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Not To Scale

I am pregnant and have a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum. HG is like morning sickness on steroids – I vomit a million times a day, and likely won’t have any relief until I birth this baby in the spring. There are some medicines I take that can help with the nausea, but even with those I am still sick every day. Does it suck? Of course. But I knew what I was in for, and while it’s hard, it also has a pretty awesome baby-shaped reward at the end that makes everything worth it.

Unsurprisingly, my obstetrician is very on top of my hydration and weight loss. I’ve already spent some time getting hydrated via intravenous fluids, and I definitely have more IVs in my future. I see my OB every two weeks, and after losing almost four pounds between my last two visits, my OB instructed me to weigh myself every morning and keep track of the interval difference (I email the numbers to her nurse).

I dread weighing myself every morning, but for the opposite reason I’ve disliked weighing myself in the past. I now have a negative reaction when I lose weight, because every pound lost means I’m closer to needing much more aggressive forms of treatment. On the flip side, when I gain any amount of weight, even a fraction of a pound, it’s celebrating time! HG has completely changed the way I look at numbers on a scale.

My scale actually has this fancy mode where if you want, it will only tell you your interval of loss/gain since your last weigh-in. Under normal circumstances, I really like it because it lets me focus on what I’ve lost instead of what I weigh overall. Under the current circumstances, I like it because it means I don’t have to do any math! Win! Within seconds of weighing myself I can email the nurse with “today’s interval: -.8″ or “today’s interval: +.2 yay!”

This morning I stepped on the scale with more trepidation than usual. Yesterday was a particularly rough day in the nausea department, and I was crossing my fingers that the loss wouldn’t be more than half a pound. I stood on the scale and looked down. After a moment, +114 popped up on the screen. WHAT?! I certainly hadn’t gained one hundred fourteen pounds, and even with my HG weight loss, I don’t weigh anything close to 114 pounds.

I stood there, completely befuddled, when my daughter Annie strolled in. She looked at what I was doing and her face lit up. “MAMA! I can make the numbers come up!”

I then realized that my daughter must have come in here and stood on my scale without me knowing, and I apparently weigh 114 pounds more than she does. I wonder if my OB and her nurse would appreciate updates like, “today’s interval: +114 pounds more than Annabel.” Hmm, probably not.


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