Epiblogue: Still Weighting

For women, weight is, and will always be an issue. We all struggle with it to some degree and to deny our insecurities is to deny one another of the truth in all it's not-so-glorious glory. Many people suggested that my physical insecurities are due to the fact that I live in Los Angeles. This I firmly disagree with. I was far more insecure as a sixteen-year-old in suburban San Diego than I am a twenty-seven year old in urban Los Angeles. And I don't think my confidence issues are result of pregnant celebrities maintaining their stick-like-figures when pregnant. Because, they rarely do. Milla Jovovich, possibly the most beautiful woman of all time,  looked like this when she was pregnant and more power to her. And what about Kate Hudson? Even Gwen Stefani? In fact, the only celebrities I can think of who maintained their stick-selves are Angelina Jolie, who isn't really human anyway and Nicole Kidman whose body I would never even think to compare mine too. 

The problem, I have decided is not the "celeborexia" or "pregnorexia" or whatever it was that was linked in the comments of my last post. The issue I absolutely think is something far easier to ignore: "the professionals." The doctors. The books we read and the Internet we Google

The pressure on pregnant women to stay thin while pregnant comes from what we are told the second we get pregnant from our doctors, newsletters and dot com destinations: Normal weight gain for a pregnant woman of average to normal weight is between 25-35 pounds.

Don't believe me? Go ahead and Google "normal weight gain for pregnant women" and see what you find. 

As a woman who stands 5 foot 8 inches tall and wears a size 8, my body is about as average as it gets, and yet, 25-35 pounds is absolutely not possible for me and per your comments, not possible for most of you as well. 

Which means, apparently the vast majority of women who get pregnant have "abnormal" weight gain and I don't think I'm speaking for myself when I say that no woman wants to be abnormal anything when she's pregnant. 

So perhaps the problem isn't that I live in Hollywood or that the media is manipulating me into thinking I'm "fat" when my body is doing what it must in order to sustain new human life. Perhaps the problem is that some jackass doctor (obviously someone who has never been pregnant) started a rumor way back when that 25-35 pounds is "normal and healthy weight gain" for a nine-month gestation. 

And to that doctor I say, "fuck you in the right nostril."

Because it just isn't true. And it isn't fair for women to go into their pregnancies fixated on the scale and  then, down on themselves when they are unable to meet goals set by the medical stats they trust.

If only there was a place to send a petition to every medical website in the universe telling them that healthy weight-gain is ACTUALLY "whatever you put on while maintaining a healthy lifestyle while pregnant."

I would sign that shit like a thousand zillion times. Wouldn't you?

But I digress... Here I am, in all my 32 week, 180 pound glory, reiterating that, yes,  I am proud of what my body is doing. I cannot wait to meet my daughter. And I embrace my bloated face and thick everywhere BECAUSE it means I'm creating a healthy baby girl.

Embracing my "abnormal" weight gain: 32 weeks.

Healthy-weight-gain-numbers-being-bullshit aside,  I also want to reiterate this: As pregnant women we are perfectly entitled to feel like prisoners in our own bodies. 

Because in a way we kinda are. 

ALSO, a woman's insecurities when it comes to her weight (be it pregnancy weight or not) isn't something to be ashamed of. Or feel guilty for. It isn't something we should hide, regardless of whether we're wrestling with ten pounds or one hundred. 

Confidence is sexy, sure, but so is honesty -- opening up and revealing our insecurities instead of hiding them behind affirmations full of hot air. 

Because when it comes down to it? We're all looking at ourselves under the same scrutiny. And that kind of self-induced pressure needs a support group. 

Thank you for being mine. 

If you look closely, you can almost make out a smile. 


GGC

77 comments:

mommymae | 3:06 PM

i agree. i ended up weighing various amounts in all three of my pregnancies. 77lbs gained (twins, but still more than "normal,") 55 lbs, and 37 lbs. i ended up back to my 5'10" 150 lb., size 8 with the first 2 and expect i will this time as well (she's only a week old.) but when you gain THAT much, it feels like you will never be your own normal again. as long as you feel healthy and are leading a healthy life, who cares what the damn scale says?

