Not The Biggest Loser

I just want to be…

Browsing in Pregnancy

I am so, so, so thrilled at being pregnant.  I can’t even begin to tell you how much.  However unfortunately I am not one of these women who does pregnancy well.  No siree, not well at all. I just did my first ante-natal class last night and it was a physiotherapy class aimed at helping you make yourself more comfortable during pregnancy. She went through the list of symptoms and asked who was experiencing them:

  • Backache – check
  • Pelvic Girdle/Pubic Symphysis pain – check
  • Indigestion/heartburn – check
  • Inability to sleep – check
  • Inability to get comfortable in any position – check
  • Tiredness – check
  • Moodiness/emotional instability – check

Not only was I the only one putting up my hand for all of these… but I was the only one putting my hand up for nearly any of them! What is wrong with these other women? Seriously…I am not having a lot of fun right now.

I think I underestimated how hard it is being pregnant and overweight. It is hard. Even though my stomach is definitely looking more rounded, I doubt most strangers would know I was pregnant by looking at me. Of course those that know say “oh you’re tummy’s popped out” and comment that I look much bigger, but most of the time I think I just look REALLY fat!

I’m now 28 weeks and have gained 12kg. I’m now just above my pre surgery weight which sucks. I’m trying not to worry about it, but it does bother me. My only hope is that I’m so fed up feeling the way I feel right now and being frustrated that I can’t go have a fill and start to fix this weight problem that I’m hoping it will motivate me to really work on getting off the weight after the baby is born. My obstetrician only wanted me to put on 5kg total through the whole pregnancy, so I didn’t do too well at that goal! I’ve just honestly been unable to get moving and start exercising. I’m so tired all the time. I get home and it is all I can do to cook or clean up or pay bills or do grocery shopping, let alone to even spend 15 minutes doing some sort of activity. It’s a poor excuse I know and I really didn’t think I’d get to 28 weeks having only done 1 or 2 sessions of exercise. And my obstetrician keep saying that all I need to do is go for a walk…the problem is walking is actually really difficult for me right now.  It hurts! Between the extra weight, shortness of breath, back and severe pelvis pain which has started again I am really not able to walk far or for long. I’ve still got 6.5 weeks left at work and I’m struggling to finish that. I hobble around the office like an old lady. Standing up and walking after sitting for a period of time is agony!

I’m off food big time at the moment. The problem is I still get really hungry (especially in the mornings) but I can never think of what I feel like eating. The thought of everything turns me off.  I’m not even into sweet things at the moment, though still seem to eat them out of habit/hope they’ll make me feel better. Which of course they don’t.

And then there’s the tiredness…I’m struggling finishing this post…I make it till about midday at work and then I just crumble…I use all my strength not to call a taxi and go home to bed!

I apologise for the whinge of a post. I’m actually still really thrilled to be pregnant, just finding the physical side of it very hard.  And I figure a whinging post is better than none at all…right?

On  a positive note I had my routine blood tests the other day and I don’t have Gestational Diabetes and so far my blood pressure has been consistently low. So kind of good news that the fat pregnant woman doesn’t have all the problems she kept getting told she’d have because she was overweight! So I’m kind of quietly smug about that!

We decided to have a ‘fun’ scan at 24 weeks, as I really love seeing how the baby has grown etc. We got a few good photos. Quite amazing to make out a real little baby face! We have another one booked at 30 weeks as apparently this is when you really get to see the baby features.

It’s been a hard 5 months so far, this pregnancy, but things are just now starting to settle down. Aside from the dreadful nausea up to about 15 weeks, I started suffering from terrible Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction which started off as mild discomfort in the pelvis region, but ended up getting really bad.  I experienced massive pain at night when rolling over, often accompianed by a very large crack in my pelvis as I turned. I also was unable to put on trousers or underwear while standing up as the action of lifting my leg up hurt too much. Even walking short distances exacerbated it. Basically anything that involved moving my legs at all was painful. If you look at the diagram below and see where the Symphysis Pubis is and imagine if it is inflamed, you can see why!

symphysis_pubis.png

I eventually got in touch with a chiropractor who practices the Webster technique which is supposed to be really good to ensure babies are in the right position for an easier birth. Things started improving massively for me. Though as my pelvic pain began to lessen my back pain seemed to get worse. I even had to take a day off work one day a few weeks ago because I literally couldn’t walk. Each step I took gave me massive nerve pain. Again, working with the chiropractor has helped to work through my back problems. I was doing a pregnancy exercise class once a week through the hospital. The class is run by a physio and I quite enjoyed it, but I was wondering if it was contributing to my back problems. I stopped going a couple of weeks ago and I’ve seen a marked improvement in my back. Might just be conincidence, but it’s enough to keep me away for now.

