Sunday, January 30, 2011

faith and infertility

I have been tossing around the idea of writing this blog entry for a while, but I have been hesitant to do so. I tend to avoid topics that may cause controversy because, in all honesty, I am not really a confrontational person. I definitely stand up for what I believe, but I am not one to seek out a heated argument/discussion. I do not thrive on such discussions, I find them horrifying and try to get out of the as soon as possible. That being said, I am really not trying to start a debate by writing this post. Instead, I just have some thoughts that I need to put down and this is the best outlet for that. Now that I've hyped up this post far more than I intended...

The topic that I have been wanting to write about is the idea of God having a plan for my life or, more specifically, the idea of infertility being a part of that plan. This has been a huge discussion point in my Master's class lately and it really stirs up a lot of emotions for me. You could say it all started when I saw a counselor following my layoff and simultaneous infertility diagnosis in June/July/August 2009. I decided to see this particular counselor because the company for which I worked would pay for up to six sessions as a part of my layoff package and because all the other "benefits" were so pitiful, I decided to take advantage of some free counseling. Because I worked for a Christ.ian organization, the counselor they provided was also Christ.ian. Going in to counseling with her, I was excited to see what it would be like to muddle my faith with my mental health. I had high hopes for our sessions. The first two sessions were mainly background info and assessment results, but on our third meeting we were able to get into the "meat" of what brought me there. I talked a little about my feelings regarding being let go from my job and the unfairness of that, but I wanted to focus primarily on my new reality; that MBL and I were going to struggle to get pregnant. I needed to talk through my fears and anxieties related to IF and how it was affecting my relationship with MBL. Not even five minutes into the topic change this counselor said to me, "Well, maybe you need to consider the possibility that God didn't mean for you to have children." Typing that sentence brings up all the emotions of that day, my heart has simultaneously jumped into my throat and fallen out of my body. I don't remember my response, but I'm pretty sure I mumbled my way through the rest of the session and then cried all the way home. I vowed never to return to her. Even if she believed that God didn't want me to have children, is that really something she should say to a new client during their third session?? Probably not. Her statement fueled a new search for me; a search to see what scholars and other Christians had to say about bad things happening to good people (and, yes, I believe that I am all in all a pretty good person and that infertility is a bad thing that happened to me).

I suppose I should be thankful that her ignorant and out of line statement caused me to dig deeper into my own faith, but I'm still pretty pissed about her response to my infertility. What I have found since then, however, is that she is not alone. Mel, over at Stirrup Queens, has written about this a few times. That when people don't know what to say or how to respond to a painful situation, they sometimes say what they think would give them comfort. Now, I don't know what the motivations were behind that counselor's statement, but I do know that infertility is awkward. Most people do not know how to respond unless they themselves have been through it or know someone who struggles with it. I cannot honestly say that before my own journey with IF, I would have had the perfect response, but I sure as heck would not have said what she said. I think what bothers me most is how often our response to other people's difficulties is, "It's all a part of God's plan." Or some variation of that. I have heard that said to someone who lost a child at birth, to a fellow IFer diagnosed with cancer right before TTC #2, and to a former coworker who discovered her husband was cheating on her with her sister in law. And, truthfully, I have a problem with that statement being used in those situations. And I have a problem using it for my own situation and struggle with infertility.

As I finish up my Master's in Counseling at a university, use of that statement has been brought up for discussion twice over the last three weeks. My classmates have discussed whether or not it is appropriate to say it in a counseling session and through several dialogues with them I have figured out why that statement bothers me so much. Like I said earlier, I do not think that people say it to be malicious, I think they do not know what to say and they think bringing "God's plan" into it will comfort the person who is suffering. The problem with that assumption is that telling someone what is within "God's plan" is just plain presumptuous. I have absolutely no problem with someone sharing a difficult time in their OWN life and then concluding that they realized how it was a part of God's plan for their life, but I do have a problem with someone dictating to me what God's plans are for my life. Maybe I will reach that conclusion on my own, but maybe I won't. Maybe I will instead conclude that sometimes absolutely horrible things happen to perfectly wonderful people and sometimes really fantastic things happen to perfectly nasty people and that I am too finite to understand it all. And the fact that I believe that latter should be okay.

