Pound for Pound

Somehow I've managed to get through the first half of my pregnancy without gaining any weight. Well, at least the first sixteen weeks. And in my head I kept thinking "maybe I'll just gain eight pounds this pregnancy! Yes! That's exactly what will happen."

Until I found that at this point, I have gained a total of eight pounds which doesn't bode well with my original plan. Eight pounds at nineteen plus weeks is completely healthy, of course. I'm exactly where I should be right now. But for whatever reason, watching that scale move past the 150 mark and I'm suddenly all weird and self-conscious

Last night at my film-meeting my executive producer eyed me as I walked in the door. I hadn't been to a meeting in almost a month because I was out of town and apparently my physique had noticeably changed. 

"You look... different," he said.

"Yeah. I'm getting more pregnanter. Maybe that's why."

"Oh, shit! You're pregnant! I totally forgot. For a minute I just thought you put on fifteen pounds!"

Fifteen? Do I look like I put on fifteen pounds? Really? No! It's eight! It's EIGHT!

Now this is LA, where people NOTICE when you do so much as clip your nails, so I wasn't really offended. Nah. Just horrified. I took my seat behind the dozen or so actors clutching their scripts, highlighting their lines, crossing and uncrossing their stick legs. 

I covered mine with my purse.

I've always been very self-conscious about my looks. I'm a woman after all and I've lived all my life surrounded by beautiful people. Skinny people. Half of my graduating class went on to model and the rest might as well have. One of my first loves graduated from bagging groceries at Ralphs to modeling for Versace and I never was able to get over the fact that he was far too beautiful to be with me. When I broke up with him everyone thought I was crazy. I was too insecure to every fully explain why it would never work out between us. He was completely out of my league. His beauty made me feel invisible. And invisibility was not a sacrifice I was willing to make. 

I'm very conscious of the fact that last pregnancy I gained a lot of weight. A lot. I was 203 pounds when Archer was born and I have the photos to prove it.

Here I am aprox 190 pounds, three days after Archer was born. (I lost thirteen pounds the day I gave birth.)

I worked my ass off to lose those sixty pounds and yes, I'm damn fucking proud. That shit was not easy to do and I really don't want to have to go through the 6am-wake-up- after-three-hours-of-sleep-to-hike-next-to-size-0-celebrities thing again. That was hell. 

This time around, I do have restraint. I'm sticking mainly to veggies and fish and tofu and, okay, bagels and cream cheese for breakfast (I'm a sucker for veggie cream cheese, what can I say?) and I've stayed away from sweets  and ice-cream sans my two days a week of allotted after-dinner-sweets.  My cravings have been pretty limited to spinach and goat cheese and, well, the bagels, so I've been lucky as far as that's concerned. Last pregnancy all I wanted was mud pie and baked potatoes which... Hi! Not a low-calorie diet. 

"But I'm eating for two!" I'd say. 

But, uh, a ten ounce fetus does not need QUITE as much food as a grown person. I mean... right?

I realize the probability of this pregnancy is that I will put on some weight because (duh!) that's what happens when you're pregnant. And, yes, I have come to terms with the fact that my nose will likely swell and my chin will become plural.  And I keep reminding myself that that's okay. That's part of what it means to be pregnant. And of course I'm willing to gain the weight. (Of course!) 

But that doesn't change the fact that a tipping scale is something I am unable to celebrate, even if it means a growing baby, a healthy pregnancy. 

And that scares the shit out of me. 



Stimey | 7:13 PM

I think that's a totally normal way to feel, especially if you've lost 60 pounds at some point. And, by the way, good for you! That's a huge accomplishment. And inspiring.

It's okay to not feel great about gaining weight for a pregnancy as long as you realize that you will gain weight and allow it to happen.

You're obviously a beautiful woman, and some baby weight won't change that. (Especially if the baby is still inside of you.)

Rachael | 7:22 PM

It sounds like you're eating better this time and actually trying... also this time you have a TODDLER to chase around, which definitely makes a difference. I am super impressed that you worked off that 60 pounds, you'll be fine!

Lindsay | 7:57 PM

I've heard the second time around you don't gain as much. PS I love you for posting that photo of you. I too gained 60 plus a few more pounds. I literally had a woman gasp and say, "is that Lindsay."
Anyways, great post.

merseydotes | 8:20 PM

I honestly cannot belive that photo is even you, Rebecca.

I think it's fine not to celebrate as long as you accept the weight gain/body changes.