The only other symptom that gets quite bad is the reflux/heartburn. I get it pretty much after every meal except breakfast. It is awful! In some ways, good because it is so painful it makes me not want to eat. I can’t help but wonder if the band is making it worse, but I know this is a common complaint during pregnancy, so maybe not.

So aside from the heartburn, being constantly tired and feeling huge, I don’t feel too bad physically at the moment.

baby_23.JPG

At 19 weeks and 5 days we went for our morphology scan. Although we were nervous, we were also hoping that if everything looked good during this scan that our risk of downs would be decreased by 4.

The first stage of the scan was done by a girl who was new to the practice, so she had another more senior lady there to watch/assist her. They were both lovely and from the beginning things were looking very positive. Everything was looking very normal and healthy. They had warned me that because of my weight they might not be able to see the baby’s nasal bone or see the heart properly and that I may have to come back at a later date to get those looked at.  During the scans of my last pregnancy, I became aware that my weight meant that ultrasounds were not as clear and I got upset several times when I read on ultrasound reports that the view was affected by my weight. However as soon as they started doing the ultrasound they commented on how clear everything was and they actually did manage to get a good, clear look at the heart and nasal bone, all of which looked good. So I guess baby was in a good position, even though the placenta is anterior which usually means difficult ultrasounds. Weird.

So after they assured me that everything looked perfect, the doctor who did our amnio last time Dr Carmody came in and had a look too. As he started looking, he let out a “hmmmmm” and seemed to want to investigate something. We both thought he was going to give us some bad news! He went on to say “well that looks normal” and then kept looking at different things and eventually said “This isn’t a good baby, this is a GREAT baby”. We were so relieved. He looked in detail at the heart and how the blood was flowing through it, at the different chambers etc and it all looked perfect.  He went on to say that due to the ultrasound being so good, that he could reduce our risk of Downs Syndrome to about 1 in 800. I can’t even begin to tell you how happy and relieved we were that the baby looked so healthy.

This was a huge milestone for us and at this point I started to believe that maybe everything was going to be ok.

 the-14-week-fetus.jpg

So we went back to the sonographer for our 14 week scan about 6 weeks ago now.  We were very nervous as last pregnancy when we visited this office it was for an amnio at 14 weeks and we naively expected everything to be fine, but within minutes of walking into the ultrasound we were receiving very bad news. So it was hard to imagine everything being ok this time.

But this time within minutes the doctor was reassuring us. In fact within a few minutes of starting the ultrasound he said “Oh this baby looks good”.  He went on to check the size of the baby…check all ok, the nasal bone…check- all ok, the size of the neck…check – all ok. He explained to us that the only way to rule out Downs Syndrome or any other problems for sure was to have an amnio, but added that by just looking at this baby, he did not think it had a chromosome problem. As he finished the exam, he walked out of the room saying “I have a good feeling about this baby”. I can’t even explain how relieved we were.  While I’m not sure I will ever completely relax during this pregnancy, it certainly gave me a far greater sense of relaxation than I had before.

Unfortunately we didn’t get any photos from the 14 week scan, but have some great ones to share when I write my 19 week scan post :-) Promise not to make you wait as long!

baby_10.JPG baby_11.JPGbaby_15.JPGbaby_16.JPG

I have soooo much to write about. It has been a long and quite difficult 7 weeks, hence my silence. I can’t believe it’s been so long in between updates! Disgraceful.