Kelly over at this blog put my thoughts on it into a beautiful statement. She said, "...because I truly believe that God has a plan for my life. I do not believe that God plans out miscarriages, loss, and infertility, but I do believe that He sees us through them if we give him the reins." That is my personal belief on infertility in my life, but I would never force that on someone else. I think we all need to come to our own conclusions about the hard things we face. I have no problem with how other people view their own difficulties, I just think that when responding to other people's pain/suffering we need to be extra cautious and sensitive. Sometimes we may not know what to say and that is okay, a simple "I am so sorry" goes a long way. I think as humans, and especially as women, we want to have the perfect response, but that's not always possible. We need to accept that and work from there. And I guess that's all I'm really trying to say.

(I want to say that this post is not directed at anyone in particular--well, except for that counselor--I have been blessed with people in my real life who have allowed me to process my emotions in my own time and come to my own conclusions without judgment...I can only hope that all my IF friends out there have been given the same.)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

a few thoughts on pregnancy after IF...

I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I guess when I was TTC I just assumed that when I got pregnant and stayed pregnant past the first trimester that I would be able to let go (somewhat) of my infertile mindset. And what I mean by that is the mindset that made me believe that the chance of me having a real live baby was slim. The mindset that most days caused me to doubt that I would ever get the much desired baby belly. I was just thinking this morning how I still can't believe I got a positive pee stick, I nearly pulled out the bag containing the 16 I took during IVF #2 just to remind myself that I did indeed get two lines. I got those first two lines on September 9, 2010 and, yet, I sit here on January 25, 2011 still in shock and disbelief. How is that normal?? When we first found out, I was ecstatic, but I kept myself guarded just in case. I kept thinking that I would be able to exhale once we reached the second trimester. Nope. I sort of expected a miraculous feeling of "this will happen" to pop into my mind. Even after seeing her on the ultrasound at 15 weeks it still did not feel real. When we went back to my parents and had the "gender reveal" it still just felt like a dream. I even hesitated letting the photographer take pictures of us with our "it's a girl" balloon because I just didn't accept that I had reason to be holding such a message.

I figured I would snap out of my post infertility daze once I started feeling her move on a consistent basis. THEN it would all be real, right? Well...just to make things more complicated, I have an anterior placenta. Now that I know what that means, I think that all infertiles should be given the gift of a posterior placenta. I have tried to remain patient while waiting for consistent movement, but after our most recent ultrasound showed a bouncing baby, I just felt robbed. I was 21 weeks and didn't feel any of it!!! Even now, at 23 weeks and officially 6 months pregnant, I only feel her a few times a day. Let's just say that not being able to feel her movements has only furthered my infertile mindset of disbelief. I may be able to say the words, "I'm having a baby", but I don't know how much I believe them. I still check the tp each and every time I go to the bathroom, assuming that I will find spotting or loads of clear fluid. When I asked the OB about my cervical length I *wanted* to hear that it was over 5cm, but I kind of assumed it would be shorter so that I could obsess over the "what ifs". Instead it was 5.2 cm, plenty long enough and nothing to worry over.

So why am I unable to let go? I have done the research and with my age and health history, I have a 99.7% chance of actually having a baby in May. So, why don't I believe it? Why am I unable to wrap my mind around the fact that in less than four months MBL and I will go from being a family of two to a family of three? I guess part of me is kind of worried that I am still unable to picture having a child in our house. It worries me because I feel like I am not bonding as much as I should with this baby. I should be nesting and prepping and reading up on what to do before baby comes, but I just can't let go of my infertile self. I guess two years of disappointment makes it hard to think that what I dreamed of happening might actually happen. I just hope that reality comes and smacks me in the face soon because there is a lot to be done and, also, I'd kind of like to spend the last few months of this pregnancy relishing in my belly and the wondrous gift that I've been given. I just wish someone would have warned me that being pregnant after infertility would mess with my mind just as much as infertility itself did.

