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Post partum weight gain

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Chunter, Nov 17, 2022.

  1. Chunter

    Chunter Newcomer

    Hi all, long post so bear with me. I am at the end of my rope with my struggles and I don’t know where else to go because many people don’t understand.

    I listened to Cure Back Pain by Sarno over a year ago and got pregnant shortly after. My husband and I had been trying for a baby since we got married (married 11 months at that point is when I got pregnant).

    I had looked forward to being a wife and a mom since a little girl. However, I come from a very broken home. I am a Christian still despite being raised in a “Christian” home where my parents used the word of God to bully us. I was constantly told I was fat when I was growing up. I was when I was a tween, but by the time I graduated high school I was very thin. Yet my dad still always told me I was fat and his new wife would intentionally only let me wear ugly clothes that were way too big for “modesty’s sake.” My mom had left us when I was 10, but she was a hardass. Very very mean. If I made bad grades I was an idiot, and you had to he perfect or she would physically discipline. She yelled and screamed at us all the time. She was so evil and a nightmare. She also was anorexic so I grew up with her always worrying about her weight.

    I was a very innocent and good girl. Then when I went to college, I went to a state party school. Lost my virginity at 19, though I knew better. I seared my conscience and would have hook up sex with men who didn’t even care about me. It made me feel desirable and pretty. In 2018/2019 I really started working on my self image and became insanely fit and active. I was finally happy with my body and I knew I was attractive. But that got me into all kinds of trouble. I met my husband in 2020 and we got married very quickly, and I have since been mourning all my promiscuity. I understand not everyone shares my convictions, but I knew sex before marriage was wrong and I say that not to be judgemental (i of all people understand the desire) but to show how it has led me to now and affected my self image. Even though I am happily married, I still want to be viewed as desirable, much like how i am proud that my husband is very handsome. I just want to be a good looking couple.

    last summer (2021) I got an absolutely HORRIBLE lactobacillus overgrowth (like a yeast infection except not) and it gave me pain trauma and vulvodynia that took a lot of mental work to overcome. I also have PCOS, a thyroid disorder that gives me irregular cycles. Both of these, I know, are TMS.

    My pregnancy was relatively easy until the end. I had a very traumatic birth. I am very pro home birth, but I went late due to an off due date. I was technically 44 weeks pregnant by the time I finally went into labor. I had days of prodromal labor, high BP which also caused panic attacks. After 48 hours of not sleeping and going to the hospital, we found out our son was not handling my contractions well and I was rushed to the OR for a c section after a very bad heart rate decel. I thought we almost lost him. The hospital staff was horrific to me. It was such a nightmare that I haven’t recovered from. Ive cried so much over it, journaled about it, and I’m still not okay. Now, we have had to stop nursing which was another very hard thing for me. I have been dieting since 6 weeks pp and I went strict carnivore. I lost only 5 pounds, to then gain it back, and then gained 10 pounds in just 2 weeks after I incorporated normal carbs back into my diet. I am 175 pounds and 5”2. Very different from the muscular 135 before I was pregnant.

    i have had a hard time adjusting to all this. I feel so fat and ugly and my body is working against me no matter how hard I try to lose the weight. I always thought fat = lazy but I’m working my butt off to keep our house clean, eat well, take care of our son, and take care of myself. My naturopathic doctor says I have a metabolic issue and she wants to work with me on it. I think so too, but I can’t help but know TMS is written all over this. I just don’t know what to do. I feel like I’m headed towards obese and I can’t stop it. I miss my old fashionable clothes, and I miss feeling limber and skinny and pretty. I have Whole days where I feel so anxious I can’t function. I get nauseous and sick to my stomach. Everything is hard. Birth and womanhood is a beautiful thing but I feel like my body is broken and incapable of doing anything right and I hate it. Can someone offer advice to support? I just don’t know what to do.
  2. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi @Chunter,

    I'm so concerned for you reading your post. Do you have a support system and help during this time? Having a baby is a seismic event and although joyful, it can be incredibly overwhelming and exhausting. You had a traumatic childbirth, PTSD which you probably have not had any time to process, and on top of all of that you are putting tremendous pressure on yourself to be perfect, AND you are beating yourself up over the past! There was a lot of trauma and conditioning in your childhood and messages of danger and not being good enough. You were bullied terribly by your parents and that has become internalized. Your inner bully and inner critic is running rampant and it needs to be told to shut the hell up. It needs to be silenced because it is unfair and cruel. Perfectionism is often a defense against shame. It will be important for you to obtain more support from family members and friends, but also a therapist. A therapist could provide you with a safe place to to address emotions and improve your relationship with yourself. As far as the weight, I'm not sure when you gave birth, but it takes at least a year to get back to a semblance of normal (after all it took 9 months to create a human!) and often post partum, hormones and the thyroid can go very out of wack. Make sure your thyroid levels are ok but most of all give your body some time. I had a horrendous childbirth with my older son and I became hypothyroid a few months post partum. If I could go back in time, I wish I had dealt with the trauma surrounding the birth ( I had to have bladder surgery 3 months post partum because I was left totally incontinent). I did not take care of my mental health and all the repression (as well as life stressors that ensued) did take a toll on me down the line. It's very easy to get caught up in external things...the baby routine, your weight, keeping an immaculate house, living up to some idealized image of a mother etc., but those are all attempts to control externals in order to soothe anxiety. The problem is, all of those distractions end up creating more pressure and anxiety because you didn't address the real underlying issues and emotions. Start by giving yourself a break and having compassion for yourself. I'm sure you would never in a million years speak to a dear girlfriend the way you do to yourself. You are not broken and your body is not broken. The way you think about those things are inaccurate and that's what needs to change. By taking care of yourself first, by way of seeking more support and therapy, it will enable you to be a better mom and wife, and in the long run you will prevent unnecessary suffering. It will also set you free.
    Ellen and JanAtheCPA like this.
  3. Chunter

