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Old 04-02-2010, 08:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Extremely obese... scared for my future baby

Well, I am extremely obese (275 lbs and 5'4"). I am a college student and while I love working out and cooking healthy meals, I cannot always fit my workout into my schedule, let alone cook a (cheap) healthy meal.

My fiance and I are getting married at the end of summer, and we want to start our family almost immediately (I am going to med school and am taking a year off between bach and med so its kind of perfect)... but I am terrified of gaining EVEN MORE weight and that I will hurt my child or my baby will suffer because of my problems. Any advice? I plan on trying to lose weight (2lbs a week) and getting down to "just obese" (lol) by the time we conceive and maybe continuing the same exercise regimen and follow a calorie count given by my doctor...

Really I am just looking for advice or maybe resounding "you should adopt/ give up on children" shouts...
Thanks
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Old 04-02-2010, 11:21 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Slavetodairy,

Welcome to the forum! Congratulations on your upcoming graduation and your decision to enter med school! Marraige, med school, and raising a family--you are going to be one busy lady. I admire your ambition.

Although concern for your future child's wellbeing is a priority, you are equally a priority as well. Your post sounds like you are a bit ambivalent about your decision to become pregnant so my question to you is: why the rush?

As to your decision to change your lifestyle, tracking your nutrition and exercise on fitday is a great tool. Many of us on this forum have made a lot of progress and I'm sure you will too. Also giving and receiving support on any of the threads is a very helpful--there are many supportive women of all ages here! Best wishes as you strive to become more healthy and fit!
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Old 04-02-2010, 11:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Built View Post
Hi Slavetodairy,


Although concern for your future child's wellbeing is a priority, you are equally a priority as well. Your post sounds like you are a bit ambivalent about your decision to become pregnant so my question to you is: why the rush?
I am not at all uncertain about having a child right now; I just know that with my weight my baby will likely face health issues (maybe? I haven't gone to Med School yet!). The "rush" is for several reasons, but in general we want to start our family now, we know we are ready and would like to get going and with me going to Med School it will be another 4+ years until there is a time even half as convenient as this year off I am taking. Everything just seems to fit right now- except for me in my jeans from high school
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Old 04-02-2010, 11:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Dairy, I understand the timing thing. Perhaps I misunderstood when I read the following:

Quote:
Originally Posted by slave2dairy View Post
Really I am just looking for advice or maybe resounding "you should adopt/ give up on children" shouts...
Thanks
Forums are great, but sometimes we miss bits of communication that in live conversations are better understood If this is what you want, GO FOR IT, girl!
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Old 04-02-2010, 01:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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When to have a child is one of the most personal decisions you will ever make. I totally understand why the timing seems perfect. That said, since you asked, here's my opinion. I am at the other end of child rearing... my oldest just got married, so I'm looking at it from another perspective.

I'm worried much more about you than your future child. Having a child is a full-time job for about the first 25 years, and part-time after that. It's extremely taxing, mentally and physically, at times. Although I am no professional, I know that when I was pregnant with one of my children, it became very taxing to my heart and I was 140 lbs. pregnant. Your body will be required to be in good condition to carry that baby 9 months for your health as well as the baby's.

I can think of several health issues off of the top of my head that would be of
concern.

This isn't to mention the time and energy required to have a newborn in the home. A newborn and med school sound like an awful lot to handle both mentally and physically, not to mention the lack of sleep caused by both.

Personally, I would take my weight down and achieve my educational goals first, but it's not my call to make. At a bare minimum, consult with your MD first before conceiving to make sure that you are healthy and physically ready to do so safely. He or she may recommend that you bring your weight down first.
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Last edited by quinnesec; 04-02-2010 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 04-02-2010, 02:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi Slavetodairy,

First, I just want to say that I understand that when you have a child is your decision and I see the reasoning in wanting to do it almost immediately. But I wanted to put in my two cents, which you can take or leave. I got married my second year in grad school...it took me seven years to complete my Ph.D. and waiting to have a baby seemed like forever. It was something I wanted so badly and all my friends were starting their families. However, I can't imagine having a child with the work that grad school required. Granted, some people did it. I can't say what their experience was like because it wasn't me. I accidentally got pregnant two weeks before I defended my dissertation and I am so glad that the timing worked out the way it did, since I could focus completely on my son by the time he came along.

But one sentence from your post jumped out at me..."while I love working out and cooking healthy meals, I cannot always fit my workout into my schedule, let alone cook a (cheap) healthy meal."

If you can't make this happen now, in college (which I suspect is a breeze compared to med school), how will you be able to do it in medical school, and with an infant? Although for all I know, you may have all sorts of help lined up in terms of a nanny, relatives, etc....but just something to think about.

Another thing to consider is the fact of "settling in" to a marriage and accommodating the changes that brings before a drastic change of having a new member of your household. You may be fine with that and sometimes it works out very well, but I can tell you (as a psychologist) that it does put a lot of stress on couples, and I'm concerned about all the potential stressors adding up for you.

Like Quinn brought up, taking care of yourself is really important. It sounds like you want to make that a priority, but there are only so many hours in a day. The fact that I can't do everything I want all at once was a hard lesson for me to learn, but it was an important one.

I realize that you probably weren't asking for advice on the timing of your family planning; sorry, and obviously you can simply discard anything I say. I know it's hard to hear that people disagree with what we think is a perfect idea. Please don't take anything I say as an instruction or even advice...I'm a stranger, after all, and could be way off base not knowing anything about you other than what you chose to post. But it's just my thoughts.

