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Friday, October 30, 2009

A nutbag in the house and some questions answered!!

Holy crap, people – it is only 39 days till we leave for Thailand – hurrah!!

Okay – it’s confession time. A kind of IF madness has taken over me. Last Wednesday was 6 weeks until we go to Thailand and I have kicked up preparations a notch! I don’t know about you ladies but I am a research-a-holic and lately I have been researching a lot on implantation (cos I am hoping those 22 year old eggs in Thailand will do the trick). I am lucky with my work that I have access to medical journals so the information that I come across is usually pretty good. I do, of course, surf my ar$e off on Google to find out info. I thought I would share the madness of my routine at the moment.

In the morning I have an inner health plus tablet (bifidus and his mates) along with my herbal fertility tea (red clover, raspberry leaf, stinging nettle and ginger steeped overnight drunk cold – about 1 litre) – in the morning I also have a swig of flaxseed oil to make sure that I get my omega 3’s in. JourneyMan and I have been eating mainly whole foods for awhile (though sometimes we can’t resist some chips or chocolate or take away) – I have made some high fibre chicken soup for our lunches at the moment (JourneyMan has his for breakky) and I tend to add some natural fibre (psyllium husks) to many of the foods that we eat. I try as much as possible to buy organic food as well. As of this week, I have ditched my 1 coffee a day and am now caffeine free (still have a bit of a headache) and I am doing only the recommended 7 hours of exercise per week.

I am doing a tap class on Tuesdays, a boxing class on Thursdays (with JourneyMan – gosh we are a bit of a boxing mis-match!!) and am doing some running and gym sessions as well. I am trying to make sure that I get 8 hours sleep a night and every second night I do a castor oil pack (cloth covered with warmed castor oil wrapped around stomach, covered with plastic and with a hot water bottle over the top – sit still for an hour) – apparently castor oil has been used for centuries to heal specific areas of the body – especially reproductive issues. I also practice skin brushing most days and have a couple of Epsom salt baths per week (both for detoxification).

At night, JourneyMan and I have a whole slew of vitamin supplements that we take – he really hates the beetroot powder that he has for his blood pressure!! I am now on the pill as the cycle has started – yahoo!! Gosh, I haven’t been on the pill for 10 years – what a novelty!! We also do about a half an hour of yoga poses (that I have researched for fertility) each night and at night I listen to a fertility subliminal mp3 that I purchased. In addition, I am going to acupuncture (starting today) once a week and we have budgeted for some health treatments while we are in Bangkok (I have researched and found some lovely spas very close to where we are staying).

One other really big thing that I am doing is cleaning out our spare room – basically it is filled with a TV, the Nintendo WII, millions of books and all of my office material. I have made the big, big decision to get it ready for the baby. I am having trouble writing this because I hadn’t done this previously as I didn’t want to jinx any of the millions of cycles that we have done before. Certainly that has not made any difference so I am making room for the baby in the house. Today I have started to move out the junk and I am just about to go and have lunch with my Mum and while I am up there I am going to get some big storage boxes to put the books in. I have decided to just do a little bit each Friday to get it ready – I am going to try to make it like a ritual – a clearing of the space to allow the baby into our lives. We don’t have a big house (two bedroom unit) and it is very unorganized but it is definitely big enough for me, JourneyMan, JourneyDog and JourneyBabe. I feel better just even making this decision!!

Cripes – am I the most nuttiest of IF nutbags out there. Hmmm, sadly – I think so.

For the remaining part of this post, I am going to answer some questions that some commenters have left for me – so here goes:

Circus Princess asked – I am not sure why you need a donor. Is it your low number of eggs?

Hey CP (I am watching your 2WW very carefully and have my fingers crossed for you!!) – It is definitely because of the low number of eggs and if you look at the summary of my cycles, you will see that I have had a very poor response even though we tried all different protocols and were on the max meds allowed:

Cycle 1: Cancelled due to one large rogue follicle
Cycle 2: No eggs at pick up
Cycle 3: 1 egg at pick up, 1 low quality embryo, BFN
Cycle 4: 6 eggs at pick up, 2 embryos made it to day 2 and transferred, BFN
Cycle 5: Cancelled due to one large rogue follicle

After the 3rd cycle, my Fertility Specialist suggested donor eggs but I wasn’t ready to give up. After the 5th cycle, I did a lot of soul searching and realized that DE’s would be a good alternative.

