Monday, April 29, 2013
This is a long one! But I needed to get more of me "out there"- so here goes...
My husband and I have been trying to have a baby on and off for 3 years now. We tend to try for a few months, get disheartened, and then give up. Our last try was in the fall of 2011- right before we moved to KY a year ago. We took the year off to get the move out of the way, for me to get settled into my new job, and...to lose weight. Well, I'm here a year later to say I am fatter than I was a year ago, we STILL aren't unpacked, and my job is only just starting to feel "normal."
Still yet, we decided to start trying again last month when we found out my mother-in-law has esophageal cancer. In a desperate effort to at least get pregnant, if not HAVE a baby, if and before she dies, has left us both anxious and frustrated at my uncooperative body.
You see, in 2002, I was diagnosed with Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome, aka PCOS, Stein-Leventhal Syndrome, and many other names. My last gyno called it being "anovulatory." PCOS is a tricky disorder, it's one of those "which came first- the chicken or the egg" type of afflictions. It should be called "the never ending cycle of hell" in my opinion.
If you don't know what PCOS is, here is a description in a nutshell from wikipedia:
"The principal features are anovulation, resulting in irregular menstruation, amenorrhea, ovulation-related infertility, and polycystic ovaries; excessive amounts or effects of androgenic (masculinizing) hormones, resulting in acne and hirsutism; and insulin resistance, often associated with obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol levels. The symptoms and severity of the syndrome vary greatly among affected women."
Well I have nearly all of the things above. Lemme throw a little pity party here for just a second.
Anovulation- Got it. Yeah, that's when my eggs decide they are too lazy to come out and play and instead stay in bed and sleep until they die. Lovely.
Amenorrhea/Irregular Mestruation- Got it. Yup, that's when Aunt Flo decides she doesn't like your guest room and would rather stay home. Instead of her monthly visits, she might show up once every few months, if at all.
Ovulation-related Infertility- Here's the main one that breaks my heart. If you don't release an egg, it can't be fertilized. If it can't be fertilized, you can't get pregnant. :(
Masculinizing Hormones- ahhh the inspiration for this post. This morning as I went to apply my foundation to my face, I saw, staring back at me, horrifically, maniacally, tauntingly... a black hair on my chin. At 32, I was not expecting to see these little wirey afflictions I saw my mother pluck from her chin after menopause. No no no, not now. Not me. It's not time. I was ok, though, as I scrambled to find a pair of tweezers. I was ok...until...I saw 2 more. Then I lost it. I mean, I started bawling my eyes out. My poor husband didn't know what to do so he just stood behind me stroking my hair as I bawled in front of my 10x vanity mirror. I plucked all 3 of those bad boys and layed them out, ironically, I might add, on the back of my Sephora Beauty Insider card. In addition to that manly quality of chin hairs, I also have a recurring mustache and "beer gut"- though I do not drink. Mother Nature loves me.
Acne- I have as much now as I did when I was 16. It doesn't even make sense.
Insulin Resistance- this is what causes the "beer gut" without even drinking. It's basically your blood cells being little introverts who don't like to play, so instead of letting in ALL the party-going sugar molecules to hang out, they only let in a few. Those snobby jerks! So then some Insulin dudes come along and try to beat the doors down so sugar can get in. When that doesn't work. more and more of these insulin dudes show up -but no! - the blood cells won't have it. So sugar gives up and the insulin dudes take them home to live in my fat cells instead. Apparently all around my belly. And all they wanted to do was dance. Bruno Mars should write a song about it
"I shouldn't have eaten the flour. And all the bwan.* I should've exercised an hour, and gone on plan...." (Chad would get this...)
Anyway, PCOS sucks. It makes me feel...helpless. Less like a woman. It really tears at you to not be able to give your husband the one thing he wants most in the world- a child.
Most of the other PCOS symptoms are cosmetic- you know, the thinning hair, dark skin creases (ever seen an overweight person who looks like they have a dirty neck? That's called acanthosis nigricans, and it's related to insulin resistance)- etc. And I can put my vanity aside for now because those are the least of my concerns. My biggest concern right now is not being able to have a baby. I want a baby.
Let me rewind a little more. I was 16 and head-over-heels for my first love, Donnie. We were hot and heavy in the back of his Chevy so when my period didn't show up on time, I naturally thought we had a boo-boo with our protection and I was gonna end up a teen mom. Thank GOD that was not the case, but even so, I'm not sure the alternative is better. (Disclaimer- the mere thought of my 16 year old niece being sexually active FREAKS ME OUT so I can't believe what I did back then...anyway...) So my mom took me to the doctor, which was a military doctor because my dad was a retired veteran and we got benefits and stuff. Well they did all sorts of tests and didn't know what was wrong with me. They gave me a prescription for the pill and sent me on my way. For the next 9 years I would remain on the pill faithfully, and my PCOS symptoms mostly stayed away. Except for the weight gain. In highschool I was 150-180 lbs. By the time I went off the pill for the first time 9 years later, I was 250-260 lbs.
In 2005 I had a miscarriage the first time my *first* husband and I tried for a baby. Another blessing in disguise, as he turned out to be a major jerk. I went back on the pill and by the time I left him less than 2 years later, I was at 280+ lbs. I decided to kick my rear in gear and over the next year I'd lost 75 lbs. I was feeling good about myself again for once. I'd met my soon-to-be-husband Chad and thing were going great. That is, until my mom was diagnosed with lung cancer and died 6 months later. After her death I turned once again to food for comfort. I was alone for the first time in my life. My fiance was 500 miles away and all I did was eat. Over the next year I gained 50lbs back. Then I got married. As much as Chad and I tried to get "on plan" and stay together, we never got more than a few pounds down before we were back to "bwanning*."
So here we are present day. I told Chad this morning as I have a hundred other mornings- "I'm on plan today." Somedays I make it through until the next, but more often than not I am defeated by dinner time.
Today, however, is different.
I don't know if it was by the hairs on my chinny chin chin, the realization that the dream I had about a sweet baby boy named Silas may never come true, or JUST the simple fact that I know I am letting bad food keep me from being happy that made me decide that I WILL MAKE IT THROUGH TODAY. And tomorrow. And as many days as it takes.
2 weeks from tomorrow I have an appointment with a new gyno. I am hoping she can help me with this fertility issue, and I hope I'm not too late. I'll be 33 in less than 3 months, and I pray I haven't eaten my chances of a baby away.
Tonight I am going to print out pictures to put around the house to remind us of what it's all about. Images of parents playing with their children. Maybe above it a picture of food from Taco Bell (our frienemy) with a caption that reads "Which do you want more? This...or This?"
I want this:
* Bwan or Bwanning is the term my husband and I came up for when we eat poorly. I could get into how we came up with it, but it's kind of an inside joke anyway :p