Amanda | 3:57 PM

You look so good though =)

Mimi | 4:22 PM

Thanks for writing about this. My story sounds a lot like yours, and our body frames seem to be similar. I gained about 50 lbs. with both of my pregnancies, both times leading a healthy lifestyle. To have gained less than that, I would have had to starve, and I was not willing to do that while pregnant. It has made me feel better to know that other pregnant women are in the same boat.

iMommy | 4:24 PM

You look GREAT! Seriously!

You're going to have a beautiful healthy little girl :) And before you know it, you'll be so wrapped up in her you won't even remember (most of the time) what your weight is.

Ambrosia Girl | 4:36 PM

You look wonderful!

The crazy thing is, my doctor told me how at some medical seminar (a few months back), the new guidelines for preg. weight gain were more like 20-25 lbs.

?!!

CaraBee | 4:44 PM

When I was pregnant, my doctor never said anything about my weight other than to comment once that I didn't seem to be having trouble eating. Sounds mean but he actually meant well since I'd had terrible morning sickness. I gained 40 pounds. It was the goddamn books and my own beloved mother who kept telling me that I was gaining too much. My mom even went so far as to tell me that I should start dieting because I had gained too much.

Screw "average" weight gain. You look marvelous!

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 4:49 PM

20-25 pounds? HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? When Archer was born I lost 20 pounds just in the birth alone (ten of that was water weight and the rest was baby and placenta. ) EEEEEESH!

Karen | 5:00 PM

Thanks for this. I do hide my weight insecurities, I am ashamed of them. And if I had a daughter, I'd probably be even MORE inclined to hide my weight insecurities for fear of perpetuating them. Hard to find the middle ground.

Marinka | 5:04 PM

I never gave a shit about what I weighed, and even less so when I was pregnant. I think you look fantastic. It's normal to gain weight. Your body knows how much is normal, more than google.

Hillary | 5:50 PM

I can't say for sure, b/c I'm not the doctor, but I do some health reporting, and some of the backstory on that 20-25 weight gain advice might be that so many women are starting their pregnancies overweight. The US obesity rate is higher than ever and women who already are overweight supposedly don't need to gain as much.

That being said ... I do agree the weight guidelines can make you crazy. I gained about 28 lbs with my boy -- well within that "normal" range -- and still felt obliged to apologize for being more than the low end of it. So many people seem to feel it's OK to comment on your body if you're pregnant. Guess that's part of what you meant by being prisoners of our bodies when we're pregnant.

And, just saying, you look great.

Shannon | 6:20 PM

I completely agree! My first pregnancy my OB was weight obsessed and told me to try and not gain anymore weight at my 32 week check up. I had gained 29 lbs. I seriously cried for 3 days and then put myself on crazy fruit, veggies, and chicken only diet for the rest of my pregnancy. Miserable.

The second time around, (new OB!) kept telling me I could gain more than I was. I was eating healthfully, indulging occasionally, and just doing what I do every day. Honestly, not anything different than the first time. I started out heavier though and I just really think our bodies gain what they need to.

I hope you can find some peace with it and just enjoy these last few weeks.

bakersbakery | 6:42 PM

You look beautiful.

Susan | 6:48 PM

Apparently, it used to be much worse. When my mom had me (1967), she swears she was told that 15 pounds was the guideline. For a couple of days before each check-in, she would eat nothing but watermelon and iceberg lettuce so she wouldn't have gained too much and get the wrist-slap from the doc. That can't have been healthy! (Not that I'm a svelte thing as a result).

The Mommy | 7:09 PM

Amen! I said in the comments of the last post and I'll say it again - you look fabulous! And, for me, 40 is "normal." I am 5'8" and was an 8 when I got pregnant for the first time - gained 40. Watched my diet hard core about 3 years after baby 1 was born and dropped to a 6. Got pregnant and once again gained 40. That's my norm. I know others for whom 60 is norm. It's as individual as anything else.

Emery Jo | 7:24 PM

I'm taking Bradley Birthing classes and THANK GOD they are teaching women that there is no such thing as a "healthy weight gain" during pregnancy. Bradley teaches that nutrition and health are what is actually important... the number on the scale is not.

You look ridiculously gorgeous (as always), and I cannot wait to (virtually) meet this little girl!!!!

angie | 8:28 PM

You couldn't look more cute!
Growing as healthy a baby as you can is the most important thing an expectant mother can do - if a healthy baby meant gaining 100 pounds, what mother wouldn't do it?

clueless but hopeful mama | 8:33 PM

AMEN sister. I would totally sign that petition too.

