Mothering Forum banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,237 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
my dad is an md. last night i was talking to him about my recent diagnoses (at 37 weeks) of gestational diabetes. he basically said i had GD from gaining too much weight during my pregnancy. anyway, here's the letter. let me know your thoughts!

Quote:
you (and mom too) need to lay off with the weight stuff. mom seemed to blame my PIH on my weight too. it implies that i'm doing something to potentially harm my child and that really pisses me (and bill) off. please read my whole email so that i don't have to explain this again.

in the 70s, women were told to not gain more than 15-20 lbs. women dieted and fasted when pregnant to keep their weight down. its not the 70s anymore. the general rule of thumb now is 25-35 lbs. having gained 40 isn't outrageous by any means. dieting and fasting are considered dangerous things to do during pregnancy. the goal is a steady, even weight gain throughout. with ella, and this pregnancy, the only time my weight has been mentioned by the midwives is when i had an abnormal jump in weight between appts. it happened once with ella (water gain) and once this time (mango gain).

mom said she and (friend) talked about how 'fat' their daughters had gotten during pregnancy. if anyone would know about staying within a normal range of weight gain during pregnancy, it would be (friend's daughter who is an MD herself)...and according to mom, she gained a lot of weight too. its part of being pregnant to gain weight.

i completely understand that weight DOES influence diabetes...but i was by no means obese or even overweight when i became pregnant. i dieted last winter specifically to get to a healthier weight for this pregnancy. i know several moms of normal weight who have had PIH or GD. i also know some plus sized moms who had neither. i even asked about my weight yesterday in relation to type 2 later in life, and the nurse said that if i return to my pre-pregnancy weight i'll be fine. she did not talk about my weight or my weight gain as being contributing factors or as being abnormal in any way (even when we talked in terms of future pregnancies).

starving myself, especially now, is just as dangerous as eating too much. in addition to the blood sugar testing, i am also testing for ketones. ketones are acids that build up in the blood when the body doesn't have enough insulin. the nurse yesterday encouraged me to 'eat all day long' - small meals every two hours, and to eat a nice big bed time snack so that my body has something to burn during the night OTHER than any body fat. burning body fat during pregnancy creates lots of ketones, some of which pass through the placenta to the baby. for that reason, it is dangerous and unhealthy to diet or fast during pregnancy, whether or not your have GD.

being that i was at a healthy weight going into this pregnancy, that my weight gain hasn't been abnormal, and that i have been eating a VERY healthy diet throughout this pregnancy is probably what kept the GD from cropping up until now. remember, i passed my 1 hr GD screening just a couple months ago. i was doing something right. it is hard to know why it cropped up now, but since my blood pressure did not go up until the very very end with ella, its possible that my body just doesn't like the last month of being pregnant and/or that my body tends to produce extra high levels of pregnancy hormones towards the end.

the hormones that cause GD (in GD, its pregnancy hormones that cause the imbalance in insulin) may be the same hormones that produce PIH in first time moms (95% of PIH are first time moms, regardless of weight going into or during pregnancy. this is why PIH has not been an issue at all this time). it may also be the same hormones that cause PUPPS rash, which is another thing that i had at the very end of my pregnancy with ella. PUPPS is not caused by being FAT...its caused by being PREGNANT. high levels of pregnancy hormones are also one of the things blamed for morning sickness, which i had with both pregnancies.

dad, you said the baby is about 8 lbs or so...that leaves 32 lbs of me. that's not true. ella was 9 lbs. this baby will prolly be about the same. amniotic fluid, placenta, and extra body fluids and blood are an additional 12 lbs. the added weight in the uterine muscles and breasts can be another 6 lbs. that's nearly 30 lbs of JUST baby and baby support system. with ella, i gained more than 40 lbs, all of which was gone within 3 months of her birth (most within the first few weeks). if it had been all fat, it would have taken me much longer to burn off that weight.

ella was a BIG baby, but she stayed big and is still big, always measuring in the 90th percentile or above in both height and weight. GD babies are big with extra fat. their weight and height usually balance out over time. ella's weight and height were big at the beginning and have remained big. i am still concerned the GD could add extra lbs to this babe in addition to the possibility the baby will be as big as ella, but the midwives left doing the blood sugar thing up to me since a) the baby and i are measuring NORMALLY and b) i am full term.

women today are tested for SO many different things compared to the 70s. bill and his brothers were all between 10-13 lbs. sandy was not overweight at all with any of her pregnancies and the boys were still very big. she believes she had GD with all three, but since they didn't test for it back then, we'll never know. nowadays, it seems like everyone i know has had some sort of 'complication' during pregnancy that might not have been noticed 30 years ago because doctors weren't testing as much. the testing is probably a good thing, since it can keep mamas and babes healthier...but it is also VERY stressful going through SO many tests...and i say this seeing midwives, who tend to do FEWER tests than OBs do. the other reason that all the testing is stressful is that it tends to turn pregnancy into an treated illness, versus a natural, biological process.

add on top of that you basically BLAMING me for having GD is very stressful and hurtful...especially this late in the game, since 90% (bill says 98%) of my pregnancy has been problem free. stress is just as unhealthy for my baby and me as GD or PIH would be...and stress complicates both. what i need from you both right now is your love and support, not criticism for things that are not my fault.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,809 Posts
Wow.

