Season 2 of The Big Ward, oh how I waited for you! It’s nice to see bariatric surgery being talked about on TV. My main hope for the series is that it reaches people who could benefit from bariatric surgery and it gets them on a path to better health. I noticed my blog had a lot more traffic around the episodes airing so that’s a good indication it’s doing that.
I think season 2 of The Big Ward really improved on season 1. The season was longer which allowed them to go deeper into the stories the participants had to tell. I think this season presented more complex and real stories instead of just focusing on very narrow aspects of the participants lives that had led them to this point. The diversity of the stories the participants had to tell was great because ultimately, more people can relate to what’s being shown.
I do think they missed a big opportunity for education again. Most of the time the surgeries were referred to as ‘weight loss surgery’ not the specific type the person was getting. In Mel’s case, Mr Babor said she was having a gastric bypass and very briefly explained it which was good. (more of this stuff next time please producers!) I assume the other participants had gastric sleeve surgeries but I’m not sure. I’d love it if they could talk about the specifics of the surgery a bit more.
I was stoked to see Josephine back from season 1. She had tried hard but hadn’t managed to get on the surgical list and have surgery. In season 2 we saw her still trying so hard and making the changes she needed to so she could get on the list. What a journey she had to get to surgery! Josephine is an inspiration for us all and is the poster child for bariatric surgery not being the easy way out. She has come so far personally as well. To see she is now training to be a nurse was the absolute cherry on top. Jo is living her life to the absolute fullest now and I can tell she will be an amazing, caring nurse.
I found Lisa’s story really interesting. The focus on her mental health and struggles with it in relation to her weight are something I’m sure many people go through and can relate to. It was great to see the level of support she received, from professionals and her husband, and how that contributed to her success in getting on the list for surgery. When she fit into the piece of dream clothing her husband had got for her, oh my gosh, I was just so happy for her.
It was awesome to see Lauren and Jackson on the show too. They were two very different young people but both were ultimately successful in getting surgery. Jackson’s story goes to show that even if surgery is the best outcome for someone it may take them a while to get to the point of being ready for it themselves. When he said he was doing it for himself I knew he was ready and would give it the absolute best shot. Lauren could not have been more different from Jackson and the contrast was interesting. I was stoked that Mr Babor went ahead with her surgery even if he usually wouldn’t be keen on such young patients.
Mel’s revision from gastric band to bypass was good to see. Not all bariatric surgery is successful and it was confronting to see Mel being so honest about being able to get around her band. We all think we are going to be the perfect patient post-op but old habits are very easy to fall back into. I really hope Mel has more success with her gastric bypass. Will and Liz were both quite straightforward and it was awesome that they had each other’s support.
I enjoyed season 2 of The Big Ward. Of course there were little things that bugged me about it but overall I think it was well done, presented a varied and diverse view of the people who seek out weight loss surgery and hopefully reaches people who could benefit from it and now have the motivation to reach out and start the process for themselves. If you’re interested in having surgery after watching The Big Ward I have written a post about how to go about it here.
Did you watch season 2 of The Big Ward? What was your favourite moment? Mine was when we saw Jo is training to be a nurse, her life has changed so much and it’s all for the better! If you haven’t seen season 2 of The Big Ward and you live in New Zealand you can still watch it on TVNZ on demand!
Food intolerance, to some degree or another, after gastric bypass is normal and should be expected. After gastric bypass surgery we have to work our way back up through diet stages and that’s for good reason. We need to take it easy on our new tummies for a while and the road back to normal, well a completely new normal, can be a bit bumpy at times.
For the first year after my surgery each meal was a bit of a gamble. Would I tolerate it? Would it go down well? Was it going to cause me issues? Sometimes I would be fine with a specific food for a while and then suddenly I wouldn’t be able to have it for a little while. A good example of this was eggs. I started to quite like scrambled eggs in the soft foods stage and then suddenly my body had an issue with them. I gave it a rest for about a month and then I was able to have them again. Eggs were the first food that gave me the foamies.
Over time things have settled and while I still occasionally have issues with food it’s not very often anymore. After gastric bypass, or any weight loss surgery, it takes time for our bodies to adjust. It’s a time to re-learn the cues from your body. In doing this you set yourself up for more future success. I think one of the reasons I got morbidly obese was because I just did not know what my body was trying to tell me. Years of ignoring and overriding cues will do this.