Chelle asked – Why did you choose Thailand?

I researched Thailand, the United States, India and South Africa. One reason that we decided on Thailand was that the expat Aussie nurse that I came across who had had the treatment herself with this doctor gave me so much info and support and answered all of my millions of questions (the doctor has been fantastic - he comes back to me with answers always within 24hours and usually in a couple of hours). The main reason though is that it just felt right. JourneyMan and I had our honeymoon in Thailand (and had both been there separately before – we just love it, it is a gorgeous magical place) and even when we were looking at adoption, we hoped that we would get a child from Thailand. I know that sounds very airy fairy but honestly, it really just felt absolutely right.

K77 asked – Have you considered having the rudimentary horn (of my uterus) removed in order to curb the endo?

Yes, that was certainly one of the considerations that the doctor presented me with but he also advised that it would most likely weaken one wall of the uterus so I shouldn’t get it done if I am still planning to carry children. Certainly if we end up going to surrogacy or adoption, I would consider getting this operation done – gosh, the endo is a pain!!

Thanks for all of your questions everyone – I hope that you haven’t minded that this post is so long – gosh I have diarrhea of the keyboard sometimes.

Whoop, whoop – 39 days to go!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Even sadder (Caution: Great Whinging Ahead)

Oh gosh – I am very sorry to those ICLW people who are visiting for the first time but I need to have a big, big whinge. Firstly, a quick thank you to Jill, Suraita, Tireegal, Lifeslurper and Guera for your lovely comments about what is happening to my Dad – it was very comforting to hear from your all, thanks a bunch.

JourneyMan’s sister is pregnant, she rang and told him today. They have been ‘trying’ for 2 months. I know I’m a monster for feeling as I do but I am in a downward spiral – I feel so angry, so sad and very, very ‘poor me’.

Every friend that I seem to confide in, really open up my heart to then seems to get pregnant within a couple of months of deciding that they want to have children. Each time that it happens, I feel like a confidant has been taken away from me and somewhat betrayed (I know I am a nutbag in my own defense). First there was the friend (No 1) who got married four weeks after JourneyMan and I, they started ‘trying’ at the same time as us, though it did take her 6 months to get pregnant (she cried every time she got her period) her daughter is now one. I am sure number 2 won’t be far off. Then there is the friend who I drove with to friend number 1’s baby shower. She was in the wrong place at the wrong time and got the whole story because I cried all the way to the baby shower and then all the way home. She has just had baby No 2 (both of her children conceived in the first month that her and her husband tried).

Then there is friend number 3 who I confided in when I was going to the gym with her to help her get in shape for her wedding. She got pregnant on her honeymoon. Then there is JourneyMan’s sister, who I confided in because we always got along so well. Now, of course, she is pregnant and I have to say, this one probably hurts more than all of the others. Firstly, because there are no children on JourneyMan’s side of the family and in my twisted little mind, I thought our child would be the first one and would therefore be special. On my side of the family, there are already 5 grandchildren so ours would just be one of the pack. Of course, if we ever actually have a baby, they will be special – they will be the most special and precious child in the world, to us.

The second fear is that I am becoming more and more isolated. I rarely talk to any of those friends about the IF journey anymore. I rarely talk to my mum and younger sister after they told me that I was becoming bitter and twisted (Mum) and that I needed to get over it and stop letting it run my life (younger sister). My main confidant is my bestie (she has never particularly wanted kids but she is very, very understanding and a top listener) though I also don’t want to spew all this negativity over her – unfortunately, that leaves all of you lovely ladies in the blogosphere who are so wonderfully supportive – I don’t know what I would have done without this blog!! Maybe I should start offering a service to people that are wanting to become pregnant – ‘Let me confide in you about my horrible IF journey and you will be pregnant within two months, guaranteed’ – I might even make enough money to go for the surrogacy option if the cycle in Thailand does not work out.

I guess that what this has really brought to my mind is that I am afraid that people won’t accept the child as really ours because he / she will be half Thai. It only started as a niggle to me when I was talking to the mother in law a while ago. She had said that JourneyMan and started to tell her about the Thai donor in front of JourneyMan’s Nanna and she stopped him because ‘she wouldn’t understand’. Which made me a bit nervous at the time about my MIL’s own acceptance of the situation. However, I comforted myself that the child would be the first grandchild so it would be hard for her not to be excited and love him / her. That has changed now though.

