10w0d: Fun with Weight Gain

April 21, 2009

Note to ICLW visitors: Hi! This post is pregnancy-related. If you would prefer non-pregnancy talk, come back on Thursday.

I have the weirdest problem. I need to gain more weight.

When skinny girls complain about being unable to gain weight, they get little sympathy. Just like when fertiles complain to infertiles about getting pregnant every time their husband looks at them. Or like the time my husband needed a new wallet because his old wallet had been so full of money that it burst. Lest you think we’re rolling in the dough, it’s not what you think. A dozen guys had reimbursed him for prepaying their hotel rooms during a Boys’ Weekend. Even from the guys who had just handed him a large amount of money in small bills, there were a lot of glares when he announced the state of his wallet.

Back to me, and being simultaneously fat and skinny.

I’m not like the skinny girls, I swear. I am not, and have never been anything close to, a skinny girl.

I’m just carrying twins. To increase the likelihood of actually giving birth to two live babies, I need to gain a lot of weight throughout this pregnancy. The estimates vary depending on who you listen to/which books you read, but the twin book that I trust the most says that the best outcomes for multiples in terms of survival and reduced prematurity require a lot of weight gain. Mind-boggling caloric intake and double the protein that I’ve been getting even on days when I try hard to consume protein. For a vegetarian who has lost her taste for most sweets, getting that many calories is pretty much impossible. (See? Cry Me A River territory, right?)

I’ve been eating constantly, and I thought that I was pretty well on track. Most of my pants no longer fit, and my belly is much bigger than usual.

Then I went to the OB. I haven’t been on a scale since before getting pregnant, so I had no idea how much weight I’ve actually gained. I would have guessed at least 10 pounds (which would be perfect given the twin recommendations and my starting BMI).

Nope. I have gained (drum roll)…

…zero pounds.


My weight during treatments has fluctuated in a 5-pound range, and today I was smack-dab in the middle of that range. What the hell? I am certainly bigger, so where is that weight going (and why didn’t my weight magically disappear before I was pregnant, when I wouldn’t have minded)?

DH said that he has been secretly monitoring my food intake, and that although I am eating more, I am also eating mostly healthy foods. Too much salad! Even my salad dressing choice is not fatty enough.

I now have to eat almost nonstop, and I need to work in more fattening foods (most of which don’t appeal to me, between the nausea, aversions, and my preexisting eating patterns). Remember when I said that I have the weirdest problem?

I will leave you with two vignettes that demonstrate the yin and yang of my skinny fatness.

We saw a bunch of friends this weekend, including the Other Hosts. I tried to camouflage my belly, and apparently succeeded. We ended up telling the Other Hosts and one other person about the pregnancy, because DH really wanted to be able to tell someone the good news in person and his closest friend made a pretty good candidate, but I drew the line at making an announcement in front of a dozen people, some of whom I barely know. After Mr. Other Host heard the news, he said, “That’s funny, because I was going to ask you if you’d lost weight.”

Backstory for the next vignette: I have a medium-sized body, but I have extra-large breasts. DDD, in fact. They’ve gotten probably half a cup size bigger since being pregnant.

After dinner, one of the people that I don’t know well (I’ve been to her house and she’s been to mine, but we’re not actually friends) asked Mrs. Other Host, “Have BabySmiling’s boobs always been that big?”

Actually, yes, pretty much.

The Verdict
Fetuses: each about an inch long, weighing less than 1/3 of an ounce between the two of them
Breasts: bigger, hard to disguise — but for many people the change is just a drop in the ocean
Stomach: much bigger, but possible to disguise
Rest of body: no bigger
Muscle mass: possibly atrophied
Mass: no change!

I’m thinking of following Dr. Nick Riviera’s Window to Weight Gain advice (from when Homer Simpson wanted to become obese so that he could go on disability). Don’t chew gum, chew bacon. Brush your teeth with milkshakes. Oops, I’m a lactose intolerant vegetarian. Back to the drawing board.

Didn’t I tell you that this is the weirdest problem to have?

40 Responses to “10w0d: Fun with Weight Gain”

  1. Carrie Says:

    I think we are reading the same book! I know how hard it is to gain. Was your OB concerned or not so much? I know some are more hard-core about the gaining.

    I am 7w2d and have gained about 2lbs total, which according to that fancy BMI thing, is about 43 shy of what I need overall. I really want to have big full term babies, so I am trying SO hard to get a ton of protein and all, but that amount of calories is… staggering. Yesterday my RE told me to start drinking Ensure… yum. I find I can drink milkshakes at night (but only at night) and they get me another 300 calories.

