Thursday, June 2, 2011

The skinny

Weight is a weird thing to talk about, especially since nearly everyone that I know is trying to lose weight.
And I'm  trying not to.
Yes. I am actively working not losing weight. I am, in fact, trying to gain weight.
Breastfeeding twins wreaks havoc on my body in one main way: I burn so many calories that I think I may be starving to death.
For real.
I actually weigh 20 lbs less than I did before I got pregnant, and I was at my ideal weight before I got pregnant, so 20 pounds is a big deal.
I know that a lot of people will read this and think that I'm really lucky, but save it. It's not something I'm happy about. I don't look good. I don't feel that good.
I look a bit skeletal and I feel wasted. I am tired (which makes sense since I'm not getting more than 6 hours of sleep per 24 hours, and never for more than two hours at a time), but it's more than that.
My body temperature is wonky. Sometimes I'm sweating so bad that I have to totally strip down, and 15 minutes later I need to bundle myself up in ten layers and the idea of taking off my shirt to nurse makes me want to cry. All the while Travis sits next to me, comfortable in a t-shirt and jeans. It's not the temperature that's freaking out, it's me.
It still hurts like crazy to use the bathroom, and I'm pretty sure that wasn't supposed to last 3 months after the babies came.... but I'll spare you the details on that front.
And even though I'm constantly tired, I can lie down in my bed for an hour or more and not fall asleep.
Something is wrong with my body, and it scares me.
It scares me that I weigh so little. I don't know what to do, since I eat every chance I get - but I don't get that many chances.
It's easy to blog while holding a baby. It's a bit trickier to use the bathroom while holding a baby, but I've managed it (stop judging, you).
It is almost impossible for me to make a sandwich while holding a baby.
And I don't eat processed food, so I can't ever just grab myself a McDonalds burger on the go. (It would end up as vomit, and that is probably for the best - since it's SO bad for you, and nasty. I hate fast food.)
I can no longer wear my wedding ring, because the other day I was walking and it literally slid off of my finger. I mean, I knew it was getting loose and all my pants are too big but - seriously.
Even my fingers are too skinny for their own good.

Anyway. This post is weird.
I'm not looking for advice or compliments on how skinny I am (which make me feel highly uncomfortable, by the way) but I wanted to vent a bit about this problem.
It scares me.
I don't know what to do.



Lauren said...

Becky I had a similar problem while nursing. While I didn't nurse twins I was on an elimination diet for Violet's allergies and there weren't many things that I could eat with a lot of calories (no rice, no dairy, no soy, no corn means not much of anything). I still weigh ten pounds less than I did pre-pregnancy and I was also at an ideal weight then.

I also don't have a ton of advice for you other than that I've learned that although the babies come first - you are important too. You are their mother and they need you. I don't know if there is anyone who can help you out to get some extra rest, time to eat etc, but if there is please ask them. I know it's hard to ask other people for help - they usually have their own issues, but I'm sure most would love to help here and there when they can.

Also maybe make some meals that you can nuke easily. I also don't eat a lot of processed food or fast food, but make something that packs a calorie punch (aka lasagna), freeze it into meal-sized portions, and nuke it at lunch so that you have something easy to eat. Put the babies in a bouncer. Yes they may cry and yes that may be hard but they'll be okay and it's important that you are healthy. Anyway this is long - best of luck to you!

Becoming Supermommy said...

My suggestion is to start drinking smoothies. Not just the healthy stuff- throw in extra calories. Yogurt, ice cream, whole milk, tons of fruits and veggies. Nutritionally dense, high caloric value, and you can consuming it while nursing!

Heck, I'd use it as an excuse to have a daily root beer float. ;)

I remember how much I ate while nursing my twins, and you've got to stop thinking in terms of meals. Even sandwiches. Keep foods on hand that you can just grab as-is- bagels, apples, stuff like that. For a while I basically lived on Morningstar Farm's chik'n nuggets (they're vegetarian).

I hope you start feeling better!

Kristine said...

Don't know if it helps, but I know that avocados and bananas are healthy and help you gain weight. I don't know what it's like nursing twins (I just had one), but if I was hungry, I grabbed a banana or trail mix. And the commenter who said smoothies, that just sounds yummy. :)
And now I love grabbing a Kashi granola bar whenever I'm a bit hungry, and it fills the need. :)
Thanks for being honest.

Natalie said...

Becky - I don't have children of my own so I don't understand what you are going through. But I would recommend smoothies as well. Prepackaging fruits, veggies, icecream/yogurt into tupperware may help too? Good luck with everything though.