The independent, rebellious part of me thinks ‘who gives a fat rat’s clacker about what anyone else thinks of our child being half Thai’ but the more rational part of me thinks ‘but I want my child to have grandparents and aunts and uncle’s that love and spoil them’. I have no such worries about my own side of the family – my mum loves babies, ANY babies and my sisters and brother are all very supportive of our situation (my Mum is continually buying Tattslotto tickets for her and I saying that she will buy herself a grandchild if she wins!!). I guess I just don’t know JourneyMan’s people as well as my own.

Then there is the fear about Thailand that it is not going to work. I mean, if the cycle in Thailand works and I am pregnant then the SIL and I will be pregnant together and that would be fun and it would bring our families closer together. However, if Thailand doesn’t work, I will be devastated – I know that I won’t even want to see the SIL and yet I will have to go to more baby showers etc. I have tried so much to not think about this possibility – I need to get back to thinking about the logistics. Problem is, I have booked all the flights, accommodation and insurance. I have all of my prescriptions of all of the drugs filled. Our passports are being processed as we speak and pretty much, everything has been organized. Frick. I am going to have to keep busy this week going to the gym and working.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A bit sad...

I’m having trouble accepting what is happening with my Dad at the moment – it is a terrible situation. For those of you that don’t know, my Dad has hydrocephalus and really, he is now a completely different person than he used to be. Growing up, my Dad was one of the most motivated and fit people that I knew – he worked hard (as a toolmaker in his own business in the garage out back of the house), he was smart, he ran marathons, he was extremely social and has a huge circle of friends.

It is really hard to recognize him these days. He doesn’t get out of bed until midday, he just had a knee operation but refuses to do any of the rehab, he isolates himself as much as possible. He is aggressive and angry, he doesn’t remember anything – my poor Mum, I don’t know how she is doing it at the moment. I got to the fresh food market every Saturday morning with my Mum and sisters. My sister brought all of her 3 boys along today and the two oldest came in the car with us on the way home. We were talking about how Dad used to be and neither of them can remember.

It made me so sad to think about my own child (that hopefully is coming soon!) and how they will never have a chance to know my Dad how he was. It has been a rough couple of days because a nurse was talking to my Mum about putting his name down at a nursing home – my god, he is sixty freaking six for crying out loud – it is way, way too soon for that but because of the hydrocephalus he is very unstable and falls quite often and my poor mum (who has arthritis in her hands) has worlds of trouble getting him up.

In truth, I have been avoiding him. It makes me so mad because it seems like he has given up living and I want to yell and scream at him – which is why I have been avoiding him because I am scared I will yell at my sick Dad. I spend a lot of time feeling guilty about him at the moment.

In other news, I have been reading many blogs because of ICLW (love that time of the month!) and I have found a few people who are feeling emotionally cut off from the cycles that they are doing. I have to admit – I feel quite the same about Thailand. I realized that all I have been concentrating on the actual logistics of the trip but not really considering too much the cycle itself. I am okay with that – I am a pretty obsessive person so the less I think about the cycle at this point, the better I believe!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Why donor eggs in Thailand - answers here!!

So – finally I have come to the reason that we decided to go to Thailand to have a donor egg cycle. It has been very complicated but also very simple. On the simple side of things, we were running out of options and this seemed like the natural next step, on the complicated side – well, that’s a big story.

In the chain of events, I had had IVF cycle #4 in July 2008 and after the failure of that cycle, I had a Lap Band placed in September 2008. We didn’t go back to the Fertility Specialist until around October because I wanted to leave a good amount of time so that I would be thinking clearly when we went to see him. I wanted to discuss a laparoscopy. I have always had painful periods – sometimes so painful that I have ended up at the hospital. I have always had a very heavy flow and (TMI ahead) have always found it painful to have a bowel movement.

The weird thing is, I had never talked about this stuff with anyone, so I thought it was completely normal. My mum knew of my painful periods because she had taken me to the hospital when I was young. I had never seen a gynecologist. I had always had normal pap smears and a very regular cycle so there really was no thought given to anything being wrong. I have to be honest and say that I had always thought that I had endometriosis but I didn’t get anything done about it because I didn’t think that you could.

