Thursday, September 29, 2011

[Too] Skinny Minnie

I had my yearly OB appointment on Monday, and as I expected, a large part of the discussion with Dr. McMinn revolved around my weight. I adore my OB.  She really does have a great bedside manor and is full of hugs, but she also calls things like she sees them.  She's not one to sweep anything under the rug.  And just like our pediatrician, she's really cautious.  She's also really blunt about things.  So, like I said, I wasn't surprised that my weight was an issue.  It's not a new thing with us

I was frustrated, though.  First of all, I was just sort of emotional being in a room full of pregnant women.  Graves is not yet six months old, doesn't sleep well, and has of late, has been back to LOOSING HIS MIND ALL DAY LONG so tell me why do I already have baby fever?  Probably because I know that it's not in the cards for us for a little while.  And we always want what we can't have, right? But that's a post for another day.  [Probably another day real soon.] Anyway, a gentle reminder from a friend encouraged me to be thankful for my two little ones and pray for the women in the room who would give anything for just ONE baby. But on to the actual appointment...

I really had my stomach all in knots about what I was going to say to Doctor McMinn.  As y'all know, I get kind of worried and apprehensive about things....even fun things, like birthday parties.  And I knew this was going to be pretty bad. I've been looking in the mirror lately and not really liking what I see.  I've said before, but it's hard to talk/blog about because I know people must thing "Oh...poor thing! It must be so hard being skinny".  I know it's a unique problem to have in our current culture.  But truthfully, I do look in the mirror sometimes and am unhappy with the way I look.  I hate my bird neck and my chicken legs and the dark circles under my eyes really don't add anything to the whole package, either.  And other people have said little things, too.  No one has said anything downright ugly this time, but I can't count the number of times my mom has said "Darlin', you are so thiiiin" before attempting to shove half her refrigerator down my throat.

Like I said, this is not a new thing.  I've struggled with these weight issues most of my adult life.  At my peak weight (excepting pregnancies), like when Peyton and I got married or right before I got pregnant with Graves, I've felt really good about myself and like my weight was in an ideal place. However, there have been three times now where it has dipped down uncomfortably low- the first (and only) time I was away from home for a longish period of time, when I was nursing Annie, and now.  As I said, I don't like what I see in the mirror.  But more than that, I don't like what other people see.  I know (because people have told me of the rumors or some have been bold enough to say it to my face) that some people think I have a "problem".  I said this on Twitter the other day, but it's really awkward when people think your eating is disordered, but really your metabolism is.  I care a lot about what people think about me.  That's why I get all red and blotchy thinking about happy, fun social situations the children and I could potentially be placed in. That's why I have a whole post written about how insecure I am about what people think about our discipline techniques and how I struggle with insecurity.  Sometimes, on this blog, I let go of that and force myself to try not to care, so that I can share truthfully from the bottom of my heart.  But so much of me cares.  I know I shouldn't. But I do.  So, it stings when I hear those things said about me.

And the things Dr. McMinn said stung, too.  The moment she walked in I launched into my prepared speech- "I know I'm too thin.  I hate the way I look and I'm sure I'd feel a million times better if I gained ten pounds. I'm not dieting and I don't have a problem.  Well, I do, but not that problem. I have a problem called a baby that loves to eat.  And another problem called the same baby who doesn't tolerate dairy- aka ANYTHING GOOD."  I explained to her that unlike with Ann Peyton, I had been super intentional about NEVER skipping meals, I had tried to eat more healthy things and I had even tried to cook a bit more.  I made myself eat breakfast when I didn't feel like it, I stopped what I was doing when I got hungry, I fixed myself snacks when Peyton was working late, and I even have a late night (or early morning...it's all relative) treat most of the time when I woke up to nurse Graves.  I felt like I was doing pretty good until we discovered his problem was dairy.  And then things just went downhill.  I told her that I was taking a calcium supplement (which I wouldn't have thought of had it not been for the sweet pediatrician we saw for Graves's ears when Dr. Denney had the day off....because I'm a moron (or a mommy?) and something is turning my brain to mush). 

After my lengthy monologue, I took a breath, and Dr. McMinn said there was more concerning her than just the numbers on the scale- I looked pale and tired. She asked me if I felt overly fatigued.  Of course I do.  But what mother with a two year old and a five month old doesn't? Especially when one of those children doesn't sleep through the night.  I stay up too late some nights and we wake up pretty early most mornings now.  Peyton and I, like most typical Americans, cram a lot into our days, weeks, and months. So, I assume most of my tiredness has more to do with our lifestyle than with my weight.   I asked her about the paleness, wondering if I should have some blood work done.  "What do you think is causing it?"....."um, probably just MALNOURISHMENT".  Piss. I cringed.  Images of Sally Struthers and bloated bellies came to mind and then I started thinking my word, this women thinks I look like a concentration camp survivor.  I mean really, my blood ran cold. 

Before I got pregnant with Graves, I had experienced a similar problem when I was nursing Ann Peyton.  By the time my yearly rolled around, I was about to wean her anyway, but since I was wanting to get pregnant soon, Dr. McMinn prescribed some appetite stimulants.  Now- I think I eat a fairly normal amount. I don't eat a lot at one sitting always, but I eat  over the course of the day. For example, today I've had three pieces of buttered toast, a banana, some animal crackers, two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, a coke, a box of raisins and two slices of pizza and it's just now three o'clock.  My metabolism has always been really fast and when people ask about loosing the baby weight I always joke about my "literal pound sucking device" and further glamorize the beautiful act of breastfeeding.