    Happy 10 weeks for you!!!

  2. Nity Says:

    If only this were my problem. I think I’m small (belly wise) but then I saw someone due 2 days ahead of me and found out we’d gained the same amount of weight. Where has all mine gone?!? I need to start eating healthier…

    Weight gain for me — pasta, bread, cereal, bananas… note the load up on carbs. And eat small meals throughout the day, i.e. breakfast at 8:30, snack at 10, lunch at 12, snack at 2, snack at 4, dinner at 6….

  3. shinejil Says:

    Nuts and seeds are your friends. And quinoa (wicked high protein, decent calorie density, lots of other nutritional goodies). And some good ol’ whole grains (read small but numerous servings of brown rice, with some tofu and veggies perhaps). If I were standing by, I’d fix you a nice almond butter and banana sandwich on toasted whole wheat bread.

    It will get easier in the next few weeks to gain weight as your hormones calm down, I bet. You’ll catch up.

    Believe me, it’s also a suckfest in my boat: told you’re too fat (well, actually that you’re gaining too much weight. I was normal before pregnancy), starving all the time, no longer able to ingest salad most days without gagging, and afflicted by terrible cravings.

  4. katedaphne Says:

    I have the same trouble (though I’ll cop to being a skinny girl). And I’m sure we’ve been reading the same book.

    At first I took it quite seriously — but I found that for some of us, it is simply impossible to follow. Now I use it as a goal, or a best-case scenario. I am trying to get as much protein as possible, and I have amped up my caloric intake. But seriously, there is no human way I could take in 3,500 calories a day. There aren’t enough milkshakes in the world! I’m 22 weeks today and have gained about 17 pounds. All in the belly (and boobs! šŸ™‚ And most of that appeared around 18-19 weeks.

    Good luck creating a diet that works for you.

  5. Dora Says:

    OMG! I have just the thing for you! Chocolate covered bacon! For real!

  6. Dora Says:

    “Iā€™m a lactose intolerant vegetarian.”

    Doh! Never mind.

  7. Amy Says:

    It is difficult to eat a lot of calories if you are also eating healthfully – and I can only imagine it is harder if you can’t chow down meat. Good luck!

  8. Heather Says:

    I wouldn’t worry too much as long as the babies look like they are on track. I don’t think I was noticably pregnant at 10 weeks with our twins either. I’m 26 weeks now and couldn’t hide behind a truck! I am a usually very skinny girl who does like to eat healthy vegetarian food. I’m actually what I call “bovine intolerant” as if I drink milk or eat beef, it goes through my body very very quickly, LOL! Other commenters have already given you some great advice – quinoa (my blog has a roasted veggie quinoa salad recipe that’s very yummy!) and almond butter sandwiches. I have to admit in the first trimester “the boys” craved pasta and bagels. Now that I’m later on, they seem to crave fruits and veggies. I have a book too that says to gain more weight. I’m using it as a guideline instead of completely following it to a T. I’m usually on the smaller end of weight gain that they mention for twins, but I’m still much higher than a singleton pregnancy. I’m glad I read the book too because if anyone bugs me about how much weight I’ve gained, I can say that it’s what I’m supposed to be doing.

  9. strongblonde Says:

    what book are you reading? i think i need to get it. i know i am definitely not eating enough….but i am just now not barfing enough to actually consume food šŸ™‚

    i lost about 8 lbs during the first 11 wks, but am now back up about 6…so i’m just happy that i’m not losing anymore. people say my bbs are bigger, too, but i don’t see it…they were always big.

  10. Gina Says:

    Best of luck to you in the weight gain dept. I’m sorry I don’t have any good advise since I am a “meat-a-sourus” and not yet pg, lol. I have always heard peanut butter is something good to eat when trying to gain weight though.

    ICLW #5

  11. You should probably be eating a high protein diet. My SIL is a nutritionist. If you don’t like sugary stuff you don’t ahve to eat that to gain weight. You should consult with someone about an eating plan if it is really this important. DDD huh?

  12. Jennifer Says:

    Congrats on your precious twins! šŸ™‚ And good luck with the weight gain. (ICLW)

  13. Cat Says:

    I’m gaining weight, but I hear you on the eating enough part. With triplets, one book says I should be getting 4,000 calories/day and the other says 4,500. Can you imagine?! If I only ate fast food it would be no problem, but like you, I’m eating healthier and it takes a crapload of apples to add up to 4,000 calories.