The morning sickness was pretty bad right up to week 14-15, as was the exhaustion and I felt so overwhelmed by it all that I just couldn’t work up the energy to sit and write. I really wanted to though, as I know it helps and I also really wanted to document this pregnancy, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

So the 12 week scanwas 6 weeks ago now and went relatively well. We were extremely nervous about it and though we were trying to be positive it was hard to imagine it going well since we’ve only ever experienced a bad 12 week scan! So this time we had the scan at the same place we had our amnio last pregnancy. The last guy that did our 12 week scan was just awful and we knew we did not want to use him again. The people at the place we went this time are just great and you have the benefit of the 3d ultrasounds. So we had our scan and saw lots of the baby in both normal ultrasound mode and the 3d ultrasound mode which was just incredible. The sonographer kept assuring us that everything looked great including the heartbeat at around 160bpm. The nuchal fold measurement was normal and everything else looked good on bub. So then she combined the ultrasound results with my blood test which I’d had several weeks later and carefully informed us we had come up as high risk for Downs Syndrome with a 1 in 261 chance of Downs. The normal risk of Downs for my age was 282 and you are classifed as high risk as soon as you get under 1 in 300. So their recommendation was another amnio.

We were actually relieved by this result as the results last time were so much worse with a 1 in 34 chance of Down and a 1 in 4 chance of a more serious chromosome problem. This time the more serious problems were not even a consideration as the risk was extremely low and the Downs risk felt so much better to me than last time.  So over the next few days we talked about it between us and with the Doctor who did my amnio last pregnancy and with my obstetrician and we decided to have another scan at 14 weeks to see how the baby looked and to reassess then. We felt that if the baby looked good at 14 weeks, we probably wouldn’t have the amnio.  I also found out that at the 19 week morph scan they check for more abnormalities and if all looks normal, they can reduce the risk of Downs by 3, which would give us a risk of close to 1 in 900.  So this made me feel a lot better. I really wanted to be positive and so decided to start telling everyone I was pregnant at that point anyway despite concerns in the back of my head that things could go wrong again.

The photos above show our little one at 12 weeks. Quite amazing really. My favourite is the one that looks like he/she is waving. Actually I think he/she looks like they are driving and waving at the same time.

Back tomorrow for the results of the 14 week scan!

depressed____by_fenix950.jpg

I know it’s been ages since I last updated. I’ve really had a hellish month and I just have not been able to bear the thought of sitting at the computer for too long to update. I’ve been experiencing really bad morning sickness and of course tiredness, but it is mainly the nausea that is affecting me the most. No vomitting, but just a terrible nausea that hangs around all day, every day. It comes in waves and is sometimes bearable so I can get things done, but sometimes completely debilitates me, so that all I can do is lay down and feel sorry for myself.

I’m now nearly 10 weeks, so hopefully only another 2-3 weeks to go. I’ve been so thankful to have 2 weeks off work so I don’t have to cope with working and the nausea for 2 weeks but I’m really not looking forward to going back to work on Monday. I am counting down the days till our 12 week Nuchal Translucency scan so that we can hopefully clear any worries we have about this pregnancy. I pray the results are normal. I don’t know how I’d go through another experience like last time and to have to go through all this morning sickness again….ugh….

The sickness and tiredness has really had a huge affect on my mood and it hasn’t helped that I have let everything fall behind (housework, paperwork etc). I feel so guilty for not doing everything I should be doing and I have really been struggling with my weight and eating.  I have put on 2kg since I first went to the accupuncturist. I know this is becuase of my eating. Since my morning sickness set in, my healthy eating went out the door. All the food I was eating prior to getting sick now makes me feel sick, so no more eggs for breakfast, no avocado, nuts, rice crackers etc. I am eating A LOT of bread and lots of salty, savoury things (some not so good for me).  Luckily I have zero sweet cravings, though I’ve still managed to eat a few sweet things here and there as comfort food.  I’m really struggling. Breakfast consists of 2 pieces of toast with butter and vegemite and cheese or peanut butter. A few hours later I’m sick and hungry again so if I’m at home I’ve been having a bacon and egg sandwich. A few hours later I’m hungry and sick again and so it will be another meal. And this just continues all day. Food helps the nausea slightly, well at least the nausea is worse if I’m hungry, so I’m constantly eating. And of course I’m so sick I am not exercising. I barely move from the lounge all day when I’m at home. It’s bad. I’m trying to convince myself that I’ll be better once this morning sickness goes around week 12-13, but in the meantime I’m so down about it.

