Today Wendy Geihlich sent in her very honest story about how she has found herself and her weight where she is today. She said that she didn’t expect for it to be published as it was too long and not motivational. However I disagree and as soon as I read it I had to publish it.
Wendy’s story is one that you cannot help but keep reading and it is one that women all over the country will connect with. Pregnancy weight loss is not an easy task and for a lot of women it is a huge struggle – which is why at Lose Baby Weight we try and provide as much support as possible for all the hurdles women trying to lose pregnancy weight face.
I ask you to read Wendy’s story and help encourage her to feel positive, motivated and healthy and let’s all will her along and help her achieve her pregnancy weight loss goals.
Wendy – thank you for sharing and we are here to help you all the way!!
Wendy’s weight gain journey
The start of my journey:
I have ALWAYS struggled with my weight. When I was younger I always felt like I was the biggest in a group. I am tall so people have always said that I carry my size well, but as with many others I have always been drawn to weight loss schemes, quick fixes and they are usually very short lived with no lasting results. I have also suffered with depression for most of my adult life (and probably for years before I was diagnosed). My symptoms vary from being severe, which I have had to manage with counselling and medication, to mild when I have struggled through and coped without.
I was the lightest I had been for years when I met hubby, got married and bought a house. When I was 30 we started trying for a baby. While EVERYONE else around me seemed to fall pregnant easily, or within a few months at most, nothing was happening for us. During the time I was trying to fall pregnant I saw 14 of my family and friends fell pregnant and have babies. I ate my feelings, trying to suffocate my disappointment in junk food and chocolate and put on a brave face for everyone. Few knew of the struggles I was having and when people asked when we were going to join the club and have kids I would laugh it off, make a flippant remark that hid my true desire and despair. I guess I didn’t want anyone’s pity, or to take the shine off their news every time I heard it. I was happy for everyone, but I just wanted the same for myself!!!
We discussed all of the usual options and after 12 – 18 months or so started having some tests. An early ultrasound showed up a fibroid about the size of a golf ball in my uterus but doctors insisted that people fell pregnant all of the time with fibroids and this was unlikely to cause infertility. My husband’s tests came back fine so it seemed to be me that was causing the issues. My specialist booked me in for a laparoscopy and when I showed up for my pre-med exam the doctor told me I couldn’t undergo the procedure as planned as I was above the safe BMI for anaesthetic at a country hospital in the town I was living in.
I was DEVASTATED!!! I bawled my eyes out for what felt like days. Why had no one mentioned this before??? The doctor that referred me for the procedure had seen me, he knew my size… I just felt like I had been kicked while I was down. I never went ahead with that line of investigation, I was far too humiliated to go to a ‘fat’ persons hospital for a test.
The IVF option?
My weight continued to increase. I had tried eating healthy, I had tried exercising, I had previously lost a bit of weight but there just seemed to be no point to it all so I guess I gave up. We started planning a life without children – all of a sudden it didn’t seem so bad. More disposable income. Bigger holidays every year. Deep down the desire was always going to be there, but it seemed to be best to move on from it. I didn’t want to go through IVF as I had seen one of my closest friends go through multiple unsuccessful treatments and I didn’t want to put myself through any additional stress. However I went for an initial consultation just to show that I had ticked every box before settling down for a life of childlessness.
The IVF clinic told me to call for my next appointment at the start of my next cycle so they could arrange some tests. I waited, still unsure whether I would call them, and I waited. And one day it dawned on me that I was quite late for my period. Unheard of in my world. I did a test. It was positive!!! NO WAY!!! 3 years on and it had just happened naturally after all of that!!! So we put the ideas of lavish holidays behind us and concentrated on this amazing baby we were going to have against the odds.
The 142kg weigh in
At my first prenatal appointment they weighed me and even I was surprised (disgusted). I was the HEAVIEST I have ever been – about 142kg!!! I was horrified. Everyone I knew had put on weight while they were pregnant, I was about to become a monster!!!
And then at 11 weeks I started bleeding one night before bed. We were beside ourselves with stress and worry and went to the local hospital to be told that there was nothing they could do until the ultrasound clinic was open in the morning and to come back then. They said my blood pressure was quite high but put it down to stress and told me to try and relax (yeah right). Everyone knew I was pregnant – I hadn’t been able to wait until 12 weeks due to the fact we were so excited and I just dreaded having to tell everyone if the news wasn’t good. We didn’t sleep much that night but by morning the bleeding had stopped and an ultrasound showed a little baby heartbeat and we were over the moon.
