Two years ago I was depressed. Horribly depressed. I was a downright mess. I’d just spent three and a half years going through infertility and recurrent miscarriages, earlier in 2010 I had surgery on my ovaries for my PCOS and surgery on my uterus so that (in addition to medications) hopefully I wouldn’t miscarry anymore. After the surgery we did cycle after cycle of fertility treatments, and none of them worked.
In November of 201o we took a break to decide what we wanted to do next: keep going, adopt, or live child free. Honestly, I felt so broken and defeated I didn’t think I could handle more heart break so I was starting to seriously consider living child free. Not because I didn’t want kids, but because I didn’t want to keep living in the shadow of a future I might never have. I didn’t want to keep putting my heart on the line and having it crushed. every. single. time. I wanted to live my life again, instead of living in the land of “what if.”
So, we took a break. In December we did our holiday photos and I took photo after photo trying to find a flattering pose. I took a long hard look at those photos… and while I loved myself, and my husband loved me, I didn’t like what I saw. It wasn’t just the weight, it was the underlying unhappiness, the abandoned life, the view of yet another thing that infertility helped rob me of. So it was those holiday photos that prompted me to say, “You know what? If I can’t have a baby by Christmas next year, I’m at least going to have my body back.”
See, the thing with infertility was it can suck you in, and it can make you put things off. I put off vacations (no big loss), taking risks in the workplace (I’m okay with that for myself, although I regret the position it puts my husband in), we do without new cars or cable (again, that’s cool), but I found myself putting off getting healthy. I found myself letting my depression swallow me whole. With each miscarriage, and each year of infertility, I let myself gain first 10lbs. Then another 10lbs. And another. Sitting around more and more, saying, “Tomorrow,” until I’d gained 42lbs and got out of breath just walking up my stairs.
I regret that I did that. I don’t regret the path that lead me to my son; I’d redo everything again and again if I knew his smiling face was at the end of it all. I do wish things played out differently though. I wish I’d never lost the other children. I wish I’d sought a second opinion sooner. I wish I’d pushed harder for the care I deserved. And I wish I’d taken better care of myself- emotionally and physically. I was more focused on surviving on an emotional level to even register the physical. I should have found better ways to cope though. Ice cream may have made me feel better for a moment, but it wasn’t going to carry me through as much as talking to a counselor would have. Playing video games might have helped turn my brain off, but walking would have offered sanctuary too. I made some poor choices, and I own it. I can’t change the past, but I can acknowledge it and learn from it.
After I made that decision to reclaim myself, I started working towards that goal hard core. I did well. I lost about 25lbs from January until March- at which point we returned to our fertility doctor. Mostly for a “What the hell,” appointment to figure out what happened and where we were going. We were determined to let it go and seek other options. My doctor talked us into one more try though, and even provided us with the medicine we couldn’t afford on our own. Thanks to her bribery, we got our son. He was due on Christmas eve of last year. Instead of getting back my body for Christmas, I got a baby instead… I was more than happy with that! My son was our dream come true.
After I had him, I knew I needed to get back on the wagon though. After we stopped breast feeding I started back on the treadmill. My progress was slower though, since I’d spent months on bed rest, then modified bed rest, and had to take it easy thereafter. Add to that my c-section? I was in terrible shape! However, slowly I regained my strength and built myself back up. I’m still not in the best shape, but I’m in such a better state than I was before!
I won’t be back at my goal weight by the new year, I never intended to be, but I’ll be a lot smaller than I was. That’s a huge accomplishment. I mean, I’ve lost 65lbs total now! Just this year alone I’ve lost around 42lbs. And it shows! I’m not skinny, but I’m healthier than I’ve been in a very long time. It’s a wonderful feeling.
I have a child, a healthier me, and I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time.
It’s amazing how much can change in two years.