On guilt

We had our great big, do-or-die, holy crap how much money? private appointment with The Professor of the World Renowned Recurrent Miscarriage Clinic on Wednesday. And look! I’ve said utterly buggerall about it since.

I don’t know how to talk about it.

Because we’ve been benched.


And with the benching, a metric ton of guilt, shame and self-loathing.

I don’t really want to talk about any of it, either. But then, sitting about in a puddle of un-aired misery leads to mould on the lower extremities and an eventual spiral down the Depression Drain. And, as we all know, Talking About It leads to Sense of Proportion and eventually to Pulling Socks Up and/or Putting Big-Girl Panties On. So. Onwards. Show no fear, the Internets can smell fear.

[Insert standard ‘long, rambling, less-than-usually coherent, may contain bad language and references to blood, needles, and fucking idiots’ disclaimer here].

On visiting the World RMC as private patients, rather than an NHS one, we do not go directly to the clinic. First, we stop off at the reception in the private wing of the otherwise good-and-proper socialist hospital to hand over your credit-card details. And the private wing reception area has actual upholstered arm-chairs to sit in, and copies of The Field to read (I’m used to hard plastic and Chat). And the most random assortment of patients imaginable. Normally, when you go to a clinic, everyone in it has what you have – the Infertility Clinic I have been patronising for the past four (four? Farkin’ ‘ell) years is usually held in the same suite as the Ear Nose and Throat lot, so the waiting room is always one-third elderly deaf, one-third depressed-looking couples in their mid-to-late thirties, two snot-covered children with chronic adenoids and bickering parents, and a puzzling man with tattoos. At the private clinics’ reception and billing centre (oh yes), we had a young fit man in sports-wear, three Saudi women in full and total burqas with a translator in a camisole (WTF?), a woman with a toddler (advice to young mothers – don’t wear a dress that short if you have a child to bend over. Or, perhaps, wear less tatty knickers. Thank you), an old man in a wheelchair holding hands with an old woman in a wheelchair, a teenager with a PEG tube. All we had in common was the ability to throw money at our problems. So, Champagne Socialist guilt right there. (I’m stalling. Can you tell?).

Then, having established our financial bona fides, we proceeded out of that building and into the one next door, where the actual clinic was, and my, was it smart. It had a sofa. It had a telly. It had a chunky leaflet with a pretty pastel cover. It also had another couple already waiting, and good Lord but didn’t they glare at us when we were called through before them despite arriving afterwards (queue-barger’s guilt, because I’m British).

The Professor herself looks exactly and disconcertingly like a certain famous and much-loved actress, by the way.

She called us through into her surprisingly small office (into which colleagues apparently feel free to barge mid-consultation to ask for details-we-almost-certainly-should-not-have-been-hearing of the previous consultation, which seems… so very NHS, really), shook hands, and got out a fountain pen (ooh! Private clinic! Do you think she takes the NHS notes in biro?) and our folder. She went through the history we’d sent her again, double-checking some details, ignoring others. She went through what tests we’d already had done, and the results thereof. She totally accepted the two possible chemicals as real, and proceeded to talk about my five (five. Shittity shit shit) miscarriages. She was utterly uninterested in my charts beyond the fact they clearly indicated ovulation and a progesterone surge thereafter. She did not think my bizarrely low basal body temperature was any kind of issue at all. I asked her if the adenomyosis was a problem. She explained that extensive adenomyosis with scarring that circles the entire uterus is sometimes associated with very late miscarriages or premature labour because the scarring won’t stretch to accomodate the foetus, but an isolated patch of it is not a problem and does not interfere with implantation. So, you know, good. And she ordered a double-handful of blood-tests for me.

She also asked me about my weight. I’d checked that morning, so I said eleventy-million pounds (I may be exaggerating out of sheer embarrassment here, and no, I’m not in the mood to tell you how much I really weigh right now), and she did me the unexpected courtesy of taking my word for it rather than sending me off to be weighed again by a nurse (which always makes me feel like I’m being made to stand in front of the class for fibbing, and invariably pisses me the hell off).

