Tag Archives: health

I am Fat

I am fat

I am fat

I am fat.

I’m not entirely sure how I now manage to weigh 2 stone more then my pre-ttc weight. The last stone has crept on after I had my son, in fact that last stone crept on in the last 3/4 months.

My arms look like the Michelin Man, and I look like I’ve swallowed a duvet.

I am not a pretty sight. Luckily I’m not at the stage where I have to buy a new wardrobe to accommodate my ever increasing thighs, but I’m ever so close.

To top it all off, I do not feel very good, neither health-wise, nor mood-wise. After  my failed IVF I decided that enough is enough. So I contacted Kelly from Fit not Thin @FitNotThin.

Initially, I was convinced my expanding stomach was due to damaged muscles due to carrying a baby, but given that I gave birth to him nearly 2 years ago, cant really hide behind that tired old excuse, can I!? And Kelly confirmed that there is not much wrong with my actual stomach muscles. Although, she could be wrong, she had to press down through an awful lot of fat to reach them, that’s for sure!

So here’s what’s happening, I am no longer eating cake. I am not eating carbs. I am eating salad. Lots of salad.

I see Kelly 2/3 per month. The sessions are excellent and all about weights and using the vibrating machines at the Re-vitalise Studio in Hove. I’m really loving it.

Sadly, I have also discovered a correlation between my coffee consumption and weight gain, i.e. the more coffee I drink, the more weight I gain.

Goddammit, no coffee, no fags and no cake.

 

 

 

 

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Podcasts

Now that I am no longer going through any fertility treatments etc, and I am off work at the moment, I have been able to spend the last two weeks hitting the gym, which I love.

I’m not listening to music during my gym work out, I’m listening to podcasts. I’m really enjoying this and find it way more interesting and education then listening to music.

I wanted to share with you 3 podcasts that I am currently enjoying and that I feel are really good.

 

“The Jillian Michaels Show”

She is an American health and fitness guru (you might have seen her on he tv). She talks about fitness, training, health and happiness.

 

“Patrick Holford Food is Medicine”

This podcast gives info on what to eat and how to supplement. Lots of good, healthy tips and advice.

 

“How Einstein would get pregnant”

Blog series by the creator of Circle and Bloom. This podcast looks at mind-brain-body connections. Really interested in this as I’ve always been dubious as to this connection.

All 3 are great and really interesting as I’m getting more interested in health and fitness.

Do you have any interesting Podcasts you want to share with me?

 

 

The Journey To Surrogacy

Whilst I was in the midst of my IVF cycle number 3, I met a group of wonderful, inspirational women. We spent so much time together on our intense journey, each of us with a different fertility problem and each of us with a very different life story.

We are all on our different paths to parenthood and each of these amazing women has a fantastical fertility story to share.

One of my wonderful lady friends has chosen the surrogacy option to complete her family and this is her story.

Tell me your fertility story.

After having my daughter in 2008 with no fertility problems, we quickly started to try for baby number 2. However over 14 months we had 4 miscarriages. After the 4th miscarriage, we were referred to a specialist who needed to complete a follow up ERPC, as a previous operation had not removed all the previous pregnancy products.

This follow up op triggered a rare condition called Ashermans Syndrome. Despite my pleas to the professional who had performed the op, I was ignored and this condition was not diagnosed until it was too late, my uterus had now fully closed up with scar tissue and I was unable to bleed (although I was still getting cramps and knew I was ovulating).

Two very invasive corrective surgeries later, we were given the all clear to try again, although instinct told me it would be a struggle. We decided to try IVF as we wanted to avoid further m/c and ensure a good embryo was given best chance of implanting. After 3 failed IVF attempts (2 of which getting a positive pregnancy test but then the pregnancy failing within days) the clinic advised that due to the Ashermans the quality of the blood in my womb was poor and the embryos cant bed in properly and we would need to try surrogacy to give our embryos the best opportunity to flourish.

How does secondary infertility make you feel?

Pretty sh!t!!! I know we have done it before and it feels a horrible failure to know I can’t carry a baby again nor give my daughter a sibling or my husband a bigger family. I feel very bitter towards friends who don’t understand yet “pop” babies out willy nilly and it is a constant concern in the back of my mind.

How has it affected your husband?

He has more up days than down but I think often he hides his feelings very well. He also feels frustrated when others fall pregnant quickly or don’t seem to understand our struggles……”well you have a beautiful daughter, you should be grateful for her” – that sort of attitude.
Tell me about your IVF cycles and their outcomes

1st round 29 eggs, 5 to blasto, fresh transfer (3 blastos) chemical pregnancy

FET 2 blastos another chemical pregnancy

2nd IVF, 25 eggs, 3 blastos, negative pregnancy test

3rd IVF 20 eggs and 12 day one embryos in the freezer!!!