I have some tips for you, to help get you through the first year of potential food intolerance. I have learnt a lot and looking back I can see what really helped.
Introduce one new thing at a time. When you’re getting back to eating and have a few options of things you can try, only introduce one new thing at a time. If the meal doesn’t go well, you should have a good idea what’s causing it. An example of this for me was salad. I thought I had an issues with salad but through a process of elimination I figured out my body now does not like tomatoes. No idea why my body doesn’t like them but it really has an issue with them. If I had introduced one salad ingredient at a time I wouldn’t have thought salad was off-limits for a while there.
If a meal is not going well, just stop. I can speak from a lot of experience here that when a meal is not going down well, keeping on eating it and trying to finish it never pays off. I kept having Optifast shakes, usually just one a day, right up until I was about six months post-op. I wanted to make sure I was getting enough protein in and it meant when a meal wasn’t going down well, I would just stop eating because I wasn’t so reliant on the food to get all of my protein in. If I suddenly lost interest in what I was eating I wouldn’t force it either, now is the time to listen to your body and get familiar with the new cues it’s giving you.
Quite often, issues I have with food tend to be related to the texture of the food. I have to have things a certain way and there’s things I can’t eat like cold roast chicken unless it has some mayo or something similar with it. The denser the protein the more I tend to struggle with this. I am mindful of how much mayo, sauce or whatever I’m adding I use because of course these things tend to be laden with calories but if I didn’t have any of it to help it go down I wouldn’t be able to eat the high protein foods I should be eating.
Take it slow. This is the main issue when I have issues with food now but it was even more of a problem in the first year post-op. I tend to forget this when I’m in social settings or when something is super yummy and I end up paying for it. It hurts, I’m uncomfortable and it’s a whole new way to punish myself. If you’re struggling with almost every meal I would suggest you look really carefully at how fast you’re eating and see if slowing down makes a difference.
Getting to the end of this post it’s made me realise that while we can certainly have intolerances to specific foods it’s also our behaviour around food that can have an impact. If you have a bad experience with something don’t write it off immediately. Think about all of the things that could have made that meal not go well.
Did you have teething issues (ha ha, I love a good pun) in your first year post-op when you were figuring out your new normal way of eating? What are the things that your body has decided it can live without?
Please note: Sometimes things are not quite right and if you suspect there may be bigger issues at play make sure you get in touch with your surgical team. If this is happening repeatedly, regardless of what you eat and how well you follow the rules in terms of eating slow etc then that’s not right and you need to get some help with that.
Season two of The Big Ward is finally on our screens. It’s a TV series made here in New Zealand and follows patients in one of our public hospitals who are trying to have weight loss surgery. It’s great to see weight loss surgery getting some attention in the media and hopefully it’s reaching people who may think about doing it for themselves. This post is for you, if you’re watching The Big Ward and you’re wondering what steps to take but have no idea where to start.
There are a few different types of bariatric or weight loss surgery that are performed in New Zealand currently and they are all quite different. On the show it seems most of the people have gastric sleeve operations but gastric bypass (various types) and duodenal switch bariatric surgeries are also commonly performed here too. It’s a good idea to start looking into what surgery may fit you best and find out as much about them all as possible. Keep in mind, a lot of the information online is based in the United States and things will vary in New Zealand but it’s still a good basic guide.
Go to your GP
One of the first health professionals to talk to would be your GP. They will be a good barometer of if bariatric surgery is a good solution for you and knowing your medical history they will be able to tailor their advice to your situation. You can ask to be referred to your DHB for publicly funded surgery. All of our DHB’s have the same basic qualifying criteria but they all allocate their funds differently. Some fund a decent amount of weight loss surgeries and some only fund one or two. This will have a big influence on whether you will qualify for funded surgery through the public system. If you don’t qualify, or get turned down from the public hospital you can look into going directly to a surgeon in NZ and pay for it, the general ball park figure for weight loss surgery is around $20,000-$25,000.
Some medical insurance providers in New Zealand will cover or at least partially cover bariatric surgery. You would need to look into your policy to see if it is covered (be careful though, some of them only cover gastric sleeves so if you wanted another type it may not be useful) and what the conditions around it are. If you don’t qualify for public funding, then this can be a good option to get surgery without having to pay the full amount.