And then, kindly, in a very British ‘let’s be sensible’ way (resemblance to Famous Actress if possible even more marked), pointed out to me that the weight and the insulin resistance needed to be dealt with before I tried to get pregnant again. I think she mentioned joining Weight Watchers or Slim Fasters or some-such and went on a little pep-talk digression about the useful psychology of joining such groups, while I stared at her in a manner that can only be described as wooden. All I could think was, ‘lady, I went to an all-girl’s boarding school. For me, the psychology of all-or-mostly female weight-obsessing groups is one of shame and humiliation. So no, not joining Weight-Fasters. So shut up about it. Shut up. Shut up. Shut up.’ And also, I thought ‘May, do not freak out now please. Hold it together, please’.

I tuned back in in time for the upshot. The Professor would like me to lose about 50 lbs altogether before trying again, but immediately said that probably wasn’t feasible, while I went fuchsia with humiliation and rage – what the hell did she mean, not feasible?

The thing is, I’d understood, or carelessly led myself to understand, or deluded myself into believing, (or, fuck it, been lied to by other medical professionals) that the hormonal imbalance caused by/causing (vicious circle) the weight problem was pretty much the hormonal imbalance that stopped me ovulating. So I’d assumed/been misled into thinking that if I was ovulating all on my own, unmedicated, fairly regularly, then my hormonal imbalance wasn’t severe enough to cause miscarriages. Possible Gestational Diabetes and a baby the size of a Blue Whale calf, yes, but recurrent miscarriage?

I had no time to really think about this, as we were now being handed all our paperwork for the various blood-tests to take to the nurse. On autopilot, I discussed a follow-up appointment – did I want to wait until I’d lost some weight (fuck, no) or come back in a month when all the test results would be back (hell, yeah)? We shook hands again, and she said something kind about us ‘getting there’ as we left.

We went silently back to the private clinics’ reception, where they keep the nurses. H was having a blood-test too, as part of a research study into recurrent miscarriage genetics. I’d cheerfully ticked the ‘happy to participate!’ box without checking with him, as I hadn’t realised they’d want his blood too, which made me feel like a prize rotter, but H was perfectly mellow and agreeable about both that and about being punctured, bless him, so the nurse took a little vial from him first, with a dainty little needle the size of a kitten-hair, and still managed to bruise him.

Then I sat in the special chair while she gathered together ten separate vials (H blenched at this point, ha ha) and found a needle the size of a ship’s cannon to stab me with (I didn’t bruise at all. Life is odd like that). I know I was being tested for AMH and for a thrombo-elastogram (the NHS doesn’t do that one), and for Factor V Leiden, (but hadn’t we done that one?), Antiphospholipid antibodies (is that the same as anticardiolipin? Or is there more to it than that?), Protein-C Resistance (I think), Prothrombin Gene Mutation, MTHFR, my own DNA vial to match H’s, is that all of it? Dammit to hell, I was too shell-shocked to make notes, again, and now we’re both annoyed that I didn’t. There were definitely ten vials, and that is not ten tests. And I know there were some she didn’t order because she had the NHS results before her. Curses curses curses. I hate me when I go all limp and biddable like that.

And then we went and tormented the credit card in the billing department, to pay for all these sodding tests I can’t even remember, and walked back out into the London traffic, me considering where, exactly, I might find a nice quiet out-of-the-way cliff to chuck myself off.

Enter Long Dark Night of the Soul, on the subject of my baby-killing lardy arse, and just how much I loathe and despise myself about that now (exceedingly, thank you for guessing).

Before anyone leaps up to trash the good Professor, she never said anything at all about this being my fault, or that I was to blame for my weight, and she absolutely and repeatedly acknowledged that it was very hard for me to lose said weight etc. etc. And she is thoroughly exploring other possibilities, isn’t she? So this isn’t about her being an anti-fatty.