(Though I was also thinking along the same lines as hillary. Clearly there are women who are starting out overweight and they might need to watch their weight gain for health reasons. But how about acknowledging that in the guidelines? I think it speaks to the careful, lowest common denominator aspect of our health care system. They assume we can't figure out if we are already overweight and therefore should only gain 25-35 lbs. They fear we would take an acknowledgment that some women can be healthy with a 50+ lb weight gain as a total free for all: "duh, I guess they're saying I can eat total crap and gain tons and tons of weight."

Keri | 8:44 PM

Becca, you look absolutely healthy and beautiful! With my son, I gained 40 lbs and lost it all within 6 months (thanks to Windsor Pilates!). This pregnancy is a little different...dunno why. Perhaps it's because I'm chasing after my 3-year-old? Or working when I wasn't during my first pregnancy? So far, I've gained just a little over 20 lbs and I'm 30 weeks. My hips are still widening which I don't mind at all because it helped me birth my son quickly! ;)

Jaelithe | 9:36 PM

You look hot. SO not fat. Tell the docs to shove their advice where the sun don't shine.

I was 175 lbs when my son was born (two weeks early). I had started my pregnancy at 135. So that was 40 lbs I gained. And that was with me having terrible morning sickness for the first four months (and therefore not eating much), sticking to a balanced, vegetarian diet, walking two or three miles every couple of days and working 60 hours a week at two EXTREMELY active and stressful jobs, (until I was on partial bedrest for pre-term labor symptoms), and CONSTANTLY feeling hungry during the last three months, but denying the urge to eat more than the "proper" amount my doctors had suggested.

My son weighed a normal seven pounds two oz at birth. I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight in three months. In fact, within eight months, I was ten pounds BELOW my pre-pregnancy weight, due to nursing.

Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, silly docs.

Heather | 10:42 PM

I gained 25 pounds with each of my first 2 pregnancies, and 14 pounds with my last (born at the end of May). I'm now 7 pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight which was (and still is) overweight. My OB never mentioned weight during any of my pregnancies. She knows women will gain what their bodies need to in order to grow a healthy baby.

You look great.

Pico Sepulveda | 10:49 PM

You may be a prisoner in your own body - but you look so cute in the prison stripe top. Wish I looked that good when I gained 40 lbs when I was pregnant 30 years ago.

Cat | 11:10 PM

First thing I thought when I saw Mila was... isn't se gorgeous? Yeah, she's big but her face was just shining. So fuck weight gain, really.

Look, I've always been fat. When I get to see a doctor the first thing they say is "you need to loose some weight". Sure I do, but can we move to my non-weight-related health problems? I'm soooo bored with that.

I've always struggled with a 55-65 lbs overweight and I'm quite healthy and fine. I recently started a diet with an alternative medicine doctor and I've lost 15 lbs already, but my body's like that: I have a tendency of gaining weight easily.

Someday I want to be a mother and I'm quite terrified about the weight issue. Shouldn't be that way, I shouldn't be mortified in advance but I am.

As women we have a lot of pressure put on our bodies. Couldn't doctors just lighten the pressure when we're doing that exhausting job of creating a new life?

*sigh*

Cat | 11:14 PM

oh and you look absolutely gorgeous girl

Petra | 11:15 PM

You look absolutely fabulous momma! Oh, the weight insecurities! It seems it is everywhere I turn lately, which I think means that the universe is trying to say something. We should all be HEALTHY--pregnant or not. I have to get that in my head, but it is so hard. I gained 50 pounds with my daughter, and still haven't lost the last 20. But I was absolutely healthy throughout my entire pregnancy--no swelling, no high blood pressure, no diabetes. My baby came out gorgeous and perfect. So I don't think there was anything wrong with the 50 lb weight gain. Losing the weight now is proving to be hard, but we have to learn to stop being so hard on ourselves because it is normal to gain weight when you have babies, but as long as you are doing good things for your body, it's OK. I have a couple of posts over on my blog about body image right now and my struggles with it, if you read them you will find I am no stranger to weight problems. Anyway, just wanted to let you know how beautiful you are and that you are totally not alone. Peace out.

