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Our Journey

2002 Uterine Fibroid Surgery #1

2003 1st consult with an RE, you know, just in case

2003 Got Married (at 37 (me) & 34 (DH) years old)

2003/2004 Naturally conceived pregnancies BFPs #1, #2, & #3 and miscarriages #1, #2, #3

2005 Uterine Fibroid Surgery #2

2005 IVF #1, BFN #1

2005 IUIs #1 and #2, just because, BFN #2 & #3

2005 FET from IVF #1, BFN #4

2006 Exploratory surgery to remove scar tissue from fibroid sugery #2

2006 IVF #2 (w PGD), BFP #4

2006 Emergency cerclage for IC @ 16w6d (5 months + 1 week of complete bed rest at home ensues)

2007 Our son is born @ 38w by scheduled c-section

2007 IVF #3 for baby #2, BFN #5

2007 IVF #4, BFP #5, miscarriage #4

2008 IVF #5, BFP #6, miscarriage #5

2008 IVF #6, BFP #7, miscarriage #6

2008 DE IVF #7, BFN #6

2009 DEFET #8, cancelled, embryos don't thaw

2010 Decide to adopt domestically

12.17.10 Profile is live with our agency

November 2011 Consult with RE re: donated embryo cycle

Early January 2012 Cleared to proceed with deFET

January 2012 Freeze our profile

1.20.12 deFET begins
2.12.12 eSET of one compacted morula
2.22.12 BFN

3.23.12 deFET #2 begins
4.14.12 transfer 3 embryos (1-8 cell, 1-5 cell, 1-4 cell)
4.22.12 + HPT
4.24.12 Beta #1 = 48.4
4.26.12 Beta #2 = 125.7
4.30.12 Beta #3 = 777.8
5.11.12 1st U/S - Singleton!
7.12.12 It's a Boy!
12.26.12 C-section: Baby G is born, 9#5oz, 20.5"

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Making Peace

I have spent the majority of my life feeling betrayed by or disliking my body.  My body has been battered by serious injuries (broke my femur in 2 places in the accident, broke my right arm falling off my bike, cut my chin open hitting a curb on my bike and flying over the handlebars, requiring a plastic surgeon to stitch me up), surgery and disease (lost my appendix at 13, was diagnosed with Graves Disease and subsequently had my thyroid irradiated leading to lifelong hypothyroidism, was diagnosed with gall bladder disease and subsequently had it removed, had surgery to remove fibroids, twice, had more pregnancy losses, including one ectopic, than I care to remember). In my 20s and 30s, I started to wonder how long I’d live with so much illness and so many organs gone.

And then there were issues with my weight (that, frankly, were not issues at all in comparison to the obesity that children suffer from now). It started when my mom put me on my first diet prior to Confirmation in 7th grade. “If you lose a few pounds, I’ll buy you whatever dress you want.” And, so also began my battle with food and with my weight. I was 13. Had I not gone on that diet, I would have likely grown into my weight and would have been within normal weight ranges. That diet put me on a collision course with what would become yo-yo dieting (including the Cabbage Soup diet, the Scarsdale diet, Fen-Phen, the Grapefruit diet, The Pritikin diet, the Popcorn diet, Atkins, South Beach, and many others until finally and ultimately, Weight Watchers).

I am almost 6 months post partum and am needing to lose the same 40# I lost beginning in June, 2010 and that took about 18 months.  It was grueling only losing .5#/wk or nothing at all, week after week.  It was hard to stay motivated.  Never did I anticipate how long it would take.  I had never endeavored to lose that much weight and it was daunting.  But, I did it and that experience proves that I can do it again.  It takes commitment, accountability, and diligence.  The good news is that some of the original changes I made have stuck which *should* make it easier this time.  I no longer eat red meat, I’m off Diet Coke and artificial sweeteners, I’ve kicked my addiction to salty snacks eaten right from the bag, and I no longer indulge in full-fat anything (ice cream, cheese, homemade baked goods).  I cook better and make better choices when dining out.  Given that I am already back to working out, I need to eat less.  Period.

The shape of my body has changed post this pregnancy.  When looking at myself it is hard to envision that I can reshape it the way I want but I have to believe that in order to be motivated to do it.

Infertility teaches us to look at things in terms of failure and success.  And, because odds are that more cycles will fail than will succeed, there is a lot of negative self-talk associated with those failures and we begin to believe that our bodies have failed us, have let us down, as if on purpose.  It is insidious, the way we begin to feel at odds with our body, hating it even, for betraying us this one thing that we should be able to accomplish simply by having sex.