Tell me how all of this has made you feel

I think frustration and failure are the overriding feelings

Tell me about your journey to surrogacy

We took surrogacy in small steps, which I think is the norm. After the clinic advised this option we did some research and were horrified to find out that surrogacy in the UK allows the surrogate to go onto the birth certificate and that she can in the first 6weeks after birth decide to keep the baby. However after dipping our toes in a bit further we now have no concerns at all and it feels a very “normal” process!!

How does this make you feel?

We feel there is light at the end of the tunnel and I feel relief that there is not more pressure on my poor body to do the baby making anymore. After 5 years of heartache and my body failing me we can now write my body off as a retired baby maker!!

How does your husband feel?

At first he was a little unsure. As is often the case, I as the women, have been the driving force behind the different steps we have taken. But after meeting many Intended Parents (IP’s) or surrogates it feels so normal to us. These are all normal people that simply have had a lot of bad luck and need a “tummy mummy” to help them complete their family.

Tell me about the organisation which you are working with to facilitate your surrogate path

There are 2 routes to surrogacy. Using an agency that matches you with surrogates abroad where you can pay a fee and the process is legally binding, i.e. that baby is ours in the eyes of a court from conception. We choose the less clinical route and have used one of the 2 UK organisations Surrogacy UK (the other is COTS). Surrogacy UK (SUK) is a non profit organisation and their motto is “friendship first”. It can often take longer to find a surrogate than with COTS, but the relationships tend to be longer lasting. SUK have socials arranged by members / volunteers each month (one up north and down south) where members and non members can meet other IP’s or surrogates and share stories, get support and hopefully “click” with a potential surrogate. There are also message boards / chat forums which are a hive or activity and a fantastic support mechanism.

What stage are you at now and how are you feeling?

We went to our first social as non members in Dec 2011, went to their bi-annual conference in March 2012, joined in May 2012, got approached by our surrogate in September 2012, did IVF in Oct 2012 and are about to have our first transfer in March 2013!!!!

I have mixed feelings, fear that my old eggs will let us down and excited that this time next year we could have completed our family!! Our surrogate is a pro (having done this 3 times before), very positive and convinced we will have a big healthy bouncing boy – which freaked us out as we always assumed we would have a girl followed by a boy…….so watch this space!!!

Any words of wisdom for those in the same position as you?

Don’t give up, explore all options even if they seem alien and unconventional and hold onto that dream……..

She is an inspiration! Never give up hope.

See my website for details of my Fertility Tea
http://www.assistfertility.co.uk

Find me on Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/AssistFertility

And on Twitter
@assistfertility

3 Marathons in 3 Weeks

No, not me! I couldn’t do 3 Marathons in 3 weeks. But I know a crazy girl who can.

My lovely friend Leanne, is indeed running these marathons. I would love to be able to do this myself but I’m just not a runner. I’ve tried desperately to do jogging but I’m just not good at it. I don’t have the stamina.

I am totally intrigued and in awe of marathon runners and with that in mind, “interviewed” Leanne about her crazy marathon-ing schedule and this is what she said:

How long have you been running?
Since January 2010
 
What is your motivation?
Not sure really….  Initially it was just to be able to complete the Brighton Marathon, and after that it just continued……
 
How many marathons and running events have you done previously and how well did you do?
I’ve taken part in numerous “Race for Life’s”, which are 5K events for Cancer Research. When I started running with Burgess Hill Runners (BHR) I took part in lots of WSFRL (West Sussex Fun Run League) races…  With regards to marathons and half marathons, I’ve done the following

  • Eastbourne Half – March ‘ 11 – 2.24
  • Brighton Marathon – April ’11 – 5.45
  • Brighton Half – Feb ’12 – 2.23
  • Brighton Marathon – April ’12 – 5.10
  • Barns Green Half – Sept ’12 – 2.30

 
How do you feel when you are running? Id what is it about running that you enjoy?
Exhilarated – I absolutely love it!  I feel free and I feel amazing.  What I love about it most, is that I love the freedom of being alone with your thoughts and being able to box them up and deal with them – it’s a great stress reliever!  I also love listening to music when I am running alone and running to the beat of my favourite dance tracks!  Whoop……

How long does it take you to train for a marathon?
I start training hard in January and then I train up until the week before. At the moment I currently do a “long” run on a Sunday, with a shorter run on Monday and then another longer run on Wednesday. When the light improves in the evenings, I will also be out running on Friday nights too.

What is your training schedule like?
“Training” starts initially at around 8-10 miles (so you need to get your base miles up to this before Christmas)….and the increase in miles is about 10-20% each week (on your long run).  Sundays are long run days… Training starts to get harder after about 13 miles! 

