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345 lbs and pregnant...an introduction...

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Old 12-29-2009, 10:32 AM   #1
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Red face 345 lbs and pregnant...an introduction...

Hello, all!

I thought I should post an introduction as I hope to become an active (and someday successful) member here.

As the subject line says, I'm 345 lbs and pregnant. I'm about 24 weeks along at this point. I'm happily married. I have a one+ year old son, who brings me more joy than I ever imagined possible. We are expecting a little girl in early April.

My last pregnancy had it's share of medical drama, and I'm sure my weight was to blame. I developed pre-eclampsia and HELLP syndrome. Fortunately, my son was born perfectly healthy. My blood pressure and liver enyzmes continued to be elevated. Just as my liver was recovering from the HELLP, we decided to have another child. I managed to lose about 25 lbs before getting pregnant, but certainly not enough to bring me to a healthy weight. Now, I am pregnant and weigh 345. I'm very scared about having complications once again, and worry that we shouldn't have gotten pregnant so quickly. I'm eating as healthy as possible and just praying to we make it to full term without too much drama. My blood pressure, however, has be rising.

I had a revelation in early pregnancy that I absolutely MUST MUST MUST lose weight and get healthy after this baby is born. I owe it to my children to be a healthy mama... I need to be able to keep up with them. Moreover, I don't want to die young and leave them without a mother, and leave my husband to raise our children alone. If my children can't motivate me, I don't know what will.

I've already devised my own diet and exercise program, which I plan to begin after our daughter is born. I'll be meeting with my family doctor to be sort of monitored through the process to make sure I'm staying healthy and keeping on track. I don't plan to start the diet until breastfeeding is well established, though, and I'll need to be mindful of my milk supply until she weens (which, if she is anything like my son, will be at around 12-13 months).

I've been obese most of my life. I had a brief three year period where I joined the world of the "thin". I was eating 500 calories a day for those three years, and had some pretty questionable practices that may have bordered on an eating disorder. That got me down to about 130 -140 lbs, which looked like skin and bones on my frame. Otherwise, I've been obese. 260 lbs when I graduated high school, 220 lbs when I got married, and over the course of a year I gained almost 100 lbs. I was 308 lbs when I got pregnant with my son and I was about 340 lbs going into this pregnancy. Not a good trend.

I picked a goal weight of 200 lbs. I realize this is still overweight, probably technically obese. But, for me, it'll be miles away from where I am now... and significantly healthier. I figure this is a realistic goal. I shouldn't have to starve and eat just 500 calories a day to get there and maintain. I should be able to eat healthy and exercise and reach that goal. It should be doable, is what I'm saying. Once I get there, I can re-evaluate if I think I can lose more weight and be healthier. For now, though, that's about 140 lbs away. I hope I don't gain too much in this pregnancy, but time will tell. So far, I haven't gained much. I'll fill in the starting weight and current weight after delivery (and after I lose that initial post-delivery weight... so maybe a month after delivery I'll fill those numbers in.)

So I guess I am posting this as a way of saying "hello". I'll be hanging out here to get inspiration and, hopefully, offer encouragement to others. Then sometime next year (perhaps early summer or late spring) I'll be "officially" starting my own journey.

I'm very scared about this uphill battle I'm facing. I'm scared I'll fail - and where would that leave me? I know I'll need you all to help me feel motivated and like I am accountable to someone other than myself. It's good to have a place where I can be totally honest about my weight and my experiences.

Thanks for reading any or all of this. Sorry to ramble on! I'm looking forward to getting to know everyone here!
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Old 12-29-2009, 02:16 PM   #2
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Welcome Mama!!! Congratulations on your brewing little bundle of joy!!! I also must applaud you for making the decision now to get healthy and lose weight...not just for you beautiful little babies...but for YOU!!

I am mommy to two wonderful little boys. They are 4.5 and almost 3. Talk about a handful. At my highest weight I was 351 pounds. They were both adopted so none of that can be blamed on pregnancy weight. When my youngest was about 18 months it finally hit me that I had to start taking care of myself. I wanted to be healthy for them and for me. I wanted to start enjoying life. I pretended that I was happy, but I was not. I really know that now.

