Thursday, August 1, 2013

Kaitlyn's birth story-Part 2

I had my first appointment set with the midwives, but I had another thing on my mind pretty much from the first day that I found out I was pregnant. My first baby weighed 8 lbs 2 oz. My second baby was 8 lbs 14 oz. I did not want to have another one pound weight jump and deliver a ten pound baby this time. Stephen and I had been following a modified Paleo diet before I got pregnant, and I decided I would continue to follow the same style of eating while pregnant in hopes that I would deliver a smaller, or at least not bigger baby. I had to make some modifications, particularly during a very green first trimester. (In fact, I started having nausea before I had a positive pregnancy test this pregnancy. When Stephen asked if I was pregnant, I was like, "no way, it would be way too early to be nauseated anyway." Little did I know, he was right.) I ate a Chick-fil-a sandwich one day. Another day I had a slice of pizza. Although at the time, they sounded like the only possibly palatable food, I felt so terrible after eating them that I immediately went back to completely abstaining from all foods containing wheat. First trimester nausea minus crackers and other starchy soothers was interesting to say the least. Beef, which I craved with both of my boy pregnancies, was nauseating. I couldn't eat it, cook with it, or think about it without wanting to immediately throw up. I ate a lot of gluten free oatmeal (a departure from Paleo's no grains mantra), smoothies, and dairy to round out my chicken and veggies.

As my pregnancy progressed, I grew, if anything, even stricter with my diet. I ignored multiple chip cravings, and made sugar a very rare treat. Once I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes (more on this later), I cut way back on my carbs. No more french fries--ever. No sweets. I kept my rice and potato portions tiny. I snacked on nuts, fruit, cheese, and the occasional popcorn. During the last fourteen weeks of my pregnancy, I gained a total of two pounds. The midwives, bless them, didn't ever comment on my lack of weight gain. All told, I gained twenty pounds during the entire pregnancy, about half of my gains with the boys (36 and 38 pounds, respectively). Yet I still fought anxiety over the baby's weight, especially after I had to stop my exercise program during the second trimester (due to way too little sleep and way too much life stress taking a toll on my already waning pregnant energy), and after I had an ultrasound at 38 weeks that estimated the baby's weight to be 7 lb 14 oz. I had a mini meltdown after that appointment. I remember Stephen trying to talk me down as I said, with panic on my face, "If she gains half a pound a week for the next 4 weeks, she'll be ten pounds when she's born!"

Apart from my giant baby fears, I felt great on my strict pregnancy diet. I credit my diet for helping me get through five enormously stressful months of life crises that happened right as I was second and third trimester pregnant. I never felt huge, despite going way past my due date. I had sufficient energy to cope with the demands of three skin infections (in my eczema son) that kept me up all night long. I had next to no heartburn, which was a persistent issue during my previous two pregnancies. My skin looked great. I never crossed over to that "I'm too giant for even my biggest maternity shirt" phase. Even if the baby had been big, it would have been worth staying the course on my diet just to dodge so many of the normal pregnancy complaints.

Oh, and when she was born? Eight pounds, one ounce. My smallest baby yet. In a postdates, gestational diabetic mom. I felt like all my efforts had been validated. And, two weeks out from her birth, I don't look pregnant! A little extra padding for sure, but I'm sure I'll be able to lose it on whole, Paleo foods, especially once I can start exercising again!

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