Talk to people who have had surgery
If you know or know of anyone who has had weight loss surgery, see if they wouldn’t mind you asking a few questions. There’s nothing like hearing about it from someone who has been through it. There’s online message boards where weight loss surgery people talk about anything and everything to do with weight loss surgery and also blogs like this one (gotta plug my blog sometimes right!) where you can hear what it’s been like for someone who’s gone through weight loss surgery. If you don’t have anyone to ask about it, I love hearing from my readers so send me an email from the Contact page here on my blog or you can get in touch through one of my social pages (they’re all linked at the top of the page) and I would be happy to have a chat with you.
If weight loss surgery has been on your mind for a little while or a long while, there’s no time like the present to take action and start moving towards it being a real option for you. If at any point you decide it’s not for you, you want to try something else or that it is the right thing but you’re not ready yet, that’s fine. It’s best you’re totally really, willing and have your heart set on it before you go through with it. You can always start the process again later.
Has watching The Big Ward got you wondering if weight loss surgery is the right thing for you? Comment below and let me know, I’d love to hear from you.
I have a confession to make, I am a lazy cook (or efficient, we’ll never know.) Today I’m going to share my meatloaf recipe with you, I’ve been making it a lot lately since it’s on my five-year old’s current list of favourite dinners. We always have some left over and if I can keep it away from my five-year old I love having the left overs in salads for lunch.
If you go and look closely at my rissole and burger patty recipe that’s here you might notice they are strangely similar. I’m lazy/efficient that I have this same basic recipe but depending on the shape I cook it in I get three different meals. Nobody else in my house has noticed this yet so let’s keep it up! Without further blathering on here’s my meatloaf recipe:
1/3 – ½ cup wholemeal breadcrumbs, plus a couple of tablespoons to sprinkle on top
1/3 cup of grated cheese (whichever cheese you please!)
Preheat your oven to 180C. Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the breadcrumbs in gradually depending on how ‘wet’ your mix is (you can always add more if you need to). I get my hands in there to make sure it’s really well mixed. Once the mix looks like it’s binding well, it will stick together nicely as one big ball in the bowl. Transfer it to a dish you can cook it in and press it down into the dish so the top is flat and about even. Sprinkle your cheese and reserved tablespoons of breadcrumbs on top and cover the dish with tinfoil. Halfway through cooking, remove the tinfoil so the topping cooks and goes crispy. Cook for 45-60 minutes depending on your oven and how thick your meatloaf ends up.
Naked meatloaf, Meatloaf with Topping, Cooked meatloaf!
I pair my meatloaf with some veggies and gravy for a dinnertime meal or cut it up cold the next day and have it in salad as my big protein hit. Using a high quality beef mince will push up your protein hit and it’s a great thing to centre a bariatric meal around. To make this a meal for the family I usually do some mashed potato for the boys and give them bigger portions and I’ve fed everyone in the house cooking one thing.
Leftover Meatloaf in Salad
Is meatloaf something you like to eat? Did you eat things like this before bariatric surgery or did you only start after your surgery when your priorities around protein in your food changed? Comment below and let me know!
I was reminded recently that having had weight loss surgery puts you in a weird position. I was having a whinge about the fact that I’m not losing weight as fast as I would like to after having my baby and it was not received well. I get where they were coming from but sometimes it sucks when your friends don’t have any compassion for the hard stuff around your weight.
Something that’s really important to know and recognise before you have weight loss surgery is that by losing weight you are not magically going to get rid of all of the hang-ups you have about your body. You may be more satisfied with the number on the scales but even then that’s not guaranteed. That number fluctuates all the time, much to my surprise and annoyance when I figured that out, and sometimes it starts to seem outside of your control again.
I was complaining to my friend that I’m not happy with where my weight is at the moment and it’s not going down as fast as I would like. Then I mentioned that I had to go shopping for a new pair of togs for our upcoming holiday and that I had to size up from a 12 to a 14 because my huge breastfeeding boobs wouldn’t fit in the size 12 swimsuit. My friend rolled her eyes at me. I felt stupid for complaining about it but you know what, I’m allowed to feel how I feel about my weight.
