Monday, October 26, 2009

File under: life is cruel

Ahhh, irony loves me.

Just a mere hours after posting about my fabulous weight loss at my last OB appointment, I sat down to (finally) dive into the nutrition section of the twin/multiple pregnancy book that Carrie recommended to me.

I was nervous for two reasons. First, Carrie warned me that that section was the most difficult one in the book for her to digest. (heh) Second, the nutrition section of "What to Expect When You're Expecting" that I read 2+ years ago made me run for the hills. The guidelines and recipes were so unrealistic (like I'm going to give up Lucky Charms for bran muffins!) -- the camel's back was finally broken and that evil book promptly ended up in the fireplace. Which kept me nice and toasty while I devoured pizza and breadsticks (with lots of grease).

So I had similar fears with this book, as I'm sure you can understand.


Anyway, imagine my initial delight to learn from this new book that I should be indulging in a bowl of premium ice cream or a milkshake every night before bed. She explains why in the book, but I was stuck on the fact that I was being commanded to EAT A BOWL OF ICE CREAM EVERY NIGHT BEFORE BED.

(Is that angels singing that I hear?)

Yes indeed! After scolding me for losing weight during a twin pregnancy -- I'm pretty sure she was talking directly to me -- the author went on to stress the importance of gaining weight, and a whole crap load of it, when carrying more than one baby. And not only that, but the first 28 weeks of pregnancy is the most crucial time for weight gain, to help give those babies what they need to help ward off premature labor. She goes into details about why this early gain is most important, but I'll let you read the book if you are interested.

So I started feeling guilty about my weight loss -- and my subsequent celebration by doing a few "running man" dance moves -- and decided to make a new plan based on what the author recommends based on her impressive experience and expertise.

Here are a few highlights:

  • Plan to gain 40-56 lbs during the pregnancy. (No prob, I gained over 40 with Bean.)
  • Plan to gain 25 lbs by 20 weeks. (Gulp, this seems like a problem. I'm not sure how much I'm up now at 14/15 weeks, but it's close to a paltry 5 lbs I believe.)
  • My pregnancy is the result of infertility treatment, so I should aim to gain an additional 4 to 6 pounds before week 20. (Double gulp.)
  • Must eat every two to three hours to keep blood sugar balanced for the babies. Watch the clock and don't wait to feel hungry.
  • Consume 3,500 calories per day. (Good LORD!)
  • Eat lots of meat, seafood, poultry, diary, bread, cereal, more dairy, pasta, fruit, nuts, oils, and finally, even more dairy. Diet should be 20% protein, 40% carbs (more angels singing?), and 40% fat (yep, those are angels).
There is actually a section entitled "Fats and Oils: Heroes, not Villains, During Pregnancy."

I want to marry this woman.

So what's the problem, you are wondering? Are you considering running out to the nearest fertility clinic to get yourself knocked up with twins?

Not so fast, my gluttonous friend.

Because here's the rub. I woke up the next morning (last Wednesday) determined to follow the guidelines. BUT! Even though the constant nausea that accompanied my first trimester has finally passed, my stomach is nowhere near back to it's normal functioning. First of all, I have major food aversions. And by food aversions, I mean aversions to all food. Nothing sounds good to eat, it's more a matter of what is tolerable. Because just the thought of eating the teriyaki beef at my favorite restaurant can bring the nausea back with a vengeance.

Yep, there it is.

Right now I am munching on those cinnamon imperial things you put on top of cupcakes. Which are really good, but not helpful for the babies or my weight gain goals.

Second, even when something manages to be mildly appetizing -- let's take DH's famous Burrito Night for example -- my stomach seems to have shrunk to about 1/6th it's former size. On Burrito Nights of the past, I would have one plain tortilla for an appetizer, then have two burritos. Now I skip the plain tortilla and I still end up handing the last portion of my FIRST burrito to DH to finish. So he's been packing on a couple of extra pounds, but also not helpful for the babies or my weight gain goals.

And eating every two to three hours? Ugh. I think not.

The author encourages me to do it for the babies, even when I don't feel like it. As Aunt Becky would plead, "Won't somebody think of the children?"