Anyway, I did want to talk to the fertility specialist about a laparoscopy and after a discussion with JourneyMan, we wanted to put vasectomy reversal back on the agenda – the main reason being that since I was getting around 1 embryo a cycle, we would do just as well to see if the vasectomy could be successfully reversed. After speaking to the Fertility Specialist about all of these options, he agreed that it was a good plan going forward so after 4 IVF cycles, I went in for a laparoscopy in November 2008. The laparoscopy revealed high incidence of endo which the doc cleaned out but some couldn’t be fixed because it was on a major vein of the uterus and he didn’t want to damage it. In this operation, he still thought that my uterus was bicornuate.

In December 2008, JourneyMan had his vasectomy reversed (he is going to do a post about his experience of that). He was pretty good and didn’t really whinge – all along he said that he would have the reversal and he was true to his word – it couldn’t have been fun – though I tell you, the laparoscopy was not a barrel of laughs either. I started getting very bad pain in January and after seeing the Fertility Specialist again in March – I had another laparoscopy. This was when my uterine abnormality was rediagnosed as a unicornuate uterus – with a non-communicative horn. I immediately started researching what this meant and it didn’t look good – I started to face the possibility that not only may I not be able to have my own biological child but also not even be able to carry a child in my deformed uterus. Thankfully at my next appointment my specialist said that my main uterus was should be sizable enough to be able to carry a pregnancy, it wasn’t far off full size though the endo was going to keep coming back because it was the non-communicative horn that was emptying into my body each month that was causing it.

From January to May, I was focused on weight loss and (with a lack of something to research) I also started to look at other alternatives available – such as donor eggs and surrogacy in countries other than my own. JourneyMan was focused on getting his swimmers back. Some hopeful corners of my heart still held out a cherished wish that we could somehow become pregnant through natural means so every month when my period turned up, my heart hurt a little more.

We went back to see the Fertility Specialist in May and found that JourneyMan’s sperm contained antibodies and there were very few with forward moving motility. It is hard to explain how I felt at this time – I guess I was really numb – even though we hadn’t even had a cycle in months and months and months, we seemed to have been dealt blow after blow. When I told my friends (not long ago) about my uterine disfigurement and JourneyMan’s sperm antibdies and no forward motility, they laughed. It wasn’t malicious in any way, just disbelief I guess but it still seared through me and even though there is some part of me that thinks that it is amusing in a ‘murphy’s law’ type way, I don’t really feel like laughing. Maybe I will when ‘it all works out and I have a baby in my arms’ but for the moment I feel more like crying than laughing.

So – now we finally get to ‘Why Thailand?’ Well, in Australia it is illegal to pay a donor (egg or sperm) for their services. Most clinics have a waiting list for donor eggs that are around 3 years – some don’t even accept people on their list anymore because of the waiting time. Generally, people who need donor eggs in Australia are forced into two routes:

1. A friend or family member
2. Advertising for a donor

I had a few people offer me their services – my sister-in-law was a genuine candidate though she has just turned 40 last week and now she is not in the position to do it anyway. My brother is an alcoholic too though unfortunately he is still on and off the wagon. Their lives are a mess right now and I couldn’t trespass on their lives in this way. My cousin’s partner also volunteered though she too is in her early 40’s – I was extremely touched by her offer. My best mate made a tentative offer as did my younger sister (I did not let them make a proper offer) but both of them are not married and may want to have children in their future and there is nothing that I would do to jeopardize their opportunities, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself. I am so lucky to have so many thoughtful, selfless people in my life. So, that left advertising which is rigorously monitored in my State – we would have to submit our advertisement to the government, wait for it to be approved etc.
I didn’t bring up the donor eggs in Thailand proposition with JourneyMan until after our fifth failed IVF cycle because I didn’t think that he would be willing to consider this option. He totally surprised me and was supportive right from the word go. I found a ex-pat Aussie woman who had had the procedure done and went back and forth with her about all of my questions. I have asked myself many times why I would rather go to Thailand and pay for the donor cycle rather than advertise in Australia. I am strangely comforted by the fact that it is a business transaction (but also disturbed that this comforts me). When thinking of my sister-in-law being the donor, my thoughts went to a situation where one of her children needed a kidney transplant and because my child would be a match, they would have to do it because ‘they owed’ my sister-in-law’s child. Very complicated. I know that there are complications this way as the child will have little opportunity to find anything out about their biological mother, morally – I feel it is in a strange zone but if the Thai woman is willing to donate her eggs, then I am willing to give her money for it. I once asked JourneyMan what he thought about the moral issues of us paying to use someone else’s egg and he said ‘the child is going to be completely loved – isn’t that the most important thing?’ – I say YES!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I'm back!!!