I had 1ml removed from my band a few weeks ago which has given me slightly less restriction, but not that much to be honest. Apparently I now have about 6.5ml instead of 7.5ml. I mentioned to the doctor who does my fills that my accupuncturist was worried I wasn’t getting enough nutrition to the baby and she got a bit fired up and said I was getting plenty of nutrition and not to let anyone tell me otherwise.  I find it hard to know who to believe.

My accupuncturist has since asked me to get all my fluid removed while I’m pregnant. She is convinced the band is making my morning sickness and indigestion worse as food is not flowing through the stomach as it should be. I actually wouldn’t mind getting some or most of the fluid removed, but I’m worried about the reaction I’ll get from the doctor who wanted me to still have ‘control’, so didn’t want to remove too much fluid. And of course she’ll weigh me and find I’ve put on 2kg since she adjusted me, and I just don’t think I could handle that, even though she never gives me a hard time about my weight gains, it is me who does that.

I am thinking I could go back to my surgeon for an adjustment, but I know they were very adamant that I should wait to lose more weight before falling pregnant again, and also I feel ashamed to face him, having put on so much weight since my initial 20kg loss. So I feel stuck and frustrated and like I am disappointing everyone and can’t do anything right.  I can’t handle any lectures right now, I’m know I’m not doing well. I know I’m not doing the right things. I just don’t know how to fix it.

Sorry for such a depressing post after all this time. I’m finding it really hard to pick myself up out of this mood. Anyone would think I wasn’t happy about being pregnant. I really am.

I’m not entirely sure what’s going on with my body. I’ve been fluctuating up and down since that initial 3kg loss in 5 days. I don’t really understand. As of last weigh-in I’d put on 2 of the 3 something kilos I’d lost. And I can’t identify any difference in my eating. I don’t know what’s going on. I’m not eating perfectly 100% of the time, but I’m slipping up far less than I used to and I wasn’t putting on weight then. I just don’t know. The only difference I can identify is that I’m now pregnant. Even though I’m only 5 weeks, maybe that’s just what my body does? My stomach feels so bloated and huge.  It’s just silly sigh.

I have been continuing to read Jon Gabriel’s book. One of the thing he suggests is visualising yourself with the body you want. The problem I have with this is that I can’t. I actually can’t imagine myself with a smaller body. I can’t imagine how it would look, I can’t imagine how it would feel.  So my dear husband spent some time photoshopping my face on a body I would love to have. I’m not aiming for a size 8 or even a 10. I’ve always admired hte more curvy shapes on women and I think Jenifer Hudson has an incredibly feminine body. So here’s me with Jenifer Hudson’s body. I almost cried when I saw the finished product (despite my face looking a little large). I’m really hoping this imagine helps me to work towards a body I’ve never even come close to. Oh and rather cool that I’ve photoshopped myself onto the red carpet at the Grammys tee hee (with a fabulous tan I might add!)

rachael-hudson.jpg

Sorry for not updating yesterday. I was in bed at 8.30pm. This pregnancy thing sure makes you tired :-)

 no-coffee.jpg

So much has happened since I last posted. Every day I sit down at my computer and tell myself I should update, but for some unknown reason I’ve not been able to.  I’ve been a bit down and a bit unmotivated to do anything and then the last week has been an absolute write-off.

In my last post I was going back to basics. I did that during the week but then did my usual thing and allowed myself a little bit more freedom on the weekends and inevitably ended up overdoing it and found myself with a little or no loss on the scales. I was feeling frustrated but was determined to keep trying and just keep getting better. But as they say Insanity is doing the same thing you’ve been doing and expecting different results.

In the middle of all this “Insanity” I had another frozen embryo transfer. Two embryos this time (same as the first).  After the transfer I started to panic about this time not working. I was doing some reading on a pregnancy forum I participate in and I came across a post about accupuncture and IVF. I remembered that I’d been referred to an accupuncturist by a friend of a friend who had a terribly hard time falling pregnant and she now has twin boys. I found the email with this accupuncturist’s website in it, clicked on it and began to read.  After browsing her site for awhile I sent her a quick email asking her if she thought she could help me. I told her my story briefly and told her I’d just had a transfer today and was it too late to help, as I’d read a lot of people have accupuncture leading up to the transfer and also the day of transfer. I received an email from her very early the next morning asking me to call her which I did.