But we are still benched, at least for this month, and then after the follow-up appointment, until she decides I am slim enough, I suppose, unless I wish to rebel madly and risk dumping another few embryos down the crapper.

I tell myself a forcible benching is a good thing. I’d never have the strength of mind to bench myself, and I clearly, clearly, need to back off and concentrate on my health and the inside of my increasingly untidy head for a while. Even if I am 35 and running out of time for all this, especially given how slowly I lose weight. Damn, I’ve just bitten one nail to the bloody quick.

I am scared to face just how freaked out and miserable I am about the whole fat=miscarriage thing. I am, in fact, so scared and freaked out I actually did something productive. I promptly got out a low-carb diet book that my MIL had given to me a couple of years ago (which annoyed me at the time. Actually, it still does annoy me. I do not take advice on this matter. End of. Except, it appears, from stringent diet books that annoy me (whoa, that is fucked up)) and… started to diet. I haven’t even fantasised about cake or ice-cream (beyond a mandatory ‘shut up about the ice-cream’ when H mentioned we had some left. I don’t care. I’m not touching it). As far as I am concerned, food is now the enemy again. I have been fraternising with said enemy, trying to make peace with it and not make myself utterly fucking miserable over it, and it has turned round and shot me in the ever-expanding arse.

By sticking to the book like a religious maniac, hopefully I won’t become bulimic (but see my adolescence, 15 through 19, for the been-there-done-that (yes I was thin, no I wasn’t in the least bit happy) reasons why this is an ugly possibility). Also, hopefully, I am old enough and wise enough not to go into full-on May Must Suffer mode and start behaving like a giant dill around food, driving the entire family nuts in one easy dance-move.

I am in a rather foul mental place right now, so you’ll have to hope for me.

By all means share your own dieting experiences, dear and lovely readers, and what worked or did not work for you, and whether the New Convert Cake Hating actually lasts or not, and so on.

Just, and this is really important for the sake of my mental health (wobbly, brittle, probably out of warranty) don’t tell me what I should be doing or eating. Just, don’t. I have Issues and I will react by Ignoring you for weeks if not months. Just as no one should tell an infertile woman to ‘just relax’! or ‘just adopt!’ or ‘eat pineapple, my cousin did and now she has quads!’, so please could no one tell me to ‘eat [whatever]’ or ‘see a dietician!’ or ‘join a power-yoga class!’ etc.. I decide what I eat. I do not do group exercise. Is final.

To be really ranty-angry for a couple of paragraphs, the thing is, I react badly to advice on this, because the person giving it has always been either some smug cow who’s never had an eating disorder in her smug life, or was projecting her own eating disorders onto me as a form of cheap self-therapy, and both scenarios sucked.

And chiefly, I have just asked people not to give me diet-and-exercise advice, so doing so at this point would be grossly rude, at best, and I don’t like rude people much.

If I sound massively defensive, it is because I am massively defensive. I have masses to defend, after all, not least the whole ‘I was a teenage Binge-Starve 100lb pin-up’ thing. And the fat=miscarriages thing. And the inner voice yelling ‘it’s your own stupid fault, you don’t even deserve a child, you fat bitch’ thing. And the whole talking myself into thinking the weight wasn’t such an issue as long as I was ovulating thing. So, yeah, tell me how to diet, tell me how I killed my babies and what I should’ve been doing instead, tell me to my face I am stupid and how infinitely superior you are in your superior dietary wisdom. Watch me react really maturely to that.

Watch me react really maturely to the whole bloody issue right here right now, in fact.

Did I mention I was in a foul place mentally? Fuck it, pass the celery. I don’t really like it, so it should suit me beautifully right now.


30 responses to “On guilt

  • Teuchter

    Dear May. I am hoping for you.

  • Rachel

    Oh dear, oh dear. Did you get a chance to mention the history of eating disorder to The Professor? If not, can you call up your GP and tell him that you are now on a strict diet but want emotional/medical help? Is there anyone besides H who can help you watch for signs of going too far?