Ashley | 8:25 PM

It's totally scary.

I'm right there with ya. I was 210 when I delivered. I'm 149 right now (up from 139 last summer).

Can you bounce back a second time? I don't know. But I guess it doesn't do us any good worrying about it. Bleh.

Anonymous | 8:46 PM

you will be amazed how much easier it is to keep the weight in check the second time around. I gained 32lbs with Caleb, and not even 20 with Eli. I was at my pre-preg weight by 5 days postpartum this time (but I still had first baby weight to begin with.LOL) Now at 9 months postpartum I am 6 lbs away from what I weighed on my wedding day, wooohooo. My workout routine this time? Chasing 2 kids around.
I learned the first pregnancy that I am NOT a preggo that can eat for two. You look fab! And you are halfway there.

Backpacking Dad | 10:01 PM

But you're glowing in that picture....;}

My wife desperately wanted to be "cute" pregnant. One of those waifs-with-basketballs types. Unless she was going to eat celery and drink diet Snapple all day it wasn't going to happen. She was still gorgeous, but she also hated watching the scale bump past 150, 160, 170....

In the end, she began to take pride in her bump (which had become more of a barrel), and later, she took pride in shedding that bump post-natally without doing a single sit-up.

Own it. If you get big, be the best Biggy McBiggerson on the block. Run skinny girls over.

Summer | 11:42 PM

The only compensation is at least you can say "Oh, I'm pregnant" and get away with being big. :) Being fat and not pregnant sucks.

Anonymous | 6:02 AM

Ugh, I can relate to this. I started my pregnancy at 125 in Sept 2006, delivered at 173 in June 2007 and I am only down to 142. Nothing fits me, I eat well, I chase an 11 month old around ALL DAY and I barely drop weight. The 2nd time around I will try my hardest not to pack on the pounds. I don't even want to try for #2 until I can get down to 130. Ugh.

Anonymous | 7:03 AM

I did the same with my first pregnancy! I got up to 204 and was 48 inches round. That's FOUR FEET.

With my second and third, I exercised and ate well. I gained 28 pounds with each of them and was back to my skinny jeans three months later :)

QueenofPlanetHotflash | 10:39 AM

Still am trying to loose the weight from my last baby, she's 20 :)

Style Police | 10:48 AM

Bec, you're normal - don't sweat it too much. A fetus will take all it needs from it's mother. A pregnant woman in her 3rd trimester needs just 200 calories per day more than a non pregnant woman - according to our hospital nutritionist. Don
t worry about what you eat - you realised after last time that it's so hard to lose the wight. Sucks, doesn't it?

Anonymous | 11:47 AM

OK, first of all... though you have some nice pictures, I haven't seen one yet that really shows how gorgeous you are in person. You are PRETTY Bec! LA pretty, I might add.

I looked much like you did during pregnancy, everything swelled, especially my face so I know how you feel. (But I am much too chicken to ever ever ever post those godawful pictures.) The weight comes off. And every mom I know who has had two... it came off even faster! No worries.

And anyone who would make a crack about you gaining 15 pounds is just rude.

pamela | 3:23 PM

I *heart* you! your posts crack me up... i was terrified of gaining too much weight and i'm 40 weeks with my first babe (due tomorrow) and still freaking that i'm gaining weight. i'm like, c'mon mommy doesn't want to get any bigger now! i exercised a lot during pregnancy and it made me feel great. i never swelled, didn't get any stretch marks, etc. i've gained a grand total of 20 lbs, i wasn't a waif before, but am definitely looking forward to being normal again.

Anonymous | 5:36 PM

Thank you a million for sharing these pictures b/c I've been looking at your Flickr pictures of your current pregnancy with so much envy! I was large and in charge when pregs and my face contoured like crazy. For serious!

Love reading all that you write - here, Babble.com and your book!


Thanks, Natalie and actually when I was pregnant with Archer I looked great up until about 6.5 months. It was the last trimester that really got to me. I'm halfway through the second tri now, so really working on maintaining a steady gain right now... I am starting to swell around the ankles and fingers which is not a good sign. Ha!


Oh and thanks for all your comments! Sharing your stories! It helps to hear of your such similar struggles. Love to all of you.

