Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Pregnancy Week 25: 6th Doctor's Appointment - a pregnant woman and her weight

Today we meet with our doctor for the 6th time. Happily, Mike can join me for the appointment (and happily, before the doctor arrives, he gets to play with his iphone until I ask him to please put it away and talk with me).

We ask the doctor a few questions about our upcoming "babymoon" to Antigua, and he talks about things to avoid or things to enjoy. He gives me information on taking my glucose test and my rhogam shot (both at 28 weeks). I am aware that most rhogam contains thimerosol, although some do not, so I hope I will not have to go through a long procedure to receive the mercury-free shot again. We shall see.

The doctor checks the heartbeat of our son; it is 140-150. Our baby kicks at the doppler device (I don't believe he likes it), and we talk about the baby movements. Overall, it is another pleasant doctor's visit. Our doctor is friendly, attentive and caring. He has an average sense of humor, smiles and can appreciate our joking nature, but he is warm and calm enough that I think he will be a good delivery doctor.

However, one thing he says, Mike and I both find a bit...interesting...

Each time I go to the OB, I have to pee in cup, and get weighed. According to their scales (always a few pounds higher than my scale at home), I have gained 6 pounds in 5 weeks.

So at the beginning of our appointment, the doctor always looks at my chart, sees my weight and typically says the same thing. "I see you've gained a little weight. That's good. You look good." And he continues with his openings of how I am feeling etc.

This time, he starts off the same. "I see you've gained some weight." But here, he varies from the script slightly. "You've gained more than average..."

Or perhaps he says, "You're gaining more than average" or "It's more than average" or another variation of that intention. It was just one quick clause, but it is played back in many different forms in my head as I dissect it.

So here I am, thinking...Okay. Fair enough. That is slightly more than the recommended 1 pound a week, but so far, I have been either on target or slightly under the recommended amount at this point. And I just drank 16 oz of water to make sure I could pee enough, and yes, I admit, I have had my share of christmas cookies this holiday season!

But would I think to point out I am gaining more than average? It is one visit, one moment, and only 1 pound.

I smile in my head, almost to the "gallery" implying, "Are you guys hearing this?" The doctor doesn't see what's in my head however, and continues in the same pleasant and caring tone. "But I'm not worried about that for you. You started on the low end and probably could have stood to gain weight anyway. And you look good. You look very healthy."

Now, I must be clear that I am not offended by what he said, and I still have a cookie that night, so obviously, it has not scarred me. But as soon as Mike and I leave the office, I immediately bring this comment up to him. "I know!" Mike exclaims back at me as we wait for the elevator.

We both find it odd that the doctor would point out a barely perceptible higher-than-recommended weight gain, especially to someone who has been consistently gaining the recommended amount (or less). Perhaps he is more fixated on weight gain, as my pregnant friend (who sees midwives who merely ask her what her weight is) points out, due to the theory of women's gaining too much weight leading to larger babies and potentially necessitating c-sections (debatable, but I know he has mentioned that to me before). Or perhaps he meant I am gaining more weight than my own personal average, as a co-worker suggests when I vent this to her (she is kind, but I don't think that's what he meant). Or perhaps he just didn't realize that 5 weeks had gone by because we could not schedule at our standard 4 weeks, due to the holidays.

Whatever the case, I choose to focus on the second part of his comment. Because I like him and I know he didn't intend anything offensive. I do still look healthy, and even if I gain a tiny bit more than average from time to time, that really probably is fine for me.

And hey, we're still taking belly shots of me in a bikini top, so that must mean something!


Mike said...

Yeah, that was a little funny. :) I'm still a little puzzled by the conclusion, but "hey". No less puzzled than his suggesting we avoid anything with grapefruit in it a few months ago, and then saying now grapefruit is perfectly that was puzzling. :)

Monsoon Mama said...

you know what all this means? let me tell you:
2) men should never talk to women, especially pregnant women, about their weight. has a man ever been pregnant and pushed a child into the world? NO. STFU, then.
3) i went through periods of more rapid weight gain, and it was totally fine. i gained more than a pound a week at the end and had an average sized baby.
4) you look AMAZING!
5) eat more cookies. fat is good for the baby's brain!

Kat said...

I have had a similar experience. I can't understand why doctors are so obsessed with the tiniest stray from "average." Some people do need to be reminded about not gaining too much weight. Other people (like, say, people who are still doing sit-ups at almost 6 months preggo) do not have to be reminded. I gained rapidly and "over-average" a couple times during my pregnancy too. In the end, I gained the same amount with both my kids (each time under 30 pounds). Sometimes the baby will go through growth spurts. But, I do think your doctor is right that a little extra weight will not kill you because you are so tiny to begin with. I think you look amazing...and most DEFINITELY pregnant in this new round of photos! By the way, have a blast in Antigua. I didn't know you were going on a babymoon! Enjoy it!

Tara M said...

Thanks, Div, Kat and Mike! You guys are the best! I love you all! :) (and my mom and others who commented like this, after reading the post, but privately)

(I still am making my way through the Christmas cookies, hopefully all this will make the baby smarter! :)

Yes--we are super excited for our "babymoon," Kat!! Esp since it's been so cold here lately! cannot wait!!!!!