    I was also put on a very strict ‘no carb’ diet at Clinic #1. And it sucked. A lot. Because of the perpetual guilt. I.e. “Did I really just have a bite of cake? Does that mean I don’t want a baby? Deserve one?” and that with no history of eating issues. So please try to find a good support network.

    ps – Hope that isn’t too preachy. I really try not to be preachy. My diet was awful (exacerbated by endless travel and not eating meat a lot) and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

    • May

      Not preachy. Good point. I now need a counsellor/therapist more than ever. Must get on to that.

      And no, I didn’t mention the eating disorder to The Professor. I was too busy giving her a frozen stare. I shall write down Things To Mention Next Time, so I shall.

  • L.

    Oh, May. I’m sorry, this sounds very hard. Not to mention that being very hungry makes one all the more miserable.

    Weight control is awful because really the control is so much illusory. I mean, yes, we can control it by great effort, but one must fighting against some very ancient and dogged forces. It is really, really hard, and against one’s basic human nature, is what I’m saying. And, especially given that you may have been misled about the significance of your weight, please don’t pile misery upon misery by now telling yourself that somehow you should have known (if indeed that is the issue). Doubly especially since, as you noted, it was probably the healthiest thing you could have done, emotionally, to NOT think about eating and weight too much.

    I hope I understand your post correctly and that the following story is okay and not rage-inducing. I haven’t had outright weight issues so much as total lack of muscle and fitness, lifelong. I hate dieting and love rich food. What has worked for me is moving from C25K (http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml) to running even further, VERY VERY SLOWLY IT’S MORE LIKE CRAWLING (http://doctormama.blogspot.com/2006/05/listen-up-maggots.html). I never liked running. I am not a natural runner. I have always loathed exercise, especially group. But this I can do, when I like, with no real equipment, and I like what it does for me and my body. And I especially like that it removes a lot of the negative emotions surrounding eating. I run five miles every two or three days now (completely inconceivable just a year ago) and what’s strange is that now I sort of like it.

    I expect that if you need to lose a lot of weight very quickly, dieting will have to be part of the picture. I hope it isn’t too miserable and that your hate of cake lasts as long as you want it to.

    The silver lining here is that Professor sounds like all she’s cracked up to be, thoughtful and listening and running tests and taking you seriously. I’m glad you have her in your corner.

    • May

      See, now, that’s what I DO appreciate – the ‘this is what helped me and here is where you can find out more in case you think it will help you’ thing. That is good. Thank you.

      • Ben Warsop

        Mr Ben (er, actually that’s Dr Ben, I suppose) is keen on Couch to 5k, but I’m keener on “Running Made Easy” which starts slower (ho ho) and takes longer (he he) and is generally kinder. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Running-Made-Easy-Susie-Whalley/dp/1861057032 The puppyish enthusiasm may grate, but I’ve found it disconcertingly possible to follow without dying. Most unlike me on both counts. It helps we have a lovely canal to run along with cows that keep us lumbering company. The midgies on the other hand don’t help.

        As you know I lost eleventy-eleven lbs with LighterLife. I hesitate to recommend it to anyone let alone depressed porcupines who have told me not to give advice (lovely, dear, much beloved depressed porcupines) because it is brutal and expensive. It is however effective. I’ve noticed that you can get similar programmes from chemists which are cheaper and which don’t have group-work. (I found some of the mind-exercises useful, btw, and they are all listed in The Book You Get on Week One). Dr Ben, never ever ever recommends LighterLife because of the lack of evidence of permanent weight-loss, but that’s not the immediate point, is it? I should also say that I am bouncing around the bottom end of the slippery upward slope at the moment and having to get my shit together to stop putting it all back on again.

        Courage mes braves.



        • May

          Yes, you and Dr Ben both looked wonderfully trim and neat about the waists. I was pea-green with envy.

