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I’m Huge! And Other Things I’ve Noticed…

Sarah Preston Gorenstein

I gained 28 pounds total with my first pregnancy—the last four pounds came between months 7-9. This time, I’d already exceeded my birth weight at my 6-month check-up. For full disclosure, let’s talk numbers: I was 144 pounds when I delivered Preston; I was 147 pounds at 24 weeks this time. You do the math…

I’m 5-1-and-a-half-inches short, and about 110-120 pounds, depending on the year or month. Admittedly, I went into this pregnancy weighing more than I did going into my last one (thanks, late 30s!). So I was starting out with more weight. (I’d also done a year-and-a-half of fertility treatments, which causes bloating and weight gain.) But still: The number I saw on the scale last night was not a pretty one. I’m not sure if I can type it, but let’s just say I’ve gained about six pounds since my last OB appointment. (Is that even possible? Or healthy? It’s only been three weeks!)

I’m short and petite, so this weight gain has been a lot for my body to handle. It’s made an already difficult pregnancy that much harder. My belly is BIG—and the baby moves A LOT—I feel everything, and have since my first trimester. Pulling, tugging, ligaments stretching, cramping…growing pains I think? Sleeping through the night is officially a thing of the past. Getting in and out of bed, and subsequently flip-flopping during the night, is nothing short of a herculean effort.

For months now (yes, like a couple) I have to yell to my husband to hoist me out of awkward positions, like…sitting on the couch! Lying in bed! It’s as though my ab muscles, or core strength, have drowned underneath a mountain of placenta. I can’t tap into them anymore. I started physical therapy on Monday, to help with some of this and get me ready for possibly having a vaginal delivery, so maybe it’ll make a difference. But somehow I kinda doubt it at this point. I’m doing kegels as I type this anyway.

I’ve also been wearing a belly band this time around; it’s like a bra for your tummy, with back support—it gives me that extra lift I need. I’ve been wearing it for a couple months now, and it’s a godsend. But now I’m afraid I’ll never be able to live without it… Someone at work walked into the women’s bathroom while I was adjusting it, and said, “I’m jealous—I wish I could get away with wearing that.” She’s not pregnant.

I invested in a pregnancy pillow—two actually—this time around. A $20 Laura Ashley version from Bed, Bath and Beyond, and then another one a friend recommended called the Today’s Mom Cozy Comfort Pregnancy Pillow ($80, Amazon). It weighs more than I do, and that’s saying a lot. I find it so overwhelming, I haven’t figured out how to sleep comfortably with it. So I just look at it longingly every night, and then stick a down pillow between my knees and under my belly. (Anyone need a body pillow?)

I didn’t need any of this crap the first time. Is this a result of me being older (and in worse shape) than I was the last time I was pregnant? Wait. Don’t answer that.

Was your second pregnancy harder, or different, and how? Please tell me I’m not alone here.

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