When I was about 15 weeks I went to the doctor with the flu – it was around the time of swine flu and I wanted to be sure I didn’t have it. Luckily I didn’t, but my blood pressure was high and the doctor told me to go and see my Ob ASAP. He wasn’t too happy with it either, but it was the weekend, he told me to put my feet up and come back on Monday. On Monday my BP was 195/135, he couldn’t hear a heartbeat using his Doppler and before I knew it I was packing a bag and driving 100km to the closest city hospital where they were waiting for me to arrive.
Baby seemed to be fine but I stayed a week while they tried to get to the cause of and fix my elevated BP. I had heart tests, liver kidney tests, xrays and ultrasounds. I was poked and prodded and the only thing they found was that my golf ball sized fibroid was now tennis ball sized. They apparently grow from the pregnancy hormones. I was put on a number of medications for my high BP and though they gave me migraines and made me vomit daily, my BP finally dropped enough to be let out.
We had sold our house 2 weeks prior to this and with a short settlement we now had 3 weeks to find somewhere to rent and move so I took another week off work and went into panic mode. We were moving to the city, closer to my hospital so every day rather than relaxing I was driving the 100km there and back every day to look at houses and apply for rentals. It was getting dire when finally a perfect house came up and we had about a week to move and settle on our house sale.
Tough pregnancy that got tougher
The rest of my pregnancy was a nightmare and I was lucky to be closer to the hospital. I hadn’t suffered from Morning Sickness at all in the early months, but these tablets I was on made me so sick I could barely keep food down and I had to cut back to working part time. I was later diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes and while I managed it with diet to begin with, towards the end of my pregnancy I was also on daily insulin injections. I had fortnightly appointments at the high risk clinic at the hospital and was told that I would be lucky to carry to 32 weeks due to my blood pressure and the fibroid filling up baby’s space in my uterus.
I was told from really early on that due to all of this to expect a c-section and by this point I really didn’t care. 32, 33, 34, 35 weeks we did OK. At my 36 week checkup I was told that they couldn’t wait any longer – I was told to go home and get my bag, I was moving back to hospital for monitoring and steroid injections but I would have a baby within days.
By this time my fibroid was 16cm big and it’s growth was measured the same as my baby at every appointment. My baby was breech and hadn’t been able to move positions for weeks. When student doctors measured me without knowledge of my history their only explanation about my size was that I was carrying twins (or triplets)!!! I’d seen my baby on ultrasound every fortnight as I was monitored so closely, down to weekly towards the end and we were ready to meet him.
I went into hospital on a Monday – on Thursday I was wheeled into surgery and had him in my arms by lunchtime. He was 4.16kg (9lb3) and perfect. I still felt huge with this baby sized growth inside me.
Breastfeeding and eating
I recovered really well from the surgery and was up and about, breastfeeding what seemed to be ALL the time as it was the only way he would settle, and had my husband / family looking after me, making me healthy lunches and dinners. I knew I had lost weight and when I finally came to weigh myself again after a few months I had lost 34kg from that first appointment – I was amazed.
OK no one suggests that you lose weight while pregnant, but with the medication making me so sick and changing my diet for the diabetes it had just happened. I was THRILLED!!! I knew I still had a long way to go, I needed to lose more to be really healthy, but this was the lightest I had been in YEARS!! I told myself that NEVER again would I let that happen. N.E.V.E.R!!!
But somehow I did. I ignored myself and how good I was feeling. I celebrated having given up chocolate for the diabetes by eating chocolate EVERY day!!! I would make excuses to go to the shop so I could buy it. I ate it sneakily on my way home, in the car, out of my sock drawer. Even though I knew it was wrong I would justify it by how well I had done and the fact that I was breastfeeding – which everyone KNOWS makes you drop weight… Right???
I would eat from stress and frustration when my baby was screaming, rocking him in one arm and shovelling food in with the other. I would eat when he was asleep and I was bored, watching TV or sitting on the computer. It was never anything healthy. I had reverted to the emotional eater I had always been. I started gaining weight bit by bit. The old promises came out. “I won’t let myself get to ‘x’ weight.” “I DEFINITELY won’t let myself get to ‘x’ weight.” “OK – I have been on holiday but now I need to lose some weight.”
The struggle to conceive – again
It was around this time that we started to think about #2. It had taken so long for #1 and I now had this HUGE fibroid, things certainly weren’t going to get any easier. So we decided it was time to let nature take its course. This was when bubs was about 8 months old. Again nothing happened. I went back to a specialist who suggested IVF.