          The problem is, Lighter Life and similar very-low-carb, less than 1000 cal a day diets are vigorously discouraged for the trying-to-reproduce. I know technically we’re benched, but still, I need to keep my calcium, iron and essential fatty acid supplies very high, as they are all things I have trouble assimilating/keep losing, what with the not-much-dairy, bleeding issues, and icthyosis vulgaris. If I did Lighter Life I’d weigh ten stone but have no skin on my shins, bleeding fingers and be so anaemic I couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs (don’t ask me how I know what low-fat, low-calorie does to me. It was a painful few months I’d rather not dwell on).

          So, the Annoying Book allows plenty of oils and fats and fibre and vegetation and all the hard-boiled eggs you can eat, and has the bonus of being a good healthy diet for a pregnant woman at high risk of GD. So I can kid myself it’s not just about losing enough weight to SHOW that Professor and her ‘not feasible’. Because I’m not childish like that, oh no.

          Wish I had a nice canal to run along. Our park has psychotic squirrels and drunk teenagers. Heigh ho.

  • megan

    i want to wrap you in love and take you out for a coffee. or something stronger. your choice. you can rant. i will listen. xoxo

  • Jem

    You’ll get no advice from me, no sirree. I will supply copious hope and good cheer for you.

    And urge you to be kind to yourself.



  • Illanare

    No advice here either, just endless support and virtual hugs.

  • QoB

    No advice here either. But hope you can somehow get around to viewing the diet+exercise as a positive thing. Also hope you can find a great counsellor soon to discuss this with.

  • nh

    No advice but (ducks as she says this) a story…

    I was never, ever slim, always on the hefty side. To get my NHS 1 free IVF cycle I needed to have a BMI of less than 30 – I got down from nearly 35 I got down to 28. I did it by trying to stick to low GI foods & general healthy eating, walking and swimming. But it was tough, so my advice… remember a piece of cake is not a killing matter, in the end if you feel that you need a pick-me-up go for it, because if you don’t, you won’t be able to stick to it. Sadly several IVF/ICSI cycles, miscarriage and general depression has seen me revert backwards. Working on trying to do something about it now.

  • Twangy

    Ah, but May, the absolute most any of us can ever do is act on the information we have at the time. That’s ALL.

    I hate guilt. Crappy, useless emotion. Sadness and anger and all the rest are quite enough without that particular turn of the screw.

    Take care of yourself.

    (Looking up Prof now. Imagining all sort of unlikely actresses she could be like. Joanna Lumley? Dawn French? I know, Cilla Black?)

  • Korechronicles

    Weight and body hatred issues have long abounded for mistress of Villa Kore. The combined evil of PCOS and Hashimoto’s have seen accumulation of 30 kilos (will not even translate that to pounds such is my humiliation as to overall size). Years and years and years and years of dieting and starving and not dieting and inhaling everything made of large amounts of chocolate, refined sugar and fat. Misery. Despite the fact that for the last 12 years I have walked an hour a day six days a week, played three sets of tennis a week, swam once a week, danced once a week, the needle on the scale inexorably climbed.

    Switched to new doctor 12 months ago for better thyroid management, meds have gone up and down like the Hills Hoist in the backyard. Could not stabilise levels and weight was now approaching a point that was putting pressure on my knee joints and my poor miserable damaged feet.

    At my appointment after Easter when I was once more wailing and gnashing my teeth about the ugly numbers I was seeing on the scales New Doc suggested I read the book “Mastering Leptin” by Byron Richards to understand how impaired leptin response (secreted by white adipose tissue and we all know what that is really known as, don’t we) plays havoc with our hormonal systems, including but not limited to thyroid and insulin.

    He does not recommend a diet. He talks about healing those systems. There are rules, and as the Secret Bolshie, rules and I do not play well together. But they are doable rules and they have made me feel much better and I am now on a lower dose of thyroid medication.