Who are your running buddies?
I run with Burgess Hill Runners who are amazing and who have given me so much support!   We’re on Twitter – BHRunners_UK 

Do you use/have any special equipment? shoes, straps, clothes??
They say that running is a cheap sport..it’s not!  Shoes cost a fortune – I buy new shoes every 6-9 months!  I always have my GAIT analysed too.  I have dri-fit clothing, SKINS and fluro tops so that I can be seen when running at night!  My lycra running tights are a nice touch too!

What is recovery like?
Recovery after a normal run is fine…. Recovery after a longer run means that I need to take in food/drink at least 20 mins after I arrive home – otherwise I get too knackered and my body won’t recover properly!  Recovery after a marathon takes about a week…. Ummmmmm!

What are your thoughts regarding running 3 marathons in 3 weeks??
Well, I have no choice now. I’ve signed up to do it….and I wlll!  I think that because I am running for a cause that is so close to my heart it will help me along the way! It’s all about being mentally strong enough, not just physically strong enough!  Here’s a link to my sponsorship page –  
http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/LeanneCleaveley

Are you actually mad??!! ha!
Yes!!!!

Tell me what running has done for your fitness and body confidence levels.
I am so much fitter than I have EVER been, not only that but I am more toned too – although i do incorporate Yoga into my training (and lots of sports massages that help me)!!  I don’t have body confidence issues anymore – I understand that I might not have the skiniest legs or the most toned arms, but there are not many people whose bodies have been honed to run marathons…both mentally and physically!  I also think that I am mentally stronger now too.

When are your marathons happening?
Sunday 14th April – Brighton
Sunday 21st April – London
Sunday 28th April – Manchester

How do you feel?
At the moment I am feeling nervous, but also excited!  I know that I’ll be fine!

There you have it. Leanne is officially mad but I’m totally in awe of her.

She is running for the Dementia Charity, YPWD (Young People With Dementia). This is a charity very dear to her heart.

Please send her some love and luck XImage

 

Increase your egg health

Just been reading a really interesting article about improving egg health.

If you’ve been reading my blog you will know that my poor little eggs are well past their prime! I’ve had a number of FSH tests done. The first one came back as 19.8 (I understand that when it reaches 20 you are considered in your menopause). I’ve had a couple of others that were around 10/12 which isn’t great considering I was in my early 30’s at the time. (For NHS funded IVF your FSH must be below 10)

The FSH test on the month I did get pregnant, ,my level was 7.1 – totally normal.

What I like about this article is that it talks about eggs being on a 90 day cycle and that there is a way to improve their quality. Most NHS doctors dispute this claim I believe. I suppose it’s all about the “medium” they are grown/matured in. So if you provide a nurturing and healthy place for them to grow, they will be the best they can be.

I love taking natural supplements actually and love finding new ones too! And I’m selling fertility tea, as I love the feeling of doing something nurturing for my fertility every day. My website is http://www.assistfertility.co.uk

click this link to see the article I was reading:

http://natural-fertility-info.com/increase-egg-health

 

 

DHEA

I’ve decided to start taking DHEA again. I took this before when I was trying to get pregnant. I took it in the 6 months prior to getting my positive pregnancy test.

Its an interesting one because the side effects were hideous! Terrible spots, and not just pimples, literally boils, all over my face, chest and back. When you are feeling horrible in general due to infertility, the last thing you want is to also look pretty horrible too. But there did seem to be good evidence of DHEA working well for those with knackered eggs! So that’s what made me continue to take it.

As I’m sure you will remember from my earlier post, my initial FSH result was 19.8. After taking DHEA, and on the month I went ahead with my third and successful round of IVF, it had been reduced to 7.1. Which is entirely normal.

So good news indeed. And it made all the boils worth while in the end.

It did increase my progesterone level (hence spots) as DHEA is a “mother hormone” and your body will convert it in to all sorts of different hormones, mine used it to create an excess of progesterone. High progesterone is not good when starting an IVF cycle, nor can I imagine would it be good if you were trying naturally. But 2 days after I stopped taking it my progesterone had gone back to normal levels. Therefore, a small price to pay for such a dramatic drop in my FSH levels and, what I’m assuming was an increase in my egg quality.

So I’ve started to take it again. But not in such a high dose. Cant handle those blasted spots that’s for sure.

I’ve been reading about Red Clover being beneficial to those “older woman” looking to conceive. Although I’m not yet 40, my eggs have surely aged badly, so I always like to read the literature with those over 40 in mind. Red Clover is in the tea that I am selling, and drinking. Have a look at my Facebook page for more info.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Assist-Fertility/473384999380990

So, who else is taking DHEA or has experience taking it? Good or bad, I’d love to hear from you.