Trust me, I don't need the guilt of my babies' health to motivate me to down a chocolate milkshake.

But seriously, I WILL BARF IT UP.

I'm guessing that negates any good the milkshake will do any of us.

Although the author discourages it, I do find comfort in the fact that I was carrying some extra poundage before getting pregnant with these twins. I still had nearly 15 lbs of baby weight (breastfeeding makes you lose weight faster... cha!), and I was just a mere 1-2 pounds from being in the "overweight" category on those lovely charts that were surely developed by skinny people to make the rest of us feel fat.

And dude, I'm HUGE. In fact, at an indoor playground this morning, the other moms were admiring my large baby bump and joking about how much bigger I am than my friend who is due almost the exact same day with a singleton. At last measurement, the babies were a week ahead of their gestational age.

So far, I think the weight has just shifted a bit from my arms/legs/butt into my stomach. I'd probably be right on track if I had started at the same pre-pregnancy weight that I did with Bean.

But I'm still concerned about the direction this is going. I am very, very worried about keeping these babies healthy so they bake for 38 weeks. I bought some protein shakes, because I can drink a lot easier than I can eat.

This is ridiculous! I finally have permission -- no, orders -- to go on the diet of my dreams, and my stomach revolts at the idea.


Irony, this is not amusing whatsoever.



MissMVK said...

You *know* I know exactly what you are talking about, but amp up the nausea for me and add in an extra serving of guilt.

That part about eating 10,240 grams of protein and drinking a QUART of WHOLE MILK every day sent me running to the bathroom.

Do not get me started on the veggies!!!

I am hoping to feel better soon so that I can amp up my weight gain by 20 weeks, but so far it's not looking good. I gained 20lbs with Piglet and he was 8lbs8oz so i'm hoping all my IVF stores of fat do the same for the Twinks.

Sigh. Hope you have better luck than me!!!

MissMVK said...

PS - I forgot to mention that under normal circumstances, I am a FOOD LOVER. Love love love food so this is especially cruel and ironic...

Kate said...



If it makes you feel better, I know friends (albeit they were pregnant with singletons) who simply could not eat their first and second trimester due to nausea and consumed only broth, toast, and occasionally something blank enough to keep down but they all had healthy babies.

Maybe talk to your doctor about this? Some ideas to help you eat? I can't imagine how one goes about forcing calories in when you're nauseous unless they tie you up to an IV.

It DOES suck doesn't it though? I LOVE food but now that I'm pregnant hardly anything appeals to me. Figures!

Jen said...

Well if it makes you feel any better, I'm totally on track with your weight gain requirements with just a singleton :(

Maybe we should trade my appetite for your food aversion! Then again, maybe not.

Nicky said...

So, I've never done the twin thing, and I know that twin pregnancies are different, weight gain is more important, prevent early labor, yada yada yada.... BUT, I also know that following your body's cues is generally a good strategy. I was stressed about weight gain until my doctor smacked me over the head and told me to eat what made sense to me and not to worry about it until he TOLD me to worry about it. Which he never did.

If you were purposely avoiding food to try to keep your figure or something silly like that, I'd be concerned. But my guess is that in another week or two your appetite is going to return, big time. In the mean time, milkshake breakfasts sound great, but other than that, quit worrying. :)

Kristina P. said...

I eat a shake a night. I am not pregnant, just fat.

Mary said...

Once again you made me laugh even though I am genuinely sorry you are having eating issues. I too had problems gaining weight until the very end of my twin pregnancy, remember Ben and Jerry's and other full fat ice creams are your friend. Seriously though talk to your doc, I ended up drinking 2-3 Boost/Ensure protien shakes a day, its the only thing that stopped me from losing weight. They were kind of nasty but at least small in volume so they didn't fill my stomach up too much. Butter and cheese on everything too is an easy way to boost calories without volume. Toast with butter and peanut butter was my morning staple.

Stephanie Faris said...

From my real-life experience with friends who have gone through regular pregnancies, this is a fairly common issue. If you're just going to throw it up, it definitely negates any calories you might consume and does more harm than good. I'd say find what you can keep down. When I was trying to conceive I was overloaded with advice and someone said Saltine crackers and sprite...keep them by the bed and eat a cracker before you even get up in the morning? She also said those anti-nausea wristbands really helped her while pregnant.