Well, this time that's a no go because according to Peyton that can effect my milk supply.  I asked Dr. McMinn what to do and she said she thought at this point the best bet was for her to get me an appointment with a dietitian.  She said she wanted to find someone who had worked a good bit with underweight people before because primarily, they deal with overweight issues.  I did tell her (and I'm proud of myself for being bold about this) that it was extremely important to me to nurse Graves at least for the next six months and that I hoped she would recommend someone that would be supportive of that, too. [I assume most dietitians would be, as they, of all people, would understand the health benefits of breastfeeding, but it never hurts to make a point.]

I'm going to see the dietitian next Friday, but in the mean time, I'd love y'alls suggestions of high calorie, dairy free(*) snacks.

*I've probably mentioned that I tried some pills that help digest the dairy faster, so it doesn't get to the breastmilk and originally, I thought they were working well.  However, if this week is an indication, I might as well be popping Skittles.

9 comments:

The Niemeyer Nest said...

Oh dear, I was wondering how those pills were working out so I could try them too! My tips on things to eat that are full of calories - guacamole, Keebler Peanut Butter sticks, apples w/ PB and turkey sandwiches with bacon! I am having the same issue as you and have dropped my weight super fast. Henry is sucking it out faster than I can keep it coming in and it's a full-time job around here because it always time to feed someone. Hang in there and I hope you can get some great tips from the dietician! Pass anything along to me. Have you read, What Women Fear, written by Angie Smith? It helped me so much and I think you'd really like it too. Guess what. . . I have baby fever too! YIKES, glad that I am not the only one.

Heather said...

Have you tried soy or almond milk? I know they aren't as calorie packed as whole milk, but you could use it to make shakes so you could drink some extra calories during the day. Eat more eggs, pasta, potatoes, and peanut butter.

Sarah said...

My doctor ordered me to gain weight several years ago. I was supposed to have lots of high calorie things like peanut butter, avocado, and get the full fat versions of things instead of getting low fat or reduced calorie. She also had me add meal replacement drinks for extra calories. I don't know if those are dairy free though. Maybe carnation instant breakfast, or something like that, with non-dairy milk? It helped to be drinking extra calories, because there really is only so much you can eat in a day.

Ashley said...

I'm one of those that has never has this problem....if anything, I can't seem to lose that last 10 or so pounds. But I know how hard this is for you, and I'm lifting you up!

Sarah Broadus said...

its like when madyson had to gain weight. Her dr. literally said "She is not gaining weight eating vegetables and fruit all the time. GIVE HER A CANDY BAR!" We try so hard to be "healthy" but the problem you have is that you are being healthy for two. You need to increase your amount of calories Bc you are loosing more breastfeeding than you are taking in. (Nursing school drop out here) You are not going to be a southern statistic (Fat person) if you eat bacon and eggs for breakfast, granola for mid day snack. Peanut butter sandwich with (gasp) CHIPS, candy bar and coke mid day and full dinner at night. You will burn 1/2 of that in your 1 day of breastfeeding. I once was a "skinny minny" too so I have heard all the ridicule that comes with it. A box of Twinkies and a bag of cookies will help. High Metabolism people get that ability!

Melanie said...

Here is a document about weight management in pregnancy, but there is a list on page 86 of foods to help gain weight and slow weight gain for those interested. I would eat waffles with pb instead of bread and eat whole baked potatoes (microwaved). I know some of these have dairy though. I second the almond milk...they also have coconut milk now...haven't tried it though. It was hard for me to gain weight during my pregnancy and one lady at church asked me if my baby forgot to grow. How nice. http://www.epi.umn.edu/let/pubs/img/NMPA_81-87.pdf

On another note...I have thought about cutting out dairy, some days Colin is so fussy and don't know if it is because it is just normal for him, his reflux medicine didn't absorb well, or something else. Any thoughts?

Melanie said...

Here is a document about weight management in pregnancy, but there is a list on page 86 of foods to help gain weight and slow weight gain for those interested. I would eat waffles with pb instead of bread and eat whole baked potatoes (microwaved). I know some of these have dairy though. I second the almond milk...they also have coconut milk now...haven't tried it though. It was hard for me to gain weight during my pregnancy and one lady at church asked me if my baby forgot to grow. How nice. http://www.epi.umn.edu/let/pubs/img/NMPA_81-87.pdf

On another note...I have thought about cutting out dairy, some days Colin is so fussy and don't know if it is because it is just normal for him, his reflux medicine didn't absorb well, or something else. Any thoughts?

Charlotte said...

I definitely understand you. I always eat three meals a day, but I just can't snack. I drink at least one coke a day just for the calories alone. I am trying hard to hit the 100 lb mark on the scale. Not there yet. So many people have asked me or my parents if I have an eating disorder. It's hard to defend yourself!!

Anonymous said...

You can pray for me. MT. I have been trying for 11 months now to have 1 child.
Good luck with your dietician.