Bottom line, yes, it is definitely important for you to be as healthy as you can be in order to conceive and carry a healthy baby, and to reduce the health risks to yourself. It is not just a matter of losing weight; it is about making a lifestyle change, and it does take time and effort. See your doc first and foremost and you will have more information from a trusted medical source.

Best of luck to you with the wedding and whatever comes after . Be well!
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Last edited by cjohnson728; 04-02-2010 at 02:44 PM.
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Old 04-02-2010, 03:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Slave2Dairy, Boy after reading these last 2 posts (from women whose opinions I respect) I have to say, I blew it on my last response. I absolutely believe we should follow our dreams. But some dreams are best left delayed. If I realized all my dreams at once, I would be overwhelmed! Quinn and Cassie gave you some excellent advice that you would be wise to consider.

All the best to you!
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default I'll chime in too

I also went to grad school. Somewhere in my mind I got the idea that grad school would be a good time to start a family. Luckily, my wise husband didn't agree. A PhD program is a 24 hour a day job, and from what I hear Med School is a 36 hour a day job.

To be honest, we ultimately decided not to have children at all. It has turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life - but I don't recommend it for everyone. For me, especially during grad school, I could have been a student or a mom - I could not have handled both.

So take your time, take one major adjustment at a time. As others have noted, just getting married (even if you have know your future husband for ever) will require a lot of emotional energy and you will undoubtedly have your ups and downs. If you are also trying to improve you own wellbeing by losing weight, that's plenty to tackle at one time.

Good luck, I suspect Med School will be a wonderful experience for you.
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Old 04-03-2010, 07:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default I was an extremely obese mom

When I had my first child I was over 400 pounds. The pregnancy was categorized as high risk. My blood sugar was fine, though my docs were concerned about gestational diabetes. At the end I had pre-eclampsia, a 46 hour induced labor, kidney failure and an emergency c-section. The baby was taken to the NICU where she lived for the first 2 weeks of her life. I stayed in the ICU full of drugs to make my kidneys work again. We didn't meet for 2 days. We are both fine now, she's 7 1/2 years old.
When I was pregnant with my son, I was 290. I gained to 334. My pregnancy was fine this time, though my pre-eclampsia came back slightly when he was 39 weeks, so I had another c-section.
Things about being an obese pregnant woman that will get you down:
1. you may not even be able to become pregnant. Most extremely obese women stop ovulating. My doctor's were amazed I got pregnant at 400.
2. You never get that great, beautiful "pregnant" belly. You just get a bigger gut. It was sad, especially trying to find maternity clothes. When my first pregnancy, I couldn't find anything. With my second, I was able to find some 3x's to wear that were cute.
3. Pictures. You never want to get those awesome "I'm such a gorgeous pregnant goddess" pictures done with your hubby kissing your belly. Same with baby shower- the pics are just depressing.
4. Cars, it's harder to find seatbelts that fit you.
5. Doctor's talk constantly about how obese you are when you are pregnant. It makes ultrasounds more difficult, they have to move all kinds of fat around to get good views of the baby.
6. Other pregnant women will be terrified that they now weigh 150, while you're crying over being 300.
7. You will have even less energy than a normal sized pregnant woman and new mommy.
8. Breast feeding will be harder if you're like me and have very large breasts on top of being obese.

I'm not trying to talk you out if anything. My kids are amazing and I would go through everything I said and more to have them today, I just wanted to let you know about the road that lies ahead. Feel free to ask me any other questions.
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Old 04-05-2010, 08:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I am with the previous posters. I have two children under the age of 5 and let me tell you, raising a kid without all of the extra stuff is an 8 day a week job. If you are finding it difficult to eat right and workout now, it will be 100x harder with a child (and being in med school) because you don't even have time to go to the bathroom, let alone excercise or worry about what you are eating. Surround yourself with a lot of sturdy support, because it is a guarantee that there will be a major exam or paper due and your child will get the flu, break his arm or some other disaster will strike (and yes, everything minor is a disaster when your child is involved) the night before and without the support, you will not be able to finish the paper or study for the exam or eat/sleep/excercise.

There really is no good time to have a child, but make sure you are fully prepared for what is going to happen. Talk to others that have gone through what you are about to put yourself through. I would recommend that to anyone about to have a child, even if they aren't going through med school. You really can't even imagine what it will be like.

Some advice would be to make a conscious decision to make a lifestyle change now. Choose to eat food you buy from the grocery store and prepare yourself and find a way to work excercise into your daily routine (eg. walk or ride your bike to school, schedule a workout a few days a week). There are plenty of healthy, fast options out there for food. Some suggestions are fruit (apples, bananas, etc), veggies (buy precut or find 30 minutes to cut them up), instead of making a sandwich just bring the parts of the sandwich (whole grain, of course), Kashi granola bars. Learn to read labels so that you know what has a lot of sugar and fat and the options that don't. Buy the healthier frozen entrees and microwave them at school. Go to the healthier places to eat (soup, salad, sandwich shops) instead of the McDonald's/Wendy's. Know what has a lot of calories and what doesn't. Also know that making extra for supper can be a lot cheaper than eating fast food (eg, you can make pasta and meat sauce with carrots and zucchini for 6 people for under $10 - that gives you supper for 2 + 4 extra lunches/dinners - in 30 minutes). Your lifestyle change may also affect how healthy your child is later in life, not just at birth.

Also, breastfeeding your baby is a great (and inexpensive) way to shed pounds since it can use 500 calories a day, as long as you don't eat more than the calories you are burning, but be prepared because it is a difficult learning curve.

Bottom line, my advice is to prepare yourself. Know what you will be up against so that you can plan to succeed.
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