Friday, July 23, 2010

On the bod

Okay, since the dismal defeat of our orange men 2 weeks ago, I haven't blogged (although I've been reading yours!) - it was a poorly played game; TD's disappointment was bitter.

But, we rally! And I've had so many naps since then that it seems like a lifetime ago!

(*interrupted to report that Furball #2 is sleeping underneath my desk and is having some kind of dream - her little paws and nose are twitching a mile a minute...very cute*)

Given the condition my condition is currently in (and the fact that it is indeed a growing condition), I've been thinking a lot about my body lately. I've been diagnosed with borderline gestational diabetes and it was explained to me that this is because I'm carrying twins. Indeed, I haven't changed my diet a bit and I've been taking my glucose readings 4 times daily for several days and my readings have never been above 110 (they should remain below 120 2 hours after each meal). This all lends a bit of skepticism to the diagnosis, but I'll play ball.

So, I dutifully went to my diabetes education class with other ladies in "the family way" (as the leader called us) and I listened to a woman rattle on for 2 hours about how if we didn't get our diabetes in check we were going to give birth to "little sumo wrestlers" (said in an overly cutesy, saccharin voice - my blood sugar just spiked). I wanted to jump across the table and strangle this horrid woman within the first 5 minutes. Seriously, I wished her very ill and it didn't get any better the longer I was there. And these women in the class did nothing but moan about how they could no longer eat their Hostess Fruit Pies and drink full on leaded Coke the rest of their pregnancies. Now, I'm in no way poo-pooing these items - if I didn't get heartburn just looking at a Ding-Dong at the moment, I'd be inhaling them right and left. But, I just wanted to get the info and get out. I have absolutely no intention of counting my carbs and sugars and doing exchanges, etc. for the next 9 weeks. Especially because after eating tater tots and hot dogs, burgers and fries, my blood sugar still isn't above 108. Ha. Vindication.

But it was at the moment that the woman told us that we need to get our "lovely svelte figures" back as soon as possible after delivery that I took notice (and vowed to kill her as soon as no one was looking). She pointed to all of our globular physiques and motioned to the belly area and said, "this is ALL TYPE TWOOOOOOOOOO!"* But her certainty that we were all in the crosshairs of this disease because we were a) pregnant and b) therefore, fat, made me fume. Now, I'm all for staying on top of things and being as healthy as you can and being aware if you're at a higher risk for something. I also live in the South and this woman suggested that all of us ladies hie ourselves to our churches and Wal-Marts and get the pounds off asap by walking around in an air-conditioned space (it has actually been prohibitively hot here). But this just made me want to declare myself a big lesbian Satanist communist and reach for a Twinkie.

I hate that shit. Especially when the purveyor of that shit is asking me to poke my finger with a sharp object 4 times a day.

But all of this got me thinking later about how I've been feeling about my growing spherical shape during this whole odyssey. Horrid evil woman seemed to be suggesting that we were fat (or had started out fat) and would continue to be fat unless we were scared skinny by the likes of her.

Now, I have always struggled with my weight and I haven't been really comfy with my body for the past 10 years (and at certain times before that - but does anyone think they look awesome in highschool? Anyone real, I mean...). I've made peace with the fact that I'm basically shaped like a hobbit and who doesn't love cute hobbits (besides Saaaaaauuuuuuraaaaannnnnn)? But in recent years, I've become a more rotund hobbit than I was before.

However, since getting sprogged up, I have to say I've taken on a totally different outlook on my body. I actually think I look fantastic and I wear tight shirts that show off my bod in a way I've never done before (I was always kind of a "buy two sizes up and nothing will cling" kind of lady). At first I thought that I was getting more comfortable with my body because I now felt like I had a reason or an excuse to be overweight or the shape I am. But that's not it. I actually look at myself in the mirror and I don't think I'm fat anymore. It's not like the kids have magically eaten my butt into a size 4 or anything (although I was sort of hoping that would happen). And my arms certainly aren't any more toned than they ever were. But I just think I look kind of frickin' great all the time and it's really cool. It helps that TD is magically drawn to my tummy in a cool, awe-filled, unskeevy way and he's always telling me I look great. Could this be hormones? Possibly. Could this new body self-image go away after delivery? Possibly. But I really hope it sticks around...