I remember before my weight loss surgery one of my friends was complaining to me about needing to lose something like 5-10kg. I had a similar reaction to her and probably said something about wishing that was all I had to lose instead of 60kg and that she should count herself lucky. She put me in my place right there and said that just because she wasn’t in the same place as me, she was still allowed to feel how she did about her situation. This reminded me of that and being on the other side was interesting.
Currently, I am sitting about 12 kilos above where I was before I got pregnant and of course it’s playing on my mind. My history before having weight loss surgery is that I was able to lose weight and quite significant amounts, but I could never keep it off. There is always a lingering fear in the back of my mind that, one day, I’ll find myself back at 132kg and morbidly obese again. All of this is playing into my current anxiety about my weight.
If I had been having this conversation with a fellow weight loss surgery buddy I wouldn’t have had to explain. They would have understood without the back story since I’m sure they would have the same or similar fears around their weight long-term. It’s important to have people that can relate to you and who get it after weight loss surgery and this was a reminder that maybe I should be a bit more careful in who I talk to this about.
Generally, I think this is a good reminder for us all to try and be compassionate and empathetic towards each other. Everyone has their struggles, everyone has feelings and we all need to talk it out and get a bit of support sometimes. The way we respond to others will inform how much they share and how comfortable they are sharing their vulnerable sides with you. Our ultimate strength lies in our vulnerability and we need to embrace it to grow.
I get my friends point of view, I really do. I’ve been there before and if I knew my biggest worry would be having to buy a size 14 swimsuit instead of a size 12 I probably would have thought I was being a bit ridiculous. But now, being on the other side of it, I recognise that the shitty feeling I have around it is very similar to how I felt about myself before my surgery and the huge amount of weight I’ve lost. While my body has changed significantly my brain can still be the same jerk it was before.
Have you found that some people just don’t get your struggles now that you’re in a vastly different position to where you were before? Do you save your whining for weight loss surgery buddies who get it? Comment below and let me know.
The experience of having weight loss surgery is like nothing else you have or will ever do in life. There are a million and one different reasons and circumstances that bring each of us to this point where we decide that weight loss surgery is the best option. All of our experiences going through weight loss surgery will be unique to each of us but there’s a lot of common experience and we don’t always talk about it. I’ve put together a list of things that most of us wished we knew, or even just knew to expect, after weight loss surgery.
Here we go:
The first week SUCKS
The first week post-op is really not much fun. You will probably feel like you’ve been hit by a bus. You’ll be sore physically, be going through a big mental adjustment in coming to terms with what’s happened and it’s really common to have a moment of thinking, “What have I done!” The good news is that you will feel slightly better each day, and a few months down the track you won’t even remember how much that first week sucked.
You will lose friends
The enormous transformation you are going through is going to change almost everything in your life. Your relationships with other people are no exception. These are always changing and evolving over time anyway but bariatric surgery is a turbo charged way to find out if a friendship is going to last or not. The upside to this is that you will make new friends too. As your transformation continues and you start to get real and be true to yourself more you will need new friends to go with your new hobbies.
You will still have issues with your body
We should all know by now that having a lower number on the scale does not necessarily make you happier. You hopefully won’t be so caught up with your weight anymore but it will take work to make peace with your new body and accept it for what it is. I have got to a point where I am very comfortable in my own skin and it’s a feeling I’ve never had before but that’s taken a lot of work in my own head to get there. Are there things I would change about my body? Absolutely. Have I made a decision to appreciate how far I’ve come and not let that stuff get me down? Absolutely.
You were inspired to begin this journey but soon, you will be the inspiration
You might know someone who had weight loss surgery and watched them with amazement or you might have found your inspiration online. I think it’s very common for us to have had other people as our major inspiration to start this journey. We kind of need to see it work out well for someone else to decide that we should take that gamble. It won’t be long until you become inspiration for someone else and it’s the most amazing thing ever (fingers crossed they tell you!) Knowing that your actions helped someone else decide to do this for themselves is one of the most satisfying things to happen after weight loss surgery.
You will hit weight loss stalls
I think this is something we all read about beforehand and think, ah that will never happen to me. It can, does and will happen to you at some point and maybe more than once or twice. I frequently see people posting in WLS support groups slightly freaked out that their weight hasn’t shifted in a few weeks and asking if this is it. Stalls are really hard mentally but you have to remember it happens and you just need to stay on track doing the right things and your weight loss will continue.
