I met with the nutritionist at our MFM clinic this morning. I knew my weight was not increasing quickly enough, so I expected to be told firmly that I had to eat more. I am 9 1/2 weeks now, and have gained around 3 pounds. I know this is not enough, and that they'd encourage me to get the scale moving in the right direction.
We talked a bit about my weight before pregnancy and my eating habits. She said for someone like me, who was very "calorie conscious" and ate fewer than 2,000 calories a day, it would take a shift in thinking to be able to eat close to 4,000 required by a triplet pregnancy. I agree, but it also takes the cooperation of my stomach which feels full rather quickly and is easily turned off. I am supposed to gain somewhere between 58-70 pounds, but she said for my frame and size before pregnancy, 50 is a more reasonable goal. Each doctor and nurse have emphasized the need for early and adequate weight gain (as does Barbara Luke's book that I've mentioned) and shows that babies whose mothers gain more, earlier have better birth weights and fewer health problems at birth. This is a huge motivation!
We talked about some of the challenges I have right now:
1. I don't eat much meat, and no beef or pork at all. This makes it harder to get the recommended 200 grams of protein per day.
2. I feel extremely nauseous about half the time, and do not feel like eating then.
3. Many foods, cooking smells and scents make me sick. Cooking is not really an option right now.
So, she helped me devise a meal plan and I need to try to stick to it, even when I don't feel good. If I do feel extremely sick, all the more reason to eat extremely high calorie foods when I can, since I will eat less when nauseated. She said someone who started "a little behind" should really eat every hour (!!!) or so. She had many good tips:
1. No more water. Make every sip count, and have calories. Juice, milk, smoothies, or lemonade. Nothing diet.
2. Shoot for three meals with three snacks. A snack, however is not 1/2 an apple, but more like a mini-meal.
3. Eat fast food to get extra calories, and take out. She gave me the list of highest calorie restaurant entree's which she either gives to people who need to lose or gain. Example, a Starbucks blueberry muffin has 500 calories. That is A LOT and would help me meet my goal. A slice of Costco pizza has 800 calories. Can you believe that?
4. Must start drinking protein shakes at night and eating protein bars. The babies need some protein in there!
5. She told me to use www.fitday.com to track my calorie intake. I started and with all my extra efforts today, I've only eaten 900 calories. GRRR. I had such a big lunch, I don't feel like eating at all until dinner.
6. Eat fat-dense foods like nuts, butter, avocado and cheese.
Had someone told me six months ago that I could eat whatever and whenever I wanted, I would've been thrilled, but once you start trying to do it... it loses its appeal rather quickly. I am sure once the nausea passes, it will be easier, but right now, it is a battle. I may have to start posting my weight gain so you all can encourage (read: harass) me into packing it on. It is like reverse Over Eaters Anonymous!
So there you have it. This seems like an impossible goal, but I want those babies to grow and be as heavy and healthy at birth. They said you can't really gain too much for a triplet pregnancy, and it will serve all of us very well. I know not every clinic advocates a plan like this one, but it makes sense to me, and there is a lot of research backing it up.
Listen up, A, B and C! Mommy is stuffing her face (out of lots of love) for you up here, so grow big and strong!