I have lost 100+ pounds and feel amazing. I'm not done. I can only imagine how I'm going to feel in another 50ish pounds.

You are going to love the journey to good health. You are going to feel so much better and your children will see it and feel it. You will have more energy to play and run and climb. I remember the first time I went down a slide with my kids at the playground!!

Take good care of yourself during the rest of your pregnancy. Keep on posted, get yourself ready for the ride of your life! Jump on in and make yourself at home!

Must get back to work for now...
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Old 12-29-2009, 05:12 PM   #3
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Welcome! And congrats on your baby! Best of luck with everything!! This really is a great place to come when you need someone to talk to.
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Old 12-29-2009, 09:54 PM   #4
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welcome mama...

congrats on the baby I have lost 50+ lbs since April..mainly from getting sick..having my gallbladder out..and watching what i am eating.

Jump in the regular thread and get to know us as we get to know you.

This is truly a great thread..and we DO talk about alot more then just weight loss.
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Old 12-30-2009, 12:50 AM   #5
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Hey! We should email. I just finished a pregnancy at that exact weight! I had no BP issues, I have a few tips to share with you. Feel free to pm me!
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Old 12-30-2009, 10:28 AM   #6
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Thank you all for your responses and welcomes!


Barb - 100 lbs is totally amazing! Congratulations! Yeah, so you can't blame pregnancy on the weight gain... but from what I understand the adoption process is extremely stressful. I would think it's pretty common for mom's adopting their children to pack on a few pounds. I have such a hard time keeping up with my toddler, I just can't imagine keeping up with him at age 3 or 4. I really want to be a mom that can actively play with my child (climbing, running), and not just watch him play. Thanks for your encouragement!

Firecracker - I can see that this will be a good place to come for support. Since I'm a SAHM, I don't have a lot of "adult interaction". Also, being shy doesn't help. So I'm thinking a supportive online community like this will be just what I need.

azcyn - Sorry you've been sick! I had my gallbladder taken out when I was 19 - and I remember the pain of the gallstone attacks well. I hope now that your gallbladder is out, and your on the mend, you'll be feeling better. I'll check out the "regular" thread when I get a chance to catch up! Thanks!! (And congrats on the 50 lbs - I'm just sorry you had to lose it by being sick )

Beth5- Congrats on your newborn! You're lucky you never had BP issues. I know a lot of overweight women can get through their pregnancy without any issues at all. I'm just not one of those women. What sort of diet or exercise program have you started?
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Old 12-30-2009, 11:32 AM   #7
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Welcome welcome! Congrats on your baby and growing family! *HUGS*

I started around your weight, but wasn't 100% sure of my exact starting weight so I always say 340+. I know I was above 340, just not by how much. Now I'm struggling in the 270s after recently regaining a bit of weight, about 8 pounds. Getting back on track and focusing on taking care of myself is key. I mean we can't always take care of the world, we must take care of ourselves too otherwise we don't have the energy to give the world. It is like a vicious cycle. I spend my time focusing on other people, then forget about me. Then I'm too tired to focus on the people I love including myself. So, getting back to ME is what is important. I think we all feel that way though. *HUGS*

Hope to see you around! Welcome and *HUGS* You can totally do this, we all can! We support and love each other. *HUGS*
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Old 12-30-2009, 01:57 PM   #8
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Mama,

I had BP issues with my 2 previous pregnancies. I took vitamins and herbs and ate upwards of 100grams of protein a day. I took them in shakes and protein bars. I took garlic, COQ10 and Hawthorne Berry. They quickly took my BP down about 3 weeks.

I followed a whole foods (whole grains whole milk lots of veggies and shakes) called the Brewer diet. I was AMAZED at how my pregnancy ended up. I gained only 13 pounds and my son was 2 weeks overdue and a healthy 10lbs 9ozs!
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Old 12-30-2009, 05:36 PM   #9
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Jacquie668 - Wow! You're doing really great! 270 sounds like heaven to me. I know what you mean about giving so much to others, it's so easy to forget about yourself. I think that's been part of my problem... until I realized that I can't be the mother I want to be in THIS body... and certainly not if I'm dead. (OK, yeah, that sounds dramatic... but at my weight health issues are very real.) Thanks again for the welcome!