(p.s. I am in no way complaining...I just pictured everything being/feeling different and I needed to get these odd emotions off of my chest)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

brief ICLW welcome post!

ICLW is the type of monthly visitor that I do not mind :)! I am excited to participate again and I look forward to getting to know some new people/blogs.

A brief introduction to my story:
-my husband (MBL) and I decided to start TTC as soon as we got married in December of 2008. I was 23 at the time and MBL was 31. We were certain we would come back from our honeymoon with a lasting souvenir, but instead we got our first of many BFNs.
-I began thinking there we had a problem about 5-6 months into our journey. I was ovulating like clockwork and month after month of perfectly timed BDing gave us nothing but a collection of negative pee sticks.
-We had several sperm analysis' done and they showed us that we were dealing with low count and poor morphology. We started IUIs in July of 2009.
-Three IUIs with clomi.d later we were still not pregnant. I had a lap which showed mild endo (one adhesion). We decided to then go down the IVF road hoping our first try would yield success.
-IVF #1 took place in December of 2009. We got the news of our BFN on New Years Eve.
-MBL went through varicocele surgery in March 2010 and we restarted clomi.d plus IUIs in May. We did two rounds before moving on to IVF again.
-IVF #2 started in July 2010. We went the shared risk route (up to 3 fresh IVFs and a take home baby or an 80% refund). Well, the risk ended up being on us because on September 13, 2010 we got the official news that we were pregnant!! We still can't believe IVF worked!
-We are due May 23, 2011 with a baby girl.

I am thankful every day for the baby in my belly and will never forget what we went through to get here. I think of my IF sisters daily and pray that you all get your BFPs (or whatever it is you desire...referral, donor match, etc.) soon!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

why I am already looking at gifts for my new OB...

Today was my 22 week appointment with my new OB. I was excited for the appointment because I had some questions for her and because I looking forward to MBL meeting her. We got there early and were called back right on time (woo hoo!!). I was a little bit worried about going with this new OB only because at my last appointment they did not ask for a urine sample...silly thing to be concerned about, I know, but I was reassured by monthly UTI and protein checks. Thankfully right after getting weighed and having my blood pressure taken, the nurse asked me to go leave a sample. We were then left in the exam room for about 10-15 minutes (not bad compared to the 30-45 minute waiting room wait at my old OB). Eventually the OB came in and apologized for making us wait (points for her)! She was so sweet to us and even remembered that she hadn't met my husband at the last appointment, so she introduced herself to him, which I thought was neat. Oh, and she was dressed to the nines...leggings, cute ankle boots, and a mustard yellow sweater dress. Points again for dressing so cute! (Can you tell I'm a fan?)

Today was my first fundus measuring appointment and I was excited to see how I was measuring. Turns out I'm measuring ahead, I was 22w2d today, but I was measuring 23-24 weeks. My uterus is already 2-3 inches above my bellybutton. She then pulled out the doppler and immediately found baby girl's heartbeat galloping away. After a few seconds, however, the heartbeat started fading. At first I thought it was because the doppler was picking up my heartbeat instead, but the OB told me that the baby didn't like me laying on my back. She told me I needed to sit up and that would help the baby's heartbeat go back up to a normal rate. I knew that I needed to avoid sleeping on my back but this showed me that even just a few seconds on it could cause a drop in her HB. SCARY!!! Thankfully I have an awesome pregnancy pillow (my anniversary present from MBL) that keeps me on my sides, but I didn't take staying off my back too seriously until this happened. I will now be propping at least one hip up when I listen to her HB just to be safe!

