Lots of women say they feel huge when they’re pregnant. And between the growing belly and swelling in the hands, feet, and ankles, who can blame them?
But for those of us looking at them, we might not see exactly what they’re feeling.
That’s particularly true in the early stages of pregnancy, when a stranger might not be able to tell whether a woman is pregnant or not.
For one woman in England, there was no hiding her pregnancy — not even in the early weeks. Her belly became so full that by the end of the first trimester, people thought she was due any day.
Lara Carpenter-Beck was having her first child. She has type 1 diabetes, where the pancreas does not produce enough insulin.
People with type 1 diabetes manage the disease through diet, exercise, monitoring their blood sugar, and taking insulin.
This is especially important for women with type 1 diabetes who want to have a baby.
According to the CDC, the risks associated with pregnancy for type 1 diabetics may include high blood pressure and birth defects. For Carpenter-Beck, that included a weight gain she had no idea was coming, and when it did, she knew it wasn’t normal.
By the time she reached 32 weeks, the baby was already 6 pounds.
The normal weight for a baby who reaches the full term of 37 to 40 weeks is between 6 and 9 pounds.
“It was really hard carrying around all the extra weight when I wasn’t used to it,” she said. When she laid on her back, she said she felt as though she was being crushed by the weight, and her husband once measured her belly at a circumference of 55 inches.
Finally, at 36 weeks, her water broke.
She was rushed to the hospital for a C-section, and she and her husband welcomed a baby girl they named Savannah; she weighed 9 pounds, 5 ounces.
In all, this mother gained 90 pounds during that first pregnancy. Thanks to some hard work, she managed to lose the extra weight within a year of her daughter’s birth and said that despite the intense experience, she would do it again.
She and her husband, Chris, welcomed Savannah’s sister, Indiana, in 2016.
Carpenter-Beck had another big bump, but judging from the family’s smiles today, the weight was worth it.
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