Senior Veteran (female)
Join Date: Jul 2006
pregnancy after an ED--an update
After reading another thread here, I just thought I'd update everyone on how things are going with my pregnancy.
I dealt with anorexia in college, and it got pretty severe, beyond the point where I should have been hospitalized even but I wasn't due to lack of health insurance. Somehow, I did pull myself out of it and have been recovered for over 5 years without any relapses though I still do have issues with body image. It's just that those behaviors are no longer an option for me.
So today, I hit a landmark--I'm 20 weeks along and at the official halfway point (they set the pregnancy due date at 40 weeks, though with this being a first baby, I very well could go overdue). I'm very excited to be halfway.
Gaining weight while pregnant isn't the easiest thing, but I try not to focus on it too much and am considering going to blind weights at the OB in the future so I don't stress about it too much. I gained weight rapidly in the first trimester, but it wasn't too horrible, maybe it was because my body weight was a bit low to start with--not underweight but low-normal for my height, and that's what my body needed to maintain a healthy pregnancy. I was a bit distressed about it, but it turned out my weight gain slowed dramatically after the first trimester and in fact, I haven't gained weight in a month & a half now. So it seems to me your body puts on what you need as you need it.
I've been very lucky to have an easy pregnancy so far. I didn't have any morning sickness in the first trimester. I didn't really have terribly sore breasts either, except for about 1 week. All I really had was fatigue, which has finally passed off a bit now that I'm in the 2nd trimester, but I still have good days & bad days as far as energy levels go.
I still don't look pregnant to anyone except my husband and me, which I've heard can be common with first time moms. So in a way, it's a bit of a pity, I go places and get no special treatment for being pregnant because no one can really tell I'm expecting. Maybe some of the regulars at the gym suspect something (I belong to a small neighborhood gym, not a large chain), but so far, no one has said anything to me. I didn't realize I would go so long into pregnancy without having it be obvious to everyone though I am told that soon my belly should officially pop.
I've been eating healthy, for the most part. Some of these pregnancy food cravings are strange and sadly, unhealthy junk food, which I give into some of the time (especially if the craving doesn't go away). Fortunately, I've also craved healthier foods, especially fruit--grapes, strawberries, blueberries, watermelon and cheese. I make an effort to have 3 balanced meals a day along with some snacks. I console myself that if some of my snacks like ice cream are not very healthy, at least, I know I'm cooking balanced, nutritious meals. I have been exercising regularly throughout this pregnancy--nothing too strenuous, just walking or the elliptical trainer for 30-45 minutes a few days a week, and I lift weights 3 days weekly. I'm so proud to have stayed on top of the weight lifting because I have very nice toned arms despite the fact that I look like I'm growing a beer belly! My mood has been good & stable and I've had much less anxiety and no panic attacks (I'm thinking maybe cutting down on the caffeine for pregnancy is helping with my anxiety as well).
And lately, I have been feeling the baby move. This is just a wonderful feeling and has to be my favorite part of pregnancy (though the less oily skin is nice too). Mostly, it feels like I'm being tickled from the inside, but lately, I've been feeling harder pokes, which I assume is the kicks getting stronger.
My big ultrasound is on Monday, July 30. I'm eager to find out if it's a boy or a girl and hope the baby cooperates!
For anyone thinking of pregnancy after an eating disorder, it's really not so awful, all told. At least so far! Maybe in a few more months, I will be biting my tongue! I actually had a bad reaction once to birth control pills that caused me to have a lot of pregnancy symptoms, including a hard bulgy area over my uterus, terrible water retention in my legs & feet, moodiness & anxiety & depression, sore, swollen breasts, and even food cravings (especially for milk, which I normally hate the taste of). That reaction to the pill was about 1000 times worse than actual pregnancy so far, at least in my book.