You will find more joy than you can imagine
While not everything after weight loss surgery is rainbows and butterflies there will be so many moments of pure joy for you. Seeing numbers on the scale that you haven’t seen in years, fitting into a clothing size you never even dreamed that you would fit, getting into a bath and being able to fully submerge your whole body, and so many more things will give you the best feeling. I can’t even begin to tell you how awesome it’s going to be!
Your new way of eating will feel normal, eventually
The way I have to eat now, high protein, low carb and avoid as much sugar and fat as possible, is second nature to me now. I don’t even really have to think about it in a sense, of course I think about the food I’m eating but it’s not as much mental work anymore because it’s just how things are. I don’t get anxious about menus when I go out, I don’t worry about going to other people’s houses because I know I can make it work. Once you’re out of the puree and soft food stages that’s your normal for life and you well and truly get used to it.
Constipation can be a real problem for some
I’ve never talked about it on my blog because it’s never been an issue I’ve dealt with after surgery but I know for some it’s been a real cause for concern. There are WLS approved ways of dealing with it though so ask in the Facebook groups of it’s something you come up against.
It will be the hardest thing you’ve ever done
Weight loss surgery is the opposite from the easy way out to deal with being very overweight. It is no walk in the park, it’s certainly not a silver bullet and it takes a lot of work. The mental transformation alone takes a lot of work that only you can do up inside your own head. You will have hard times for a multitude of reasons but if you’re anything like me it will end up being the best thing you’ve ever done for yourself.
You will realise how physically hard it was being so big
I was a reasonably healthy morbidly obese person without any mobility issues. Or so I thought. As I lost weight I began to notice all the ways I would change how I moved or had to compensate for my size because things were difficult. I would bend down to pick something up in a certain way, could not cross my legs while sitting, didn’t like exercise because it was so hard and a number of other things. It was exhausting getting my old body through each day and I will never take for granted how easy that is now, and I totally appreciate it’s probably why I feel like I have so much more energy in a general sense these days.
The one thing I will happily tell everyone about weight loss surgery is that it’s something I don’t regret in the slightest. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself and I can’t imagine where I and my life would be now if I hadn’t of done it. I knew my weight was holding me back but things have changed more than I dared dream they ever would in the most awesome and positive ways possible. I will always be an advocate for bariatric and weight loss surgery for those who know it’s the right solution for themselves.
One of the most incredible things my gastric bypass surgery gave me was that for the first time in my life I felt happy with my body and completely comfortable within my own skin. I had never, ever felt like that before and being happy with my weight and not having a weight loss goal forever in the back of my mind was liberating. I’ve lost a bit of that since my pregnancy because my body has changed and it sucks.
I think my body feared quite well throughout my second pregnancy. I never felt that I got to the point where I was unnecessarily large and, in my opinion, I looked pretty good the whole time. I was convinced that most of my weight gain had gone to my stomach and boobs and didn’t feel like much else grew. I had expectations that my weight would plummet after giving birth and I’d easily be back to my pre-pregnancy weight pretty quickly. Since I’m a month postpartum I thought it would be a good time to reflect on where I’m at.
In the first couple of weeks after giving birth I didn’t think or even really care about my body and what state it was in. Since then, so for the last couple of weeks, I’ve started weighing myself weekly again and nothing is happening. I’ve lost seven of the 18 kilos I put on while pregnant and while that’s great, I think I had unrealistic expectations that I’d have lost a lot more of them by now. Quite possibly my body is pausing and taking stock of where it’s at but it’s annoying me more than I would like to admit.
I had been wearing size 12 maternity shorts throughout the end of my pregnancy and they did fit me for a week or two after giving birth but now they just fall down all day and drive me nuts! I went shopping for some normal shorts, since my tummy isn’t sticking out that much now and was horrified to find I only just fit into a size 14. It’s two sizes above where I normally sit at a 10 but I really don’t like it.
I know on an intellectual level that it’s really not that bad and one month after giving birth I should be happy with it. I have already started planning my return to exercise and know exactly what I need to do but it so easily brings back the feelings I had when I was morbidly obese and clothing sizes used to torment me. No matter how far I’ve come, physically and mentally in the grand scheme of this lifetime battle with my weight, I still can get back to that shitty place so quickly.
