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100 Steps To Go

Last month I wrote an update on what the current situation is in regards to the fertility treatments.  In short, I have had six rounds of IUI (artificial insemination) with no luck, now I need to take a break to lose a further 15-20 kilos before we can start treatments again.

I was a bit worried about how it was all going to go.  I wanted the hormones out of my system so I could feel normal again, and it worked. Once they were gone I felt much more myself, the clouds in my head started to part and I was happy again. Well, as happy as I could be at that time.

The problem is, it was like I went into a sort of denial. I just didn’t think about it.  I didn’t have to go to the hospital, I didn’t have to take any medication, I didn’t have hormones blasting through me and I wasn’t having any treatments.  I was just me, living life and not thinking about hospitals or babies.

I even started eating the way I should and lost 8 lbs in the first 1.5 weeks, I was feeling great!

That was, until I went to the hospital for my ‘checking in’ appointment. The one where we were to sit down and discuss exactly what the plan is from here.  I knew generally what the plan was but there were a few details we needed to iron out.  Mainly, exactly how much weight I had to lose and what treatments we’d be doing when the weight is gone.  They want me to do three more IUI with more weight off to see if my chances improve, and if that doesn’t work then move on to IVF.  Which means possibly having as many treatments again as I’ve just had… and that felt like it went on forever.

It was almost like I had post traumatic stress disorder or something.  From the minute I got in the car I could feel myself getting anxious.  I didn’t want to go, I wanted to stay home and blissfully avoid thinking about it… but I couldn’t, we had to figure these things out and make a plan.

When I walked through the doors of the hospital my anxiety levels went through the roof.  I got this weird feeling like my insides were shaking.  Like my body was still but all my organs were shivering.  I don’t know if I’m the only one that happens to but it’s a bizarre and uncomfortable feeling that just got worse the longer I was there.

It was raining that day and Xander dropped me off at the door.  As I stood inside the entrance waiting for him, a woman walked through the door.  She was heavily pregnant and I just couldn’t stop staring.  I’m sure she’s probably used to, at least I hope so, because I just couldn’t look away.  It was then that it all hit me… before that I was anxious and felt strange but my mind was still reasonably functional. When I saw that woman, I felt like Wile E. Coyote getting crushed by my own ten-ton boulder.  I suddenly felt this crushing weight coming down on me and it was hard to breathe.  It hit me… THAT is why I am here, I remember now.  Not that I forgot, it just wasn’t as fresh and raw in my mind until I got that reminder.

I tried to work through it and not let it show as Xander came in and we made our way up to the gynecology department.  Thankfully the waiting room was empty and we didn’t even wait five minutes… but during our appointment I could hardly think because I was working so hard to stop myself from crying.  It was the same as we stood at reception waiting for them to sort out blood work papers and follow-up appointments.  All I could think was, type faster… please just give me my card so I can leave before I embarrass myself!  Honestly, I hardly spoke and Xander made all the arrangements.

I couldn’t get out of the hospital quick enough, it was like there was no air in the building and I was rushing for the doors just to be able to catch my breath.  When I got to the car I fell to pieces… I cried and sobbed while saying how I didn’t even understand why I was crying at all, I didn’t know what was wrong with me.  I guess I wasn’t as ‘over it’ as I thought I was.

It was probably silly of me to think I would be.  It was a long and difficult year for me so far and I should have known that just stopping the hormones wasn’t going to suddenly make everything better.  I was just eager to get back to my normal life without all of this surrounding me every day and didn’t take the time to deal with my feelings about everything.

I know now why I had the reaction I did, because it was a cold hard slap of reality.  It made me realize that it’s not over.  Not even close. In fact, depending on how many more treatments I need to have, I’m not even half through.  When you factor in the time I’m going to have to spend trying to lose more weight, I’m not even 1/3 of the way through.  I don’t have a break at all, there is no break, there is only hard work, stress and an incredible amount of pressure.

All of a sudden that blissful avoidance came to a screeching halt and panic and depression took over.  Losing weight is so hard even in the best of situations, having this sort of pressure and feeling like our entire lives depend on it makes it so much more difficult.  I’m an emotional eater, I always have been, and how do I lose weight when I am feeling this way?  For the past week I’ve been in a total funk, I’ve been eating things I know I shouldn’t and hating myself for it… which, of course, just makes me feel worse.  It’s a spiral and I am spinning around screaming inside of it.

I think a part of me is angry. I’m angry that I spent 6 months of my life NOT losing weight… and all for nothing.  I went through all those treatments, the months of hormone insanity and I have nothing to show for it.  My weight is now what it was in October of last year, and when I think of the weight I COULD be at if I hadn’t had those treatments, it pisses me off!