    One suggestion on the protein front, are you taking protein powder? I picked up a standard whey isolate protein powder from GNC, but know a few women who took the unflavored Unjury kind. I mix mine (chocolate flavored) in milk and they’d make smoothies. Also, try nuts and dried fruit because they’re healthy, but calorie-dense.

    Just do your best and eat whenever you’re hungry, even if it’s a granola bar in the middle of the night after a bathroom run. You’ll figure out ways to sneak in extra calories and once the nausea subsides (because you have to believe it will), then it’ll be easier to eat.

  14. dreamingsoul Says:

    I’m a vegetarian carrying twins as well! I have gained 20 pounds in 20 weeks and my goal was 24 pounds in 24 weeks. In the beginning, I drank a lot of those protein drinks (Boost) and they helped to pack on some good pounds. I also carbo-loaded a good deal. It’s not as easy as people think. Good luck!

  15. rosesdaughter Says:

    Ok, I wish I had your problem. Really. I do. Really.


  16. Congratulations on your twin pregnancy. I am so happy for you. It is such a blessing when fellow IF’s get pregnant. I have come to you via ICLW and wish I had found your blog earlier.

    Gaining weight advice…hmmmmm…def. try some protein shakes.

    Wishing you an easy pregnancy.

    ~Fashionably IF

  17. Heather R. Says:

    Another lactose intolerant blogger! I’m not a vegetarian though so I can’t suggest anything helpful.

    – ICLW

  18. Shelby Says:

    I am a new found vegetarian and not by choice. Like you, my food aversions have been so numerous and meat and peanut butter, two protein-heavy things I used to crave, turn my stomach now. I think protein drinks sound like a good solution. Glad I read all the comments here.

    I think I started this pregnancy as a skinny fat girl with the same problem as you, but have since really started to gain weight again and am now just a fat fat girl, haha. I’m sure you’ll catch up once the nausea subsides.

  19. katery Says:

    congratulations! now gain some weight damnit!

  20. chrissy Says:

    oh congrats and good luck on the weight gain!

  21. mekate Says:

    cashew butter! delightful and delicious
    tahnini salad dressing
    peanut butter (sadly I cannot)
    seasame noodles!

    If you’re open to eggs, EGGS! SOY CHEESE! but if you tend toward vegan, back to the nut butters.. seriously.

    And, I must say I cannot fathom your breast siz as. I am a barely A. I am simply awed.

  22. Lorza Says:

    Don’t chew gum…chew bacon. mwa ha ha ha!!!! Love it.

    Good luck girl- that must be a condundrum you have going one! I suggest just adding stuff like the “real salad dressing’, and if you can tolerate nuts- snack on them. There are plenty of healthy high caloric stuff you can eat.

    Happy ICLW


  23. cece Says:

    I’ve just discovered I’m pregnant with twins – and I wonder what they are going to say to me about weight gain. I’m not a small woman, and only gained about 15 pounds with my son. Good to find another twin pregnancy to follow!

    here from ICLW

  24. Brenna Says:

    Love the Homer Simpson quote! I’m trying to fathom DDD breasts. I’ve been C, and quite possibly a D during pregnancy…but DDD. Wow. I’m sure you have some highly supportive bras already. I hope your pregnancy continues to progress beautifully!

  25. I love your analogies, especially the wallet one.

    I will tell Tessa the babies have graduated from “blueberry” to “strawberry.”

  26. Happy 10 weeks! Can you do any type of homemade shake? With your own type of lactose free/soy milk and lots of fruit? Have a GREAT day!
    Oh and happy ICLW, too.

  27. Mr. Shelby Says:

    This was a great post and you painted a awesome picture with your analogies. If only us men had some excuse for our beer guts šŸ™‚

    -Mr. Shelby (from ICLW)

  28. Melissa G Says:

    Seriously … “Don’t chew gum, chew bacon”? BEST. LINE. EVER. Thank you for at least acknowledging that it is a pretty great problem to have. I wish I could be your surrogate for caloric intake. I ROCK AT IT.

    Anyway, congratulations on your pregnancy. I look forward to following your journey!