After the fundus measuring and heartbeat listening, she looked through my file and said everything looked good and that our next appointment would be my glucose test. She was about to get up and get my drink for that when I stopped her because I had some questions. My first one was really more of a concern. I wanted to get her opinion on the exercise thing. Despite my best efforts, I still get a little scared about working out. I'm so afraid that it will cause contractions or my plug to fall out that I still haven't gotten into a good routine (or any routine, really). I told her all of this and her response put her lightyears ahead of my old OB. She said that while exercise is encouraged and safe during pregnancy, after all we went through to get pregnant, it would be completely fine if I took it easy just to ease my mind. She assured me that forgoing intentional workouts would not lead me to have a 12 pound baby and that if taking a break from exercise during this time made me feel better, then that was what was most important. MAJOR points for that!! I wasn't looking for an out from exercise, so her response was spot on. She also assured me that breastfeeding would help me take the weight off after, so as long as I was planning on doing that, long term weight gain from not working out shouldn't be a huge issue.

While we were on the topic of being scared of doing things during pregnancy, I had to bring up a very personal issue. I had to ask her about se.x. MBL has read some of my pregnancy books and is worried that doing the deed will cause placenta previa or placental abruption or my cervix to open (even though none of the books say that se.x causes those things to happen). And I think part of him is scared that it will cause me to spot again. These fears have led to a very long drought in our house and because I didn't want to bring this up at my very first appointment with my new doc, we are on week 8 of abstinence (not fun). I was excited (?) to address these concerns with MBL in the room so that he could hear first hand that having se.x while pregnant is totally fine. She said exactly that and assured him that the placenta is very far from my cervix, so there's no risk of previa and it's long (5.2cm!!), so doing the deed wouldn't cause it to open. (btw, I was hoping my cervix was over 5 and I was so relieved to hear her say that it is VERY long and definitely closed). I'm hoping that, in light of this medical reassurance, the drought will soon end.

I just loved how the doc listened to my questions and then addressed them sensitively. She didn't give 2 sentence answers, instead she took the time to address each one thorougly. I told MBL that I felt so listened to and my old OB NEVER made me feel that way. Basically, I left the appointment brainstorming thank you gifts for her because I know the value in having a good OB and I am so thankful to have found her!!

Oh, and the ultrasound tech wasn't able to get a good picture/measurement of our baby's kidneys (because she was moving around so dang much) so we get another ultrasound!!!! YAY!!!! The OB told us we should schedule it for 4 weeks from now so that the baby won't have as much space to move, but I'm secretly hoping that at that point we'll be able to get some good 3D images!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

telling anyone who will listen

Back when we were starting IF treatments I talked about it to my family and other people who had gone through infertility, but hardly anyone else. We did our first IUI on our 8th married cycle...a little soon to be rushing into IF treatments, right? Part of me thought that maybe I was being too dramatic, but another part of me just knew that my instinct was right on. MBL's counts were low, with the lowest being only 9 million. I knew that with those numbers, the odds were not on our side and that we could end up spending years trying on our own to no avail or we could jump into fertility treatments head first. Obviously we chose the latter. We told only a few people that we were doing IUIs and even fewer people that we were doing IVF. In the beginning I hid our IF because it didn't feel real. I felt like I was cheating because technically you're not considered infertile until you've been trying for over a year and part of me kept thinking it would happen within that time frame. Once I came to terms with the fact that despite the formal definition, we definitely had fertility problems, I didn't vocalize our issues because I didn't want people asking me how it was going when all they really want to know is if I am pregnant yet. I felt so disappointed with each failed cycle that I didn't want to have to also deal with letting other people know that we had gotten (another) negative result.

