When Project Baby and Project Fatass Collide

Breigh March 2, 2011 34

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.

Project 365 (Day 58) It Begins Again

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…

Project 365 (Day 60) Yummy Goodness

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!!

*CHOMP*

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.

34 Comments »

  1. Lorelei March 2, 2011 at 7:01 pm - Reply

    Riding to hell on a peanut butter cup sounds pretty appealing to me right now …

    • Breigh March 3, 2011 at 9:47 pm - Reply

      Me too! But I’ve gone and eaten them all already!

  2. Marie-Claude March 2, 2011 at 7:13 pm - Reply

    I can tell you that I gained about 15 kilos during the course of my IUIs (spread over 8 months or so). And I wasn’t even taking half the medications you’re taking!!! (I only had Puregon for 3 cycles out of 6, and Pregnyl to trigger – my first 3 cycles were not stimulated) I was constantly hungry, and horribly bloated. So I really really really admire how you managed to keep your weight down! A word of warning though: don’t do like me ;) Don’t think that “you can always lose the weight later” and all that crap. You might be able to, but it will probably be much harder. So try to be cool and relaxed about it (don’t be too hard on yourself!) but try not to overindulge ;) Been there, done that, got the stretch marks to prove it!

    I got my fingers and toes crossed for you, I really hope this one will be the one!

    • Breigh March 3, 2011 at 9:49 pm - Reply

      Whew, ok well it’s definitely not just me then! I was on clomid, then puregon and now the menopur. I really do need to get it under control though because after the IUI (if they don’t work) we will be moving on to IVF and the medications will only get worse. Gah.

  3. Penny March 2, 2011 at 7:15 pm - Reply

    You are incredibly brave. I know you are trying to hold it together, and even on days when you don’t think you are, you are doing a great job. I’m so proud of you.

    Having said all that mushy stuff now on to more important matters….

    since when in the hell do you have a supplier of Reece’s cups and tootsie roll pops? And why don’t I know about it? I mean really, have you been eating them on the sly or what?

    • Breigh March 3, 2011 at 9:50 pm - Reply

      haha well he only sent them twice :) You’ll be in the states next month so you’ll have all the tootsie pops and peanut butter cups you want!

  4. Gavin van Dam March 2, 2011 at 7:21 pm - Reply

    Send the Reeces Pieces my way :) and the biggest “hiccup” is stress, stop trying… and enjoy life! It will happen when the time is right! Trust me ;)

    • Breigh March 3, 2011 at 9:51 pm - Reply

      Oh Gavin, I love you but I think that’s the worst possible thing you can say to a woman in my position :P

  5. Francis March 2, 2011 at 7:24 pm - Reply

    Take a chill Pill and bring the Reeses Cups with you this Sunday. As a good friend, I will take care of that problem for you !!

    • Breigh March 3, 2011 at 9:51 pm - Reply

      Umm the Reese’s cups didn’t survive, but I’ll bring some tootsie pops!

  6. alala March 2, 2011 at 7:25 pm - Reply

    Aw man, that sounds really rough! I think you should ask for help. Whoever’s supervising your treatment has more experience with this than you do, so they should be able to offer some useful strategies… Good luck with Project Baby!

    • Breigh March 3, 2011 at 9:53 pm - Reply

      Yeah my doctors do check in with me about how I’m doing but it’s sort of just par for the course. If I want the treatments I just have to put up with it. Having my blog to talk about all and let it all out really helps though :)

  7. April March 2, 2011 at 7:44 pm - Reply

    Oh gurl. This looks like hell, and as a Fatty Anonymous myself, I cant IMAGINE the guilt and frustration you must be feeling with those bitchy hormones on board too. Poor dear. I do that whole “today is the day! Salads and steamed veggies all day! bike riding for 15km tomorrow!” every night. Every goddamn night.
    Your strength is evident in your previous weight loss! If you gain some, you will lose it again too.
    And eat some pomegranate, sacred to many cultures for fruitful wombs!

    • Breigh March 3, 2011 at 9:55 pm - Reply

      It’s amazing how we can go to bed with such good intentions but then the next day brings us something totally different. So frustrating! I’ve never heard of the pomegranate thing, I’ll have to look into it! Thanks April :)

  8. Nobody™ March 2, 2011 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    I’m way behind in reading blogs… I didn’t even know you were trying to have a baby. I have to get better at keeping up with my friends.

    It was a battle to get that stuff packaged up! I had to keep chasing my daughter away from the peanut butter cups, while trying to carefully weigh everything to get the maximum amount in the package without going overweight on it.

