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Mind & body - the stress is real. From weight gain to emotional turmoil

Updated: Sep 8, 2021

After the 2 failed IUI's, I started really beating myself up about everything. Pretty silly really because I knew the chances were less than 5% with an IUI at my age. I really wished I had listened to the doc and gone right to IVF. Wasted 2 good cycles, not to mention the money and 2 expensive viles of sperm.

But I wasn't ready to give up. Not yet. I still had 2 viles or the same donor purchased and knew that my options were not over.

On March 17th, just a few days after my second negative pregnancy test, I had a virtual consult with my doctor about starting IVF. Good news is that I didn't need many more tests as I had all that covered already. The only test I needed is a Saline Sonogram. So that was scheduled just 2 days later.

A saline sonogram is a transvaginal ultrasound test that is performed while a sterile saline solution is infused into the uterus. It helps detect uterine abnormalities such as endometrial polyps, fibroids , or uterine scars which will make IVF a bit harder and would require additional procedures to clear it up.

It was over and done with in a couple minutes, didn't hurt at all and my results were all clear.

I feel fat

Even though I was all cleared to start IVF as soon as my next cycle started (due 4th April), I painfully decided to wait another month because I was really not feeling very good about myself. In just 3 months, I had put on 14 pounds (6.35kg). When anyone talks about weight gain during trying to conceive, believe it! The worst part is...I am doing everything right, I eat well, better than ever, I workout daily (which was nothing new for me), I take supplements, I am 100% focusing on my health. But HORMONAL weight gain is like nothing I have ever experienced in my life. I thought I was just bloated from the IUI medications. But the bloat never went away.

Weight gain leads to metal stress. I am really starting to feel disgusting. I don't feel like there is a way out of it. When you talk about the weight gain to people that know what you are going for, none of the answers make you feel any better. I head them all. "It is all worth it" and "think about the outcome!" and "your body is just preparing for pregnancy". Seriously people... really? Surely getting fatter and fatter is not healthy, not for me and certainly not for my future baby. And telling me to think about the outcome and that it is all worth it.... well you just don't know that. It might not work out, I may not be able to have a baby, so really avoid saying that stuff to your loved ones. It doesn't help. I honestly do not think there is anything you can say that can help. Just listen to our woes. Offer to go for walks (if you're nearby), cook us dinner, let us cry on your shoulder.

Then add on the stress of my job. Thanks to covid, we made redundant over 70% of my company (I work in the travel industry). You'd think doing that meant there was hardly any meaningful work, that we were quiet & slow. WRONG. It seems I am now doing 4 peoples full time job. And because of the uncertainty of the industry, I feel like I have to work twice as hard to show that I appreciate I was able to keep my full time job. That leads to stress, overtime, overworked and the feeling that I just can't keep my head above water. I am drowning.

To top off stress and weight gain, I wanted to get the Covid vaccine. But I was advised that I could not have it within a couple weeks of an IVF cycle in case I had any side effects. It was early days in the vaccine but every single doctor at the fertility clinics was recommending to go ahead and get it before pregnancy. Was I terrified it was going to ruin my chances? Yes. But the doctors were so sure it was the right thing to do. I trust the system, I had friends that got very very sick from covid, and the risk of covid while pregnant is far greater than any vaccine. So I got my first dose of Pfizer on March 18th! Feels good to be a little more protected.

So, I told the doctor I wanted to delay until my May cycle. I need the extra month to just try and feel a little more normal. So what did I do? I booked a vacation to the Bahama's with my best friend, departing April 20th. Something to look forward to instead of something to stress out about.

I just got back from my trip, it was everything I needed! Time with the bestie, sun, beach, food, wine, cocktails, shedding some tears over deep & meaningful conversations, cuddling little pigs (yep I said that lol), swimming & snorkeling and being in my happy place... the water.

If I can give you any advice at all, it would be to look after yourself. You need to look after your mind and body before you can expect to get pregnant or even try.

Listen to your body, it knows you best.

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