    Since I was once a nutrition educator, I know diets don’t work. But one must have a plan, mine was “Eat no CRAP” – no Caffeine, no Refined Sugar, No Alcohol, no Processed food. And I limited my carb intake to low GI carbohydrates. Bringing a long winded story to a fitting conclusion I have lost 6 kilos in two months with consistent but not excessive exercise. With no cravings or sense of deprivation. Previously it had taken 4 months of starvation and constant exercise to lose 4 kilos.

    Short story long, I liked the book because I like science and it was written in a way that made it easy to understand the science. BR has a tendency to repetition but that’s not necessarily a bad thing when you are trying to take on new concepts. There were several aha moments where I thought, that makes more sense than anything else I’ve ever been told about why I can’t lose and why it goes on so easily. I’m now eating much more like I did when I was a child. Before I was seduced by chocolate and when the dinosaurs roamed the earth.

  • Allison

    May… dear, May.

    It is not your fault. It is NOT.

    I can hear (well, this is presumptuous and deflective of me) you saying “yes, yes, okay, whatever” and going about your blaming business anyway. So I shall keep repeating it into the Universe and hoping that someday, somehow, the mantra is Something To Be Believed.

    I am hoping for you as well.

  • katie

    I am also a fan of Doctor Mama. I’ve been hill-walking-training but am aiming to get back into slow-running-training over the summer.

    I lost 2 stone using Weight Loss Resources and was at the time a huge fan of it and I still credit it with teaching me portion size. I now find that I get very bingey when trying to actually diet, so have more or less maintained with a kind of Paul McKenna/Beyond Chocolate mix.

    Although I really like their approach to eating – and it’s got a reasonable amount of evidence behind it – the approach to exercise also appeals to the greeny side of me – driving to the gym = a little bit strange, give me walking!

  • katie

    oh and also, blurgh. and feeling a bit sad for you etc. I think there are a whole set of clotting tests (the words “clotting panel” ring a bell) so you could have 3 or 4 of those easily. I lost all credibility as a biology graduate when wading through her book and my gynae said “yes, the physiology is all very complex isn’t it, I sometimes wonder how anyone manages to sustain a pregnancy”.

  • womb for improvement

    She has got to be Dame Judi right? Probably playing M – with all those rules and regulations.

    Good luck with the weight loss. Never easy, particularly when your nearest park is over run with happy families and (as my step-mother noted) “Lots of IVF twins!” (Though how she learned the details of their conception remains beyond me).

  • Betty M

    Don’t remind me of the food tyranny of a girl’s boarding school. I hope they are better now than they were in the eighties at spotting people starving themselves.

    I have nothing on diets and dieting. The good Professor covered diets in the series of tv programmes she did on the science behind or not various things including homeopathy, vitamin supplements etc. So maybe she has something else to offer other than Weight Watchers.

    Anticardiolipin is an antiphospholipid antibody. That and lupus anticoagulant are the two tests used for Hughes/antiphospholipid syndrome. There is an additional test involving something called beta glycoproteins I think but at this point my knowledge of immunology runs out.

    Anyhoo wishing I could bring you some nice Moroccan mint tea instead of the celery.

  • manapan

    May, I’m so sorry. None of this is your fault! I promise. I have complete faith in and hope for you. (((Hugs)))

    I understand how much it sucks. I have an overweight person to lose before I could be considered “just” overweight instead of morbidly obese. Seriously.

    I usually don’t diet. I don’t trust myself to, because as you put it, See Adolescence 12-16. My OCD gets hold of me terribly when I have an officially sanctioned obsession. It always starts small–maybe I’ll just cut out red meat!–then ends up in the same pattern of “you ate more than 500 calories today and must suffer. Insert laxatives here.”

    What has been helping me, though too slowly for my liking, was joining a gym. I figured out how much I would be willing to pay to use it for the day, which helped me figure out how many times I needed to go per month to get my money’s worth. I’m really stingy when it comes to things for myself, so I either go or get angry with myself.

    I also deliberately chose a gym that had a lot of older members. Being the 24 year old next to a bunch of senior citizens makes me feel like I’m not the most out-of-shape person there! Sometimes that’s all that keeps me going. Well, that and the air conditioned comfort. South Dakota in summer is just plain unpleasant.