Trysha | 11:31 PM

Amen! Thank you for this! With the first two I gained 50 lbs each. Both in very different ways...healthy and unhealthy (chili cheese fries for breakfast, hello?) This time around, being that I'm already overweight, I've really watched my weight. I'm at 24 weeks and I've gained 5 lbs (that's over the weight that I stared at because I lost 10 lbs in the first trimester)
I'm already very insecure about my body, but when I'm pregnant I feel good about myself. I actually like myself.

Anonymous | 11:44 PM

Well I've enjoyed seeing the pics of your cute self as your pregnancy progresses. And you still look like a slender gal who is pregnant. So you go sexy mama!

:) Ginger O

mrs.notouching | 1:39 AM

Thanks for another great post! I'm the same frame as you, almost done with my first trimester and already gained 8lbs. Which is "not normal" :-) So thank you, thank you, thank you for this and I hope I look half as good as you when I reach my 32 weeks.

Heza Hekele | 4:07 AM

Well put. I love how candid you are about this stuff.

Mandy | 8:18 AM

When you look at average baby weights per race (black, caucasian, hispanic, asian) and per area of the world, I have no idea how they can come up with a "generic" weight gain formula.

I'm on my third pregnancy, and for my first two, gained close to 40 lbs each. (I'm normally 5'7" and 130-135 lbs.) I figure if I can keep it to 40 pounds this time around, I'll be lucky.

kittenpie | 8:29 AM

You know what? You look great. You're all baby, even if you've gained more, it's not showing up. (Plus, ADORABLE shirt!) And if it did, you'd figure it out later, because it doesn't matter too much now, as long as you're staying healthy and it's not a signal of too much water gain suddenly or something like that that can be an alarm.

And yeah, every time I check the charts for weight gain and see that the line that leads up to 35 lbs is considered "high" it pisses me off. So what was I last time, when I topped out at 50? Elephantine? It all came off easily, so apparently it wasn't so out-of-range. You know your body and your lifestyle, so I think you can make your own good judgments here, being the smart girl you are.

LucidSplash | 8:31 AM

You look fabulous. Never having been pregnant myself at this point in my life, but being more than half way through medical school, I can tell you that while there are "weight guidelines" they are just that - guidelines. Everything we do in medicine (if done appropriately) is based on statistics. Its based on what is significant over large populations and the problem with the US is that we have a wide variability in the genetic makeup of our population (that is to say, this isn't China or Japan where you can make generalizations with a great portion of the population being close to the mean based on genetics).

You look healthy and you feel healthy and that's what is important assuming your doc hasn't found any issues like gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, kidney dysfunction, etc. Additionally, do not underestimate the weight gain caused by some of the swelling/water retention issues you've discussed. Women retain or don't retain and experience swelling differently and the guidelines are going to assume an average amount rather than what an individual may experience.

My guess is that the "newer" guidelines (which I have not heard but hey I'm just a student I'm probably not to be trusted) of 20-25 lbs are probably linked to the fact that statistically more women are already overweight when they begin their pregnancy. There are different guidelines for women based on where they started out. Again, its all about population statistics and unfortunately that leaves a lot of people (and women) feeling like medicine is out of touch with their individual reality. But really its the most responsible way to practice medicine and establish universal standards of care. You start with what is "average" and then you follow the progress of your patient and update your recommendations based on their current health and risk factors.

So in summary, you look fab, you sound like you feel pretty good and you're doing all the right things. All I can say is that I, who am not pregnant, have a good BMI and am at what is statistically considered an appropriate weight for my height and my face is more "bloated" than yours could even think about being in this picture and I am not half as stylish.

tiffany | 8:40 AM

Amen.
I just finished my 3rd pregnancy. Again, I gained 40+ lbs. I don't know the actual number because I quit looking. You would think that my doctors could see in my file that even though I gained 40+ lbs in each pregnancy, I managed to lose the weight after each one. Instead, I had one doctor in particular who busted my balls everytime about my 'complication'. Adding in my age in case I forgot what it was I suppose? I say whatever *adding an eyeroll* to them and kudos to you for owning the numbers. You look fantastic!
Congrats!

Bokker | 8:44 AM

I think you'll like the following article on this very subject:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2008/aug/15/familyandrelationships.healthandwellbeing

(sorry, don't know how to link properly!)