When it came time for IVF #2 I realized that there were some people with whom I needed to let "in" on what was going on...partly because I needed their support and partly because we were staying with my parents during the retrieval/transfer. My mom even came with me to one of my pre-IVF tests and got to witness first hand just how many people I have had the pleasure of showing off my "goods" to in order to have a shot at getting pregnant. It felt good having my family surround us with their love and support during that time. I also enjoyed educating them on what actually happens during IVF, although my mom still says that they "implant" the embryos despite the fact that I have corrected her with "transfer" about a gazillion times. The only thing we did keep a secret was our beta date. I told my parents that no matter what happened, we would let them know, but if it was negative I would need time to heal before sharing that news with them.

Since I have been pregnant, I have been very vocal about what it took to get here. The truth is that I want everyone to know what infertility looks like. I want them to see that it happens to people of all different ages and backgrounds. I was 23 when we started trying and, statistically, I should have been pregnant after about 3-4 months of trying. Instead it took us 21 months...roughly seven times longer than the average. I think the numbers also say only 2% of people my age experience IF. LUCKY ME!! There is such stigma out there about infertility and so many of the articles featured in popular newspapers/magazines paint IVF as something only people who have waited too long have to go through (and that is not what I think at all)...they almost make it sound like those who need IVF deserve it in some way. Ticks me right off. And while I could comment on those articles and rant about how uneducated and inaccurate the authors are, I have instead chose a grassroots approach. I think I can make a greater impact by informing people I meet/know about infertility and IVF. So, I pretty much tell everyone who asks about my pregnancy what it took to get here. MBL was already pretty good at doing that, but I'm getting better. When we went for our anomaly ultrasound Monday evening I made a point to tell the tech that we needed two IVFs to get the bouncing baby in my belly. And you know what? She was SOOO sweet to us and I'm thinking that knowing our background may have influenced her attitude. She kept telling us how healthy the baby looked and how cute she is. She pointed out all the details and answered our every question. It was actually amusing how much she gushed about our baby. I mean I haven't ever seen anything more precious, but I'm not a 50 something ultrasound tech who has probably done a thousand OB scans during my career. On our way out she even made a point of saying again just how good everything looked. Lately I have felt like I want to tell everyone about our IF history and anyone who asks about the pregnancy gets told about the two IVFs it took to get here. Like I said, by sharing what it took to get here, it is my hope that some of the stigma of IF will start to be removed and people will be able to put a face to the disease instead of just making assumptions about it.

Oh, and our baby is still a girl!! That's three ultrasounds now that have said that, so I'm thinking there is no way she'll end up coming out with a penis. Now it's on to naming her and getting her room all set up!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

the big OB switch

I talked about this in December, but after my most recent appointment with my (now former) OB, I decided I needed to switch. I had brought up a few concerns to her (increased/change in CM and cramping), all I really wanted was for her to give me some confirmation that things would likely be okay and tell me any symptoms that should cause concern. Instead she took it as me wanting an u/s and told me that they don't do ultrasounds on all their patients just to find the one or two that are going to lose their babies. Um...WTHeck? I called a different OB the following Monday and made an appointment for a new patient consult. Like I said before, I used to see this (new) OB before but had to switch due to insurance changes, so I already had an inkling that I would like her. between my last appointment with my old OB and the appointment with the new OB I experienced spotting. Twice. It was always brown and never heavy, but it didn't come after a BM, lots of walking around/lifting, or sex. I was also experiencing cramping. So, I was concerned. I had read that I should call my OB if I experience spotting. So, I did. The nurse called me back and basically ignored what I told her (that it wasn't brought on by any activities that can cause it and that it was accompanied by cramping) and then said, "If/when you start bleeding heavily, go to the ER." Again, WTHeck???!!! Um, if I'm bleeding heavily isn't it already too late. I wanted to choke her!! It affirmed what I already knew about my old OB, that it just wasn't the practice for someone with a history of IF who is scared out of her mind that she is going to lose her baby ESPECIALLY after experiencing worrisome symptoms.

