Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Overweight and Infertility

You can call it uneducated, naive, denial, or many other words, but I honestly had no clue that my weight would affect my fertility.  I had always known something wasn't quite right.  I really didn't over eat very often.  I did not always make the best choices, but my choices vs. the large amount that I am/was over weight didn't add up.  Yes, I could have exercised more, made better choices, and learned to stop eating before I was miserable, but it still didn't add up.

I have been over weight since I was about 6 years-old.  Not morbidly obese, but enough that it was definitely noticeable. 

I had an adult neighbor growing up who was a huge influence in my life.  She likes to talk, as do I.  My mom and I would often meet up with her in the street between our 2 houses and talk.  Before we knew it 2 hours had gone by and we are still standing in the street talking!  (Needless to say I did not grow up on a very busy street.  ha!)  She had 4 children, her oldest son being a year younger than me.  She then had 2 more sons and a daughter.  I babysat the 3 younger ones quite often. 

I remember one of our conversations one time just between the 2 of us standing in our street. She said to me, "Well, it has begun.  H's (her daughter) friends have started making fun of her for being fat."  At this time H was about 7 years-old.  She was a healthy child and maybe had a little belly, but no where close to obese.  She continued to tell me that it just broke her heart to have H coming home from school crying because the other girls were being mean and making fun of her. 

Then she says, "How do you handle it?"  Me a little confused says, "Handle what?" 

See, I had honestly never let my weight control me.  Thanks to my natural temperament (that I was born with) and my awesome mom who continuously fed my self esteem, I really most of the time did not let my being over weight bother me.  So much so, sometimes I even forgot I was over weight.....like in this situation.

Then she says, "Your weight.  You don't seem to let it bother you."  And I am sure I kind of giggled, which I do in most situations, and told her that I had decided along time ago (I was only maybe 14 or 15. lol) that if "someone doesn't like me for me then I don't need them in my life."  She was a very expressive person and with her jaw dropped and her eyes bugging she says something like, "How do I teach H to be like you? I want her to feel that way!  Wow."  She then told me that most adults still haven't learned that in their life, and she thought it was great that I could feel that way.  She then of course asked me if I would talk to H about the girls making fun of her and encourage her that she didn't need friends like that.  H and I were like *this (fingers crossed).  (H even had my phone number memorized and say maybe her mom was very busy running 4 children around and maybe sometimes forgot to pick H up from dance class, and H would call, "Mom forgot me at dance AGAIN.  Can you please come get me?"  LOL!  So, of course I would.)

Now, don't get me wrong.  I was made fun of.  I am sure there were a few tears shed.  But, I had plenty of friends ......and even boyfriends ........who loved me for me.  So, H soon lost her baby/young kid weight and became a beautiful young lady.  I am pretty sure she didn't have to worry about the struggles that her mom was concerned she would have her whole life.  Thankfully!

But me, well, I have never gotten rid of the overweight status.  And honestly I still feel the same way I did at 14.  But, this whole being overweight affects your fertility really stinks.  All that time I had spent excepting my being over weight.  Not that I think it was necessarily a "bad" thing that I excepted it, but I never had a clue that it would be one major piece the puzzle.  The puzzle that is keeping me from being pregnant.  No, being over weight isn't necessarily the only thing that is keeping me from being pregnant, but it is a large piece of the puzzle.  It pretty much throws a curve ball at what I have spent me life excepting. 
Now I heard from many doctors in my life that it would make my asthma better if I would lose a little weight.  I just let it roll right on by me.  Ha.  I had heard from a few doctors after I had a bad car wreck that injured my ankle that if I would get some weight off my ankle it would help it heal.  I also let that roll on by. 

Me, stubborn???  Never!

So when I hear from my first RE that losing weight would help my fertility, I honestly let it roll on by.  I thought, just like in every other situation, that losing weight always helps every situation......but I had overcome all of my other medical issues without losing weight, so why was fertility any different.  Boy was I wrong!

I have to say that I could tell it made my HRE (horrid reproductive endocrinologist)  feel uncomfortable to tell me that I needed to lose weight.  He did not harp on it at all.  He said it once and never mentioned it again.  It wasn't until I kept having fertility struggles that I did my own research and found out that losing weight could really make the biggest difference in my fertility.  It could make more of a difference than any of the fertility drugs.

So I tried.  I exercised more.  I ate what I thought was better.  I definitely ate less. 
Annnnnddddd nothing. 
I couldn't lose a pound. 
I just kept packing them on. 

Then I remembered that when I was in college and was put on BC for female issues, I lost weight.  Most people gain weight on BC.  It was all beginning to click.

Then I went to see my new WRE (wonderful reproductive endocrinologist) and he gave it to me straight.  He told me that my PCOS is likely why I had been overweight my whole life.  He asked me if I had tried to lose weight on my on and been unsuccessful.  With tears streaming down my face I said yes.  *Finally, someone understands!*  He told me that with my PCOS, I couldn't do it on my own.  He prescribed metformin and told me to pick a diet.  Atkins, Weight Watchers, etc., and do it.  He told me he wanted me to lose 25 pounds before I saw him again.  I thought to myself......."It will NEVER happen.  I've tried this before."

I joined Weight Watchers, and to my surprise, it worked!  I have lost 45 pounds since I first met with my WRE.  I appreciate that he doesn't look like he feels uncomfortable when he tells me to lose weight.  I appreciate that he isn't cruel about it.  I appreciate that he told me my PCOS is not my fault and that is why I could never lose weight. 

But I'm stuck.  I want to still lose weight (believe me I still have plenty I could lose!), but it isn't happening as "easy" as it was for me.  I use the term "easy" lightly.  I just don't know where to go from here.  I have almost lost my motivation.  YES, I still very much so desire to be pregnant and I know losing weight could help IVF be successful, but where do I go from here. 

I have GOT to find my motivation, and I am really hoping that writing this all out will help me find it!

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