Joanna | 8:59 AM

That is the most reassuring blog post I have ever read! I am 5'6'' and pregnant for the first time. At 34 weeks, I have gained at least 41 lbs. I am constantly checking myself out to marvel at my enormous belly (which has now begun to extend to some chunkier upper arms and thighs) and feeling insecure. My OB is fabulous and consistently saying everything looks great, that I look great--and STILL I have these insecurities. Your suggestion to redefine appropriate weight gain as "healthy lifestyle" weight gain is just brilliant. Thank you for writing such a soothing piece. And you do look wonderful.

ct | 10:51 AM

I only gained 28 lbs. with my pregnancy, but I was slightly overweight when I got pregnant. I actually lost 10 lbs early on, but quickly fixed that problem :)

Fuck it, we're all different on so many levels: how much weight is okay to gain when pregnant, what overweight even means, how fast or slow we lose it afterwards, blah, blah, blah. Again, fuck it.

I think ocnfidence is key and you look great in my opinion.

gotcownow.com | 10:52 AM

OOH-FUCKING-RAH!

I LOVE this post. It is so well put!!!!

Hilary | 10:54 AM

I gain 20 pounds at Christmastime so to hell with 'appropriate weight gain' while carrying a child. Like everyone else has said, you look and sound healthy, happy and beautiful.

Dianna | 11:23 AM

I think you look great. Especially when you lost 20 pounds with Archer right away. I'd tell them to shove it up their ass.

Angela | 12:23 PM

I gotta tell you that I think you look GREAT! My weight gain was about 30 lbs until 2 weeks before I delivered (and I delivered at 37 weeks), then I put on 10.5 lbs in 6 days! Couldn't believe it! But I delivered a very healthy girl! And now, 4 months later, I still have that extra 10 lbs, but you know what? I'm learning to embrace it. I mean, really, what child wants to snuggle a stick? Mommies should be soft and cuddly, don't you think?

nancy | 1:10 PM

You have helped a gazillion women with this post.

Rock on. You look fantastic, but more importantly, I hope you keep FEELING fantastic. Here's to a few more weeks of keeping your energy up, eating well, and enjoying your time with your family.

A note: one doc I went to had a sign over the scale that said, "Pretend it's your IQ." Just a little positive thought energy!

Corrin | 2:08 PM

I havent even come close to gaining the "recommended" 25 to 35 lbs. Im almost eight months, and still at ten pounds gain, not including the baby. i do believe as well that the recommended gain is a crock. =D

*crossing my fingers that i dont gain too much more.* but i dont know what your worried about GGC. You happen to look fabulous still.

=] Have a great day.

Corrinmarie.wordpress.com

mfk | 4:39 PM

This was a great post... gotta say though that San Diego definitely has the same hot-California-chick pressure thing going on as LA, they're not super different. Don't discount your environment TOO much... there's a reason a random sample from St. Louis would look different from a random sample from Los Angeles. but, if that's not the issue here, sweet. :)

And I had no idea the guidelines for pregnancy had dropped to 25 lbs. weight gain. That's ridiculous. Why don't they just give guidelines on what kinds of foods to eat and how much exercise to get, and then as long as you're eating healthy, whatever weight you are is fine? I guess that would be too sensible, huh?

This Must be the Place . . . | 5:14 PM

Rebecca,
Okay, I'm pissed (but not at you). I left a longish, rather good post yesterday, submitted twice, and it's not here. Sniff. Okay.

I remember you mentioning, somewhere, sometime, something about Our Bodies Ourselves. At least I think I do. If not, whatever. They have a blog about the possible weight gain revision that explains where this idea originated, developed,etc. that I think you might be interested in:

http://www.ourbodiesourblog.org/blog/2008/01/pregnancy-weight-gain-guidelines-may-be-revis

(I cannot get this link to be live. Sniff again.)

Also, in your last blog, someone mentioned the fact that you got plugged (awesome!) for your book (awesome!). That issue also has an article, if you could call it that, titled some version of "Two Gazillion Rad Baby Names." Lots of them are really unrad because it's not like we haven't heard them a million times, for a million years (like Daniel, or Kelly). However, they also have a section titled "Country Club Names," and Archer's on it. I totally don't think it is (country-clubbish), but they also list Grace (country club? Cutesy, old-fashioned, newly popular again, yes) Brynley, which is also on the list, I can see. But Archer? At least you snagged it well beforehand.