We spoke on the phone for at least half an hour where she talked about all her beliefs about fertility issues and problems with quality of embryos etc. She asked me to stop consuming caffeine immediately (I hadn’t yet bought my morning coffee!). For me this meant not only giving up one of my favourite things in the wordl – my 2 flat whites every day, but also meant no more Coke Zero at home and no chocolate! I didn’t think my coffee consumption was too bad, but then I never really thought about how much caffeine I had by the time I drank 1-2 large glasses of Coke Zero and ate chocolate during the day.  She told me to come see her that afternoon after work which I did. Hubby came with me, as she is a firm believer that both the husband and wife must make changes to their lifestyles to produce good quality sperm and eggs and therefore healthy, perfect babies.

Hubby and I turned up and both had accupuncture.  I had experienced accupuncture before for my plantar fasciitis, however he had never experienced it before and was a little freaked out to say the least. It didn’t help that I had really only told him about the whole thing earlier that day by email and he warily agreed knowing he didn’t really have any choice. She even put Moxa on the end of the needles and lit them. It was all very weird for poor hubby.  She also did some deep tissue massage which was so painful!

She explained to us the changes she wanted us both to make to our diets. No caffeine, no alcohol, no sugar, no gluten, lots of fat! Yes, you read that right…lots of fat! This one is a hard one to come to terms with after buying low fat everything for the whole of my life, but she assured me that I was no longer allowed to buy skim milk, low fat cheese or in fact anything that said low fat. She assured me that our bodies need fat to make hormones and we need hormones to make babies.  So though I wasn’t looking forward to the prospect of no coffee or chocolate or bread, I was looking forward to enjoying a big glass of full cream milk – a luxury I never allowed myself. (Let’s forget the fact that I was diagnosed with a dairy allergy for now shall we? More about this later).

Of course we talked about the fact that this change in eating would definitely cause some weight loss for me, which of course was an excellent thing. She promised me that if I was pregnant this time that if I continued to eat this way that at the end of the pregnancy I would be smaller than when I started. Something I dreamed of doing last time, but instead put on 10kg thanks to hormones and crazy cravings.

Of course none of these lifestyle changes would guarantee the health of our remaining embryos  – the 2 inside me now and the 2 still frozen. She pointed out that  due to our poor nutrition at the time of egg pick-up and egg insemination, we could have a ‘bad’ batch of embryos that may never produce healthy babies. Something that Dr Read suggested many months ago.  She suggested that this change of lifestyle and working with her would help the embryos to implant and for me to remain pregnant, but would not guarantee perfect babies. This fact still bothers me a lot…If I am pregnant from one or two of these embryos, it will be so hard for me to relax knowing there’s a chance there could be problems with the quality again.

Now I must admit at this time that much of what she told me was very close to what Dr Read told me many months ago. The problem was that I just wasn’t ready to hear it back then. Also there was a slight difference in her approach. She did say if this transfer does not work, that we should stop IVF for a few months (there’s a difference there…she gave it a timeline and a short one at that) and concentrate on changing our lifestyles and becoming healthy during that those few months. She suggested during that time that we may even become pregnant naturally due to both of us producing better sperm and eggs. As much as I wanted this transfer to work, I like the idea of preparing our bodies to make the best babies we could make and that maybe it could happen naturally. So though I’d be devastated if i wasn’t pregnant, I also see that waiting for a few months while we get our bodies better would not be such a bad thing, and I’d be hopeful that we may even be able to do it on our own!

After our accupuncture and massage she started pulling bottles of tablets from her shelves like there was no tomorrow. You should’ve seen hubby’s eyes. I thought they were going to pop out of his head. She pulled down about 10 bottles for me and then said “Right now it’s your turn” and pointed to him and proceeded to pull down several more bottles for him. I think he thought that he’d gone through the pins being stuck into him, strange things being set on fire on his back and that it was finally all over, but now he was being told he had to drink strange, foul tasting chinese herbs and take handfuls of tablets every day? Impressed he was not! Especially when he heard the cost of it all.

We had a bit of a fight that night, as I think he felt a bit railroaded and of course he just never expected to have to do all this. I reminded him of everything I had been through with IVF and that he better damn not complain!