Holy cow, people – only 54 days until we go to Thailand – whoo hooo, I am SO excited, I can’t wait!! Gosh, I have had a busy, busy week with work, I am absolutely crazy at the moment and the bad news is my home computer is broken – booooo. The great news is that I am finally well again, thank goodness, I tell you – I was really over being sick!!

So, what has been happening? Well I did my 10km fun run on Sunday which was great! I didn’t run the whole way, probably about 8km of the course which I was very happy with!! I lay in bed at 6am on Sunday morning for about 15mins debating with myself whether I would do the run or not because my preparation was terrible – basically no running in the 2 weeks up to the run – not good! It was a gorgeous morning though and I thought even if I walked it will be a good experience and it certainly was.The Melbourne Marathon Run is pretty popular with thousands and thousands of participants in the four races. It is on a really scenic route through Melbourne and ends up with a lap of the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground) which is quite fabulous. I was up on the big screen for ages as I ran my lap and boy did I feel good when I crossed the line! I got a medal and everything – I love a good medal!I think I am going to do another 10km run in December to hopefully keep up the fitness, help the weight loss further and feel good about myself – there is a good one coming up – it is an all women one which is nice!

Anyway, I have booked our accommodation in Bangkok today and I am waiting to hear back for our accommodation in Hua Hin – I have also paid up our travel insurance, I have crossed off a few things off my list!!. I had a big list of items that I need to get done tomorrow but I have to do work – work has been absolutely crazy this week and there is no slowing down in sight, hopefully next week will be a bit better but I have my doubts. Anyway, I will get some more things done for Thailand tomorrow – I am back to my old ‘getting stuff done’ self - it’s nice to be back – yeah!!

I haven’t been to the gym this week which is a bit disappointing but, oh well – I will get back into it next week. I have actually lost more weight though, so that is good!! One thing that has been a little bit of a concern is that over the past week, I have nearly fainted about 5 times when I have stood up from sitting down. I am going to have to pay a visit to my GP I think.

Anyway – will catch up with you all soon!!



Thursday, October 8, 2009

Motivation-a-go-go - A question answered!

Well, I had the appointment with the Melbourne Fertility Specialist today and am now all ready to start the BCP on 29 October – cripes that is only 3 weeks away, whoo hooo!! I love my Melbourne Fertility Specialist, he is very pragmatic – I like that a lot. He is also very supportive of the Thailand plan and once again asked me to bring back some brochures so he can pass them on to his other patients if they need to go down the donor egg path.

Had a mega day at work today, the project that I’m working on is coming to the pointy end and I will have to spend a lot of time in the actual office next week (usually I just go there for meetings and then work from home the rest of the time which suits me really well) because I will have to help people out with their testing. I had to be at work at 6:30am the last 2 days for phone conferences with the US office of the company I am working for and I think because I didn’t go to bed earlier to compensate, the sore throat and swollen glands and coughing came back with a vengeance this afternoon. Thankfully I don’t work Fridays so I will have a big sleep in and hopefully knock this dreaded lurgy off once and for all. I am really doubtful about my run on Sunday now which is disappointing – though I may still just walk the 10km instead, I will see how I feel.

Now, the rest of this post is being sent out to my good friend, Lifeslurper, who has asked the following question:

“With infertility, body issues, a marriage, a business, a job (to name but a few things) we know you to be an extremely motivated person. I am *guessing* (I can only guess when it comes to motivation) that this is not a state you have magically arrived in...and that it takes constant work.So I am wondering....if you are willing to share some of the secrets of becoming (and staying!) a motivated person.”