The hard part was that I wasn't scheduled at my new OB for another week and I was so freaked out! I managed to make it to the appointment (instead of making a trip to the ER) and explained to the nurse my situation. She was SOOOO sweet. She said that the doc would definitely want to get me in for an ultrasound and that she would probably be able to get me in that day. The OB then came in and affirmed what the nurse said. I explained to her that I had stopped spotting, but she said it was always best to be safe. EXACTLY!! I could have hugged her right then. I liked that she also said that while spotting *can* be normal in pregnancy, sometimes it can be a symptom of something more serious. She also asked me the questions that my former OB failed to ask, "Have you noticed an increase in CM? Do you feel like you are losing fluid throughout the day? Was the spotting brought on by BMs, sex, or an increase in activity? How long did the cramping last? Did it come at regular intervals?" I was impressed. Plus, when I explained that the baby was a product of TWO IVFs she responded with, "Oh, what a miracle!" This OB got it. She understood.

What is interesting about her practice is that she does not have an ultrasound machine/tech in her office. Instead, all of her ultrasounds are done at the local hospital (the one at which I will be giving birth). The plus side of this is that they do ultrasounds from 7am-9pm. Very convenient! After speaking with me, she said that she would get me in for an ultrasound that afternoon and made sure that MBL would be able to make that work with his schedule. She explained that in order to get me scheduled for that afternoon she would need to write the order as "threatened A/B", but she assured me that she didn't see any reason to worry. She (and I) just wanted to see if there was a cause of the bleeding. I could have cried throughout the whole appointment because I just felt listened to and well cared for and that is all I wanted. MBL and I went to the ultrasound and everything looked perfect! The tech was so sweet and even recorded the four chambers of the heart beating for us. At first our LO was sitting with her legs crossed, so we couldn't get a good potty shot, but she finally moved at the end of the ultrasound and the tech was able to see three lines. She's still a girl! The tech explained that the ultrasound was not our full anatomy/anomaly scan so we would get to come back in a few weeks! She told us to schedule it for 21/22 weeks because that is when we could get the best 3D pictures. So...we have another ultrasound scheduled for this Monday :). The best part is that I won't have to miss my internship and MBL won't have to miss work to attend...we were able to schedule it at 7:00pm.

All in all, I feel so good about making the OB switch. I did have to call my old office and cancel my 20 week ultrasound/appointment and the receptionist asked if I was going to reschedule and all I could muster at that point was, "My husband and I may be switching to a different provider, but if I need to reschedule I will call back." I need to call them and tell them that I have switched and I would like to write a letter to my (old) OB explaining why. MBL and I also had to pay $240 for maternity care and we will obviously need to get that back since we will not be continuing with their care for this pregnancy. The problem is that I just hate confrontation!! But, I think it's important for them to understand the flaws in their care and hopefully open their eyes to the sensitivity that IF patients need when they are pregnant! I'm just not worrying about it right now because I'm so excited that I will get to see our little girl again on Monday!! YAY!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A weighty issue.

So, I have been churning over ideas for a blog entry in my mind the last few days. It's funny because at times I'll have several ideas for posts swirling around but when it comes time to actually put my fingers to the keyboard, I feel lost. There has been one thing, though, that has really made me feel uneasy. I feel a little uncomfortable even writing about it here, but since I use this blog both as a public forum for my struggle with infertility and as a personal account of this journey, I feel that I need to include it. That being said, I won't judge you if you begin to read this post and decide that it would be best if you skipped it :).