I’m finding I’m being picky about what I wear because I don’t like how I look in some things. None of my pre-pregnancy clothes fit me, the bottoms because my butt has got so big and tops because my boobs are ginormous again. I tried to wear a dress out one night and could not do the buttons down the front up! I look at photos from a year ago and think, oh my god I was so skinny! I don’t really know exactly what I expected after giving birth but it wasn’t this. The silly thing is I don’t mind how I look, if I dress well I think I look pretty good for four weeks post baby but it’s literally the number on the scale and my shorts that’s getting up in my head.
Generally, I’m amazed at what my body has done, I made a whole person! My body is now keeping that whole person alive and that’s an incredible thing. I think I thought it would shrink down quicker than it has and it’s messing with my head that it hasn’t. I’m making an effort not to be so hard on myself, there’s nothing like setting ridiculously high expectations for yourself is there, but it’s a challenge.
I need to get my eating in order. Pregnancy and to some extent breastfeeding have made me hungry again for the first time since my bypass surgery and I need to get my snacking back in line and eventually cut it out again. Since I have been so tired I haven’t had the same hyper vigilant focus on making sure I get my protein in each day and if I can make sure that happens on a more consistent basis everything else will be easier.
I never thought it would be the case but I can’t wait to start exercising again. I really miss feeling fit, strong and the mental clarity and space that exercising gives me. I’m going to launch back into it slowly and just start walking because it’s been quite a while since I’ve done any purposeful exercise. Watch out six weeks post birth, it’s on!
I don’t really know how to wrap up this post, it’s mainly just a brain dump of all the conflicting things whirling around my head at the moment. I think my main takeaway from writing this is that no matter how far you come, it doesn’t take too much to bring things back you thought you’d well and truly left behind. The one difference now is that I know I can do this, I’ve done it before and I now have the benefit of an amazing tool. Needing to lose 11kg is far, far less daunting than needing to lose the 70kg I had spare when I started down the road of weight loss surgery.
What a week to be 39 weeks pregnant. My week started on Christmas eve, I had family things going on Christmas and Boxing Day and my c-section was scheduled for the 27th of December! This week the baby is the size of, wait for it …….. a watermelon (a small one but seriously). I certainly feel like there’s a watermelon in there!
On Christmas Eve I refused to leave the house because being 39 weeks pregnant and dealing with Christmas Eve traffic, shoppers and whatever else did not sound like fun. My parents had arrived for Christmas the day before so I spent the day prepping as much as I could for Christmas Day and doing the last bits I needed to do for the baby’s arrival. We moved the bassinet into our room, put the buggy into the car and got all those last little bits sorted. We’re fully ready for this baby now!
I had an awful sleep on Christmas Eve, I went to bed late and was only asleep for a few hours until I woke up. This was about 2.15am and I just could not get to sleep. I ended up getting up and reading a book, scrolling through social media, and then trying to go back to sleep. I was absolutely wide awake and ended up getting up at 4.15am to have a shower. After that I managed to go back to bed for an hour and I kind of napped but didn’t get back to sleep properly. I think I was just excited about Christmas and seeing our little guy’s reaction in the morning!
We had a lovely day on Christmas Day, even on barely four hours sleep! We woke our little guy up at 6.15am, he’s usually up before then but of course because we were keen for him to get up he slept longer than he usually would. Santa had visited and the excitement began! He was super spoilt and was really stoked with his haul. I’m glad the baby didn’t crash Christmas Day and we were able to make the most of it for our little guy.
We had my parents and grandmother over for Christmas lunch and since I still could, I cooked the whole thing myself. I wanted to keep things as normal as possible for our son before his little sister arrived. We had heaps more family over in the afternoon to catch-up and share dessert with them and it was nice to spend the day at home.
On Boxing Day I had to get up early and get my bloods done for my c-section. I had to get them done within 72 hours of my c-section and because I’m O- blood type I had to give them the form for the Anti-D which I may need if this baby turns out to have a positive blood group. We spent the rest of Boxing Day with my husband’s family. We had a really lovely day and the kids had such a great time together. We went home much earlier in the evening than we usually would have because we had to be on the maternity ward the next day at 6.30 am for my scheduled c-section!
