I gained 65 pounds when I was pregnant with my daughter. At the height of my pregnancy, I weighed more than my 6’3” brother and 20 pounds more than my husband. I’m a blabber mouth, so of course everyone on earth knew pound-by-pound how much I was gaining. Except for one person. My OB.
Every time I came in for a checkup, I would hop on the scale and Patsy, the nurse, would cackle and say, “Whoa, that’s a lot!” or “Wow, you’re gaining ‘em!” or “My goodness, girl!” I’d laugh back, but inside I wanted to pummel her with the blood pressure armband. I started to get paranoid about my pregnancy weight gain and dreaded my appointments. They pretty much always started like this:
Patsy: “Hop on the scale!”
Me: “Oh, OK.”
Patsy: “30 pounds! That’s 7 more than last visit!”
Me: “I had my paper robe on so that can’t be accurate.”
Patsy: “That thing only weighs about a half an ounce.”
Me: “Well make sure you note that in my chart!”
Patsy wasn’t adding half an ounce to my weight, no way, no how!
When I passed the “recommended” pregnancy weight gain limit of “25 to 30 pounds” (who comes up with this crap?) I got desperate. I decided to lie. I couldn’t take Patsy’s heckling any more. Personally, I was fine with my weight gain. I’d always been too skinny (I was even teased about it as a child) and I loved feeling more substantial. But I couldn’t handle Patsy’s judgement.
So I devised a plan. After handing her my pee sample, I would rush and jump on the scale before she could return from the nurse’s station. I’d shave off a few pounds and proudly report my progress. She bought it and would jot it down. The plan was working brilliantly. No more commentary from Ms. Nightingale. I began to look forward to my OB appointments again. Hearing the baby’s heartbeat, speculating with doc about my delivery date—you know, the fun stuff.
Everything was groovy until one checkup in my last month. Patsy returned to the examination room before I could get on the scale.
“Hop on!” Patsy grinned. I began to panic.
I can’t get on the scale in front of her. She’s going to think I gained 20 pounds in a week!
I didn’t know what to do. What could I do?
I got on the scale.
“WHOA!” Patsy shrieked! “Holy cow, girl, you gained 24 pounds this week!” (Did she have to use the word COW?) I had to come clean, or my doctor would think something was wrong. “Um,” I said, “Um, I may have misread the scale last time … and the time before. And maybe once or twice before that.” Patsy looked at me and raised an eyebrow. “Maybe it’s just the robe,” she said and jotted down my weight on my chart.