Cancer Ever After

Musings on Infertility, Adoption, Parenthood and Cancer

In Pursuit of Baby

on 02/23/2015

Lately, not a day goes by when I’m not asked, “How did you lose so much weight? What is your secret?” For those that know me, the weight roller coaster has had more ups and downs than usual over the last several years as we’ve dealt with infertility.

I gained a lot of weight after our first miscarriage. I was so upset, it was the dead of winter and working out just wasn’t in the cards. Food was a source of comfort for my sorrow.

And then we started treatments.

This began a vicious cycle of “lose weight, it will make you fertile” and “you can’t work out, you’ll torque an ovary and/or lose the baby(ies).” I was on bedrest for every pregnancy and miscarriage. It’s hard to stay in shape, when your limited to laying on your side.

Because of this, I’ve undoubtedly gained and lost hundreds of pounds during our infertility journey. In fact, I have four different wardrobes of clothes from those years that I’ve been slowly working my way back through. I still haven’t hit the smallest clothes.

I’ve lost 77 pounds from my highest weight after the girls were born. This is why so many people ask me how. But they are asking the wrong question. The question they should be asking is “Why?”

Anything is possible if your motivation is strong enough. I lost 40 pounds in three months before our first IVF cycle, because our clinic required it. I had a deadline and a goal, so I consulted with WebMD and created a plan of action. I ate no more than 1200 calories a day, as close to zero carbs as possible and did 2 hours of cardio a day religiously. It’s not a path for the faint of heart, but if the motivation is strong enough, it’s possible.

I gained that weight back after my next miscarriage and had to work to lose it all over again before our final round of IVF. Three pregnancies in four years took their toll on us emotionally and me physically. The five months of bed rest didn’t help. I couldn’t walk around the block after the girls were born. My muscles were too weak; I had to relearn how to function in a vertical world. Stairs were brutal.  Between the incision and loss of muscle tone, it was tough to do simple tasks like carry my girls around.

Which brings me back to “Why?” My husband had agreed that, if I lost weight, we could “leave it in God’s hands”. We would simply see if we could achieve that miracle pregnancy on our own. The doctors had all recommended weight loss as a weight to mitigate some of the potential pregnancy complications, even though they still felt I’m at higher risk for additional miscarriages, pre-eclampsia and hemorrhages due to my complex medical history.

When I looked at it this way, weight became the only barrier between me and another child.  There wasn’t much I wasn’t willing to do to have another baby.  If my weight was the obstacle to a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby, and losing weight could possibly increase our odds of conceiving. I was on board. Tim also agreed to try IVF again if I hit my ideal weight.

Honestly, I’m not sure he ever thought it would be possible. But as anyone who has struggled with weight will tell you, people who struggle with their weight are really, really, really good at dieting and exercise. They have willpower to spare–with the proper motivation. I had just found mine.

My motivation doubled after I had surgery due to some complications after having the girls. My heart had issues during the procedure and they had to strap me to heart monitors for observation. Once they said, “We need to make sure you aren’t having a heart attack.”,  I vowed then and there I would lose the weight to be around as long as possible for my girls.

They are also the best motivation in the world to keep the weight off. The roller coaster ends here.

I enjoy singing Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes with my girls. The weight loss makes this easier and more enjoyable. I want to be able to play and chase them and I can do that so much better now. The good news is that overeating is tough when you’re lucky to get a few bites during a chaotic family dinner! And I wouldn’t change it for the world.

How did I lose all of the weight, you ask? I found happiness. I found purpose. I found my motivation. I could drown you in numbers and studies on the science of losing weight, but the reality is, being happy and having the right motivation makes all of the difference.

It’s funny, but now that we are adopting my original motivations for losing the weight are moot. But my motivation for keeping it off is now one child stronger.  I want to be here, be healthy, and be able to enjoy and play with all of them, for the rest of a very long life.

Want to help support our adoption? 
Visit our youcaring page and make a donation. Until March 1, each $20 donation will get you entered to win a 3 night stay at the Lake of the Ozarks in Osage Beach, Missouri. View here for more information.

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One response to “In Pursuit of Baby

  1. sewingbutterfly says:

    Motivation is definitely key! Congratulations on finding yours and I hope that the adoption all goes smoothly 🙂

    Like

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