Plus size and pregnant. *Gasp!*
Husband and toddler in toe, I go to meet with an OBGYN. They came highly recommended and had proven to be mother-baby friendly as per a local mom’s group.
Ultrasound is perfect.
“Congrats! You are for a fact pregnant.”
My oldest got to see and hear his baby brother for the first time. Not that he understands but it was such a sweet moment. Time to see the doctor so I go into the first area, almost like a triage for doctor’s offices. You know what I’m talking about.
Blood pressure, good.
Weight…..well you know where I’m going with this hence the first sentence.
The next step should be into a room, asked if I had questions, etc. I knew something was wrong when we were brought into an office.
“I’m sorry but your BMI is not what it needs to be and we have no NICU at this hospital so you will have to go elsewhere.” I specifically remember her telling me that she can’t even give birth with her own practice due to her BMI.
But why do I need a NICU? Was there something on the ultrasound? Were my numbers off? Does my first baby’s labor and delivery not prove I can have a great birth? I’ll save you the suspense. It doesn’t. I was simply a number on a scale definied by my weight.
I was embarrassed. How can my husband still love me when I’m too big to even carry a child properly? How can my son love to cuddle this fat? I was happy and confident until that moment. As a matter of fact it impacted my entire pregnancy. I didn’t want or get maternity pictures done and I may have only taken 1 or 2 pictures actually showing my belly.
Am I on my own? I can’t be. I’ll find someone. So I sucked up my pride and asked in the mom’s group again but including “…must accept an overweight woman”
The suggestions rolled in, but it wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted a place I would be heard, that my birth went my way. I NEEDED that place or person. I went to a birth and baby expo in search of options too afraid to talk about why to anyone.
Birth Centers! Wow, I could have my birth but be near a hospital (the hospital was what was most comforting for my husband at the time, we hadn’t done much thought into home birth yet) Center #1….”thanks for calling but we have a BMI limit” Birth Center #2….”well maybe we can” (followed by a few phone calls) “Actually we can’t, sorry, BMI”
Wasn’t I getting this enough from mainstream media? Why is everyone trying to take away a special memory and journey that I should be celebrating?!
I won’t cry.
I won’t cry.
Then I took to Google. Calling every midwife that popped up. Oh wait, there is one someone mentioned. Can I call? Is the no worth the pain and tears? I have no choice. What I didn’t know is that the voice on the other line would save me from feeling I was failing my unborn child even more. I explained the situation and when I heard “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!” I knew I found her. My midwife. This moment was so critical. On the verge of giving up, on the edge of depression, I was brought back to reality.
I cried. Full on ugly cry in the middle of the break room at work. (luckily no one was there).
I can do this.
I have done it before!
I love my body and I should never doubt my capabilities no matter who says otherwise.
Mommy is going to give you the best birth possible!
I wanted to feel connected to this perfect body even more now.
I may be plus size but damn anyone who tells me I can’t have a healthy pregnancy and birth. I did. TWICE.