If you have read my blog you probably know that I have a long struggle with an eating disorder. It has been my (almost)lifelong companion. It is not a good companion, it one I have tried to shake many times but have come to realize that some parts and patterns in my thinking will just always be there, I have to learn how to deal with them.
Anyway- pregnancy creates a huge challenge. It is a time during which a person is expected to gain weight. A mother's body is supposed to change to accommodate another person. This can be overwhelming for a person with a more normal relationship with food and weight. For me, and many people with eating disorders, this can be crippling.
First, I never expected to be able to get pregnant. I was usually thin enough that I did not menstruate as a teenager- and fertility is often impacted by a long term eating disorder (it is part of the aftermath- that never goes away).
Clearly, my ability to become pregnant was not impacted.
The first trimester is hard especially because I have a history of purging to lose weight, morning sickness threw me for a loop. It was almost an excuse to purge. It took a lot of work to learn to modify my thinking and behavior.
I do not know my weight. I go to the doctor every week but stand backward on the scale and have asked that no one tell me my weight, because I am afraid that knowing the number will upset the delicate balance I have forged in my head. Realistically, I know that weight gain is necessary to support a pregnancy. But I cannot help but start panicking about being fat. I can't change my reaction, but I can change how I deal with my reaction.
Pregnancy is probably the hardest time for me to maintain stability. Hormones are crazy add to my predisposition to anxiety, if I am not watchful it can be a recipe for disaster. Nightly, I stand in front of the mirror looking for stretch marks, for cellulite, for fat that was not there yesterday, despite my conscious efforts to accept the physical changes as a necessary part of making a person.