*she was referring to the statistic that between 50% and 80% of women who have significant gestational diabetes will develop Type 2 diabetes within 5 years. Basically, you have to keep an eye on it and get tested every year. Makes sense.

P.S. TD surprised me last night with a gift certificate of 5 hour-long pre-natal massages. And then I woke him up at 2:30 with what I thought were signs of pre-term labor (way too early at 29 weeks). So, we spent 4 hours in the women's hospital and found that it was only a false alarm and everything is great. They were lovely and told us to come back even if we suspected something hinky. But it was no fun. At least we got to see the sun rise as we left the hospital!


squadratomagico said...

This is such a lovely post! I'm glad you're loving your fecund self! Work the tight T-shirt, baby!

Also: that diabetes class woman sounds absolutely horrid. I'd be royally irritated, too!

Flavia said...

I'm with Squadrato. This sounds like every child-wanting woman's dream: to feel happier AND sexier while pregnant. Go you and go TD. I hope your confidence in your bodacious bod continues post-partum!

Good Enough Woman said...

I'm all for being healthy, but the whole gestational diabetes thing, while it can be serious, seems a bit idiosyncratic. A friend of mine, during her second pregnancy, was diagnosed with GD. This is a woman who used to be a ballerina. And while no longer has legs and gluts made of steel, she wears a Banana Republic size four--still, even after her pregnancies--and she still struggled with gestational diabetes even post-pregnancy. I think it might be gone now; I'll have to ask her. But still, all that "fat" business is truly horrible and unhelpful, esp in a room of very pregnant, hungry women. I'm surprised no one attacked her.

Notorious Ph.D. said...

Well, shit: This woman's got fat-shame, pregnancy paranoia, unwarranted assumptions, and gendered beauty expectations all rolled into one. I say you let loose on your very next hormone spike and tie her into a knot.

I'm glad you're glucose-monitoring, for your own sake. But assuming that this is all your fault, and you probably deserve it for having put on a few extra pounds? Oooh, bad words and hurled objects directed at Ms. Seminar-Lady.

Set the ninjas on her, posthaste.

Sisyphus said...

You rock that awesome sexy pregnancy body! Go tight-fitting tops!!!

And if you happen to kick that lady's ass while rockin' away, well, I won't complain.

And good luck dealing with the heat!

Dame Eleanor Hull said...

"But this just made me want to declare myself a big lesbian Satanist communist and reach for a Twinkie."

Oh yeah. That would be my reaction, too. I do not react well to being lectured or condescended to (well, actually, who does?). Don't go back. There have to be other ways to get whatever information you need.

And on other topics, thanks for the reading offer.

Susan said...

Twinkies in the mail, just to spite evil diabetes lady, who seems to have all the worst woman hating lines down.

Enjoy your massages. That sounds awesome!

Renaissance Girl said...

Love this post. And snorted with laughter here:

"shaped like a hobbit and who doesn't love cute hobbits (besides Saaaaaauuuuuuraaaaannnnnn)"

What Now? said...

Awesome post, I love that you're feeling gorgeous, and you will hereafter always be a big lesbian Satanist communist to me! :-)

Fie upon this quiet life! said...

I have always struggled with my weight, but both times I was pregnant I didn't get GD. So the stereotypes just don't work. What a moron that teacher was. Yikes.

I also felt extremely sexy when pregnant (both times) and wore tight shirts and worked the pregnant belly. It was great. I'm back to baggier apparel now though. One of these days I'll get back to the gym...

heu mihi said...

OK, so I'm totally jet-lagged and just had two Chimays, so I'm a little free-wheeling at the moment. But seriously? Having known you IRL, I can say that you are a) totally cute and b) a totally awesome, confident, tough-lady type who just generally kicks ass. I'm so glad that you're having such a great pregnancy! (At least emotionally--I do remember you saying that you were ready to be done, physically, and what with two babies being inside you and all, I can't imagine how you would feel otherwise at this point).

