• Katherine Thornalley

Weight Gain in Pregnancy: Eating for two

Updated: Jun 22, 2018

You know how it is. You're pregnant. Your waistline is expanding rapidly anyway. Your feet and hands start to swell. You're tired. And you're eating for two after all? Yeah! I hear ya!

My first pregnancy with my son. He was breech... can you see his head???

How did you find pregnancy? My mum would constantly tell me how much she loved being pregnant. She felt positively glorious, her hair was fuller, she was full of energy, all of that wonderful bollocks that women think that they're SUPPOSED to feel... but sometimes, just sometimes! They don't.

I felt like shit....

The first few months aren't particularly fun for the majority of people. One of my closest friends suffers with severe hyperemisis during her pregnancies and after witnessing what she went through (via facebook messenger, for the most part) I am certainly pleased that I did not have to go through that! I did, however, have the nausea, sickness and tiredness... and what did I find helped with the latter? Eating. And eating. Then eating some more. I could've nibbled on carrot sticks and hummus. I could've snacked on almonds and strawberries. But I didn't. Because my goodness, I was growing a human inside of me and I DESERVED to eat. And that's absolutely bloody right. I did deserve it. And for that exact reason.

During pregnancy, looking back now I realise that I ate to deal with the pressures of work life and pregnancy combined. I was working very long hours. I didn't get weighed throughout my pregnancy until right at the very end. I stepped on the scales..... 19 and a half stone. SHIT!!!!!! How had I put on 9 and a half stone???!!! I was devastated. But the weight gain was only half the problem. My blood pressure shot up and I was suddenly at severe risk of diabetes. "Eating for two" had suddenly turned into, "my son and I were at risk". I had put my unborn baby's life at risk. I had to spend the last month of pregnancy in hospital because my blood pressure didn't really fancy coming down so there was always talk of an early c-section. My son was born by c-section a week early because he was breech anyway. Well.... the anti-natal classes don't prepare you for that shit do they?! "Hello, my names Sandra, I'm you're local community midwife. Today we shall be discussing the the 'importance of breastfeeding', 'breathing through childbirth', 'how to change a nappy', and for our final topic of the day we shall be covering 'having a c-section will literally make you feel like your insides are going to fall right out of you if you stand up in an upright position'."

However, holding my son in my arms for the first time was the single most fantastic experience of my life. That's something else that dear old Sandra couldn't of prepared me for.

Lose the weight for you, because you want to feel good. And nothing else.

Find an exercise that you love

After having my son, I took up running. I'd never run before in my life! In whatever spare time I had. I'd set my alarm and wake up at 5:30 am in the morning after a night of breastfeeding, leave my son snuggled up in bed with my husband and run. Why? Because I wanted some time for me. To get out the house, put my headphones in, and run cross country. If that was the only available time, so be it. All the worries and stresses of motherhood seemed to drift away. Just for a moment. But then I got cocky. l decided to run a half marathon. I was six months post partum and NOT ready for a half marathon. It took a mere *ahem* four hours to complete. I was running (running/hobbling/crawling) with my friends partner who is extremely fit and in the army. I mean, he runs marathons just for fun?! He was very patient and gave a lot of moral support! I think he may have even carried me similarly to how Forest Gump rescued Lieutenant Dan when his legs got blown off at one stage... But the point is, the way I felt at that finish line made me feel like I could take over the world. Everyone else had gone home. They were packing away the finish line stalls. But I remember seeing my husband and my son standing there waving at me, the look of absolute pride in my husbands eyes and the excitement in my sons face (this was the longest I had ever left him). My boobs were leaking like crazy, my feet were covered in blisters and my knees will never quite be the same again but I felt like I had just run the London marathon in the fastest time on record. I was the luckiest woman alive.

My achievement was losing eight stone. Did I have more to lose? Ideally, yes! I never ran again after that! My fitness took a different direction.

How did you find exercise after pregnancy? Did you have any complications with the birth that prevented you from working out? I'd love to hear!


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