A weighty matter

I really don’t mind being pregnant. I mean, the morning sickness all day nausea gets a little ‘tedious’. Especially when it lasts for nearly twenty weeks. But, truthfully, I’m so grateful that it’s just nausea, and not puking, that it seems bearable. I honestly think if I’d had pregnancies like some of my friends have had – I would have exactly one child.

One of the things that I like least about growing a human, is getting weighed. Often. Once a year for a physical is one thing, or whenever you can muster up the courage to see the truth at home. But every 4, 2 and 1 weeks?! For twenty eight weeks?

I have minor panic attacks prior to a scheduled ob visit. Because I know I will be weighed and, presumably, judged, if only by myself. When I was pregnant with our first – in London – it was a thing of beauty. I was never asked to step upon a scale. Not even once. Of course, we had one at home, and I had a general idea of where things stood. But the medical community had no idea how much I weighed and didn’t seem to care.

When we lived in Muncie, and I was pregnant with the Hen, I had to endure the judgment of the scale. The office I went to had the the sort of scale where they slide a metal thingy around until a ‘balance’ is achieved, which can sometimes take a while. Instead of a handy digital scale that displays your weight within 2 seconds so you can get off. Every time I went in for an appointment the nurse would start the scale at 100lbs. And move up, nano-inch by nano-inch for about ten minutes until she found the right weight.

Seeing as I haven’t weighed 100lbs since about the 8th grade, it seemed like an exercise designed to make me feel like a whale. Why couldn’t they just glance at my chart, note my last recorded weight and start THERE? I may have snapped something to that effect during one particularly testy time.

By the end of the pregnancy, I debated if it would be too ‘casual’ to wear boxer shorts and a tank top to my appointments. So as to eliminate the possibility of having a slightly inflated weigh-in. When I went to the hospital at 1am during an episode of false labor in my 40th week, they directed me to the scale around the corner from the admissions desk. To see what, exactly? If my weight had ballooned in the two or three days since I’d been weighed?

In Calgary, the scale makes a regular appearance in the pregnancy experience, I’ve learned.  But here they weigh you in kilograms instead of pounds.  So it’s tempting to think you’re doing okay…until you multiply the number by 2.2 and realize…you’re not.

I met my ob for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I was horrified to note that in this teeny tiny office, that probably sees the same amount of patients as the sprawling Muncie complex I used to frequent, the scale is in the waiting room.

Admittedly, obscured by half a wall. But, nonetheless, right in front of the reception desk. Within eyesight of those lucky enough to find a seat in the minuscule waiting room. Luckily, it’s a digital scale this time. At least the nurse recording the number doesn’t announce it out loud. I most certainly would have given her the look of death had she done so.

Having my weight checked during a prenatal visit is something I can at least accept. Begrudgingly. But at my sons’ doctor’s office…..not so much.

I took the boys for their ‘well-checks’ a couple of weeks ago. Mr. G stepped on the scale as he was asked, and the doctor recorded his weight. Mr. Hen didn’t quite ‘get’ the concept of the scale and refused to stand on it. Even for a millisecond. I looked around for the infant scale – the kind we always used at our former pediatrician’s office.

‘Twas nowhere to be found.

‘Well, why don’t you step on the scale with him and I’ll record your combined weight and subtract it from yours,’ the DOCTOR suggested.

Uh, come again?

First of all. Why was the doctor weighing my kids/me? Didn’t they have a nurse for the job? Second. I don’t even let my own husband around when I get on a scale – why would I let someone else’s husband, a semi-attractive male stranger, observe my well-kept secret. Third. I’m pregnant. And wearing clogs and a coat. And I was just weighed – YESTERDAY.

But, not being one to rock the boat, I did as I was told. Nothing like having your weight inflated by thirty pounds. Hence my decision to drive PAST the doughnut shop on the way home.

I told my friend Carrie, whose two sons go to the same doctor, what had happened….how I’d had to get on a scale in front of the doctor. ‘What did you do with Collin – or did he stand on the scale,’ I asked.

‘We used the infant scale,’ she replied.

Not what I wanted to hear.

3 thoughts on “A weighty matter

  1. I totally understand the anxiety of weighing during pregnacy at the doctor’s office! I wore the same outfit every single time until I could no longer fit into it, and scheduled my appts in the morning and refused to eat or drink anything before the dreaded “weigh in”. I never let Earle see or know my weight. I still have minor panick attacks and anxiety about weighing in at the doctor, because you always weigh more than at home, plus you have on clothes. How horrible that the scale is in the waiting room, I would die! I have a friend that just used to get on the scale and stand backwards and told the nurse to never tell her, as long as she had not gained too much…so she went through the whole pregnancy like that, with twins…pretty smart, I think:)

  2. My worst scale mistake occurred after Luca was born. Mind you it was a long labor, then c-section and then pumped full of fluids. Three days after delivering my 9 lb, 5 oz, 23 inch long baby boy I weighed MORE than I did when I checked in to the hospital (and of course got weighed)

  3. Oh, Maria – another friend did the same thing! Thank goodness they don’t weigh you on the way OUT of the hospital…that would just be cruel. Carrie, as much as I hate seeing the number, I think not seeing the number would be worse…I’d either think I was doing great or fear I’d gained 70lbs and no one had the courage to tell me 🙂


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