Beth5 - I've heard of the Brewer's Diet and asked my doctor about it. She didn't recommend it - apparently it's "controversial" (although I have no idea why??) I'm seeing an MFM and they have me on a low-dose aspirin regimen to try to prevent pre-e... but my urine proteins have been increasing lately and it seems likely that I am heading down the pre-e road again. I think if we have more kids I really MUST lose weight before getting pregnant again. Even if we don't have more kids, I need to lose weight. I'm not sure if eating high levels of protein would be advisable for me, especially since "spilling protein" is a pre-e symptom (because the kidneys can't filter protein adequately)... but I have an appointment tomorrow so I'll ask my OB/GYN. Perhaps the diet you describe I could incorporate into my post-partum diet if nothing else - thanks for sharing that info!


On a sidenote... I got my maternity swimsuit in the mail today. I was super excited until I put it on. I love how my belly looked in it - very pregnant. But my LEGS... oh my goodness. I didn't even recognize them. It made me immediately rethink my plans to go swimming at a local indoor pool for exercise...
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Old 12-30-2009, 07:40 PM   #10
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Mama....oh no you don't!!! Put on that swimsuit, stand proud and get in that pool! Don't worry about how your legs look...think how great they will look down the road!
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Old 01-05-2010, 05:14 AM   #11
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Talking Entered hospital at 308, discharged at 328 after giving birth.

I conceived my daughter after many years battle with infertility resulting from metabolic disorder. Lost weight the first 6 months of my pregnancy but got very ill from stress during the last trimester. Had planned a home birth and had to have a traumatic emergency c-section. The medications induced very high blood pressure and three days after my daughter's birth, I almost died from the complications. The doctors were not very helpful after about 6 weeks postpartum.

For 2 years I laid in my bed or chair barely able to move and unable to care for my daughter without assistance. Then I lost access to care givers and was suddenly on my own with her. I was terrified and unable to physically care for her independently. I fell a lot, dropped things, got exhausted doing everyday things. Life was beyond difficult and very discouraging.

I kept complaining to doctors, insisting that they keep running labs until they found what was making me so sick, tired and clumsy. They eventually determined that I was severely Vitamin D3 deficient. By the time they discovered this I was very, very ill. Mega dose therapy took awhile but has been extremely helpful. I take 50,000 IU Vitamin D3 once per week now.

Right after the Vitamin D deficiency was diagnosed, I hired a personal trainer with the idea that if I had to be miserable and the doctors weren't offering solutions, then at least I wanted to look better and keep occupied to distract myself from the pain. I didn't expect to lose a lot or to lose it quickly. I did hope to lower my blood pressure and improve my health, even if only slightly. My blood pressure was 140/90.

I hired an RKC instructor and I will never get pregnant or give birth again without her or her equal by my side. She is one of the most skilled rehab forces I've encountered. Her certifications in Z-Health were absolutely what any morbidly obese woman needs to begin to enjoy movement again. She had my body pain-free in 3 sessions over a 2 week period. I've been pain-free for over 6 months now. Then she begin to teach me body weight exercises and how to lift Russian Kettlebells. My world began to change dramatically.

The first day that I walked into her studio, I couldn't walk 3 yards without stopping to rest. Today I can hike for hours and I can exhaust my 4 year old kidling and my dog twice each day. I just did 15 pushups last week and am going to do 100 consecutive pushups by March 31, 2010. I have an active, happy life now and do not fall or drop things anymore. My blood pressure is now 111/65. I have the ability to care for my daughter independently and have enough extra energy to help others. Life is sweet and getting better all the time. If you are interested in more details than will fit here, drop me a message and I'll pay it forward.

My goal is to continue becoming healthier so that I can endure the rigors of med school, returning to college at 43 and being a single mom to a 4 year old. Along the way to reaching my goals I want to help at least 10 other morbidly obese women get healthy, transforming their lives and fulfilling their dreams with all the things I learned the hard way.