What is the big (but, really in the grand scheme of things, little) issue? Weight. GAH! I guess before I go into my current situation I should give a little background. Back when I got married, I was at a healthy weight and led a healthy lifestyle. I even ran and ate (mostly) sensibly on our honeymoon. I know I've posted about it before, but I used to be a runner. I put in an average of 4 miles a day 4-5 times a week. I felt good. Now, I am by no means a skinny minnie. My body just isn't built to be 115 pounds, but on my wedding day I was at a weight that worked well for me. Fast forward to our one year anniversary and I had gained 6 pounds. Not bad considering all the rounds of clo.mid and the meds for IVF that I put in my body. (Of course, at the time, I was *very* concerned about those 6 pounds). After our failed IVF I basically fell into a kind of infertile sadness coma. I think of last winter and I'm impressed I made it through in one piece! Even though I was not on fertility meds in January, February, or March; I did not get back into my routine of running most days of the week. I still worked out, but not at the same level I was prior to all of the infertility junk. I started getting more serious about losing weight/getting in shape after MBL's varicocele surgery because I knew it would (hopefully) be my last chance before we dove back into fertility treatments head first. I worked out diligently, alternating Ta.e Bo with running/walking most days and I ate healthily. But, by the time we were back to Cl.omid plus IUIs I hadn't lost any weight, I had actually gained an additional four pounds. That's TEN pounds gained since I got married! I went to my primary care doctor quite concerned. She assured me that even at my current weight if I got pregnant she would still want me to put on 25 pounds. I figured if my doc thought that my body was doing all right, then I shouldn't fret about it. So, I didn't and I remained at that weight until July when we started IVF #2. And that's when it all went to the crapper.

We were on vacation when I started lup.ron, but I still kept walking and monitoring my intake. By the time we got back home I was up 4 pounds. Stupid lup.ron. I took it in stride and just kept walking and eating well. Then I had to add the actually egg making drugs to the mix and my body decided it needed even more padding and I put on another 3 pounds before transfer. During the two week wait I didn't do any working out because I didn't want to question what I could have done differently if it failed. When we got our BFP I was elated!! I went back to walking. Then I started spotting. Back to not walking/working out. My OB told me I need to wait until the spotting had stopped for two weeks before I could resume exercise. After the spotting subsided (at 9.5 weeks) I was so freaked out that getting back into the swing of things just wasn't happening, but my weight seemed to be staying the same. From the start of my pregnancy to my 18 week appointment I only put on 3.5 pounds. So, why am I freaked out? Because those 3.5 pounds put me at ten pounds over the weight I was in June...the weight I was at when the doc said she would still recommend I put on 25 pounds. AND? In the last week I have put on another 3.5 pounds. Which means that technically I have now put on FOURTEEN pounds since that appointment!! Which would leave only 11 pounds for the next twenty weeks. Arg.

Now like I said at the start, I am not a naturally thin person. When I am in shape and eat well I wear a size 6-8, but I have to work to get in those sizes. I am not someone for whom losing weight comes easily and I try not to make it a focus in my life, but being healthy is definitely always a priority. And I don't feel like putting on more than 10-15 more pounds in this pregnancy would be healthy. Plus, I'm already struggling with feeling like MBL is unattracted to me (this is actually one of the biggest things) and I have to admit that it's not just my belly that has put on extra padding. Finally, I know that being at a good weight and in good shape when I deliver will not only help the birthing process, but also my recovery after. It's important for the baby's health as well!

How am I going to change things? Well, for starters, I looked up what kind of exercise is acceptable/recommended during pregnancy. Apparently walking is one of the best things to do and they recommend putting in 2 miles most days. I have a treadmill so I can do that, I just have to get in the habit again. I also went online and purchased two prenatal workout DVDs that are 20 minutes each. I plan on starting those up in the next week as well. I can't really do much about my diet because I already do my best to pick healthy meal options. I am eating more fruit and veggies than I did in the first trimester, but that's more because I know they are good for me...they don't really fill me up. I read that by the time I feel hungry the baby has already felt that way for a while, so I really need to keep up with small meals and snacks that keep me full for more than 45 minutes.

This issue just brings up so many feelings from infertility because before all this started I was at a good weight. Two years of IF treatment and medication has really affected my body and I'm now only 2 pounds away from what my "goal" pregnancy weight would have been if I had gotten pregnant in our first few months of trying. I just feel like IF has robbed me of so much, included this. Maybe that's silly and maybe I should just shut up, but I really felt like I needed to process all of this and get it out there. But, don't worry, I promise not to bring this topic up too much!