    I hope I was able to avoid preachiness, and that you will find something that works for you soon. More hugs.

  • Claire

    I feel your anger there and sympathise. I’ve lost over 100 pounds and it is STILL not enough for the NHS so we’re shelling out zillions too.

    I won’t give you any advice but should you want to read about one persons fight to lose weight whilst trying to get pregnant (and trying not to eat cake as some sort of act of defiance) hop on over to my blog. xxx

  • Hannah

    Oh May, my heart is with you. My first response when reading your post was indignation at The Professor. I think I have had far too many doctors look at me and determine out of hand that my weight was the cause for any ailment I dared complain about, from an earache to a broken ankle. It is just far too easy to look at someone who is a bit more “rubenesque” and decide that is the reason for the problem and not look further. That’s one reason I am so very glad you are following up as soon as your blood work results are in, and not “waiting until you’ve lost some weight”, like you were offered.

    I wish with all my heart you could believe that the miscarriages you’ve suffered are NOT your fault. I know that’s hard because self-blame is always our first recourse, isn’t it? I hope time and your good counselor will help that truth sink in to your heart and soul.

    Two years ago I was determined to do whatever possible to get as healthy as possible to increase my chances of a successful pregnancy. It has taken me through a course of some unimaginable things. But some of the things I learned during this time were quite helpful. As someone who also endures regular cycles of gut-wrenching, bone-crushing pain, regular exercise could be quite difficult. Because during those times its impossible to get out of a fetal position, much less perform aerobic exercise. So I decided that on days when I was not so terribly gripped in pain’s clutches, I would do my best to eat “right”and exercise faithfully. And when I was in a “pain cycle”, I would have a “pass”, because all I could focus on in those times was getting through the pain one moment at a time. I would still try to eat healthy, but no guilt or stressing on it; it is what it is. For me, dedicated junk food lover that I am, part of the plan I followed was to make sure I ate at least one serving of fruit and veg at every meal, and I had to eat it FIRST – no eating a sandwich first and then being too full for the vegies.

    Another thing that was very helpful to me was the website http://www.sparkpeople.com. Like you, I shun organized groups like WW. But Spark People is private, completely customized, personal, and free. If you choose to, you can enter your goals, and a nutritionist and personal trainer will outline a plan for you, and will include any eating style you like – low carb, low fat, gluten free, diabetic, etc. They’ll provide suggested menus, shopping lists, etc. Or you can simply use your own plan. For me, those served as a springboard, giving me ideas for how I wanted to incorporate healthier eating habits. It was also very helpful for me to use their system to track my eating and exercise. It was very encouraging and very motivational. If you like, they also offer the opportunity to “partner” (long distance/online) with someone on a similar journey.

    And throughout this time, the “what ifs” would plague me – what if I went through all this and was still unable to have a “successful” pregnancy? The answer I came up with was that being healthier would still help me live better and be a better parent to the child(ren) God gives us to parent (someday), even if not through pregnancy. I am not 50 pounds lighter, I am not pregnant, I am not yet a mother, and I still endure frequent crippling pain cycles. But overall, when I strive to do what works for me eating/exercise-wise (and I fall off the wagon ALL the time, but get back on again) my quality of life IS better. And sometimes I wish that weren’t the case because that would give me justification to not do it, because it IS hard.

    OK, sorry to go on and on, and I really hope I didn’t come across as giving assvice, because that is not my intention. Just wanted to share with you and let you know that in so many ways, you are not alone.

  • a

    I have nothing to add as far as “what worked for me” since I am watching my metabolism slow to nothing (thank you, age 40! I like the skin breakouts too!). The only thing that has ever worked for me has been running (combined with copious amounts of ab work, which is useful in many other ways…until you have a hernia and are too “busy” to get it fixed).