Until Angelina popped out her twins o' fun, I had my heart set on Vivienne. So I know it sucks to have an original name suddenly get tagged somewhere everyone will glom onto it. I tell you this only because a) you'll hear about it somewhere and b) because I wanted to remind you to remember that you had it way before a mainstream and rather content-deficient parenting rag did.

Amanda | 8:23 PM

You're a gorgeous girl. Preg and not preg. What your body is deciding to do for the lil one's sake is suiting you well...I know, hard to accept when your body is the mothership of an alien species and the control center has been temporarily moved to an undisclosed area...

Petunia Face | 8:50 PM

You look adorable. And in my mind I'm saying adorable with a french accent which makes you even cuter/sexier and oh-so faconnable.

Because me? When I was pregnant I gained 40 pounds--not bad--if only 10 of those pounds hadn't been in my nose alone.

Windy | 9:31 PM

You look great!!!!!!!!!!!!I am 5'4" and I gained 50 lbs last time weighing in at 184 at the end.... I never felt prouder! I enjoyed every effen cookie I ate!

the weirdgirl | 10:04 PM

Amen to this! Obsessing over weight while pregnant (and the doctors/family/assvice-givers expecting us to) is just ridiculous. I started off my pregnancy at 112 lbs. I ate really healthy, lots of veggies and fruits and grains because that's what I was craving. I gained 51 lbs. 23 lbs of that ended up being water weight! 23 POUNDS! And would obsessing over my diet, restricting my food, or exercising more have changed that? No. Would beating myself up emotionally have changed that? NO!

If women are pregnant but know they're maintaining a healthy lifestyle that should be all that matters. And frankly, the doctors should know better, too.

Bethany | 3:41 AM

First thing: Thanks. Averages, schmaverages. I kind of had the opposite problem with my last pregnancy, losing weight during the first 20 weeks and freaking out because I wasn't keeping up with the average, but I was lucky to have an OB who believed in health over "recommended weight."
Second thing: You're one gorgeous mama!

Jenny | 6:44 AM

I love this. I am also 5'8", size 8 and with my first pregnancy I gained 50 pounds, or maybe even more. I felt gross and awful because of being WAY over what the doctors advised. I dropped all the weight later, felt great, got pregnant again, thought THIS time I will only gain 30 pounds. I ate great, went walking and swimming and STILL gained more than 50 pounds! I have now just lost it all again, look and feel great, had very healthy pregnancies and kids. That recommended 25-30 pounds is all hogwash.

Leslie and Jeff | 6:46 AM

I think you look great! We're (normally) about the same size but you're doing much better than me during your pregnancy :) I just had my first baby and reveled in the fact that, without trying, I didn't gain ANY weight during the first trimester. Everything was good during the second (even though I now owned stock in Taco Bell), but during the third, oh the third trimester, I started gaining 2 lbs a week...without fail. So I went a week over my due date and gained 55 lbs. You're the first person I've ever heard, except me, talk about your swollen nose. Everyone told me noses don't swell. Um, yeah. Once the baby was born they changed their tunes, "oh, your nose really was swollen." Anyway, every week I weighed in at the doctor's office and waited for him to mention my weight. The only thing he ever said about it was in passing, "watch your salt and watch your desserts." I think it was clear that I wasn't unhealthy to him...at least I like to think so. :) Regardless, you look GREAT and doing helluva job growing a baby. Good luck to you both, you're almost there.

Jenn | 7:25 AM

Abnormal weight gain, my ass. You look amazing.

Sus | 7:46 AM

I think you look absolutely beautiful.

Jos | 7:59 AM

oh goodness, thanks for your honesty & I hear you. it's a trip to see that scale go up & up as the weeks pass. I'm 5'5" & gained about 40#... much of it in the 1st trimester, which freaked me out a bit since you're not "supposed" to gain much that early. then in the last few weeks (thru no changes on my part!) I didn't gain much. who knows. you have to trust that your body is doing what it needs to support a healthy pregnancy (& happy mama). the range is incredible-- I know a woman who gained 15 lbs (& felt like a failure as she was desperately trying to gain) & a woman who gained 70... both had healthy babies & were healthy themselves.
I'm really grateful that I was able to go to a midwifery practice for my prenatals. they emphasized health & never commented on weight-- they constantly reiterated that every woman was different & that as long as you were healthy that was all that mattered. they also believe in keeping the mama-to-be in charge of her pregnancy... including having you weigh yourself at each prenatal, which really takes the judgement factor down!
if you can get your hands on any of Ina May Gaskin's books, do. she offers lots of no-nonsense information & support for healthy pregnancy & childbirth. I hope you enjoy your remaining weeks growing the miracle that is inside you. you look fantastic!