    Chunter Newcomer

    @miffybunny thank you so much for the comment. Truly it is so helpful. God has used you to really help me. You are so right, I never ever would speak to or treat others the way I treat myself. I only today realized I am still living to meet my parents expectations, which is not good enough. I do have a good support system but I often don’t know how to ask for help, and the post partum period is so isolating. My son is three months now. I definitely have a thyroid issue.

    I have realized I never process stress I just live in a constant state of it and in survival mode due to my childhood. The hard part is I know this and I do not know how to change it. Today I forced myself not to stress and it almost sent me into a panic attack because I’m always stressing. It is so unhealthy and I’m sick of it. The way I function is just not right and it needs to end.

    i Did CBT years ago and it didn’t help any of these deep rooted issues. I’m not sure what kind of therapy would and I’m nervous to spend the money to try if it doesn’t work out.

    I know this is a loaded question, but do you have suggestions for steps of action to take? Even if it’s a small suggestion.

    God bless and thank you
    miffybunny likes this.
  4. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi again, so glad I could help in some way! I think your best bet would be a therapist who does more emotions focused therapy, like an IFS (internal family systems) or ISTDP or maybe a trauma based one (like EMDR). The most important thing though is that you find someone you trust that you click with. For deeper therapy and severe anxiety issues, I always preferred women who were older than me and caring/motherly figures. Sometimes churches offer good counselors as well and it's usually less costly. The newborn time can feel very exhausting and isolating so at some point you may want to join a little mom group in your town that gets together. My gf used to do stroller walks with other moms for ex. Cultivating safety and connections will make a huge difference and a year from now, I'll bet you will look back on this period and think "I made it through!".
  5. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    I can't speak better than @miffybunny already has, although I do want to respond to this reaction that you had when "forcing yourself not to stress" :

    1. Instead of "forcing" yourself, can you approach de-stressing with love and compassion for yourself? Try some deep breathing and calming self-talk. There's a ton of therapeutic breathing advice on the internet.

    2. Please recognize that this reaction of your brain was PANIC - because your unconscious fearful primitive brain is convinced (probably from living in survival mode as a child) that you will suffer or even die if you're not constantly in a state of stress. In your life now, this is totally irrational, right? Thankfully this is true for most of us in today's safe world. Therefore: rationally, you are perfectly safe if you allow yourself to take some deep breaths, and accept even just a moment or two of calm. Then do it again.

    Here's an idea: think about someone who cares about you, sitting with you, calmly reminding you to breath, and breathing with you. Even find someone to do it with you just once, so you can go to that memory when you need it.

    And yes, 100%, absolutely: therapy.

    All the best,

  6. Chunter

    Chunter Newcomer

    Hi ladies,
    Thanks so much for your replies. I have sought the help of a counselor that specializes in post partum depression and anxiety. @JanAtheCPA , you are tight, I panic when I am not in a state of stress. I lived in stress my whole life in my 16 years of living at home with abusive parents and then the stress of working my way through college. I live off of my adrenals. Today I have been on the edge of numerous panic attacks, and I have realized that I panic because I feel like I’m about to have a meltdown. Then today I finally asked myself, what’s the worst that can happen if I have a meltdown? I’ll just cry it out. And I realized the panic attacks try to prevent me from feeling my emotions... and try to keep me in a perpetual state of stress. I’m reading on this forum that others have fixed their anxiety and panic disorders with Sarnos mind body prescription book. I just feel so badly for my husband who is so patient while I suffer through this and my little four month old son because I want to be the best mommy for him that I can be. Today I visualized me hugging myself, when I was 1-2 months post partum and yet again in survival mode because of birth trauma, nursing difficulties, sleep deprivation, on top of the already hard things I’ve dealt with in my life. I want to stop letting this affect me and run my life. I want to live happily like I used to! Anyway thanks for hearing this vent.
    miffybunny and JanAtheCPA like this.

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