Kristi said...

Becky, I commend you for speaking so candidly about this. Body image is something most people just sweep under the rug and pretend doesn't exist. Too bad I can't transplant some of my extra lbs to you. . .HA! But seriously, it's good you are aware of the issue and are addressing it so you can be your best possible self! For you, and for your precious babies.

I agree- make high calorie smoothies!

Lindsay Jane said...

I have no solutions to offer, and I don't know you, but I read this and my heart ached for you. I don't have any children but I have been making my way down the weightloss path and have felt the frustration of not knowing exactly why my body is behaving the way it is. There's nothing scarier than feeling out of control in your own skin and these days I'm feeling it almost daily. Utah doesn't offer a lot of readily available healthy, unprocessed food which only makes the weight gain/loss process even harder. I'm so sorry you're struggling with this and I wish you the best of luck in figuring out your body.

Calista said...

Hey Becky! I don't know you and you don't know me, but I had a baby in January, so I feel some of the similar "new mom" things. I don't usually comment on people's blogs that I don't know, but like everyone else I'm going to comment and say that you HAVE to start putting yourself first. I feel the same way about eating - in my free time (what's that?) I just want to sleep or blog, not cook lots of food. If you're LDS I'd talk to your Relief Society president - say that you need help with meals and ask the ladies there to step in and help. Or have them watch your boys while you cook. If you're not LDS ask your neighbors the same things - seriously. Also, it won't hurt your babies to let them cry for an hour while you make some food. Actually, it will help them learn to self soothe, which is good for everyone. From personal experience I know its something hard to remember when your body aches when they cry, but really - babies do not die when they cry.

Anyway, these comments come from a friend who you've never met that is worried about you too.

Oh, also you can talk to your Dr about your current sitch - They may have some good ideas too.

Jen said...

Since you specifically mentioned you're not looking for advice, I won't give you any in my comment here. I'm glad that you're taking this seriously, though.

I've been reading your blog for over a month now. Before that my husband and I were living overseas. We're expecting a baby of our own to arrive any day now - I'm 38 1/2 weeks!

Anyway, I wanted to say that if you decide you do want some advice, I'm an RN and I could maybe suggest some high-calorie foods for you to try out. Or if you just want somebody to email with I wouldn't mind having a pen pal. :)


Audrey said...

Breast feeding does some freaky things. Has all your hair fallen out yet? Honestly, there were some things that felt very physically uncomfortable for me for 6-12 months after I had my baby. I thought I was going to be back to normal 6 weeks later, but guess what? Your body was being tortured for 9 months, and breastfeeding keeps torturing it. I would say that some parts of your situation sound alarming, other parts are normal.

Do you have a baby carrier? If you don't, ask for the measurements for someones moby wrap and sew (or basically cut out)yourself one from a knit material. I cooked every meal I made those early months with the baby strapped to me. In fact, I know people who nursed in a carrier while they made dinner.

Actually, I was going to suggest drinking a glass of whole milk (or buttermilk, if you like it)every time you sat down with your baby to give him some, but then I realized both of your hands would be full... However, if you nursed one in a carrier (cradle style) and the other football style in your other hand, you might actually have a hand free to drink some milk. They can cry the 30 seconds it takes for you to pour yourself a glass.

One more thing: meat will really help you to feel more level as you are missing out on so much sleep. I know how much you like steak, and it's barbecue season, so fire one up!

B. said...

I couldn't sleep either the first year...I always felt on alert to the babies cries and thinking about what needed to be done. The only way I could sleep is if my husband officially took over and I could rest knowing that he would take care of the babies. And some white noise doesn't hurt either. Maybe a loud a/c?
It will get better.

Caitlin Carroll said...

I second the Moby wrap idea... if not for that, my family would not have been fed. You can even put both babies in it! My husband and I have the same problem with gaining weight.... him more than me. It's hard to admit you are too skinny in such an obesity-filled country because everyone is like "shut up, you're soooo lucky" but it's hard!! We eat tons of Lara bars, almonds, smoothies, and cheese. Just keep a basket filled with stuff next to your usual nursing spot so you can snack at the same time. Keep up the breastfeeding (I have to put in that plug because I'm a lactation specialist!), it'll be worth it for the babies, especially since they were preemies... but definitely take care of yourself too.

(PS: Found your blog through Cecilia, she's one of my best friends)

Sher said...

