Monday, December 29, 2008

A circuitous tale of waking up thinner, the scourge called IF, and feeling ticked about all of it

As 2009 approaches, I am thinner than when 2008 came knocking. Not by much, but I notice it and so does my scale.

Quick tip for the wise:
Scroll down to the large bold phrase near the end to get to the point sooooo much faster. You're welcome!

I've been fine with Not Being Thinner ever since early 2007 when I gained 25–30 pounds in 2 staggeringly fast month-long periods: March, I think, and then again in July. At the time we were between REs (thinking we were done with REs, mind you) and I was effectively grieving the loss of my fertility, such that it never was. In March of that year I contracted a strange, made-up-sounding viral infection whose treatment was to fast for a few days and then slowly reintroduce food from the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast) before gradually returning to regular food. It took about 10 days for me to tolerate anything but BRAT food and at least another week after that to eat normally.

I consumed very little food, FAR less than my typical diet provided, yet I managed to gain 7 pounds during the BRAT-only phase. I thought it odd but assumed my system would normalize on its own now that I felt healthy again. A few weeks later—after setting aside yet another pair of shrunk-in-the-wash underwear—I caught a clue and gingerly stepped on the scale. Another 8 pounds up for a total of 15 (or, as I said, "fiffffteeeeeeeen?"). JUST LIKE THAT!

Now this did catch my attention. But I still believed it was a temporary thing and that my awareness alone would be enough to reverse the gain. I'd simply move more and eat less, and soon all would be fine. Thing is, I made good on my plan but nothing changed. This failure threw me for a loop because several years earlier I'd gained and lost what I can now grudgingly call my "first" package of stress weight—I had no trouble losing it once I cared enough to try, and for 4 years I'd kept it off with what I perceived as no effort. I'd actually come to the smug belief that I was in control of something.

This is just a chemical glitch,
I thought. I'll bet the Clomid from the RE Who Shall Not Be Mentioned triggered something. Maybe that screwy infection screwed me up. Or was it the Fertility Bl.end? Whatever the reason, I can make it go away anytime I want to.

In the face of concluding we weren't done seeking help on our quest to conceive, the weight quickly became a nonissue to me. My concentration shifted to finding a new RE. I interviewed prospects during June and July (can you say "Discouraging"?) and—BAM!—next time I looked up 10 or 15 additional pounds had debuted in time for bathing-suit season. That gain happened, too, with such dizzying speed that I almost couldn't process it. But damn, there I was needing new pants again.

DH and I planned an IVF for October 2007. In September the RE did a pre-cycle hysteroscopy. She literally gasped upon seeing a large fibroid onscreen, brand-spanking new since the fairly recent ultrasound we had *just* reviewed. The tumor had originated outside my uterus and poked right on through the uterine wall into the cavity. That sucker had to come out.

Both my RE and OB say there is no way to prove my theory, but nobody will EVER persuade me away from the firm belief that the rapid-fire weight gains and fibroid growth went hand-in-hand and were directly tied to the stress of trying to "get over" my desire to conceive and move on before I was ready. No way could I ignore that an immediate need for a myomectomy had cropped up, with extra poundage, during all 3 of the hands-down worst times of my life. (Not that I don't understand that I must also have been eating and moving differently. Chronic stress changes the way you function, inside and out.) But my experience with all of it doesn't inform anyone but me.

No matter, though. As DH and I pursued the end of our ttc story, I put weight out of my mind. I couldn't spare the effort to care about it while dealing with the rigors of ARTfulness and consistently tenuous pregnancies. Although 7–10 pharmaceutically-induced pounds came and went with each IVF, my weight held steady overall. No true gains in 2008. A plus that, thankfully, was not. (Assuming you ignore the given that I would give anything to be waddling around with a weight gain of a different stripe.)

I didn't mention this before because I still plan to do a separate post about my recent D&C, but . . . the day after the procedure I felt lighter. I looked it, too. That day my scale said that all the extra IVF #3 weight had disappeared in a surreal sort of POOF.

Well today I woke up looking slightly thinner yet again—3 more pounds gone.

Honestly, I don't know how that could even be possible. I mean, 'tis still the holiday season at my house, and a less-than-jolly one at that. I'm regularly comforting myself with toffee and tea, egg nog and cookies, wine and something cheesy, and so on. Even as I work today, DH is out hunting and gathering a long list of ingredients for the New Year–appropriate appetizers, goodies, and cocktails we'll make and I'll help consume. Not really a weight-shedding setup.

I know. Those 3 pounds probably found their way back to me while I wrote this post. But whether they or their 10+ IVF siblings have left me for good is not the point today.

The point is what ticked me off:

Here's a case where I have not been trying to do something I'd very much like to do. Namely, to start losing my "no baby" weight that so callously attached itself to me 2 years ago. I've done nothing whatsoever to advance the cause and practically everything one might think of to achieve the opposite effect. Yet quite a few pounds have gone missing anyway. I was "relaxing" about the whole deal, if you will, and suddenly I ended up with a desirable outcome. Thinking about it that way really burned me up for a minute.

You see, it's just one more item on life's infinite list that, ultimately, I will never control, even when I think I know for sure that I can and will.

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