Anonymous | 7:42 PM

My 2nd son is now one and I still have about 15 lbs left to lose from my 1st son (they are 14 months apart). I just stopped nursing this week and I know for me, I tend to hold on to weight while I nurse. The whole nursing weight loss myth never applied here! I gained almost 40 lbs with the first one which isn't too bad but, for my frame of 5'3", it was alot to carry. Think basketball with feet!
Pre-babies, I was a size 2/4 and thought I needed to lose 5lbs! Strangely enough, now at a size 8, I love my body more somehow. Mainly I respect it, understand what it is capable of and did and really feel comfortable with where I am at. Who knew!? I feel that I've come a long way and yes, my priorities have changed. It also doesn't hurt that my husband loves my body and always tells me so!

I think you are beautiful, pre, post and during pregnancy!

Anonymous | 8:28 PM

i was a size 10, 150 lbs, and 5'10" before babies. i gained 70 lbs with my twins and lost the weight after within a year b/c i worked my ass off pushing a double jogger. i actually was more fit than ever after and was down to a size 8 with the same weight. second time around, i gained 55 lbs. (with just one baby!) (and no pre eclampsia!) and got down to a size 6 and 140 lbs. by working my ass off again. i'm 6 months pregnant now and have gained 20 lbs so far, but i have the advantage of going to the gym this time around since i stay home. and now that the weather is creeping toward summer, i've noticed the swelling is starting. i've never had a baby in the summer and i just know that i'm-a-gonna blow up. i know i'll take it all off and then i'll have my body back since i'm done popping out kiddos.

Sonja Streuber, PMP(R), SSBB | 9:02 PM

Are you reading my mind or what? I have gone to weighing myself once a week, and by the end of my first trimester will have probably gained about 4 lbs. This means, yes, too darn close to the 150 for my comfort, too. I read in one of those pregnancy books that 20 lbs is enough to put on (7 lbs for the baby, 10 lbs for the placenta, 3 lbs for the birthing effort), and I'm really hoping to stay within that range. Because, yeah, losing all that extra weight afterwards, with a newborn around, that's gotta be one of the most difficult things ever. Good luck to you!

Anonymous | 9:27 PM

You look amazing! I am currently at the start of my 2nd trimester and up 6lbs!! I gained 80lbs with my first and took off 60 of it (and it didn't melt off like everyone said!!) so I'm hoping to keep the weight gain to a minimum this time, like you.
Cravings can get pretty tempting sometimes!!

Satan | 10:40 PM

OMG you look so much better in that picture of you and Hal and Archer. You look human, and not LAish... I am sorry, but you do look better there. You are gorgeous, but that picture to me makes you real. xoxo

This Must be the Place . . . | 11:26 PM

I weighed in at 190 when I delivered. I didn't gain much but was overweight when I started. I lost it all quickly. . . and then put on 20 pounds in the last six months. Whoever said breastfeeding keeps it off ought to be shot. Who the hell LOSEs the weight just to gain it back AFTER losing? Me? Yes,yes, me. Swellish, balloony afterbirth (well, not of THAT one) aren't usually pretty, but you still manage to look decent . . .and you have your nails done? Be proud. You look better than most of us on your worst day.

Anonymous | 1:10 AM

What's the deal with the swollen nose. From my ass to the tip of my nose. I haven't gained too much weight, 23 lbs and I'm 32 weeks, but still...It's not easy seeing your body change that way. Of course the extra boobage is nice.

S.T. | 7:12 AM

I feel you. I gained exactly 55 lbs. with each pregnancy (thanks to, in part, daily Sonic chocolate malts) and am just now, almost five years after my last child's birth, back to my pre-pregnancy weight. But I have to say, that picture of you and Archer and Hal is SO sweet. You both look unbelievably happy. :)

Sass | 9:37 AM

Swollen nose? That's a new one on me.

Here's another downside... you won't be interested in my Belgian chocolate and coffee giveaway. Darn it.

Julie Marsh | 12:10 PM

Struggling with the last ten pounds now. It's so disheartening - but not disheartening enough to drive me away from the ice cream.

Anonymous | 2:08 PM

seriously, though, LA is hard. Anywhere else you'd be offered a modeling contract right now, let alone un-pregnant. I'm not originally from here and even though I'm quite reasonably sized (5'7" and 130-ish, 128 on a good day), I have definitely been the biggest girl in the room. But hey! You are pregnant! That means that anyone who insults you or looks at you funny is automatically a huge asshole!

