Bump Squad mama Jaya on pregnancy and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and pregnancy are a very hard combination. Most women with PCOS find out that they have it because they are having trouble conceiving. I have been very blessed, very fortunate, to have found out that I had PCOS right before our fourth child was conceived. I am a VERY lucky woman. So, please know how grateful I am even as you read what follows.
I have always been a “thick” girl. I had it all, thunder thighs, horse calves, bubble butt, and I don’t ever remember wearing anything other than a D cup bra. I had, and still have, curves for days. Some would say that that was a good thing. However, for me, it was horrible, it consumed me. I was very active and workout constantly. Nothing ever changed. I may lose weight but it would be like one pound every few weeks. It was very hard and frustrating. There were several times that I would work out and gain weight. I assumed it was muscle gain, but it was odd that I gained more than I lost while working so hard.
I never really had a problem getting pregnant with our first two kiddos. My husband and I got married July of 2004 and had our first child August of 2005. Twenty-two months later, June of ’07, we had our second child. All had seemed great. I never thought that I would have a problem conceiving. Two years later we started trying for a third child. This time was different. It wasn’t as easy. I then was told I had “Secondary infertility.” What does that even mean? It eventually was tied to my ovulation cycle. I was not ovulating every month, or even every three months.
I started clomid treatments and after three months we were pregnant with our sweet little girl. After her birth I decided to go with the intrauterine contraceptive device (IUD) for birth control. Two years later we decided we wanted to try again for number four, so I had the IUD removed. At that time I was able to talk to my ObGyn about my body and not just my pregnant body. She suggested that I get tested for PCOS because of my weight gain (and the struggle to get it off), as well as my ovulation schedule. The test results came back positive. I was relieved! Let me say that again, I was SO relieved! I finally knew what was wrong with me. Why I couldn’t do what I had been working so hard to do.
I was put on Metformin, a medication used for diabetes. The metformin did wonders for me. I lost weight, I ovulated like a normal woman, and my moods were better. There was a time where I went through a depression (which is common for PCOS patients), but felt so good. I was happy. Like cloud nine happy. Well, with a normal functioning body we became pregnant shortly after. Twice actually! We lost one, but are now blessed with another. I was beyond excited! I had to stop the Metformin at the end of my first trimester. I thought, okay, I don’t need the drug I can do this. I can beat PCOS, it doesn’t own me. I’ll eat healthy, and stay away from the carbs. I’ll work out and be in the best shape that I could be.
Two weeks into my second trimester the weight started to pile on again. I was so confused, so frustrated. I have been working out, staying active, and eating as well as I can, with a small pregnancy craving for salt. (I don’t even want the sweets. This baby wants salt!) All I could think now was here we go again. You know it’s getting worse when your husband just doesn’t look at you quite the same way anymore. You know he loves you and will always love you, but you just know. You know when people, friends, family make subtle comments, like, “are you having twins?” Or “make sure you’re eating healthier”, or “wow! Look at your cute, chubby, pregnancy cheeks!”
It hit hard, depression quickly invaded my emotions, my thoughts, my everything. How do I pour love into this sweet baby of mine when my cup has been punctured with all of this weight and comments, draining it dry? Am I being selfish for wanting to be a certain size while pregnant? Am I selfish to want to feel loved and accepted physically? I’ve gotten to the point where I can’t wait until delivery day so I can hold our sweet baby and be reminded of why it was all worth it! I can’t wait to be reminded of why it was worth my body not being what I wanted it to be so that I could carry and bring our sweet baby into the world. There will be a time for me and my body, but right now it’s about me and our baby.