I guess I am a pretty motivated person, I do come from the point of view that I am the master of my own destiny so if anything is going to happen in my life, I am going to make it happen. However, that does not mean that motivation comes easy to me, you are definitely right, I most certainly have to work at it, every teeth clenching day.

So – this one is for you, my sweets – Journey Girl’s Top 5 ways to becoming (and staying) motivated!!

1. Accept and love the fact of trying and failing

This is a big one for me. My family are all a bunch of perfectionists and we all have had to learn that trying lesson that nobody is perfect – hell, I am that far away from being perfect, I have the Grand Canyon between me and the perfect me! One thing that can stop many people (me included) from being motivated is the fear of doing something if it is not done perfectly. Really this is just a form of procrastination. When I was writing my first eBook, I revised the format and content about 6 times before I just thought ‘okay, I am going to publish this sucker, it is 90% okay, I can revise it if I want to later’ – it was the best thing I ever did because it allowed me to release it and start reading comments from clients who have helped me improve it!! I changed my thinking around to being that it was better to give something a go (and sometimes look like an idiot – have done that PLENTY of times) than to die wondering about whether I SHOULD have done it. * Note, ‘should’ is my least favourite word in the English language. So, even if you’re not motivated to do something, sometimes just giving something a go can lead to the next action and the next action and the next action and before you know it, you are action woman! The message here, love, is to just give it a try – you have one person here (and many, many others) who will be there supporting and cheering your every effort and let me tell you a secret – I love a woman who tries – even if she fails spectacularly, there is nothing better than a woman who has a chuckle to herself about just how BIG a failure that the endeavour was, crys in her room for three days and then picks herself up, dusts herself off and then gives something else an audacious try.

2. Step away from the pain, baby!

As humans we are more motivated away from pain than we are towards pleasure. Have you ever set a goal for yourself and thought about all of the wonderful things that this goal would give you? Well you are not alone, most people aim for things and try to motivate themselves towards these pleasurable results that we would get from the goal. Unfortunately though, as humans, we are mot assuredly more motivated to move away from pain than we are to move towards pleasure. So, how does that help, exactly? Well, if you can find the pain in something that you want to move away from, you are more likely to be motivated than simply moving towards something pleasurable. For me, I found this a turning point. For example, when I got the Lap Band and started working on myself, I worked on what I wanted to move away from – these were things like – bad health which would get worse as I got older and I didn’t want to think about it but I wrote down all of the consequences of what being over weight was doing to me. I did something similar years ago when I gave up alcohol. I still remember very clearly the weekend that made me decide to give up – it was my rock bottom and I keep it very vivid in my mind because it keeps me motivated to stay away from that – I never, ever, ever want to be there again. So, have a think about what you want to move away from and the more you can ramp up the pain on it, the more motivated you will be!!

3. What are you getting out of NOT being motivated?

Okay – so this one is very Dr Phil but I think he is a very, very wise man and this one you have to address if you are to move on. It is really all about what you gain by not being motivated. Oh, yes, I can hear you say ‘why would I do that, I am miserable’ but believe me, there is a reason that you will need to examine underneath. A couple of examples are - It could be that you get to be a martyr by not trying or (like me) it could be that it keeps you safe (so scary to try new things and look like a fool – gosh, I hate looking like a fool). So you really need to acknowledge what you are getting out of not being motivated – then you can deal with it and move on to being motivated a go go!!

4. Time limits for emotions

Do you think that I don’t ever have times when I am not motivated – think again and it is more often than you would think!! There are plenty of times I don’t want to go to the gym or go for a run or even write and article for my business or update my website – sometimes, I want to crawl underneath the doona and not come out for days. And you know what? I let myself do just that but I put a time limit on it. I give myself a whole day of doing absolutely nothing (and by nothing I mean, reading in the bath, watching trashy TV shows and lying slovenly on the couch!!) – I allow myself to do it and I don’t feel guilty about it but the next day, I make sure that I take some action on the very next day on all of my major goals – even if it is something very, very small (like checking my post office box – some days that is a real trial for me, don’t ask my why but it is!), I just do it clenching my teeth and by the time the day finishes, I feel a hell of a lot better and way more motivated.

5. Practice, practice, practice

This is a controversial one and people sometimes want to slap me when I say it but being unmotivated is a learned behavior. Sometimes we don’t even know where the behavior has come from but we do it so many times that we then do it on autopilot. The best way to break out of any behavioural pattern is to:

a) Notice the behavior
b) Take action to change it
c) Practice and practice some more!