My last few days of being pregnant were busy but lovely, we had a seriously great Christmas this year and spent heaps of time with our family. I only got to 39 weeks and 3 days pregnant so I’ll leave this one here! I’m so proud of the fact I managed to write about every week of my pregnancy and post them all here. My pregnancy post weight loss surgery was very different to the one I had before surgery and I’m going to write a reflection post to compare soon!
How far along? 39 weeks, what will officially be the final week of my pregnancy.
How big is the peanut? The size of a freaking watermelon.
Total weight gain/loss? I went up over a kilo this week but just off the back of Christmas and Boxing Day I’m not surprised.
Maternity clothes? Dresses are the only thing I can tolerate wearing.
Sleep? Has been very hit and miss this week.
Best moment this week? Christmas morning with our little guy!
Symptoms? Totally. Over. It.
Labor signs? Absolutely none!
What I miss? Wine and lots of Christmas food was off my list L.
What I’m looking forward to? The birth of our baby!
Milestones? Getting basically to the end of a full term pregnancy.
Bump? Is massive to me but everyone else thinks it’s quite small for me being this pregnant.
This week being pregnant started to really, really not be fun anymore. It’s painful, exhausting and just not fun anymore. It was the first week of the school holidays too so I had my little guy to hang out with, and try to keep him busy and entertained as well. This week the baby is the size of a pumpkin (I think there must be a few varieties they are referencing because surely we’ve already had a pumpkin) and it certainly feels like I have one strapped to my tummy.
The aim of this week was to get through the first week of the school holidays in one piece and keep him busy with stuff that wasn’t too hard for me to do either. He is a very energetic kid and doesn’t like sitting around doing nothing for very long at all. I had a plan to take him to a playground in the morning any day that we didn’t have something else on and it was a great way to keep him busy and he inevitably saw other kids at the playgrounds too.
I really wanted to make the most the last bit of time that I was going to have with my son before the baby arrives and we did some baking, went to playgrounds, went out for a coffee together, went to see a movie and caught up with some friends. It was nice to have the last bit of time just with him before things get turned upside down.
I had a midwife appointment on Tuesday and it was nice and quick. Since my c-section is booked for next week there really wasn’t much to do or talk about so we had a quick chat, she had a feel of the baby and confirmed that the baby’s head is engaged. I could already tell because you can feel when there’s a head pushing down in your pelvis! The baby’s heartbeat was nice and fast and she’s still quite happy in there.
It’s felt this week like my body has started to give up a bit. My hips have been really sore, one day one of them was so bad getting out of the car was difficult and I couldn’t bear my weight just on that leg. My sleeping has been really patchy, it’s so hard to get comfortable and with sore hips having to lie on either side was just not nice. I really can’t wait to be able to lie on my back again! I’ve had a couple of nights this week where I’ve had strong Braxton Hicks contractions during the night that have woken me up. This has not been fun.
I have been getting so tired this week too. One day the little guy and I made a gingerbread house, I had spaced it out a bit by baking it the day before, but after a couple of hours in the kitchen standing up to decorate it I had to go and sit down for an hour or so and was struggling to not fall asleep!
I had my last bit of indulgence this week and went and got my hair professionally coloured. I usually use box dye and do it myself at home. I wanted my hair done and greys covered before the baby arrives but just could not be bothered when I’m super pregnant to do it myself. It was really nice to go and chill out for a couple of hours and have my hair done properly. I was really pleased with the result so next time I will be going back to Hue in Albany next time I want it done.
We had lots of family stuff on as the weekend approached. We had my father in-laws 70th birthday celebration and my parents arrived a couple of days before Christmas to stay with us. Everything is really getting close to baby time. Wednesday this week marked one week left until my planned c-section and while I’m certainly ready to not be pregnant anymore it’s a bit mind-blowing to know in less than a week we will have a newborn baby in the house.
How far along? 38 weeks, so in simple terms very, very pregnant!
How big is the peanut? The size of a pumpkin.
Total weight gain/loss? This week my weight stayed the same.
Maternity clothes? Dresses are life for me at the moment but also from about 4pm in the afternoon pj shorts and a singlet rule!
Sleep? Has been up and down this week. Most nights I’m awake a few times for anywhere up to an hour or so and the couple of nights with Braxton hicks were not enjoyable.
Best moment this week? Spending time with my little guy.
