Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Does This Ultrasound Make Me Look Fat?

First, I had the ultrasound. The technician was nice, but all-business and not very chatty. Baby A is head-down, ready to go Baby B is completely breech. I asked how much they weigh and the tech said she wasn’t checking that today. Then this lovely conversation emerged:

Me: But they look nice and chubby, right?
Tech: Of course they are chubby! After all, look at their mommy. Nice and…uh…solid. [And then she mumbled something about me not being slight or slim, I missed the exact word.]

That hissing sound you hear is my self-esteem deflating like a balloon. I think I’ll save the bulk of these rantings for another post, but let me just say this: I really, really don’t like it when people make flippant or pithy comments about my weight or size. I know she didn’t mean anything by it, but still. I, like many women, have a few issues with body image. My weight can fluctuate up and down, and it has dramatically during the TTC process, considering all the meds I was taking, etc. I have an obese aunt (over 400 pounds) and my grandmother was obese as well. That gives me some perspective in terms of weight and size, but it hasn’t stopped me from dabbling in unhealthy eating habits and flirting with compulsive exercise and yo-yo-ing with the best of them. I am my own worst critic, so the last thing need is anyone saying anything to me. It just really gets to me.

And that wasn’t the only comment today. On my way to the appointment, a man slowed down and leaned out of the window of his shiny black, souped-up Mercedes and yelled to me, as I was waiting with a group of others on the corner of 56th to cross the street, “Looking big” and not in a nice, enchanted sort of way. The women near me scowled in solidarity and the men, well, just looked at me. I wanted to melt into the sidewalk.

I promised myself I wasn’t going to obsess over weight and exercise if I got pregnant. And I am not. I am proud that my body isn’t betraying me or these babies. I am amazed that it can stretch to accommodate these two lives. I don’t look at the scale at weigh-ins and I am not busy figuring out how long to will take me to get back into shape. And now, especially with two girls coming, I need to keep this in check. The last thing I want to bequeath to these two girls is food/body issues. And I am in general doing ok, but when things like this happen, I am that dieting fourth-grader who is starving herself because she feels too fat. Or that eighth-grader who weighs herself 10 times a day (exhaling deeply, because extra air in lungs translates to extra weight on the scale) and uses averaged weight to determine whether or not I deserve to eat dinner. Or the twenty-something who would go to the gym before work and after work, skipping lunch in the middle and smoking like a chimney throughout it all, all in the name of looking good in a pair of jeans. Good times.

Enough about that for now. Back to the ultrasound.

The doctor-on-duty on Wednesdays in the Fetal Evaluation Unit is my doctor. My doctor came to the door during the u/s (she couldn’t see me) and asked the tech if she was ready for her. The tech said no, and that she would be done in a few minutes. My doctor disappeared, then returned maybe two minutes later and just waked in and when she saw me she told the tech to stop the exam because I am fine and these babies are fine. And just like that the wand was whipped off my stomach and my Baby View TV was turned off. It kinda annoyed me because, while I appreciate her optimism and confidence, I prefer to lean on the side of please-let’s-be-thorough. Every time I see my doctor her attitude is all is well, let’s cut corners and get outta here. I don’t doubt her expertise and her experience, but I am a teensy bit of a worrier in general and I would appreciate just a modicum of hand-holding. I am, after all, 33 weeks. Can we take a few more minutes?

Next was the non-stress test and the babies both did just fine. Baby B was moving non stop and then she got the hiccups. Baby A was a little quieter but she performed as well. I tried to get specifics (did their heart rates accelerate at least 15 beats for at least 15 seconds? Did they accelerate too much? Or too little) but the tech just kept telling me it was all fine. She then pointed out on my print out where I was having contractions. Guess what: we're not going to worry about that. I’m back a week from now for more of the same.

I am so relieved and grateful hat this was a positive baby day though. I didn't even mind that I spent two-and-a-half hours there all together.

Pictured above are my extremes: On top is me at a low weight. And on bottom is me at a high weight (thanks to four months of clomid and other fertility meds and, well, less exercise and more eating). My true weight settles somewhere in between. It’s hard to post these pictures, which is why I am doing it. To me, these pictures represent manifestations of issues with body, control, exercise and food. I can’t deny it: I still have a ways to go to slay these body issue demons.


K J and the kids said...

