Not The Biggest Loser

I just want to be…

Browsing in accupuncture

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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.

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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.