If you’ve been eagerly awaiting an infertility update, then I am sure you’re glad you are reading this (sarcasm!). The last time I openly blogged about our second go-around with infertility was back in January. Since then, I decided to switch doctors back in the spring. While I like my new guy a whole lot better on a personal level, he didn’t have any groundbreaking solutions to offer. He did much more thorough testing and questioning than my previous doctor ever did, but the ultimate conclusion seems to be that nothing clear is wrong. It’s just not working. He had a few ideas still left on the table, but I don’t feel led to pursue any of them. I was looking for a more natural solution. The only one of those he had to offer was lose weight and de-stress.
I’ve always known that weight could be part of the equation, but I have also always stubbornly said that unless a doctor looks me in the eye and says, “Losing weight will get you pregnant,” then I’m not going to make much effort to do it. Well, something about the doctor saying it to me in that way at that time back in April made me fairly convinced. I concluded that I’m not going to pursue any of the more extensive options, so the least I can do is try to shed a few pounds. He said that even losing ten pounds could make a difference – surely I could do that, right?
The first few days I was pretty pumped about it, but, like these things tend to go, I quickly became despondent. I am a busy working mom and part-time grad student. I don’t have time to exercise. Somebody out there may say I am making excuses and could find the time. That somebody can just go ahead and say it. For me, I don’t feel like I have the time, and, the icing on the cake (but maybe we shouldn’t talk about cake in a weight loss post) is that I flat-out don’t like to exercise. Yeah. Anyway, I also started feeling claustrophobic about drastically changing so many of my dietary patterns.
I spent a few agonizing weeks going around and around about it, vacillating between just saying, “Forget it!” and giving up and trying to go totally hardcore into this thing. I finally decided to just figure out what baby steps would work for me and go from there. So that’s what I did.
As I said, I started this journey back in April. I didn’t notice any drastic results, but I did start to notice small things. My clothes were seeming to get looser. I was actually feeling more energetic. I wasn’t pregnant, obviously, but these were still good benefits. Around August, other people started to notice, and that really made my confidence soar. I bought two new pairs of jeans online. Here’s where I’ll be totally transparent. If you’d asked me in April what size I wore, I would have told you an 18. The new jeans were a 16 which I bought on a wish and a prayer. When they arrived, they fit! I basically ran around the house screaming. Then, one night on a total whim, I decided to see if my wedding dress fit. I have been married seven years and my wedding dress literally has not fit in about six and a half of those years. I put it on – without any shapewear, mind you – and it fit! I was sufficiently freaking out.
I kept working and people kept noticing. That made me happy, so I kept on. I don’t like stepping on the scale, so I didn’t. But my clothes continued to get looser, so I took that as a good sign. The real confirmation came this week, though. We have a thrift store on our school’s campus where staff can get clothes for free. It’s pretty much my go-to shop, and I frequent it several times a week. A few days ago I was poking around in there when I found a super cute Ann Taylor dress. When I looked at the size I was disheartened to see that it was a 14. I literally have not worn a size 14 since middle school, so I knew it was a long shot, but something inside of me said, “Just try it.”
I took it with me back to my classroom. I was too excited to wait until I got home, so I took it into the bathroom, preparing for the worst.
My wedding day was a happy day. Silas’ birth day was a happy day. But I have to tell you, trying on that size 14 dress and having it fit was a pretty happy day as well.
I really haven’t been this proud of myself in a long time. When I first told an acquaintance that I was trying to lose weight, she immediately made a plug for her weight loss group, telling me, “Few can do it on their own.” I kind of took those as fighting words, and guess what? I did it on my own. Yes, there are days when I get really bummed that I’ve been managing my diet and still have no baby to show for it. But then I try to remember that I’m getting back to my middle school size and have much more energy. That’s better than nothing (and if it be superficial, so be it).
So that’s the bragging. Now, for those curious, what am I doing? I am basically doing everything I always knew to do but didn’t. In general, I try to be super strict about my breakfast and lunch, then leave the wiggle room for supper. We try to eat pretty high-protein and vegetable, low-bread in our home anyway. For breakfast I have ditched cereal altogether (my normal staple) and instead eat yogurt and fruit or granola, or eggs and wheat toast. For lunch I just did fruit and salad for a while. Now I will eat the main course at school quite often, but always have fruit and usually a vegetable as well. The biggest difference, I think, is avoiding sweets. What I’ve become sold on is the idea that sugar itself is not bad, but baked goods are, so if I want some sugar I allow ice cream or even candy occasionally, but no cookies, cake, etc. Peanut butter has become my first love, and yogurt with peanut butter granola consistently sounds better to me than most any dessert. Please don’t leave me a bunch of comments critiquing this diet because I really don’t care. It’s working and makes me still feel human and like I have choices, so it’s what I’m doing (my husband lectures me on the evils of peanut butter all the time…again, don’t care!).
So there it is, in a nutshell. I’m still working through a lot of issues related to no baby after two years of trying. I have great days – lots of great days, in fact – and then the occasional bad one sneaks in there. That will probably be the way it is for a while. I’m consistently praying that God would show me His plan. If we are to be a one child family then I want to clearly understand what His focus for our family is to be. I don’t for a minute think that the extra love and resources we’d have to offer another child are just for us to hoard or shower on Silas, so I’m looking for direction. And for now I’m enjoying the benefits that have come with making some good decisions, baby or no baby.