I am so feeling you. I TOLD MYSELF EVERY TIME....I LOVE the pregnant body. No matter the size, it's beautiful. I'm going to wear form fitting shirts and walk around with my belly hanging out. Then, I was pregnant and I was a little bit weird about it. Not about my growing belly...but my butt, my legs, my hips spread. I felt like the basketball didn't do enough or grow enough to compensate for the rest of what had gown so big.

Did I TELL YOU OR WHAT ! People will start making comments about your size now that you are getting close. At least he said it TO you...most people said it AT me or AROUND me.

Jen you are beautiful. You truly are. At your biggest(which was not big at all) or smallest you look great.
I'm so proud of you for getting to THIRTY THREE and 1/2 weeks. No bed rest, no scares...although I agree with you...someone needs to pat you on the back a few times. You need to talk to your doctor and tell her that you need some reassuring.
You are so close and doing fantastically.

You go on with your bad self. Eat something to celebrate, and then have a little something for the girls too.

lagiulia said...

I think you look beautiful in BOTH pictures for sure. People who make comments to anyone, let alone a pregnant woman, are complete idiots.

Glad things went well with the babies. Sounds like you might be able to deliver vaginally. Many docs will deliver if A is head first and B is breech, if their sizes are similar. In my case, B was a pound bigger and they were premature, so we did a c-sec to be safe. I was glad we did that when I found that B had lung issues and probably would have had trouble in a natural delivery. But I still think vag is better for the babies if you have the chance. That said, I healed from the c-sec in no time flat, so it's probably not a huge deal either way. Take care!

SJayneI said...

Wow! Even at your biggest I wouldn't call you fat. I am so thankful I don't have your Dr or tech or whoever she was and that was rude.

Congratulations on your healthy babies! Not too much longer and they will be here in your arms.

infertilepediatrician said...

It just amazes me how rude and clueless some people can be. You look amazing Jen. Yes you are pregnant with twins and you are 33 weeks - duh, of course you are going to be big right now. I'd worry if you weren't. As for the guy that yelled out the window - WTF is wrong with him. I've never understoon the need to yell at someone (a stranger) as you drive by. Now to do that to a very obviously pregnant woman is just insane.

As for the babies, I'm glad that everything went well today and the NST was perfect! At this point we'll take it week by week but it sounds like you'll still be doing this in another month. Congrats!

Anonymous said...

LOL, I'm a random lurker and honestly, looking at both pix, I wouldn't call you skinny but that's not what I'd call thick/solid either. You should have just told her you retain water :)

whatthef*ck said...

oh my god that is so wrong!! what the tech said and what the asshole in the car said. unfuckingbelievable. i would be devastated. but fuck them. like infertped said, you are pregnant with twins for chrissake. please dont let those jackasses take the fun out of eating for three. you'll never do this again (or will you?) and you deserve to enjoy every indulgence that you desire.

when you're busy taking care of your babies, the wieght will melt away because you'll be so friggin busy. if you breastfeed twins, you'll need to eat alot for your milk supply but the weight will start coming off.

walks, once you can walk, will help alot. never tried babybootcamp but it would be a good way to meet new moms. sorry that i've shifted into focusing on how to lose the weight.

screw everybody. you look fantastic. enjoy. i'm going to have a waffle with strawberries and whipped cream in your honor. and maybe a dark chocolate turtle with alomnds! yum. you are gorgeous darling. gorgeous.

gypsygrrl said...

jen, both your photos are beautiful, and i must say, i LOVE seeing you as your grow these girls!!! pregnant women are soooooo amazingly beautiful to me, i think its just the whole aura of carrying LIFE within you... its beautiful and mysterious and awesome.

BTW, i thought of you tonight... i went out to dinner with my mom and a friend of the family, and across from us was a couple with twin boys - 20 months. OMG, the cuteness. i have a cousin whose wife is 28wks and just put on bedrest cuz she is 2cm dilated, etc... the little guys were flirting with me the whole time. well one of them - he kept peeking over and waving in the sweetest shy-but-bold way! i wanted to squish him! on our way out, my mom mentioned my cousin's wife and this mom said she was on bedrest too - but she delivered at 38wks and no NICU and babies went right home with her :)

so keep doing what you're doing, those girls are gonna be GREAT!

calliope said...

cripes- this post & Bri's post about weight & pregnancy are freaking me out. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!

But aren't body issues the worst? If I ever get knocked up I think it will be so hard for me to deal with accepting my body. I am so cruel to her already with the hating.
but enough about me.

You look perfect. You are perfect. And anyone that says otherwise can take a long walk on a short pier.