripes down the middle which oddly don’t bother me. Just reminds me of the fact this time my weight gain is worthwhile. This time the little marks mean I’ve created a little person in there. My face hasn’t got that fat so helps with all the (glowing) selfies and I actually love how clear my skin has been and my hair feels pretty healthy too.
Today with 2 weeks to go I have gained a total of 2 stone 3lbs which is far from that 6 stone I first feared. Do you know what? I’m really bloody proud of myself!! I stuck to my guns and where possible I tried to keep on top of the weight gain. I’m wearing a dress today I wore before I was even pregnant and its not even stretchy (obviously still wearing my humongous underwear underneath).
I’ve filled my freezer with low fat ready meals as I cant imagine cooking will be high on my agenda in the first few weeks. The next hurdle will be not living on chocolate hobnobs when baby arrives.
I have struggled with my weight all my adult life and decided a few years ago to start blogging about my struggles with different diets. I quickly found how many people relate to the same issues. I try to have a good laugh along the way and have a potty mouth. I’m honest, I’m dyslexic and I’m writing my first book when my anxiety isn’t getting in the way. I got married last year and my first baby is due any day!
Image credit: Mel Dawson