In order to start with my fertility treatments I had to lose over 80 lbs. Here in the Netherlands they won’t give you hormone treatments unless you are beneath a certain BMI, due to the risk of hypertension and other complications. I did really well for about 1.5 years, but I had no idea how difficult it was going to be once I started the hormone therapy.
This stuff is making me batshit crazy, and hungry! It’s like PMS all month long. Seriously, it’s absolute insanity!
For months I followed a very strict diet which excluded most carbs, all sugar and processed foods. Once I got past the detox stage it was a breeze. I made it through three weeks in Canada, I made it through Christmas… but once the hormone injections started, it was game over. I haven’t been able to make it through this.
I’ve been trying, I really have, but as each month goes by it’s getting more and more difficult. I am a stress eater, an emotional eater and any woman knows that our appetites increase during that time of the month. With the hormones, it’s always like that time of the month. I’m also usually stressed and emotional, which makes it like a constant cycle of fighting myself in regards to food.
On the one hand, I want to be really good. I want to continue losing in spite of all that is going on because I want to be rid of all this weight once and for all. On the other hand, fighting the hormones and my own brain with trying to stay on my diet and not gain weight is stressing me out even further, which I’m sure isn’t helping in the baby department.
So I go back and forth… constantly.
There are certain times where I am ok. Not good, just OK. Where I can keep something that appears to be a bit of self control. Other times, I’m like a shark in a feeding frenzy and I can’t seem to make it stop. I am hungry all day and no amount of self pep-talking helps.
It gets really confusing, being an emotional eater that is having this therapy, because it’s really hard to tell what is really the cause of my indulgences. Is it my brain, that loves to make me want to eat anyway using the drugs as a convenient excuse to let loose? OR, are the drugs mainly to blame?
Last month I had had enough, and in the short period of time I had between the injections I once again did the detox portion of the diet. I did really really well and my fifth and final day of the detox was on a Sunday, then on Monday I had the one final whopper of an injection. By Wednesday I would have eaten the dogs if I could have caught them! There was no stopping me, nothing was safe.
Am I weak or am I just suffering an unfortunate side effect that comes along with the medications?
Of course, my insecurities alone are enough to convince me that I’m weak and this is just me giving up on the weight loss thing, but the doctors tell me it’s normal. They should know, right?
Perhaps it’s a bit of both… maybe the drugs really are causing my appetite to go out of control, and the stress of everything is making it more difficult for me to stay strong. I don’t think I can blame the drugs 100% because I’d like to think to some degree that it’s mind over matter, but sometimes I wake up with the absolute best of intentions and then it all goes to shit.
Take this past Monday, for example. The Friday before I had started seeing signs that our latest IUI was unsuccessful (girls, you know what I’m talking about, it starts with an S and rhymes with uhh, dotting). I was SO bummed out, like… incredibly. I got up on Saturday morning, put on a happy face and went out with my girlfriends. I had a choice… try to be as good as possible and maybe find myself still frustrated and unhappy at the end of the day, possibly bringing my friends down with me, or say fuck it and go have a good time without stressing about what I eat.
I said fuck it and I had a great time. I’d start being good on Sunday.
Sunday rolled around and well, let’s just say there was absolutely no doubt about the lack of success of our IUI. Hell week had officially begun. Dammit. So I spent most of that day avoiding the world and trying to do things on my own that didn’t make me think about the month ahead too much. I failed miserably and when we went out for groceries I got some Oreos to take my misery out on.
I drowned those bastards. Then I ate them.
Then I felt guilty.
Monday. MONDAY was going to be the day! The day I got my act together and went back into diet mode!
Monday morning I phoned the hospital to find out what our plan of attack was going to be for this coming month. They phoned us back to tell us that they were changing my medication to something much stronger, and that it could no longer be done as it had been done the previous month… it was time for me to learn to do proper injections.
You see, with the medication I’d been taking previously I could use a needle like a diabetic’s pen. I still had to go to the hospital to learn how to use it but it was pretty simple. Stick the thing in the thing, turn the knob, poke it in and press the button. Nothing too scary, no having to worry about air bubbles or mixing meds.