Kate said...

I started to read your post and was so excited about going to find a bran muffin recipe for you! ;) Hopefully your appetite starts to come back. Does anything sound good? Donuts??

Kristi said...

I am actually really surprised at the food requirements listed in that book. I totally get the importance of added weight gain for twins as opposed to a singleton pregnancy (that makes sense since there are two babies growing in there, and not one), but the ice cream and milkshakes before bed thing strikes me as really odd and not altogether healthy (although really, really appealing!).

I agree with your other commenters. Listen to your body, and up your calories according to what makes sense to you. AND, if you feel a food craving (as opposed to an aversion) go for it, even if it's not something healthy.

kate said...

Thanks for the link to the post by Ms. Spit. She has me convinced and she made some excellent points, and I think I am now 95% confident to get the shots. AND i like her writing so I'm bookmarking her too now! Thanks.

Martha said...

This is so unfair.
Hmm, can you try smoothies or milkshakes, pudding? Those can sneak in some calories and protein without too much gagging. Poor baby.

lisawitt said...

oh my, that is crazy to think about! I am sure the babies are doing good though and your doc will keep you in check as well. Good luck with the munching!

Lavender Luz said...

Seriously. I am reading this over a bowl of Cherry Garcia.

Is it OK to say that?

Sounds like Tantalus or Sysiphus. I always confuse the two.

Hope you get to take advantage of the green light real soon.

WiseGuy said...

Oh what a Godsent book. Ice-cream in prescription is great!!!

Here's hoping you will do all the needful munchathons!

Furrow said...

I remember having to retrain myself to eat things like chocolate and ice cream after my first trimester with Zo. It was hard, but indeed, I did it for the child. And you can do it, too. Maybe employ a funnel for your milkshakes?

Michelle said...

That is totally how I feel right now except...I have no pregnancy to account for it :(. That diet sounds like the most perfect thing! I really hope you feel better soon so that you can enjoy it. This totally would happen to soon as I am aloud to eat something suddenly I would not WANT to eat it. UGH!

Now, I have a friend who had twins and she did not start eating anything until about 18 weeks and then she seriously like gained everything all at once so try not to stress too much.

Hope you feel better soon!

Anonymous said...

Oh, the cruel irony :) I know twins are different...but you may experience what I did with Tatum. I was super sick my first trimester. I lost 10 pounds. Then in one week(seriously--one freaking week!!!) I gained 13 pounds. I didn't even eat like crazy. My appetite wasn't even fully back. No milkshakes, just a return to actually eating some food three times a day. The doctor said it was what you body does when it's been in starvation metabolism for awhile. Who knows. I would say--just eat what you can and your body will know what to do.

Hope you feel better soon and get to take advantage of the free pass on ice cream!!!!

Anonymous said...

Typical. The one time you are ORDERED to eat ice cream on a daily basis and you can't stomach it. Hope the appetite comes around soon! ☺

Coffeegrl said...

Oh no! This is truly a travesty! I would cry - a lot - if given permission to eat ice cream and milkshakes every day and I couldn't. Seriously. That is so miserable. Hope your appetite returns soon....

Soxy Deb said...

Oh my gosh, isnt'a that just the way it goes?! Carte blanche to eat almost ANYTHING and you can't do it. CRAP!!!

Red said...

Oh no! I want that diagnosis though. The thought of someone telling me I need to eat to put on weight is truely a dream, I do agree though that not being ABLE to eat it a nightmare. Good luck getting some extra calories down soon.

Eve said...

Holy heck! My doc has NEVER emphasized to me how much I should be eating (but I've also been puking my guts up too). I haven't gained anything with this twin pregnancy yet (but have done well not to have lost more than 5 pounds either...which is waaaay better than my last pregnancy). I don't know how I would gain 25 pounds by 20 weeks!!! I did indulge in McDonalds for the first time in 6 weeks yesterday and kept it down! I've definitely been folllowing the advice of eating anything that sounds good at this point just to get the calories in. Ack. I'm still stunned with 50lbs!!!! I'm sorry to tell you this, but we're going to be whales, lol!!!!