I also think a part of me is scared.  I want to lose weight to look and feel good, but there is a small part of me that dreads … DREADS… even the idea of starting the medications, emotional turmoil and poking and prodding again.  So maybe I am somehow subconsciously sabotaging myself by stuffing my face and not losing the weight I should be right now?

I don’t know.  All I know is that I’m struggling, mentally and physically.  I’m struggling to find the strength to get over this next hurdle of losing the weight.  I’m afraid that I am going to spend even more time fighting and working towards a goal that may never happen.   If I feel this way now, how angry am I going to be a year from now when it’s all over and I possibly have nothing to show for it?

I know what I have to do.  I have to go through the dreaded detox period of my diet again.  I need to get the sugar and cravings out of my system, find the strength to give myself the boundaries I used to have and get the weight off once and for all.  I also need to learn how to deal with people who criticize my choice of diet and actively try to convince me that I should be eating things like ice cream and cake, because it’s fun.  They don’t understand the pressure I am under and while I know some part of them must mean well, I really wonder would they ask an alcoholic to just have a few shots with them… because it’s fun and they should be enjoying life.

Anyhow, I can’t say that today is going to be the day I make the change.  Maybe it won’t even be tomorrow, or Sunday.  I’m going to get there though.  I’ve found the motivation and strength to do it before, it’s just a little harder now because I have some mental shit I need to sort through before I can take this on.

For now, I consider my first step just acknowledging the fact that I’m struggling rather than avoiding it and hoping it magically sorts itself out.  I know I’m in trouble and I need to get my head on straight, so that will be what I work on first.  Coming to terms with the fact that this is a much more long and difficult road than I thought I was going to be on. Dealing with my feelings of disappointment and anger, which are pretty huge right now.

Then I can deal with the diet…

For now, this will be my theme song, it really hits home with me because it’s exactly how I feel at the moment.  I made my first step, I acknowledged and admitted that I’m struggling. I’ve made it 99…

About Tammy

A Canadian living in France with her Dutch hubby after 17 years in the Netherlands. A total TV and movie junkie who is never not knitting. She also enjoys other crafts, nail art, cuddling her dogs and general geekery. Otherwise just working on getting by and making a life for herself in her 'new' country.

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  1. Monica Van Maanen

    Wow. All I can say is keep strong and keep on believing in your ability to do this.

  2. I’m sorry.
    I’m just really sorry anyone should have to go through all this turmoil.
    I’ve struggled with my weight for pretty much my entire adult life and was told I had PCOS and probably would struggle conceiving unless I lost enough weight.
    Fortunately for me that wasn’t the case (and I’ll understand if you ask me not to mention what I’m about to again) and I’ll be having our first baby next month, but I still feel dread when it comes to my weight and managing it after June.
    I just feel very much for you and your frustration with weight and I wish you success, even though I know it’s hard, I hope very much that you achieve it.
    calliope´s last post ..Countdown to 30- Thank You For The Music

  3. One more thing. This paragraph:

    “I also think a part of me is scared. I want to lose weight to look and feel good, but there is a small part of me that dreads … DREADS… even the idea of starting the medications, emotional turmoil and poking and prodding again. So maybe I am somehow subconsciously sabotaging myself by stuffing my face and not losing the weight I should be right now?”

    I could have written it. I sincerely believe that’s the reason why I never managed to lose the weight: I. absolutely. didn’t. want. do. to. IVF. Deep down, I just didn’t want to. Didn’t want the meds, didn’t want the emotional roller-coaster, didn’t want the repeated visits at the clinic for scans and other procedures. I just DIDN’T want to. So I probably sabotaged myself somehow. Not that I mind, though. When I realised it, I could finally take the decision to stop and put my mind at ease.

    Not saying that you ARE sabotaging yourself! But it might be worth exploring. Also, you probably heard that before, but did you ever consider counseling? I regret not doing it while I was busy with fertility treatments. There must be English-speaking therapists in Rotterdam (I found one in Leiden), for sure. And you might be a good candiate for EMDR (look it up). I did one session with my therapist last January and it worked…

  4. Oh Lordy, I don’t know what to say that wouldn’t be a cliché. It breaks my heart to read what you’re going through, I’ve been there too. This black hole that you’re sucked in, when you realise everything you still have to do to reach your goal. That pressure on your shoulders that is so heavy you just want to crumble. You have all my admiration for continuing, and I’ll be there cheering your on: YOU GO GIRL! But don’t be so hard on yourself. Allow time to grieve this ‘break’ that you are basically not allowed to have. And through all this, don’t forget to live. I know, easier said than done… *hug*

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