Just remember that it's almost all about where you live. If you lived in Kansas you'd be SET. LA is rough, man....

the mama bird diaries | 7:11 PM

I really like this post. So much honesty.

clueless but hopeful mama | 10:58 PM

Oh boy. I gained 50 pounds with my first pregnancy, 20 of them in the first trimester. Since I was teaching Pilates at the time and dancing with a dance company, EVERYONE noticed that I was gaining weight and were so annoyingly relieved when I told them I was pregnant. Gaining weight in a fishbowl ain't easy (whether it's at the front of Pilates class or on the streets of LA).

Losing the weight took time, a long long time and I don't relish the thought that I will have to do it all over again with another baby. I wish I didn't worry about such things but I do. It sounds like you are in check with your eating this time around and I like to think that I will be too. Having the perspective now that you know how hard you have to work to lose it on the other side is a good thing. Also: realizing that it's not the be all and end all.

Elisa @ Globetrotting in Heels | 8:05 AM

I just found your blog and I really love it - honest and kind of in-your-face, like me :-)

I understand your concern, I was also freaked out when I got pregnant the second time - but I think you'll be fine, afterall you learned from your experience. I gained a lot less the second time around, despite my love affair with food and Starbucks drinks :-) so it can definitely be done.

Kudos also for your hard work in getting where you are! Very inspiring.

ChicMama! | 8:47 AM

Here's some stats...because I know we all wonder.
I'm 5'9", started Pregnancy 1 at 158 (5 wk appt), and gained 32 to end at 190. 158 was heavy for me, but that's ok.

I dropped to about 144 (good weight) by the time Nick was 18mo, and got pregnant again. Now, I'm 158 at 24 weeks. Up 14lbs in 24 wks.

I live in Chicago, so I'm skinny pregnant by Midwest standards, but I still watch the scale. I'd love to wrap this all up at about 170 and call it a day. I gain in my face, so the less that shows up there, the better.

Thanks for the post.

foodiemama | 10:27 AM

the pounds are part of the fun right? ha. ya know i gained 100lbs just like you and i suppose that is a teensy bit of an issue to add to having another for me, that and i was 26 and it came off faster. you're young so it'll melt off quicker! time isn't on my side anymore, haha!

Anonymous | 11:26 AM

I am 5'8" tall. Gained 32 with my first baby, and 28 with my second. I was 171 to begin with before the first pregnancy, and a total of 42lbs heavier than that after my second was born. In the last 2 years I've lost 63lbs, for a total current body weight of 150lbs. Granted I started off overweight, and I'm STILL overweight, at least I managed to lose a lot. Running after 2 kids really takes it off you, you're going to be just fine.

Danielle | 12:14 PM

First, yay you for being brave enough to post a post birth pic, because I don't think I could.

I gained 60 lbs with my first, and I think around 45-50 with my second (although I refused to look or acknowledge that time around).

But 60 lbs!! And I'm only 5'2" tall. I was huge. And I was not happy about it. At all.

But, from the pictures you've been posting, you look great girl!! You have nothing to worry about. You are that pregnant chick that I wished I looked like when I was pregnant. Cute and rockin' it!!!

kittenpie | 5:38 PM

I gained 50 lbs with Pumpkinpie, outweighing Misterpie at the end there. So I am hoping to stay under 40 lbs this time, and at about 20 weeks, had kept it under 15, which is where I was at 12 weeks last time (carbs helped the queeziness a lot...). So I have hope. My real hope is that I can lose 50 lbs. or more afterwards like I did last time and come out a wee bit lighter than I went in, but we'll see how that works... Sounds like you are doing really just fine and well, though.

Jaelithe | 8:49 PM

Eh, people in L.A. who are not you and Hal and Archer are jerks. That's what I think.

Don't let the silliness of the place get to you. I thought you looked FABULOUS in the most recent photo I saw of you, out promoting your book. Very pretty pregnant lady.

And, as I've told you before, I think you look just fine in your swollen-nose pictures, too.

BagLady | 11:12 PM

Hal's hotter than that dude.

Anonymous | 3:42 PM

OMG! That photo! I would have burned it and murdered everybody who saw me looking like that. J/K!
At least you looked pregnant. I looked completely unchanged except I sprouted a jolly little belly. That's from having no appetite. I lost count of the people who told me my baby would be born horribly undersized and not-quite-right in the head. He was 8 lbs. 12 oz. and except foe being a smart ass who never shuts up, he's perfect.

BookMamma | 7:57 PM

Do you know how much I fuckn LOVE you for posting that photo??? It's beautiful, it's glorious, it's REAL. Thank you.