I am so glad that I am not the only one who goes to the bathroom with a baby. My daughter had a baby a month ago. I mastered the bathroom thing years ago and my daughter is just in awe lol. Ahh the things us mom talk about.
I wish I could share some of my weight with ya. I have been carrying around "baby" weight for the last 13 years. My son would not really appreciate me still calling him a baby.
I just gave a friend of mine the link to your blog. She is pregnant with twins, also her first children. I told her that she can get some good information here. Have a great weekend.


MARCIE said...

My advice, as always, is to relax. Don't worry about things you cannot control. A problem may never develope! Beautiful babies, beautiful mommy! I am so proud of you!

amyargh. said...

You're such a rockstar! I commend you for sticking with breastfeeding through the wackiness it's taking on your body. I agree though that you need to make the time to get yourself healthy!

Smoothies are definitely a good weight gainer and a quick-fix (i just gave birth 5 days ago and my appetite plummeted, so I've been loading up on them). Chocolate milk, frozenvbananas and lots of peanut butter are really tasty option thats high in protein, fat and calories. You should also stock up on quick snacks like cheese sticks and trail mix and granola bars that you can munch on during feedings.

Good luck sweetie, feel better!

able mabel said...

It's hard to know what to tell you exactly being that I'm only involved in your life via your blog. I feel for you as I know you are trying to do what you think is best for your family.

If you can't get more calories into your body, would you possibly consider not breastfeeding as much as you do, especially at night? (Sorry, I just had to say it.) It really is okay to not breastfeed around the clock.

You've done awesome up to this point but you're body is trying to tell you something. It's tough trying to find some sort of balance between doing what you think is best for your boys and still taking care of yourself.

I would just encourage you to be openminded to trying different options and realize that it's okay to not be able to do it all. You already do way more than some of us.

Marge Bjork said...

I haaaaaaate when people think it's ok to comment on how skinny you've gotten or ask if you've lost weight. I find it just as rude and uncomfortable as someone calling me chubby or a fatty.

kami said...

Becky, let me tell you my story, even though I only had one baby, not twins...and maybe it will ease your mind a little bit?

So with my first baby, I started at my "ideal weight" and gained 40 pounds during pregnancy. After his birth (I breastfed him for 15 1/2 months), I lost the 40 pounds plus an additional 10 pounds. I was pleased with that because it didn't feel unhealthy to me (I ate all the time because nursing makes me really hungry too).

With my second baby, I started out thinner but still gained 40 pounds and when I lost it (currently breastfeeding - she is 17 months old and I'm 22 weeks pregnant), I went back to my normal new "ideal" weight, then continued to lose 8 more pounds on top of that. So, about 16 pounds below my first pre-pregnancy weight which I thought was my ideal weight at the time.

What I am saying is, your ideal weight may be different than you thought. It all depends on how you feel and if you feel like this is an unhealthy weight, then maybe it is. But maybe this is your body regulating itself too. Is your diet different (ie, healthier) than before? I know for me, that was probably the biggest factor. I have a much healthier diet now than I did when I became a mother and the weight has come off because of that, combined with breastfeeding.

Anyways, I just wanted to encourage you, most of all. Continue nourishing your body the best you can - eat nutrient dense foods, de-stress, find help with the boys if it is available - and know that your weight will regulate itself. If you are struggling at all with postpartum depression (I struggled with it really badly after my second baby and am only recognizing it now), then you may want to look at supplementing your diet especially with a good fish oil, vitamin D (excellent for depression), and maybe even something like 5-HTP.

Just wanted to tell you I love your blog and to keep up the good are amazing!

(I hope this novel of a comment even makes sense! PS, I'm married to Travis' old roomy Travis!)

Mina said...

I know you didn't want advice, so let's just call it a tip... Lactation cookies! High calorie, super-yummy, easy to grab in a rush. And the galactogogues could actually help support yr supply... I love them, but have to hold back since I don't have the same problem as you. You can subscribe to have them mailed to you from a bunch of different companies. Or if someone offers to bake for you, I have a recipe:

Good luck!

Andrea said...

fellow twin mom here.
Had a good "twin mom" friend with the same issue. She had her thyroid checked and turned out, it was thyroid issue set off (I'm guessing hormones...) by pregnancy/labor. Worth a look at if you're concerned.

That being said, my doctor reccommended 3000 calories a day for breastfeeding twins. Who honestly can eat that much....? Protein bars are my favorite...and I know there are some you can make au naturale! good luck!