The new medication was different. It would require me to mix it, use a proper syringe and watch for air bubbles and look all nurse like. This made me pretty nervous but I figured if I dealt with the other injections I’d make it through this ok.
Only one problem. They don’t use this particular medication very often so they didn’t have it at the hospital. Our local pharmacy didn’t have it, nor did any of the pharmacies connected to it, so the lady at the hospital asked if we could call around looking for it as it would be faster than her trying to do it with all the interruptions there. The medication could have waited a day but they strongly suggested we try really hard to find it as it’d be better for me to start as soon as possible.
I was starting to wig out and thankfully my husband was home and didn’t mind calling around. After calling multiple pharmacies and finally getting one to call the distribution center to see where they’ve dropped it off lately, we found ONE pharmacy in the ENTIRE city that had it. That was only because someone had forgotten to pick theirs up.
I did get a momentary distraction wondering who forgets to pick up fertility medication.
So we got the hospital to fax them the prescription, went to pick it up, then straight to the hospital for my needle lesson. Mix this, poke this there, tap that, press this, insert the thing in the other thing etc. I think I got it!
While I was there the lady was sure to tell me to contact them if I had any side effects that seemed out of the ordinary, so I took that opportunity to ask about the eating. I asked her if it was normal to want to eat everything in sight.
She said yes, and that they hear that very very often. That it’s just a part of the whole fertility treatment thing and it’s not just me.
So there, an honest to goodness medical professional just told me that the hormones alone are enough to cause me to want to chew my own leg off, yet I still feel guilty and weak. Argh!
While I did think I had a handle on the needle thing, I was still on hell week, still had PMS charging through me like a freight train and the uncertainty of what was coming up this month with even stronger medications, bigger needles and everything else had my anxiety levels through the roof.
So I took it out on some more Oreos.
Then I felt guilty.
Monday was a total wash.
Tuesday wasn’t a lot better.
Wednesday, WEDNESDAY (today) was going to be the day!! I was sure of it. When I went to bed last night I thought ok, I can do this!
This morning I woke up hours later than usual, as I did yesterday, feeling nauseated and with a really annoying headache (like yesterday). When I got up my husband started talking to me and it took all of about five minutes for the tears to start. Completely out of my control, frustrating as heck, but there they were.
This day was not starting out quite as I expected.
Then the doorbell rang. Oh blessed delivery man, look what he brought…
Can you hear the angels sing? Omg…
A friend and I have an agreement where he kindly sends me stuff I miss from back home, and I send his family Stroopwafels and other yummy stuff from Holland. I knew it was coming, I know I should have stopped it but I was weak. If I was going to go to hell, I may as well ride there on a peanut butter cup.
A part of me thought I should just put them away, not let the hormones get to me, I’m strong!!
Yeah, not so much. That thought lasted for about as long as it took me to get a wrapper open. Oh sweet baby Jesus, so delicious.
People keep telling me that I’m too hard on myself, that I need to relax and not think about the diet so much because it’s just giving me added stress. The problem with that is I feel like these treatments rely on me keeping the weight off, so does having the healthiest pregnancy possible.
I know it’s not like I’m gaining all the weight back, in the last 3-4 months I’ve only gained about 3kg of the 39kg I had lost, but it still feels like too much. The doctors said I can expect a few kilos of bloating alone, but … argh!
I wish I was losing, but with everything that is going on I am barely managing to maintain. I know these treatments won’t go on for ever, so if it ends and I’m not pregnant I will be able to concentrate fully on the weight loss. Will I really be able to do that though? Knowing that any hope I had of having a child is gone for sure?
What if I do get pregnant, there will definitely be gaining then. Not loads necessarily but I know that any will feel like shit.
It’s a difficult balance, the medications and trying to keep a handle on my weight. I’m not sure how much longer I will be able to do it. Each month I feel myself slipping more and more. Is it because each month the drugs are getting more intense or because I’m getting worn down?
I’m not sure I’ll ever know, I just hope when all is said and done and I look in the mirror that I don’t see that same fat face looking back at me that I saw two years ago. I miss feeling proud and excited about my weight loss, I really want to feel that way again.