So I went about my new lifestyle with much enthusiasm. Of course I got the mandatory 3 days from hell with the worst headaches I have experienced in my life. Ever. By the 3rd day I could hardly open my eyes as I was in so much pain and all I wanted to do was go to bed. Not only was I in pain but I was exhausted. My body must’ve been working overtime to get rid of all the toxins in it. I knew I loved my coffee and I suspected I was addicted to Coke Zero, but seriously…those headaches shocked the hell out of me. I never realised just how hooked I was on them.

Anyway I lost 2.8kg in 5 days! Can you believe it? FinallyI started seeing some change in the scales and it felt so good. It was about this time that hubby started telling me how excited he was about starting this new lifestyle (he started a few days after me). Amazing, after all that resistance that he finally started warming to the idea.  Interestingly he did get some mild headaches once he started, but nothing as severe as what I went through. And every day he comments about how good he feels. I have to admit I do too. I still crave sugar and bread and coffee. No doubt about that. But because I keep myself full with protein, veg and rice, it’s easier to resist the stuff I used to fill myself up on.

It’s been 11 days and I’ve lost 3.2kg now.  I’m determined to get back to where I was back in March before I started IVF. Only 8.6 kg to go!

Of course she made it very clear she didn’t agree with the lap-band at all. She said she has patients that have put on weight with the band. I explained to her that I was desperate and really felt out of control and felt the band was my last hope. I still stand by my decision to have the band, as I know that without it I wouldn’t be 11kg less than I was when I had the surgery. I’d probably be 11kg heavier if not more. I also know that I would not be able to survive on the ‘small’ 6 meals this new lifestyle calls me to eat.

One of the lessons I keep coming back to is that the band isn’t a miracle cure and that yes 12 months after my band I’ve only lost 11kg and I’m still struggling to lead a healthy lifestyle and make the right choices about food. I still struggle with emotional eating. The band was never going to cure that.  I’ve started reading this really amazing book which the accupuncturist recommended to me. She said it was the only ‘weight loss’ book that she ever read and 100% agreed with and actually recommended to her clients. It’s funny because I’ve seen this guy’s books advertised before, in fact he is advertised EVERYWHERE on the net, and I once came very close to ordering it, but then decided not to waste my money on anymore fads. It’s the Gabriel Method by Jon Gabriel. You check out his story and order the book on  his website http://www.jongabriel.com.au/

What I found interesting is that Khaliah Ali who I wrote about here, after reading her book also recommends Jon on his site. It sounds to me like she used his method in conjunction with her band to lose her weight. I find his book really interesting as he talks about the fact that a fat person’s ‘fat programs’ are switched on. And a thin person’s are not.  He says that if your ‘fat program’ is running for whatever reason, you will never successfully lose weight and keep it off. Your body wants to be fat. You are fighting a no-win fight with your body if you are trying to lose weight while your ‘fat program’ is switched on.  Your body will always win.  In some ways this was really comforting to read.  My whole life I have felt guilty and stupid and lazy because no matter how hard I tried, no matter how many gyms I joined, no matter how many personal trainers I paid, no matter how little I ate, I could not lose weight and keep it off.  To be told my body wanted to be fat and the only way for me to lose weight was to make my body want to be thin was a really refreshing message to hear.  He explains the many different reasons for someone’s ‘fat program’ to be on which include stress, survival, protection etc.

Did I mention this guy lost 103kg and this book is about how he did it? He does not believe in diets. In fact, he says diets make you fat. I’ve been saying this for years!  He only asks you to do 3 things:

  1. Never go a single day without adding the nutrients your body is starving for (he talks about what these nutrients are in his book)
  2. Listen to the CD that accompanies the book as you are going to sleep at night or spend at least 10 minutes a day practicing the visualisaton techniques he talks about in his book
  3. Listen to your heart and your body

I am loving his ideas and I’m hoping that with the help of my accupuncturist and Jon Gabriel’s book I will not only lose weight and feel healthier, but to be a Mum in the very near future.

P.S I have a higher than normal temperature. I am tired. I have sore breasts. I wake up in the middle of the night to go to the toilet (not normal for me). I have had 4 positive home pregnancy tests. I am praying for a positive blood test at the doctors on Monday.

Next Page »