    Enjoy!

    • Breigh March 3, 2011 at 9:55 pm - Reply

      Oh, I enjoy! You can bet your ass I enjoy! haha I’m going to try to get your package out this weekend! :) Thanks again!

  9. kara March 2, 2011 at 8:44 pm - Reply

    What a post! The part about eating your dogs had me laughing so damn hard.

    Don’t stress about gaining while pregnant. You can blame every bit of it on the baby. And I actually lost weight during both pregnancies!

    The drugs sound insane scary!! While I don’t mind needles, I think I would wig out a bit doing all the mixing and tapping and such.

    And I am having one hell of a time getting back on track. I am up 8lbs (from my 50). Going off the plan over Christmas was the worst idea ever. It has been three months of two good days, two so-so days and then a few horrible days. Yesterday I wrote notes and tapped them all over my kitchen telling me to stay out, how horrible I will feel if I eat that, the kids snacks are not my snacks, etc. It helped and I had a good day yesterday and today I am doing great. But damn it is hard.

    I keep in the back of my mind that I don’t want to be dead of a heart attack before I am 40 and my kids have no mom. Yet so many times even that doesn’t stop me from binging. Then I feel so guilty that I am putting food ahead of my kids. Then I feel so horrible about everything that I turn to food again. It is such a wicked spiral. So while I cannot relate the the fertility issues, I sure can with the eating hell.

    • Breigh March 3, 2011 at 9:57 pm - Reply

      Kara, I’m hoping that the spring will lighten our moods and bring back some of our diet gusto. Maybe it’s winter weight? I’m hoping that another part of what has gotten me a bit down with it all is the winter, it gets me all the time and I’ve been getting better at dealing with it… this year is different though.
      I agree, going off the plan is the worst part because it’s hard to get back. A part of me questions if the diet is realistic long term but I BELIEVE in it so it’s hard to just wave my hand and forget about it, even if I’m not following it the way I should be at the moment. Grrr.

  10. Darlene March 2, 2011 at 8:51 pm - Reply

    I have several friends who have experienced infertility. My best friend is adopted. Her parents were told that they had like a 5% chance of getting pregnant. But ya know what? Eight months after adopting Di, they got pregnant on their own! So I think stress playes a major role in the whole impregnation process! So try to relax (yes I know that is easier said than done).

    The good thing is, you have a wonderful husband. I’m 38, overweight and single. My chances of having that family I dreamed of when I was younger, are slipping away…

    Keep up the fight. You can do it!

    • Breigh March 3, 2011 at 10:02 pm - Reply

      Stress probably does play a role but there were a lot of times where I was relaxed when we weren’t trying but not trying to prevent it either… and nothing. It’s sort of impossible to relax at the moment. I hear so many of those ‘adopted and then got pregnant’ stories. Well, lots of stories about a lot of different situations. I just hope I’ll be one of those stories one day. :)

  11. Amy March 2, 2011 at 9:19 pm - Reply

    I really feel for you Breigh, I am obese, an emotional eater, and I struggle with my emotions and eating everyday. Trying to love myself the way I am, take steps to change, make new plans, new starts, some successes (not so much in the last few years) and of course some of the “failures”. I think the positive things you are doing far out weight the slips here and there.

    First of all, you did loose A LOT of weight. Secondly you are determined to go for what you want, no matter the high price you pay(taking hormones to have a baby), and and another positive is that you are not keeping this all bottled up. You have the courage to write honestly about how you feel about really personal things.

    You help us all think about our situations when you tell us about your challenges. You pass on that courage through your writings.

    Don’t give up on yourself! Don’t give up on having a baby. Follow your dreams. It all sounds so corny, but you must keep faith. It’s ok to have weaknesses, but these little weaknesses can never cancel out all the good you have done and all the effort, heart and soul you have given to yourself and others.

    I had coworker once who had been trying many, many years to have a baby with no success. She did hormones, invetro, she and her hubby spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to try what ever they could to have a baby, with no luck.

    She became so depressed and stressed about the whole situation she could not focus on anything but her failed attempts of having a baby. She lost her job. It was less than three months after loosing her job, and her and her husband quit getting fertility treatments,she became pregnant!!! She had TWINS, with no help from fertility specialists. Point of the story, have faith.

    Could you do a story about how you got off the sugar and carbs, what did you do each day during the detox, details please. How long did it take before you quit craving sugar? And what BMI must you have to get help with fertility treatments in Netherlands. If you don’t mind answering. Thank you. I am going to work on sending you good vibes.

