Monday, September 10, 2012

HA and weight. Which turned into my entire ttc history.

I've been thinking a lot about my weight over the past years as I'm putting together the survey for my book.  So I thought I'd post my weight history for as long as I can remember, as I think it's interesting, and perhaps useful for others going through this.  (Note, I'm about 5'6").

I first got my period at age 14.  Kinda late.  It was the summer after freshman year, I was babysitting for a family up in Maine and my best friend happened to be visiting.  Fortuitous if I wasn't going to have my mom around, to have someone else I could confide in.  I have no idea what I weighed at the time.

My cycles were fairly irregular, and I remember my periods lasting FOR.EVER.  Each was at least 10 days of bleeding.  And I never knew when they were coming, although as I think back on it, I feel like it was about every 5-6 weeks or so.

Then at around 18 I started on birth control pills for a short while, but wasn't very reliable about taking them, so ended up with Norplant (the rods that go in your arm) after a couple of years.  Loved it.  Especially loved that I stopped getting my period a few months in.  I think my weight at the time was in the mid 120's.  That was when I was about 20.  In college I started exercising a bit - I'd go to the gym and use the stairmaster (doing the classic - level 10 but holding my weight up on my wrists. ha ha.) and would run occasionally.

The Norplant lasted five years, I met my husband, and we got married.  At some point I had them taken out and went on the pill.  I worked for a few years, then went to graduate school.  And this is when I really started paying attention to what I weighed.  I guess over time my weight had gradually trended upwards until I was sitting at about 139 in grad school.  Which was fine, but I was never particularly happy with my love handles and the bit of cellulite I had developed.  Went on a few "diets" but could never be particularly consistent about it because I just loved food too much, particularly junk food.  If I could be healthy and live on chocolate and chips I totally would!  During this time I became much more active than I had ever been before - started playing ice hockey a few times a week, volleyball, weight lifting, squash - I loved being and feeling so fit!

Then, some of the post docs in my lab whom I hung out with a lot decided they needed to lose some weight.  And I thought I would join them. Finally get rid of those love handles, and "get healthy" in preparation for having a baby.  Because I'd seen so many places that if you were overweight you should lose weight to be more fertile, and so I figured that was true for me too.  They were men, quite a bit bigger than me, and were aiming to eat 1500 calories per day.  I figured that would be a good goal for me too, as I was smaller than them but exercising more.  So I started an Excel file (I have one for everything!) where I would track my calories for each day.  With all the exercise I was doing, my net calories were around 7-800.

And I lost weight.  BOY, did I lose weight.  I think I lost 12 pounds in the first month I was doing this, then a few more after that.  Which got me down to my low weight of 120.  It was so addictive seeing that number on the scale go down!  I loved how I looked (I had a six pack! and you could see the vein in my bicep!)  And then I went off the pill because we decided we were ready to have a baby.  And my body just laughed at me.

I went to see my PCP, and then my OB/GYN.  Eventually I was diagnosed with HA, and my OB did tell me to cut down on exercise.  I had gained back to about 133 by that point, but still no period.  This was about six months after going off the pill.  Then went to see an RE, who was very doubtful that I would either start to cycle on my own or that Clomid would work for me.  Up to 136 (Jan '05).

Two months later I got my period while on vacation! Had a couple of ultrasounds after I got back and had a 14mm follicle that didn't grow in two days.  So we started on the injectable/IUI rollercoaster.  Over that period my weight kept going up.  Four BFN cycles (just reread all my archives - had forgotten how hard it all was).  Gained some more weight up to about 140lbs (yes, back to where I started!).

After the four BFNs we were going to move on to IVF, but not for a couple of months because of insurance.      Decided not to take bcp until we knew what our IVF schedule was.  Amazingly, ovulated on my own in 12/05 and got a BFP!!  143 lbs at the start of my pregnancy.

Gained 17lbs by 30 weeks and then another 20 in the last 10 weeks (mostly water), for a grand total of 37lbs and final pg weight of 180.

By six months postpartum was back down to 136 - could have gone lower but didn't want to for fear of having HA again.

Didn't get HA, started cycling naturally at 11 months postpartum, BFP on my third cycle trying (using progesterone to lengthen my LP from 8 days to 14+), starting weight for this pregnancy was 136.

Gained a total of 25lbs, final pg weight of 161.

Again no trouble losing the pg weight, got down to about 128 before deciding once again that I didn't want to lose more in case we did decide to have a third child, once again didn't want HA.

Started cycling naturally at 10 months postpartum.  Started trying for a third child at 18 months PP and got pregnant on my first! cycle.  Starting weight of 128.  Found out our baby didn't make it at 10w.  Had gained up to 133.

Lost that over time, kept on trying for a year, finally moved on to IVF.  Lucky enough to get a BFP on our first cycle.  Starting weight 127.

Gained a total of 30lbs this time, to 157lbs.  Lost 10lbs by delivering Truffle, lost another 10lbs by a week later, and then have been losing about a pound a week since.

And now we get to the real point of this post.  I'm now down below my pre-pg weight, at about 125.  And given that we're probably not going to have another child, I'm finding that my motivation to keep my weight up is somewhat lacking, and in fact, there is a not insignificant part of me that is once again liking seeing that number going down.  Amazing that it's still there after all these years.  I have been trying to add in some more snacks so that I dont' lose too much more weight, I think this is a good place for me to be especially as I'm not exercising that much any more.  But still.  I think it's something that those of us who got ourselves in the way of HA will always struggle with to some degree.  We can push those thoughts away for the most part, but not completely.

Have you been able to completely banish them?