  29. heather Says:

    being a not so skinny girl myself…with my first pregnancy it was like the baby was eating my body fat for the first 5 months or so, so i had the same problem, of course i was not having twins and had plenty of body fat to feed a small army! in the end i only gained 8 lbs and had and 8 lb 9 oz baby (lord have mercy). second pregnancy i gained 40 lbs and had a 7lb 1 oz baby! So it never seems to make sense! all that said try protien powders (not sure if they are lactose free) and then you can just put it right in your water!

  30. Alana-isms Says:

    Glad your pregnancy continues to progress well! Good luck with the weight gain.


  31. ANONYMOUS Says:

    I lurk on your blog – first off – congrats. what an adventure you are on. Just to give my 2 cents worth – take it easy with the weight gain. you may be sorry in the long run. i carried twins (post ivf)to term (38 weeks), and put on about 13 kgs (not sure what that is in lbs) in total (including the weight of the kids, placenta etc etc) – they were lifechangingly perfect! in the long run i see it was better – no stretchmarks and easy for the weight to come off (less to lose). my doc warned me upfront to not go “hell for leather” with the eating, and for me it was the right advice. as long as the kids are growing on track – you’re good.
    wishing you all the luck with your adventure! it’s such a happy time šŸ™‚

  32. Barefoot Says:

    I can’t even imagine how weird it must be to have to focus so totally on consuming calories all the time. Glad to see that everything’s progressing well, though!

  33. Misty Says:

    Congrats on your twin pregnancy! Good luck gaining weight (I wish that was my problem, I can’t seem to avoid candy bars right now).
    Happy ICLW.

  34. Tracy Says:

    Congrats on your twin pregnancy! Good luck with the weight gain!


  35. Trish Says:

    hi, I am visiting from ICLW…No. 35 to say hello and to check out your blog.
    My Little Drummer Boys

    Congratulations .. twins are awesome when I was pregnant with my twins I didn’t gain much in the first or even mid 2nd trimester. The babes basically weigh next to nothing at the moment.

    You will get hungrier and you will put on weight I think in the end I did about 15-20kgs. Keep eating sensibly.

    I was never weighed by my Obstetrician a highly esteemed ‘Professor Of Obstetrics, Maternal New born specialist’,also Dean of the Medicine at the UNI in charge of medical students.It was through the high risk clinic (because I had twins and previous singleton loss @26wks).

    I lot of weight we gain is the extra circulating blood volume too.

    AS long as the babies are growing normally – there were no concerns.Still at birth (35wks4days) my fraternal boys had an 800gm difference 2.1kg(4lbs12) & 2.9kgs (6lbs8)and they said this was normal.

    Hope you have a smooth journey to delivery.

  36. I had a lot of trouble with eating enough during the first two trimesters of my pregnancy. Eventually I just decided to eat whenever I felt like it, and at 2 hour intervals if I don’t feel like it in order not to feel fainty, and it seems to have worked. My doctor says I’m right on target as far as weight gain goes. I know a lot of women get self-conscious about this, but I think it’s best to eat more, then tone it down if your doctor says you’re not on point with weight gain.

  37. ^WiseGuy^ Says:

    You know you could borrow ‘several’ pounds from me…I have lot to spare! LOLOL!


  38. nishkanu Says:

    I completely sympathize with your problem. I am 9w with a singleton and have severe morning sickness / food aversions. I have lost about 6 lbs so far and I am trying to eat + drink as much as I possibly can, which is not much, and every day I step on the scale and hope and pray more isn’t gone. I am very grateful it is not twins, if it was I would probably have to be fed intravenously for the next month.

    This might sound kind of weird, but is it possible that you are not getting enough water/fluids? This can do a number on your weight even if you are actually gaining fat.

  39. Mijke Says:

    Strange… All anyone (OB/GYN included) ever told me during my twin-pregnancy was: “Don’t go over the top. You DON’T have to eat for three!”

    Not that I could have, because up until 17 weeks I had “morning” sickness 24/7, making me lose all the weight I’d gained in 4 yrs TTC, 6 IUI’s and 2 IVF’s. And from about 20 weeks, the twins took up so much of the space usually occupied by a person’s stomach/intestines that eating more than 3 bites at a time seemed impossible.

    My twins were born at 32 weeks. By that time I had gained a total of 3 (not thirty, not twenty, not even ten, but THREE) kgs (about 7 pounds) since the day I took the pregnancy test. Their weight was normal for their gestational age. They were healthy. Noone ever told me I would have had a better chance of carrying them to term had I eaten more…

    Wishing you a long and healthy pregnancy!

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