When I've completed my training in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, I want to go to Africa to build wells where women have to walk for hours just to obtain water. My daughter and I dream of helping build hospitals and schools abroad and offering affordable health care to people right here in the USA. She's not sure if she wants to be a dentist or a surgeon but she's sure of this: she loves to exercise and will be healthy whichever career path she chooses.
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Old 01-10-2010, 07:37 PM   #12
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WOW, ResilientWoman!!! (What a great screenname, btw) I'm sorry I didn't see your post before now. Thank you so much for sharing your story. What an inspiration! How awesome that you are planning to go to med school! I worked in a medical school in my former life (that is, before becoming a mom), and almost every class had someone in their thirties or forties who decided to 'come back' into the world of academics for a career change. They were often among the top students, and had a clear focus and purpose in what they hoped to accomplish. You sound like someone who would be an excellent doctor someday. Good luck with that journey!

Congrats on your fantastic health accomplishments. For me (I think like you), it is less about losing a specific number of pounds and more about regaining health and strength. Your blood pressure is amazing - is that with or without medication? What is an RKC instructor, by the way?

Thanks again for sharing so much. I really enjoyed hearing your story - and imagining you getting to rediscover the joys (and challenges) of motherhood in your new stronger body.
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Old 01-11-2010, 01:56 AM   #13
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Talking RKC, blood pressure and new health

Mama,

My blood pressure is from nutritional and lifestyle changes. I hired my RKC instructor, Jen Waak of http://movefitfun.com , in June 2009 because my doctor and I were discussing putting me on meds if I couldn't reduce my pressure in 30-90 days. I do not take any medicine for my blood pressure. I have mostly quit sugar and processed foods and I lift Russian Kettlebells.

An RKC instructor is a Russian Kettlebell Challenge certified kettlebell lifting instructor. They are a kind of a personal trainer or movement coach who is highly skilled and has passed intense tests of knowledge, technique, skill and endurance in order to be certified to teach what is known as "hard style" kettlebell lifting. Kettlebell use as part of a fitness program can rehab even old injuries and is making my body capable of things it wasn't ever able to do even before I got fat, sick and older.

Unless you've met RKC folk it's really hard to understand what an elite group of athletes they are or how kind and compassionate they can be toward the lame, injured and obese folk who want to be mobile, well and healthy. Before I heard about Kettlebells and other women who lost 100 lbs or more in a year using them, I would have been too intimidated and have been discriminated against to use a typical gym's personal training staff. I even have martial arts friends who've gotten certified as personal trainers but who would never imagine me fit or well. Every RKC I've met has looked at me with eyes of how amazingly strong and well I'm going to be rather than only my physical challenges to getting there.

If you like, you can Google "RKC Dragon Door instructors" and get a search engine at the Dragon Door website that will allow you to enter your zip code to see if there are any in your area. I cannot say strong enough words about my deep respect for their organization and how it is giving my daughter a future and me my life back.

Hope you and the baby are doing well and if you're interested I can recommend a DVD an RKC/mom made for women to stay strong and get stronger during pregnancy, kettlebell is optional in the DVD.

Have a great week,
RW
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Old 01-11-2010, 08:58 AM   #14
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Hey I hope you guys dont mind me jumping in here! Mama...I just wanted you to know that I also had preeclampsia when I was pregnant with my daughter 12 years ago. I was not obese. Preeclampsia itself has nothing to do with being obese. They really dont know the reasons for it but there is some research going into it and they are looking at the link between low vitamin D levels and preeclampsia. I am vitamin D deficient now and I wonder if I was then. Also, preeclampsia seems to happen with the firstborn. It also seems it can develop in a lot of teens. I was 23 and before the swelling started I weighed about 170. I did everything right during my pregnancy and it still happened. Yes, your weight may can cause problems with pregnancy but not necessarily the preeclampsia. I just wanted to let you know this so you didnt blame yourself swimming is really great exercise when preg.... You sound like you are really take care of yourself! good luck in your pregnancy!
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