Good letter. Calm, factual--I don't know how your parents can *not* fall on their knees begging your forgiveness after that. Good for you!

peace, Beth
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
296 Posts
Marmarsupial, sorry that your parents are giving you crap about gaining weight and "giving" yourself GD...I'm glad that you're aware that that is so bogus. (Even doctors get it wrong...as you know)

My mother is also a product of the late 60's--early 70's "no more than 20 pounds" ethic and she would actually be concerned that I have gained 24 pounds at 33 weeks (last pg my total gain was 43). The one time she was over here when the midwife was checking me I asked the midwife privately to skip the weighing, because I didn't want to hear my mother.

It's also aggravating to think about your mom gossiping with her friends about how "fat" you got during your pregnancies. Just do your best to TUNE THEM OUT for the remainder of your gestation, and realize that things like GD at this late stage is going to probably have very little impact on you and your child...you know how to take care of yourself and you're doing beautifully!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,117 Posts
Wow....I don't have PIH or GD but can I send that to my family and jsut leave that part out??
It is a very good letter. I think it is very calm and pg hormone tainted! I also think that it will appeal to your dad's MD side.....

(I think everyone gets bugged about weight gain. When we first found out my mom gave me a huge lecture on eating ice cream, I hadn't had any n about 2 months. When she saw me a couple weeks ago at 18 weeks she said, there is my chubby daughter. I had gained 3 pounds after losing 8..... We all put up with it....you sure ain't alone
)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
632 Posts
i think that's a great letter! very well articulated. i think it's great that you took the time to write such a long, factual letter to your parents. hopefully it'll help things.


i have a really hard time "debating" with my dad about things, especially health, pregnancy and prenting stuff. i get so agitated so easily. he's not an MD, but he's a journalist, a very stubborn one at that. i can't even imagine having to put up with my dad if her were a doctor. :LOL

when i first got pregnant every time i talked to my dad on the phone he'd ask "how's the weight gain?", "how much have you gianed?", "it'll be really hard to lose the weight afterwards, you know?", "you're not supposed to gain more than 1 kilo (about 2.2lbs)a month" etc, etc. i always had body image issues (thanks to him in part!!
) so this kind of questioning would bother me so much, i almost wanted to cry. i finally just plain told him off. "stop asking me". plus i never knew, since i haven't wanted to know about the weight gain. at my appts. i step on the scale with my back to it and tell the nurse not to tell me. thye haven't mentioned anything about it (good or bad), so i'm assuming i'm within normal range. i don't want to know the numbers, and i won't. scr*w it.


i've sent pictures of me to my dad since, and he always tells me i look beautiful, great, "not fat at all" etc-- it makes me feel good, cause it either means i proved him wrong (i bet my head i've gained more than 1 kilo a month!!), or that he's trying to make up for being such a jerk before.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,212 Posts
Good for you for writing that letter! It's a good one, too. That's ridiculous that your parents are blaming you for PIH and GD and that they have unrealistic expectations of how much a woman should gain in pregnancy. It sounds like you're extremely healthy.

(And, hey, I've gained 40 lbs too!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
342 Posts
That is a fantastic letter.

My mom, who had her children in the '40s, '50s and '60s, went on about weight gain all during my pregnancy: "I never gained more than 20 lbs. and I still had big, healthy babies!" - "The more you gain, the harder it is to lose it later" etc. etc. etc. (My response was always "yeah, yeah" or "I'm eating very healthily and walking every day." I didn't tell her I'd gained 50 lbs. total until I lost 30 at six weeks ppm. I'll see her at Thanksgiving and I'm sure she'll be scrutinizing me to see if those remaining 20 lbs. are all too visible.) Now she goes on about "whatever you do, don't let the baby sleep in the bed with you!" (again, my response is "yeah, yeah" - I haven't bothered to mention that our baby sleeps in the bed with us every night.)

I am dying to know how your parents respond. Keep us posted!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,557 Posts
What a great letter, Mama. Poor you--you do NOT need to be worrying about this now. You have made some great points--all of which I agreed with!

Writing this letter was probably very cathartic for you too. Pretend that you are holding a balloon--blow all of those negative comments and vibes you are getting from then into that balloon and then release it. Take some deep healing breaths and try to move on and leave their petty behavior behind you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,237 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
wow mamas! thanks for bolstering my spirits! thanks for letting me know i'm not alone


i talked to my mom today and she hadn't checked her email...but i explained what i had said in the email and she was very cool. since she has talked to other friends about how different attitudes are about weight gain now compared to then, i think she is more understanding.

she also reminded me that my dad's ob/gyn training (which was limited) was from the 60s. he's a pulminologist, so he hasn't had much reason to stay current on things related to pregnancy. i told her that it certainly hasn't hampered his opinions any though!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,185 Posts
Hey Marsupial -

Just wanted to chime in with my praise of your letter!

