I got off the Pill shortly after I got married, thinking maybe that might make a difference with my weight issue. Plus, we wanted to start a family fairly quickly. He wanted 4 or 5 kids. I told him I’d be happy with 2 or 3.
But once the Pill’s hormones were out of my system, my periods became wildly sporadic and intensely heavy. My primary care doctor and OB-GYN both told me I most likely had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (not something that was very widely known a decade ago). I couldn’t plan on the typical 28-30 day cycle everyone else “enjoyed.” My cycles (or lack thereof) began affecting my weight… for every month I’d go without a period, I would gain 5 -10 pounds! So not cool! [PCOS also has some other lovely side effects... more on that later.]
The lack of regular cycles also played huge mind games on me. Was I pregnant this time? Six months into my marriage, I didn’t have a period for 3 months and was so paranoid during that time, that I took a home pregnancy test every week and skipped margaritas with the girls “just in case.” Finally, my doctor gave me Provera to force a cycle to occur. It was the heaviest period ever, and I thought I was going to need a blood transfusion when it was over! Once my cycle got kicked started again, I began tracking my morning temperature, and using ovulation kits and home pregnancy tests so much during the next 6 months, that I should have either bought it bulk or bought stock… or both!
One month, during a particularly stressful time, I started to bleed just 12 days into my cycle, when on a good month, it was usually 35 days long. For kicks, I decided to use an ovulation kit anyway. Negative. With morbid curiosity, I also took a pregnancy test. Positive. WHAT?!
Of course, this was the one night when my faithfully consistent husband, who arrived home at 4:00 every single day, had to drive 100 miles south to rescue his mother from car troubles rather than coming home. So at 10 pm at night, I was all alone and scared. I called my mother. She’d know what to do. She told me everything would be fine, to sit down and kick up my feet, and to call my OB/GYN. The doctor called me back at 10:30 and I told her what happened. She curtly replied, “you are having a miscarriage, come into the office in the morning and take a blood test to confirm it.” Click. Um, OK. Thanks. So sorry my tragedy interrupted you. I called my husband in tears.
The next day, which was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving weekend, I went to the doctor’s office to get the blood work done, and they told me to come back Saturday for another draw, and that they would call me Monday with the results. Seriously? Monday? Making me wait those 5 days for results was sheer hell. It was a MISERABLE and stressful weekend. My mother in law was visiting for several days along with my sister in law, and we couldn’t let them know what was going on. I had to tell them I pulled a muscle in my back as the reason why I needed to sit on the couch all weekend and do nothing. I had to say I was taking strong medication, which was why I wasn’t partaking in the martini madness which usually occurred when sis in law was in town. I made up some stupid story about why I needed to go out alone on Saturday morning. My husband wanted to comfort me, knowing that I was tormented inside, but couldn’t appear overly concerned or mushy without our guests wondering what was up. At night, when they slept, my husband and I could talk in hushed whispers about our feelings and how I felt throughout the day. After they left, I cried all Sunday night.
I was a wreck Monday morning when I showed up at work. The doctor’s office confirmed mid-morning that I was miscarrying the baby. I put on a brave face on and kept working for another hour… then figured I deserved the day off after all. I don’t remember what I did for the rest of the day, but it probably involved a great deal of ice cream and bad TV.
Now I knew I was too fat to GET pregnant and surely too fat to STAY pregnant and it was all my fault. My OB/GYN had been telling me for years to get a gastric-bypass and that I would most likely not be able to have a family if I didn’t do something drastic. So, this was my fate. Signed, sealed, delivered. Are crazy cat ladies allowed to be married? If not, I needed to get rid of the husband so the prophecy could be fulfilled!
I started walking with my friend again (because I was so fat, cardio would’ve surely killed me!), this time pushing her baby in his stroller for extra sweat equity. The weight wasn’t coming off, no matter what I tried. In fact, with my weird menstrual cycle, I was continuing to gain those 5-10 pounds every month I skipped my period and was NOT pregnant. So that plan petered out eventually. Why work that much for no results?
I decided that the stress from work must be the culprit (cuz it wasn’t MY FAT!), so I went to a part time status and spent the other half of my day focusing on getting pregnant! I spent time “lunching” or shopping or sitting on the couch watching TV. I saw a few other doctors just to prove to my OB/GYN that it is indeed possible for me to carry a child. One of them got my cycles regulated with a nice cocktail of meds (even though I still skipped a cycle midway through... stupid hormones!).
Almost exactly one year after my miscarriage, I finally had success… It was confirmed I was pregnant! And I was SO FAT that the scales rejected me.