Did you know that when I was pregnant with Freddy, I topped out at 183lb the week I gave birth? I probably started that pregnancy at 140lb, so I gained 43 lb total. Something like that. I lost 18lb right off the bat and settled in at around 165lb and stayed there for a solid 5 months postpartum.
I didn’t run during Freddy’s pregnancy, but that’s not the only reason I was heavier back then. After I had my first son Jake (my pregnancy story with Jake is here), I ended up at Women’s Reproductive Psychiatry with a major anxiety crisis and was put on medication to help stabilize me. I was put on Paxil, which is an SSRI and then I took Ativan for short term relief for things like panic attacks, although I was too anxious to take it because anxiety is stupid. Paxil was amazing. After the first few weeks, I began to feel totally chill and that’s when I really started to enjoy my life! For the first time ever, food tasted good, and it digested well, and was just overall an enjoyable experience. Anyone with anxiety knows how much it wreaks havoc on our digestive systems.
I weighed about 130lb postpartum with Jake and happily put on 10lb that year, then got pregnant with Freddy. Freddy’s pregnancy was a dream! I wasn’t sick, I had no preterm labour issues, no spotting, nothing. I didn’t run because back then I believed my running had put me into preterm labour with Jake so I felt better just avoiding it altogether. I also craved really weird things like laundry detergent, and I’d constantly chew ice, breaking teeth and trashing fillings. I found out later that Freddy has a blood disorder which explains all of my weird cravings but at the time I just pretty much ate anything to try and meet those nutritional voids.
The only reason I ever lost weight after I had Freddy was because he and Jake and I all contracted hand foot and mouth disease and I couldn’t eat or drink anything for all the sores in my mouth! I dropped 25lb in a short amount of time and figured it would be a good time to start running again, so I did. And then I got pregnant again which ended in a D&C, so I resented my body, and shed even more weight to deal with the stress. When I finally got pregnant with Katie, I felt comfortable enough to keep running a little bit throughout that pregnancy and I didn’t pack it on the way I did with Freddy.
But guess what? My pregnancy with Freddy, weight included, was perfect. My anxiety was low, my overall love for life was high, and I thoroughly enjoyed being a wife and mama, being pregnant, and breastfeeding my babies. I had visible rolls, 38D bras, and the softest, warmest lap for my boys to recline on. I felt like a Goddess.
I say all this because I want you to know that nobody collects $200 when they pass the “Go” of gaining between 25-35lb during pregnancy. That life isn’t black and white like that. I know super tiny women that gained 13lb during their entire pregnancies and some that gained 30lb after they give birth! Nobody acquires superhero status if they run through to their due date, nor do they fail at life if they don’t. If you truly love running, it will be there for you when you’re ready for it. In fact, I didn’t qualify for Boston, run Boston and come in third at the Whistler 50 miler until after I had three kids, or get my 3:06 marathon PR until I after I had my fourth, and I plan on hitting a sub-3 after my fifth.
It’s easy to compare ourselves to others, and we all make that mistake. I still do. But we gotta give our heads a shake, boil off all the bullshit and do what’s right for us in that moment. It may not look pretty on Instagram, but most of the best posts don’t!
So, there. Did this story surprise you? What do you think of the photos? LOOK AT HOW YOUNG I AM! And Freddy was my second baby!