Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Twins Diet

To quote Meghan Trainor, "Yeah, it's pretty clear. I ain't no size 2..."

Frankly, I haven't been for quite some time. And this pregnancy I got a little lax on my diet during our two rounds of IVF and allowed myself to gain too much weight. The end result is that I'm heavier at the start of this pregnancy than I've ever been at the start of a pregnancy. It's a fact I'm quite self conscious about.

After a pity party I said to myself,
"Self- look. You're pregnant. You're going to get fatter. Right now your vanity isn't the concern. So we're going to make healthy choices and try to keep it in check, not let the scale dictate our self worth, and deal with the weight in a few months." 

Then I learned, at my 10 week check up, that my doc sends all twin patients to a specialty high risk team that comes with a cool perk. A nutrition plan.

Grand.
Just what every woman staring down the barrel of a potential 50 pound weight gain wants.
A diet.

So for roughly 3 weeks I've been walking around with a chip on my shoulder about my upcoming "nutrition" meeting. OK, fine. It wasn't a chip. It was a boulder.

So I arrived at what I will call my "Twins Team" appointment today with a smile. A forced smile perhaps, but a smile nonetheless. Then they called me back to prepare for my ultrasound.

It was like I was being indicted. The technician read my list of crimes aloud to me:

"So I see we're dealing with a surrogacy, twins, approaching advanced maternal age (thanks), and obesity, because I see that belly!" 

This woman really knows how to win friends and influence people. I spent the next part of our ultrasound pouting and trying to suck in my ever growing twin belly. However, try as I may, I wound up liking the technician anyway- despite her total lack of tact.

After the ultrasound I headed into the "consultation" room to meet my "twins educator" and receive my diet. Again, try as I may, I just couldn't help but love the woman. She was tiny, and spunky, and flat out adorable. I almost even let my guard down by the time the nutrition plan came up.

I bristled. I was ready for a fight. I'm pregnant. And If baby wants a bowl of spaghetti, baby gets a bowl of spaghetti, dammit.

She started with my daily caloric limit.
I was sure she was about to tell me no more than 2000.
Wrong.
I am to consume 3500 calories per day.
My jaw dropped.
That's a LOT of calories, and I'm not sure I can do it, if we're being honest.

Next, protein. 
Aim for 175g a day.
Now, for most people that might seem like a ton. But for me, that's really just an added supplement in the morning and Greek yogurt at lunch. I trend towards a very high protein diet on my own. So- bonus.

But then I knew what was coming. 
Carbs.
 I typically try to aim for 100-150g per day when I'm not paying attention to my weight, 50-100g when I am. So I was expecting her to tell me no more than 100g.
Wrong again.
They don't really care.
But, maybe try to keep it to 300g per day or fewer.

And then came the bonus round. Dessert if you will. 

They want me to gain 40-50 pounds.
Say WHAT?
Typically us chunky bottom girls are told try to gain as little weight as possible. 10-15 pounds max. That said, I usually gain right around 30 no matter what I do. So, for me, 40-50 seems absolutely attainable and acceptable. I really let out a sigh of relief.

And, now the challenge....
Most pregnant women try to hold off on their weight gain until the third trimester, when gain is fast and furious. But with twins, we won't make it to 40 weeks. These babies will be born in the 38th week if not before, as waiting longer tends to lead to increased risks. Typically twins come between 34-37 weeks gestation. As a result, my "Twins Team" would like me to try and gain the mass of my weight NOW, in the second trimester, as I won't have much of a third trimester in which I CAN gain weight.

This part will be the challenge for me, as it scares me. It goes against everything I've ever known or tried to achieve in my previous three pregnancies. The math of it baffles me. My home scale says I've gained 0 pounds so far, and we'll go with that one as I'm nude (sexy) when I weigh at home vs. clothed in inconsistent outfits when I weigh at the doc's office.

So, that means they'd like me to gain 30-40 pounds in the next 12 weeks. 
That's 2.5-3.5 pounds PER WEEK. 

While normally this would sound like a lot of fun (bring on the cake!) the hard part will be gaining that much while eating the RIGHT kind of foods. I don't have ROOM in my stomach to eat the wrong things. I have to make every mouthful count.

Plus, if we're being honest, I'm kind of terrified to gain that much, that fast, and then try to stave off all but 10 pounds of gain over the final 4-6 weeks of pregnancy- when the body just starts gaining no matter what you do.

So, that's the twins diet. Not at all what I expected, but I really feel like I can manage it. Live with it. Like all diets, there is some fear and self doubt, and like all diets, there will surely be some cheating (I do have leftover birthday cupcakes you know...). But, in general, I feel empowered.

Let's do this.

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So much has happened over the last week or so. I think I'll break it into a few smaller posts over the next several days. So, until next time!

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