I went to IVF and they said they wouldn’t be able to do anything while I still had the fibroid so I had to decide what to do. There were no guarantees that they would be able to remove the fibroid but leave the uterus. The ultrasounds didn’t give a clear picture of where everything was lying so it was a bit of a risk. I had the choice – attempt the removal or go in for a hysterectomy. I was torn.
I had always wanted more than once child (as did hubby) but there was a risk involved. I decided to give us the option of further children and went into surgery not knowing whether I would come out with my uterus. It was done exactly like my c-section but without a baby at the other end. Same recovery, same pain, but with a toddler at home it seemed so much worse. Unfortunately it also didn’t help with another issue I’d been having since ‘growing’ the fibroid, abnormally frequent, heavy and extended bleeding.
I was advised to wait 3 months after the surgery before trying to conceive again and it was around this time that the 2nd baby wave seemed to hit and EVERYONE around me was once again getting pregnant and giving birth to beautiful babies. This sent me downhill and quick. I just couldn’t get my head around why it was so difficult for me to do the same thing that everyone else seemed to do with ease. I was also looking for work so spent much of my time isolated at home alone, deep in my misery.
I also felt that I couldn’t be around a lot of my friends and their new babies without breaking down, so I avoided a lot of social situations. The ones I attended I just seemed to hang around on the outskirts, feeling that everyone had moved on from talking about their toddlers and have gone back to discussing night feeds, nappies, feeding and newborns. I didn’t feel as though I had anything to offer, not a good place to be in.
When I started working again it was on a 12 month contract and I was determined to leave that position pregnant. It didn’t happen. The job was at a biscuit factory… It was like a junkie working in a drug lab. My ‘drug’ of choice was at hand daily, easily accessible and FREE. I actually couldn’t get away from it. I was once again putting on weight, eating away my disappointment and tying to justify the reasons I was putting on weight.
During this time I would have fits and starts of ‘doing the right thing’. There was an onsite gym I swore I would get to regularly. I didn’t. I’d try and be ‘good’ and avoid the biscuit barrels but eventually I’d give in to ‘just one’ and end up eating dozens of biscuits. I left that job at least 6kg heavier than when I started. I was wishing I had taken the opportunity for a hysterectomy when I had the chance as I felt that if the possibility of having another child had been taken away all together I would have been dealing with things differently and I would have moved on from it by now.
Time to take control
Throughout the 18 months or so leading up to this point I had come to know Rhian and followed many people’s successes on Lose Baby Weight. I’d had several discussions with Rhian who was always so positive and motivating, always supporting me and acknowledging that when I am ready it will happen. I saw with my own eyes friends who lost upto 30kg on the plans and just kept wondering why I couldn’t start and follow through – the plan itself was almost fool proof. I’d start and for some reason any progress I’d made would be interrupted and I’d backslide.
I started up a ‘weightloss’ Facebook page and had lots of support from other mums in the same situation. After a while it just depressed me reading about everyone else’s successes while I just seemed to be stuck in the same place month after month. I withdrew from that circle of support as it seemed to highlight my own failures and somehow made me feel even more miserable and worthless.
Eventually I managed to turn a corner and currently I feel like I am in a reasonable place emotionally. We have once again put on hold the idea of having another child. Neither my husband nor I are getting any younger. We have a DELIGHTFUL son who we have been extremely lucky to have and he amazes us every day as he develops and grows into a cheeky young thing with a confident and surprising personality. I have spoken to parents of only children and reassessed my priorities / motivations about providing a sibling for our son.
I’ve decided that it’s time for me to put my energy and effort into something I CAN control.
I’ve been stocking up on Healthy Mummy Smoothies and fruit. I am working again and this week have finally got around to taking my blender and ingredients to work for lunches so I am less tempted to head out and buy something unhealthy. Already I have seen a small improvement on the scales. I have the 28 day plan and hope to soon have enough motivation and energy to start cooking healthier meals from that and the Lose Baby Weight website for the family. I need to do it for me and I need to do it for them.
The best thing is that even though I know every day wont be perfect I will have the support of Rhian and her team. I have reconnected with some inspiring weight loss pages and will decide whether to resurrect my own down the track.
I feel that I am finally ready and I am hoping that by putting it out ‘there’ I will have more reason to be accountable, which will in turn allow me to see some results, even though I don’t expect miracles overnight. I don’t want to be in the same place next year just wishing that I had done it already.
And so it begins……
Wendy Geihlich, 29/09/2012
If you are ready to lose weight then the Lose Baby Weight plans offer a healthy and safe exercise and diet routine.
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And if you are in s similar position to Wendy or don’t know where to start then check out this page here for some advice