It is really important to bring those unconscious behaviours into the conscious so that you can recognize the behavior that you are actually doing. Then, every time you notice that you are doing the behavior, change what you are doing and you have to repeat it many, many times so that the new behavior becomes unconscious. Mumbo jumbo? Maybe but it has definitely worked for me – not a 100% of the time, we all have slips but as long as you focus, you will be able to make huge changes in your life. The trick is to start small and build!!

Gosh, I do ramble on – this post was supposed to be short and sweet but you hit a point of passion in me, my friend so I couldn’t stop!! Hope this helped, even if it’s only a small amount. You are one of the funniest, most talented, creative, supportive and nurturing women that I know – let the world see and experience you!!! Forget about the past – it is history – release the crap and look forward to the future!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Band Secret!

Gosh, it’s been awhile since I posted. Sorry gang, I have been sick with the flu (caught it from JourneyMan) and boy has it been a bad dose. I have been absolutely exhausted – barely able to get off the couch. It was the second week in a row that I have been sick on the couch – I tell you, there is not much else that I can watch on cable TV and I have nearly read all of my books that I bought at the discount book place a few weeks ago – ooooh, might have to go there for another visit – yay!

Time feels like it is passing SO fast – only 62 days until we go to Thailand. I am very excited though getting a bit nervous. I am off to the Melbourne Fertility Specialist tomorrow to get all of the prescriptions that I need for the cycle and that will be the last doctors appointment (apart from my Bariatric fill doctor) before I go – wow, a whole 62 days without a doctors appointment, amazing!

Okay, so where were we on IVF past? Well, we just had a failed IVF cycle (#4) and we needed a break. I was physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausted by this time – it was a tough, tough time. The cycle was a bit more successful than those previous because of the 6 eggs retrieved but still we only had 2 embryos reach day 2 and neither of those stuck. I don’t know if I mentioned it before but because of my weight, my Fertility Specialist had mentioned Lap Band surgery to me. I had researched it previously but then started to consider it seriously. My main reason for going for the Lap Band was that even though I had been able to lose weight in the past, I had never been able to keep it off. In the lead up to our wedding, JourneyMan and I went on a very strict eating plan and I lost just over 23kg’s (50lbs) in 17 weeks.

I looked great at the wedding but almost immediately started putting on weight, very, very quickly – especially once the IVF started – I was comfort eating like there was no tomorrow. I knew that even though I can lose weight (usually by eating a very restrictive diet), that when I got pregnant I would go crazy on food and put on thousands of kilos. So even before I started IVF cycle 4, I knew that if it was unsuccessful, I would have the Lap Band surgery. For those of you that don’t know, the Lap Band is a surgical weight loss tool that is completely adjustable which means that you can have it tight (to lessen the amount of food that you are able to eat as well as making you feel full most of the time) but it can also be loosened off – for such things as pregnancy. It was not a decision that I entered into lightly and I have now had the band for just over 12 months and I have lost over 36kg (80lbs) which has made a huge difference to my life – I am very, very happy that I decided to have the band, I have really taken back my health.

So I had the surgery a couple of months after cycle 4 and then set about the business of recovering and then getting fit and healthy again. The band has made such a huge change in my life and one of the decisions that I made when I decided to have the surgery was that I would need to examine the behavioural and emotional reasons why I continued to yo-yo with my weight – it has been quite a journey that of course will never end, I am learning and growing all the time. I am happy to tell you that doing this work has really made a huge difference to my life. One thing that I have realized in the last month is that I look fantastic as I am now. I am not in my healthy weight range yet but this is a huge step for me as I previously was ultra critical of myself – I think one of the main differences is that I have not focused on looking better, only on my health and well being – I really want to be a healthy mum to my children.

So that is the story of the Lap Band – I am very, very glad that I decided to do it, it has really made a huge difference to my life. Okay, I am off to have a lie down on the couch again – gosh, I am so exhausted at the moment, hopefully will completely recover soon!! I am thinking that my 10km run on Sunday is going to be a run / walk but that’s okay – I don’t punish myself with exercise anymore – I exercise to feel good and I love it (usually when it’s over!!).
Journey Girl