Plus Size Mommy Memoirs is my new labor of love following a beautiful pregnancy and birthing experience.
First came a love for my husband in 1999. Then our marriage in July 2008. And most recently six months “trying” for that baby in the baby carriage.
We had decided the month we conceived to stop trying and focus on getting the weight off. While I love my curvy birthing hips, they were fitting into size 24 jeans. I knew the medical community was going to label me “high risk.”
On January 4, 2010, my pregnancy test read “pregnant.” high risk or not, I was thrilled and ready to start a family with my love.
After the shock wore off, I opened my computer and prepared myself for a barrage of negativity around being plus size and pregnant.
Related: What My Obese Pregnancy Taught Me About My Body
At the age of 30, I had spent the previous 18 years being labeled “plus size.” I had never allowed that to define who I was and wasn’t going to start now.
I read my risk for all of the following pregnancy complications was dramatically increased due to my size neural tube defects, gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, preeclampsia, large baby, longer labor, and cesarean.
My heart sank when on BabyCenter I read, “A number of studies have shown that overweight and obese women are more likely to have a cesarean delivery, from 26 to 35 percent of deliveries, versus around 20 percent in women with a BMI in the 19 to 24 range.”
After discovering you’re pregnant I’d say all women, being this an expected pregnancy or not, go through many waves of emotions. So, already a ball of emotions, I then became a little obsessed with being plus size and pregnant.
After I Googled all the risks, I picked my heart off the floor. I Googled pictures of plus size pregnant women. I also found a blogger, The Well-Rounded Mama, who posted helpful and confidence-building content for this plus size momma.
Related: From PCOS to Motherhood: Megan's Story
Being plus size and pregnant you’re placed into certain stereotypes but I promised myself that I would not live up to them.
In February 2010, I enrolled in my first ever group exercise class. It quickly became a new obsession of mine every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights I did water aerobics!
I started researching everything to eat and not to eat when you’re pregnant. I simplified things by just staying away from all processed food and all the no-no’s of pregnancy like no alcohol. Yes, I occasionally gave in to cravings like Kraft Mac & Cheese and Salt & Vinegar chips. But overall I ate better than I had in my entire life.
My husband became a bit of a processed food bully and even told on me to my OB-GYN when I indulged with half a glass of diet Coke.
On my very first prenatal visit to the OB-GYN I started off with the obvious: “I’m plus size, what are your concerns?” Thankfully my OB-GYN was kind and just gave me the usual “you’re only 30 and healthy besides the weight so don’t gain more than 15 -20 lbs and you should be fine.”
I’ve met other women who asked the same question and received a tongue lashing, including being told they were irresponsible for getting pregnant at their weight.
While our OB-GYN seemed supportive we weren’t overly thrilled because we often saw another OB-GYN due to my doctor’s busy schedule.
My husband and I ended up firing our OB-GYN. We switching to a midwife program at our county hospital based on the advice of an incredible doula who changed our lives.
Related: A Beautiful Hospital Birth Story
Our doula, Whitney, connected me with a plus size woman, who was also a doula. She helped reassure my confidence in my body. To believe in my body's ability to have a healthy pregnancy and birth experience. Whitney also made me feel like I wasn’t an anomaly by being plus size. That was a huge blessing!
I believe the decision to leave our OB-GYN played a HUGE role in me being able to have an incredible natural birthing experience! Working with a midwife was so unlike working with an OB/GYN and I’m excited to share more in future blog poss.
Over the next eight months, I continued with water aerobics and a healthy diet. Keeping my promise to myself and blew all of those plus size pregnancy stereotypes out of the water!
I never incurred any of the risks and even lost 18 lbs while being pregnant.
I wanted to start a blog because I felt really discouraged when I began my plus size pregnancy journey. Plus size women need to know that a healthy pregnancy is possible. I plan to share tips that helped me to have one.
I also want to share my experience with natural childbirth with midwives and doulas. As well as life in “Mommy Land” (as I like to call it).
Welcome to Plus Size Mommy Memoirs! I sure hope you enjoy reading my stories just as much I as enjoy sharing them with you.
Update: This blog, which I launched in 2011 recently celebrated ten years and nearly 7 million pageviews! And now we have the Plus Mommy Podcast.
Thursday 15th of August 2013
I just found out im pregnant! and was so so soo happy, still am very happy. However when i was given the results of my blood work, the doctor ended the app, with "just so you know 25% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage", so i left the office with these horrible thoughts in my head, because i am also considered "overweight". reading your blog has but alot of positive thoughts back into my head, so thank you!
Thursday 15th of August 2013
Congrats on your pregnancy!! I'm so sorry your care provider said that but I'm happy that you found support and positive information on this website. We also have a Facebook community of over 10,000 women supporting one another before, during, and after childbirth - https://www.facebook.com/plussizemommymemoirs
Monday 23rd of May 2011
I am plus sized, and had 4 extremely healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy and now am 13 weeks into the 5th! I lost a lot of weight after my 3rd, gained it ALL back during my 4th pregnancy, and have yo-yo'd around a bit, so I started this pregnancy the same weight I was when I went in to deliver my last! My OB and the Midwife who works in his office are both great and very supportive (and somewhat plus-sized themselves, though not as much as I am...) and I feel good about this pregnancy. I am just trying to make the healthiest choices for both food and activity/exercise. My OB told me that it would be perfectly fine if I don't gain any weight at all during this pregnancy (I started out at almost 300 lbs) and if by eating right and exercising, (not by restricting calories, but by choosing them carefully) I were to lose a little as well, that would also be perfectly normal. :)
Sunday 15th of May 2011
i am plus size too and my hubby and i are trying and reading your blog has given me hope and courage to have a baby
Plus Size Mommy Memoirs
Wednesday 4th of May 2011
@Well-Rounded Mama - thanks so much for checking out my blog!!! I feel so honored! Your blog/website helped me a lot when I was pregnant. I started this blog because I wanted to share my story and inspire other women to embrace their pregnancies. I thank you for all your hard work from the bottom of my heart!!!!
Monday 2nd of May 2011
Hi, just saw your comment on Unnecesarean and came by to check out your blog. Good luck with it! Glad to have someone else pointing out that women of size can have perfectly healthy pregnancies.
I'm glad my blog, www.wellroundedmama.blogspot.com, was helpful to you in your journey. Don't forget also my website, www.plus-size-pregnancy.org, where there are lots of birth stories from big moms, information about various topics, and links to other valuable sites. They were written to complement each other.
Best wishes on your blog and on your future births!