Food cravings? This week has been all about having peanut butter and jam on half of a sandwich thin. It’s the perfect spread to vessel ratio for my tiny tummy.
Labour signs? I’ve had some Braxton hicks this week but nothing that’s carried on and I haven’t wondered at any point if I’ve been going into labour.
Belly button in or out? It pops put when I sit down at times but it still firmly in when I sit down.
What I miss? Coffee, real non-decaf coffee! Not long now though!
What I’m looking forward to? Coffee, not being pregnant anymore, meeting our little girl, and all of the great stuff that comes with having a new small person around.
Bump? Currently looks like I have a basketball stuffed down the front of my shirt.
After a super busy week, especially with medical appointments, I was ready for a quieter week this week. I was also mindful that with this being the last week of school for my five-year old it was my last chance to relax! This week the baby is the size of a melon, a freaking melon. I look like I have a basketball shoved up my dress so I guess it kinda makes sense this week.
I started the week with a Sunday at home. I was struck by how little I had to do all day. I realised that being home meant I could keep up with lots of the small jobs around the house throughout the week and I didn’t spend all of Sunday catching up and getting stuff done. I didn’t even have to do a single load of washing which was really strange.
On Monday I had an appointment with the obstetrician at the hospital. This was the third different one I’ve seen and she was so lovely. She was really pleased that the baby was holding her growth steady on the 28th centile and was pleased to see I had a date for my c-section. She really took time to have a good chat and see if there was anything I wanted to talk about and it felt so nice to not be rushed through.
On Tuesday I didn’t have to go anywhere all day so I took my little guy to school and then came home to some peace and quiet. I ended up making some Christmas mince pies and it took me a few hours. I did make over 50 of them, including making the pastry but gosh what a mission. I have given quite a few away as gifts and they have been very much appreciated so that’s nice.
On Wednesday I went out for coffee with my grandmother, one final kid free catch-up with her for a while. We had a lovely morning and being able to talk without being interrupted by a kid all the time was good. I had a free day on Thursday so chilled out most of the day.
Friday morning was busy with a few errands to do and an appointment with the anaesthetist at the hospital in preparation for my c-section. I was able to talk about what I want and prefer which is important for something like anaesthetic. Last time I had an epidural I developed a patch where it wouldn’t cover and even topping it up and making me move around didn’t make a difference. I also want to avoid morphine this time around. I really didn’t like the effect it had on me, making the room spin and eventually I saw sick, and there’s a few other options of what I can have so that’s good.
Since I had got heaps done on Friday morning I went out for a final coffee alone for who knows how long. It was nice to just sit and be for as long as I wanted and I’m going to miss being able to do things like that so easily. I’ve been trying to make the most of how easy life is at the moment because the first year or so of having a baby, especially if you breastfeed, can be really intense.
On Saturday I managed to not leave the house! I was a bit grumpy, I hadn’t had a good sleep and I was quite sore when I got up in the morning. I pottered around and my husband took my little guy out for a while so I got a good chance to slow down and relax a bit. The pregnancy is really starting to take its toll on my body now. Things hurt, I’m uncomfortable and sleeping is getting more difficult because of being so big and uncomfortable and having to get up and pee a lot. The countdown is on, only a couple of weeks until my c-section and I can’t wait to not be pregnant anymore at this point.
How far along? 37 weeks, this week the baby would be considered at term if she was born.
How big is the peanut? The size of a melon. Really not a fun size for a living thing inside you, I tell ya.
Total weight gain/loss? This week I went up a little bit. I forgot to write my weight down last week so I can’t remember how much now.
Sleep? Has been getting difficult again. SO much tummy and I’m really missing being able to lie on my back.
Best moment this week? The peace and quiet I had that I’m going to miss.
Labor signs? I had a couple of evenings this week where my belly was quite uncomfortable and I was getting some tightening’s but nothing that’s made me question if I was going into labour.
Belly button in or out? When I sit down my belly button pokes out a bit.
What I miss? Real coffee, while I’ve got used to decaf I can’t wait to have a proper full strength coffee again very soon.
What I’m looking forward to? Meeting our little girl in a couple of weeks.
Milestones? Getting to 37 weeks and being considered at term!
Bump? You can’t miss it. I still accidentally hit stuff and walk into stuff with it all the time.