    Do you have any baby stuff around the house? Just curious. I am nearly 36 and just starting to try to have one. My partner and I have some difficulties. My partner doesn’t want to see a doctor as the problems are on his end. But I have a few baby things around the house. I did this partly because of the advice I had from the book “The Power” the squeal to “The Secret” maybe it would inspire you too. Just a suggestion.

    Best wishes and <3 to you!!!

    • Breigh March 3, 2011 at 10:11 pm - Reply

      Amy, thank you so much for your message :) I had a friend who was in the same position. She had MANY miscarriages, she had a lot of trouble getting pregnant. She moved here to the Netherlands because her boyfriend got a job here and within a few months of not working herself, she was pregnant! She now has two children. She was a few years older than I am now at the time she got pregnant the first time so I’m still trying to have a little hope.

      As for the diet and getting off sugar (which I wish I’d STAYED OFF *sigh*) I read a book by a lady called Zoe Harcombe (http://theharcombediet.com/) The book was called Stop Counting Calories and Start Losing Weight. She explains her views on weight loss and why counting calories doesn’t work. The diet has 3 stages, the first is the detox stage, the 2nd is the losing stage and then the 3rd is where you maintain your healthy wait. I *highly* suggest reading the book. I could try to explain it but I wouldn’t really be able to explain it in the same way. It’s complicated but gets easier as you get into it.

      Here in the Netherlands you need a BMI below 35, I am short, only 5’3 and at my highest weight I was 308 lbs (gah, how embarrassing!) so I can’t blame them for not wanting to get me pregnant, I was in no shape for it. Even now (at about 225 lbs) I’m at the upper range and really should be thinner.

      As for your partner, I can understand why he may be shy about going to the doctor but there is no shame in it. They see these things every day and there is a lot they can do to help couples with male factor infertility.

      I don’t keep baby things around the house, I feel like it would stress me out more, or like I’d ‘jinx’ it. I have friends who bought absolutely everything and then were not able to have children. I don’t want to end up in that situation. When/if I ever do get pregnant though, this place is going to look like a baby store threw up on it :P

      Thanks for your message Amy! :) If you would like to talk some more just drop me a msg here in the comments and I contact you through email. I try not to give my email out on here because of those darn spammers!

  12. Zhu March 2, 2011 at 9:24 pm - Reply

    I feel for you! Looks so hard to balance. I know when it is to get cravings and to feel hungry, and feeling like that constantly must be… argh!

    On the bright side, 3 kg is really nothing. I mean, you lost so much weight… give yourself a break. When you lost weight you probably changed some of your habits as well and I don’t think you’ll get those back. So what if you have a treat?

    • Breigh March 3, 2011 at 10:13 pm - Reply

      If it was just a treat it’d be ok but I feel like I’m spiraling. I already ate ALL those peanut butter cups! Ok my husband had a few but not enough to make me feel better! haha I’m having little binges and I need to get control of it because that 3 kilos will become 6 and that’ll become 12 and before I know it I’ll be back in my fat jeans!

  13. michele March 3, 2011 at 12:27 am - Reply

    Wow. So hard. No advice. Some days when I want sugar I eat a whole pack of Trident layers gum. And I don’t even have hormones to blame for wanting to eat everything in sight… it is just the closest I can get to candy without cheating.

    I love peanut butter cups cold, out of the fridge. With tea.

    Your nail looks fabulous, by the way, next to the peanut butter cup.

    • Breigh March 3, 2011 at 10:14 pm - Reply

      I tried putting the peanut butter cups in the freezer and it just made them BETTER!! haha

  14. tera March 3, 2011 at 9:47 am - Reply

    Breathe, girl. Just breathe…you are strong, don’t you forget it. Maybe you better just focus on one thing at a time…those 2 BIG issues are enough to swallow anyone whole. Thinking of you.

    • Breigh March 3, 2011 at 10:25 pm - Reply

      Breathing! :) Doing one or the other on it’s own would be ok, both together suck ass haha

  15. Darlene March 10, 2011 at 7:16 pm - Reply

    I am on day one of Phase one of THD. I want caffeine!

  16. Ilse April 6, 2011 at 12:16 pm - Reply

    Peanut butter cups!!
    I have family in Canada, and we went there for 4 weeks when I was 8. Now I keep missing all the lovely food they have over there, so I completely understand where you’re coming from.
    Also an emotional eater, I never gained more weight then in the period that I was lonely and homesick while living in London.

    Anyway, point is, I sympathise. But from what I’ve read you seem like quite a strong woman, so I’m sure you’ll get trough this. Just remember what you’re doing it for. :)

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