Sally | 8:36 AM

You look beautiful! Weight be damned!!!

grandpanorm | 9:19 AM

Please remember, the md's are not total idiots... they are referring to the average woman who, fortunately or unfortunately, does not and never has existed... weight gain or weight loss or average weight -- all of that is the product of a statistic-happy phd with too much time to kill. Remember the old height/weight table used by the insurance companies... the chart that wasn't changed for 40 years or so... this weight gain for pregnancy is in that same category ... pay no attention to anything but yourself!!!!

lifestudent | 12:10 PM

I think the doctors actually do have it in our best interests ... its "friends" and "family" you have to watch out for. My mother-in-law told me the most she gained was 11 lbs, and she actually generally LOST weight with pregnancy. That when she would gain weight she would joke that she should get pregnant again to lose the weight. (Ha, funny joke) My grandma told me the most she gained was 11, my mother told me the most she gained was 20. I have friends saying the same. I have not shared my total gain with a single soul (except for the doctor who has to know cuz they force me on that scale).

Micah&Brooke | 12:18 PM

You look like a MILF Becca! I love and miss you tons. xoxo

Leah | 2:11 PM

You're still smokin' hot and rockin' it hard.

Mom101 | 4:06 PM

1. You're awesome
2. If that's what 180 looks like, bring it on.
3. I think Gawd for my OB who when I was topping 45 lbs on the weight gain never once brought it up. Ever.
4. Your daughter is so lucky to have you. You're going to help raise the next generation of smart, cool girls with positive body images and sense of self worth.
5. You're awesome

Baby in Broad | 8:05 PM

Yes! Perfect post. Absolutely perfect.

Aubrey Anne | 5:02 AM

This is fantastic. Thanks for this. I think every woman (even the ones who look as good as you do at 32 weeks!!) feels this way. The "guidelines" end up making us all feel guilty if we deviate from them, and the fact is... we are all so different. How could ALL women possibly fit into a generalization like that, with only a 5-lb variance? I'm 5'1" and normally a size 6, but when I'm pregnant, I have never been less than 180 lbs and always end up looking like a god damn planet! (That extra 7 inches you have for the baby to stretch out is a god-given blessing, I'll tell you what!) No where for a baby to go but OUT when you're 5'1"! I think we all just do the best we can, and if we claim to "not care about our weight," I think we're kidding ourselves. We all do, and I'm prepared to fist up with anyone who doesn't!

emma-kate | 5:42 AM

i don't know, you look really great so whatever about the numbers. i hope i look this good when i get pregnant!

Chelsea | 7:45 AM

Girl, you look B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L.

Not a fatty at all. Your baby bump is too damn cute!

Jenn | 8:39 AM

I'm glad for this follow-up post - between weight gain and baby names, you sure know what women want to talk about!

I don't think I commented on your last weight post, I felt weird. Everyone's disgust with looking fat and getting fact made me feel really defensive, and that's my own insecurity talking. But I did want to say a little something.

I'm fat - I'm not even going to bother with euphemisms or clinical terms - I weighed 250 lbs BEFORE I got pregnant. And my doctors were amazing - very little pressure on me to gain only a little. The guidelines for an obese woman like me is to gain 10 to 15 pounds, max. And new guidelines are suggesting that obese women who get pregnant should not gain any weight at all! How on earth can that be healthy? As you pointed out, after Archer you lost 20 pounds that was baby/placenta/water weight alone. Same with me. So where on earth are those 20 pounds supposed to come from? How are you supposed to eat healthy, brain and muscle building foods and not gain any weight while growing a whole new human being? Not to mention trying to feel good as a person, woman and mother while going through such an amazing, out-of-control time of life.

Thanks for bringing up a discussion point, honestly and openly. You're a hero, seriously.

Binky | 11:32 AM

You're hot.

Charlotte | 1:08 PM

OK, now I'm sitting here in tears. I'm at 23 1/2 weeks and almost 30 lbs heavier than before being pregnant; add to that the constant pressure from my family and, of course, my inner fat judge to be a dainty damsel ("look at Heidi Klum!"), and you've got me feeling like crap. Knowing that a few of those 30 lbs could actually be water weight that disappears after the birth just made my day. Heck, it might even warrant a cookie.