My dad is an MD too and it took me YEARS to realize that he is not, and should never have been, my doctor. (He's a pediatrician and I never went to his office for official checkups or to anyone else - he just kept an eye on me as I was growing up.) He is great with his patients but will (often) speak outside his specialty when "helping" me.

Also, you're so right to respond to your mom too: it's just shitty to gossip with someone else about how "fat" a healthy-weight pregnant woman is.

Peace. And strength to you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
444 Posts
Great letter!

anabean - 2.2 lbs a month! HA! I keep reading 1lb a week being normal, and I've gained more than 2.2 lbs a WEEK for the last 3 months.

It's a weird, transforming experience, but I try to keep a perfectly positive attitude about it, and my doctors are very supportive. It's my job to get big right now, and I'm good at it, if I do say so myself
. My care providers say it's much safer to eat too much than too little, especially if I keep most of my choices on the healthy, protein side. I'm gaining weight and that's GRRRRREAT!

All that to say that I'm right here with you, marsupial, deflecting the comments as best I can. Sorry you're dealing with this stress right now, and I hope the GD and PIH cause no problems whatsoever.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,444 Posts
That's a great letter!!! Let us know what their response is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,237 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Quote:
My dad is an MD too and it took me YEARS to realize that he is not, and should never have been, my doctor. (He's a pediatrician and I never went to his office for official checkups or to anyone else - he just kept an eye on me as I was growing up.) He is great with his patients but will (often) speak outside his specialty when "helping" me.
yea, i realized the same thing a few years ago when i had surgery on my elbow. i broke and dislocated it when i was biking, and had to have pin put in to put it back together. my dad had all sorts of opinions, some of which clashed with what the surgeon did or said. it was really obvious that he didn't really know as much about elbows as lungs.

i KNOW i set myself up talking to him about stuff. when i had PIH he was always saying 'no salt!' when the midwives and all the articles i read said that completely avoiding salt wasn't a good thing. i do like talking to him about stuff though too...and i'm sure he feels like i'm asking his opinion and then lashing out if i disagree with him, which isn't the case. i just wish he could say 'i don't know if this is the case, but do you think your weight might be part of this?' or 'what do your midwives think?' or 'what's a normal weight gain?' or something instead of making a stand on information that is 30 years old.

anyway, thanks again everyone for all your positive feedback. i'll let y'all know what he says


ps. my blood sugar has been great, btw. i've been testing for two days now and have had only one high reading. hurrah.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,649 Posts


Ya know, when my mom was pregnant with my sis in 1966, the doc prescribed 'speed', I'm talkin "black dex" here... My sister is a bit 'off' if you know what I mean ... sometimes I wonder if that didn't play a role. She had colic when she was a baby and never quite out grew it...


But .... the absurdity of that mentallity is beyond me. And the fact that a doctor would prescribe 'diet pills' to a pregnant woman just goes to show you how Doctors/times have drastically changed over the years.

My mom said the doctor told her at a check up "your gaining too much weight," and gave her a prescription for some 'pills'. She didn't know at the time what they were, but followed doctors orders. *sigh*


*Dr. Mendelsohn had mentioned this very subject (of weight gain) in his book 'How to have a healthy Child in spite of your Doctor." He talks about the ridiculous notion that moms are only supposed to gain 20 pounds in pregnancy etc... I wish I still had the book for reference but Jake (the new dog) just ate some of my favorite books last week GRRRR!

Anyhow, it's great your addressing this with your parents. I am sure they will tone it down after reading your letter, and .... you'll have that beautiful babe in arms, and all this nonsense will be forgotten before you now it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,443 Posts
You know, I had GD with my last two pgs, and my dad, who is a type 2, sat there and watched what I ate like a hawk.... "Are you sure you should be eating that???" (boy, really? I'm just crazy, Daddy!).... I think it's our fathers way of dealing with something they can't quite handle, so they try to find "reasons" for why it happens. My dad's an engineer, but always the "health expert" when it comes to me, or one of my kiddos.... *sigh* I think it's a Dad thing. They want the cause of the problem so they can find a solution.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,237 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
okay, here is his response. think he's just blaming all of this on my hormones?

"I read your note from yesterday message carefully. I'm glad you give a lot of thought to health issues. Perhaps we can have a discussion about pregnancy some day when you are not pregnant. Mom and I both hope your labor and delivery will be a little easier this time and that you and Bill will have another baby as wonderful as Ella."
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,185 Posts
Oh, my.

I mean, sure, it's easier to have a conversation when no one is immediately, personally involved in the issue, but he is certainly implying that you can't be rational about this while pregnant.

Yeah. My dad's version of this is "I'm sorry your feelings were hurt." This is really what passes for an apology.

God love him. At least he said nice things about your dd...
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top