I am here, at forty-seven, having birthed two children, in spite of it all.  I am tired of all the self-flagellation.  I am tired of not wanting to look at myself in a mirror or catch a glimpse of myself as I walk by a window.  I am tired of my first thoughts of my body being negative, something that I hate, something I can’t stand to see, something I wish I could change. It is a never ending loop and for what?  What good does it do?  It doesn’t keep my eating in check.  It doesn’t make me want to run to work-out.  It doesn’t make me a better mother, wife, friend.  It doesn’t aid in loving myself.

And, so, I’m over it.  I’m not one for daily affirmations, but I do believe that we are what we think of ourselves.  It is time to heal the wounds of my body image.  I think that by just changing the loop of self talk, replacing negativity with positivity, lack for abundance, failure with success, my entire relationship with my body and therefore myself will change for the better.  I even think that will help regulate my eating.  The more I love my body, the more I appreciate and thank it for all it HAS done, the more I celebrate its remarkableness, the more I’ll be apt to fill it with more of the right things, less of the wrong, less overall.  That’s my thinking anyway and, frankly, it beats what I have been doing even if it only brings peace from no longer beating up on myself.

As I have learned from my years struggling to create and complete my family, peace of mind and heart count for everything.

13 comments to Making Peace

  • “I praise You [the Lord], for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:14a The whole chapter is pretty special :)

  • St. Elsewhere

    I am blown away by the fact that you invested so much in reading my back posts, and dug so deep in the archives.

    Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

  • St. Elsewhere

    Very well expressed.

    I have my things about my body. I seem to zone into some thing and keep believing that only if X is better, things would not be so ABC.

    Same flavour, different game.

    I also loved your previous post. Very timely because on Saturday, my friend revealed to me her heartache over being estranged from her brother who lives almost next door, and the rest of the family being on a different continent altogether.

    #17

  • You hit the nail right on the head! There is no way to escape body issues in the face of infertility. And I too struggle with weight (but, unlike you, I actually dipped my foot into obesity a little less than a decade ago and am hoping to never return there). My weight has quickly ramped up over the last year and I’m pretty darn sick of it.

    I also think that the way we love ourselves is how we are teaching our children to love themselves. They learn most of everything from our model, including self love, and I can definitely say that my parents grappled with not loving themselves and its transmitting onto this next generation (me). I’m hoping not to pass it along as they did, but it’s a struggle. It’s hidden in the way I speak about myself and most importantly, how I feel about myself, which is still very much a work-in-progress. This is a great topic and one that is especially relevant for women facing infertility.

  • And when you are at peace with your body, everything seems to be better. It was so eye-opening when I first realised that, that I was struck dumb by the blindness that clouded my vision on life before. This is nothing that you can understand from what others tell you, this is truly something you have to go through yourself to get the meaning.
    I have been noticing it and I think you are slowly healing, dear. Regardless of the bad and pain in your life, the good finally helps you get to the best place in your life. It is very heart-warming to read about it. It has been obvious for months. :-)

  • Another thing I’m working on in therapy (related to my issues with my parents, I suspect). I never followed any specific diet, but I do battle with an eating disorder (starving by day and binging by night). For me, this has a lot to do with self-love more generally. I was surprised to realize how much I dislike myself. I hope that you are able to find peace with this more easily than I have been so far … this was such an inspiring, empowered sounding post.

  • Sarah B

    I hope you can figure out how to balance reaching your healthy goal weight and yet not beating yourself up about your body – seems like quite the feat. I never really had many body image issues, but once I started dieting for health reasons, well… I can see how people develop eating disorders. Best of luck.

  • Also, I read a large portion of your blog the other day throughout your recent pregnancy with your son. Congratulations on his healthy arrival!

  • Hi, stopping by from ICLW. I completely relate to feeling like my body has failed me and now that I am FINALLY pregnant, an obsessive fear that it may fail me now. I’m so glad you seem to be pushing past all this and moving forward. It gives me hope. :)

  • Hi from ICLW…I have struggled with my weight my whole life so I totally get where you are coming from

  • Claire

    I wholeheartedly agree with your new found body positive talk. As someone who is heavier now than I have ever been, I indulge in it too. You are right, it’s such a waste of energy, of time, of emotion.
    Your mother is a witch to have done that to you.
    You are stronger now and you can overcome the bad schemas and tape loops in your head. Ready set go!

  • Having reached a new lifetime high weight during this past pregnancy, I very much appreciate this post right now! I am eager to work my way toward a lower weight, yet I am done with using unbearable self-hate of my body as a motivator. So we’ll see what else I can come up with :)

    Thanks for the reminder, too, about the awesomeness my body has achieved by birthing two kids (when I never thought I’d be able to). I still can’t believe it really happened.

  • S

    As someone who has struggled with her weight for as long as I can remember and whose body has been adversely affected by pregnancy, I applaud your goal of replacing negativity with positivity and wish you success in your efforts.

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