Also, that fool woman would've lost me with the "family way" business. The hell? She's counseling you on gestational diabetes and she's scared of the word "pregnant"?? Dude. What.

OK I really need to get some sleep, for reals.

the rebel lettriste said...

You have GD because you are preggers with TWO FETUSES! That doesn't mean "fat." That means you are carrying a big goddamned load.

My own blood glucose numbers were wonky, and I had to do the fasting test with that icky orange drink, but they turned out OK. The dr. kept telling me that I was supposed to eat brown rice and whole wheat bread &c. And I kept saying, but I DO eat nothing but that sorta stuff. I was like you--the sight of junk food made me wanna hurl.

C. Troubadour said...

That diabetes educator sounds AWFUL. My endocrine guy is a bit condescending too, but she's clearly beyond his idiosyncrasies by an order of magnitude. Do they have comment forms for post-class review? "How helpful was this seminar? (Not very, somewhat, very, N/A ...)" I swear I recently read an article about the ineffectiveness of diabetes education (for diagnosed patients) when it's delivered in a shame-on-you manner (duh), but I can't find it now to give you the link ...

In any case -- glad you are feeling *awesome* about yourself! Truly, truly happy news.

Terminal Degree said...

I'm glad you are feeling so good about your pregnant body. I've been going through the same experience--while my arms aren't toned and the double chin hasn't magically disappeared, I'm pretty darned happy with my enormous tummy these days (I'm currently at 33 weeks pregnant).

Your instructor sounds like a very cruel person, in that saccharine-sweet sort of nasty way. I hate the whole "blame/shame the patient" mentality.

I realize that there are statistics (i.e. "overweight moms are more likely to develop GD blah blah"), but the truth is that not every patient fits the profile, and it drives me crazy when medical caregivers make assumptions about their patients' lifestyles and health choices.

For example, when my very trim size-6, exercising, nonsmoking, 1-glass-of-wine-a-week mother had a heart attack, the doctors started harassing her about her DIET. She informed the docs that she'd been a nutrition major, seldom ate desserts, ate her 5-6 servings of veggies every day, ate lots of fiber, and didn't fry anything or eat many fats. They were still dubious. She finally said, "Please actually LOOK at me--do I LOOK fat to you?" For the first time, the doctors actually looked at her as a human being, not as a statistic, and they shut about about her diet. But how sad that she had to ASK them to remember that she was an individual, not a group.

I'm about to post on my blog about our childcare classes. Some were good, some were irritating.

Heo said...

If you live within, say, a ten hour drive from Northern Virginia, I have a steel air-cast (and a spare!) that I can kick her with for you. I mean, since you're all busy making people and stuff.

ntbw said...

Jeez! Do you have to see this horrible person again, ever? I hope not! Well educated, smart woman that you are, I'm sure you can get all the info you need about gestational diabetes from better resources.

Dealing with horrible medical so-called professionals was the absolute worst part of pregnancy, as far as I was concerned. Even worse than barfing all the time, and that's saying something!

When I was pregnant with my first son, my OB started in on me at one visit because I had gained 2 whole pounds more (wow--let me go pee, and then check again, how 'bout it!) than she thought was appropriate for that stage of pregnancy. She started telling me off in a very condescending way for eating too many "chips and greasy junk food"--something I eat very, very rarely, pregnant or not. I was and am a competitive runner and swimmer, and I competed in masters' swim meets through the beginning of my second trimester in that pregnancy--so I was not overweight and was in excellent shape. When she refused to listen to anything I had to say and insisted that I "get my act together regarding diet and exercise, or your baby's going to have problems" I told her my diet was fine, I was swimming nearly two hours a day 5 days a week, my baby was fine, and she was fired as my doctor!

I left the practice at 5 months' gestation, found a lovely midwifery practice, and never looked back. At the end of the pregnancy, I had gained an absolutely statistically average 23 pounds, had a very healthy baby boy, and was back in the pool within a month once everything was back to normal "down there."

So, all to say that I realize a pregnancy with twins comes with higher risks than pregnancy with one kid, but don't be afraid to dump any medical professionals that don't work out well for you. Particularly don't put up with any that don't listen to you and that treat you like something other than your own unique, individual, self.