    Anyway, I hope the difference between losing weight to fit an appearance standard and losing weight in order to be healthier and control hormones is what keeps you motivated and away from an eating disorder. Plus, there’s H. Offers of ice cream notwithstanding, I’m sure he will be looking out for your well-being.

    Hoping for the best for you…including desired weight loss, more regulated hormones, and, of course, a healthy pregnancy. Also, maybe you could think of this as training for that postpartum weight loss that is so fun.

  • Hairy Farmer Family

    My dear love, I keep sitting down to re-read this, and getting called away by Small Poorly Sick before I can write anything even vaguely consoling.

    I have read.
    I have sobbed in sympathy.
    I have a large hug brewing.

  • everydaystrange

    May, I’m so sorry.

    Also – NOT your fault. End of.

    And I’m so sorry.

    And celery sucks, love, put it down.

    How to lose weight – as a teen I was big. I lost it in uni (due to being broke) and then post-college got big again. The only thing that worked for me, besides abject anorexia and bulimia which I absolutely do not recommend, was to cut out carbs all together, make lunch the big meal of the day, and to walk. Long, long walks helped. And it didn’t really do the job, I’ve continued to be “big-boned”. In the later years what’s helped take weight off (along with the still not recommended anorexia) is becoming a veggie, limiting intake of dairy, and in short avoiding desserts all together. Of any kind. Which sometimes sucks, sometimes is “meh”. Of exercise, I’ve found yoga and pilates are the least hellish but the best paying dividends for the effort involved, plus you can wear loose clothing that doesn’t make you feel like an asshole.

    The big weight loss items in my life include eating disorders (not good) and breaking up (also not good, and not for you as H is lovely and you should avoid that one). I do honestly believe that for some people in this world, our bodies want to be a certain shape and in order to reach either a healthy level or a societal one, we either have to go without or re-structure our view of beautiful. Since you are lovely and you’re going about this for the reasons of a baby May and baby H, that added pressure must be hell hell HELL.

    I’m not sure I helped. I am thinking of you, babes. Want HFF and I to hide the cake on Saturday? Crudites?

  • The cheerleader

    Ouch. Poor you.

    Obviously gyms and people shouting ‘give me 5 more!’ are vile and people always end up dropping out of them, but how about dance? I find it can be very healing, it’s about learning something expressive and new with your body not about punishing it. And it can be very good fun, with nice outfits.

    Tango with H?

  • g

    Oh, May.

    This is not your fault.

    I am the last person to offer advice regarding weight but I am here in your corner, cheering you on.


  • Daisy

    Hardly dare mention it because I’m so sure in the rafts & rafts of tests you’ve had it will have been explored, oh, so long ago, but have you been checked out for coeliac disease? See, for example, http://celiac-disease.com/celiac-disease-cause-miscarriages/

    Hugs xxxxx

  • thalia

    Well, what worked for me was the old eating less and moving more. I like chocolate and bread too much to do low carb (and I am not convinced of the science). But I cut down the volume of what I ate, and used one of those online trackers to count calories. I was allowed as much fruit and veg as I wanted, other stuff I had a little bit of. And once a week we had a curry or a lebanese takeout and I didn’t worry about it. And I ran 3-5 times a week for about 6 kilometers. And did a bit of weight training. It worked, although the lack of exercise during infertility plus pregnancy put it back on again. I’m about to start it again. I actually quite like running, having hated it before.

    I think it would help if there is anything you can do during this period to not be miserable. Like counselling. Or sex. Or a type of exercise you enjoy (see drmama link above). Or finding things you love to eat which are going to support weight loss rather than prevent it. For me this is varied and delicious salads, which I love. And having a bit of chocolate every day. For you it’s probably something else.

    Or gloating about the fact you are going to Shannon’s wedding and I am not.

    This was a huge and gut wrenching step. But the prof knows of what she speaks. Hang in there.

  • State of May « Nuts in May

    […] I have been fighting, ooh, every other night or so this week. It started the night we got back from our appointment with The Professor, which left me up to my oxters in the Slough of Despond, with occasional side-trips into the Vale […]

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