Indigo Children | 10:02 PM

you look beautiful. Thanks for writing about the need for honesty; you are right -- we all struggle no matter what size; somedays confident and sexy others ginormous and ashamed.

I wish that me saying "I don't care about my weight" made it true.

Thanks for the honesty (as usual).

toyfoto | 8:20 AM

My mother was yelled at for gaining 20 pounds with my sister (too much). Three years later she was yelled at when she gained 30 pounds with me (too litte). When I had annabel I gained 12 pounds and the doctors were freaking me out you haven't gained enough ... When I gained 14 with Silas no one said a word.

I generally don't tell people how little weight I gained during my pregnancies because they tend to think I'm bragging. But I had no control over it, either. I ate normally (probably healthier even). I'm even fairly certain that silas' weight difference was water because he and his sister even weighed virtually the same at birth - 6.2 and 6.3 respectively. (I had swelling with him that I didn't have with Annabel.) Both were healthy.

So who's to say what's normal? If you ask me, it makes me a little wary that medical professionals don't realize by now that. If the blood pressure is good and the water retention is not to much, they should stop getting hung up about a number on a scale.

Anonymous | 8:26 AM

this is how it's possible:

http://pullingdaisies.blogspot.com/2008/08/saying-farewell-to-beautiful-pregnancy.html

not that everyone's body type will allow for that. what's healthy for one isn't necessarily healthy for all, but a lot of it has to do with the absurdity of the typical north american diet. even our "healthy" eating habits are usually anything but.

anyway, rebecca, you look fab! you're all belly anyway! :)

caramama | 11:18 AM

Girl, you look fan-freaking-tastic! But even more sexy? Your honesty.

As for being a prisoner in our own bodies, that is so true! I used to call my lovely fetus "The Parasite." Because aren't they just like parasites? Even after the birth...

Tami in NY | 12:22 PM

You look absolutely fabulous here!!

julia | 2:47 PM

Everytime I get on the scale it cracks me up. I've gained almost 40 lbs and I'm 5' tall. I've continued to be a healthy eater and avid walker throughout. I have a good friend who gained ~50lbs with her now 9 week old little girl and she looks and feels great. I don't stress about the weight. I know I'm doing right by me and my little boy - screw the books!

andreaaskowitz.com | 3:26 PM

I'm weighing in late here, but I thought we were over that bullshit. Guess not. Not even close. I gained a pound a week from day one and when I hit 40 lbs. I stopped weighing myself. I felt like an elephant. Hated the feeling of not having my body. I love how you said honesty is sexy. I was compelled to lay it all out in My Miserable, Lonely, Lesbian Pregnancy. Fat and SEXY!

Another | 6:49 AM

You look fab. With my first pregnancy I gained 8 lbs between my 24th - 28th weeks and my doctor was like, "You know that the baby only accounts for barely a pound of that so far so the rest of that is all you. Let's try to just gain one pound by the next time I see you." OMFG! I was pissed. During that pregancy I only gained like 29-30 lbs so it wasn't like I had gained 100! Doctors can be pricks. My second pregnancy I had a female doctor and she never commented on my weight.

Again, you are rocking the preggo look so don't sweat it.

Anonymous | 7:04 AM

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that average American woman isn't 5 feet 8 and a size 8. Last time I checked size 14 was the average. But at 5 10 and a buck 30 I still felt the pressure not to gain too much weight preggers. if you look back, in the 50's, women were told not to gain any more than 15 lbs. Oh yeah, and it was OK to keep on smoking too!

Dawn - daniloth | 10:07 PM

I'm totally with you that the stats are off, and here's why. I've been totally ab-"normal". I would be what's called morbidly obese, just over 300 lbs. Upon getting pregnant I lost about 25 lbs, then gained all of it, plus about 7 lbs more than my original weight, by the end of my pregnancy. So I'm one of the ones throwing the stats off. Sorry!!!!

However, on the plus side, Bebe is now at 2 months, and I've lost just over 40 lbs, and am continuing to lose weight, in an effort to get healthy to be a better example to my little girl.
Yay!!

jiveturkey | 1:45 PM

Thanks for this.