Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My Story so Far

Hello All!
I am Karen.  I am an infertile woman in my mid 30's.  And I am a new runner...well sort of...  I found fitness nearing the end of my battle with infertility.  I will never win that battle, I will always be infertile, but we have succeeded twice!    I am the mom to two little girls.  A gorgeous trouble making 3 year old, Lola.  And a dramatic, comedian 11 month old Lucy.  I am a wife to Jordan.  I am a pack leader to Tonka and Lex, our 2 maltese.  (We lost our old girl in January 2014).  And I love my life, most days.  Lol! 

But my story starts 7 years ago.  My husband and I were trying to get pregnant.  To no avail.  I visited the Dr and was told not too worry I was young it would happen....After 2 years of getting jerked around by my medical community we finally got a diagnosis.  POF - Premature Ovarian Failure.  My ovaries were the age of a 50 year old.  We had a less than 1% chance of having a genetic child.   During the 2 years of waiting for a diagnosis and testing (oh so much testing) I started to gain weight.  We discovered I had a thyroid disease.  I got medicated and balanced out.  I continued to gain weight.  Slowly...20 lbs a year...  The year we started trying I was 126 lbs. 

After a year of watching and waiting for one window to try IVF with my own eggs, I gained over 30 lbs. weighing in at 161 lbs.  I was turning 29 and I was done waiting.  After a lot of research we moved forward with an IVF cycle with a donor in Mexico City.
Unfortunately neither transfer worked.  We had everything and anything go wrong with our cycles.  I had an allergic reaction to the meds and dropped my lining during the stim cycle forcing us to do a freeze all on the eggs.  The eggs weren't great.  We had only 4 embryos.  And we kept finding fluid in my tubes.  Depression ensues. 
But I picked up my big girl panties and found an outlet for my anger.  I started riding.  Biking.  I wasn't losing weight, but I wasn't gaining either.  Everything was just toning up.  We decided to try one more time, with a different clinic.  And we decided to push and have my tubes removed, which we later discovered were toxic and would have never allowed a pregnancy to form. 
I rode my heart out that year.  I rode to forget.  I rode to push myself.  I rode to take back some control over my body.  I hated my body so much.  It was failing me at the one thing I was made to do.  Have a baby. 
The week before our transfer my husband and I did a Spin the Lakes Ride.  It was a 50 km ride around a lake up North.  It is a super hilly course.  And it was awful weather.  But I did it.  It was the only thing I concentrated on at that time.  I couldn't focus on the transfer or the possibility of it not working. 
Fast forward a year.  We had our miracle baby.  Miss LolaBean came screaming into our world.  The pregnancy was fraught with drama.  It was twins, but we sadly lost one at 8.5 weeks due to a bleed.  Lola's placenta wasn't functioning well.  I ended up with HELLP syndrome.  I was induced early at 35 weeks.  And she was our tiny little bean at 4.12lbs.   I still can't believe I gained over 45 lbs and had a 4 pound baby!  I got up to over 200 lbs.  But I was finally happy.... 
And then reality hit.  We had one embryo left to try.  But I was considerably over weight.  I don't believe it would have impacted our chances of it working, I can't say one way or the other.  But I knew myself.  And if I got pregnant at 184 lbs. I would balloon up even more and possibly lead a life of being considered obese.  I was determined.  We had one shot.  I wanted to put that embryo in the best body I could build. 
I started with a weight loss program.  They taught me how to eat.  Finally!  I joined a bootcamp.  I joined the couch to 5 km.  I started to lose.  I dropped out of the couch to 5 km.  I continued strength training.  Then I joined a 2nd couch to 5 km class.  And suddenly I was hooked.  I loved running.  The weight started to melt off.  I started swimming.  I continued biking.  I set a goal of running 3 5km races and one sprint tri.  And I succeeded. 
I was hooked!  We were ready to transfer our last snow baby in October 2012.  The morning of the transfer I ran 5 km.  I honestly didn't think it was going to work.  But I was surprisingly zen about it all.  I now knew how to find my happy place.  I now knew how to decompress all the feelings that infertility left me with.  I pound it out on the road. 
Fast forward another 9 months!  Lol!  And here I sit with 2 little girls.  I had a drama free pregnancy with Lucy.  I gained about 40 lbs again.  What can I say?!  I like to eat carbs and starch!  But I ran until 24 weeks.  And I think I looked pretty dang good!
But post pregnancy...Argh!  I am not one of those woman that lose weight with breast feeding.  I stayed the same.  And I felt awful working out too hard since I worked so hard to breast feed.  So I ran when I could.  With both girls!
And on December 31 I stopped breast feeding and started taking care of myself again.  It wasn't easy.  Lucy is an extremely needy baby.  And we have had a rough couple of months with her.  Acid Reflux and an awful teether.  Plus a 3 year old who is having her terrible three's.  Makes gym time limited.  But I do try. 
Currently since December 31, 2013 I have lost 27 lbs.  I went from 161 lbs to 134 lbs.  (as of this morning)  Not huge weight loss.  But it is significant to me.  I'm not as toned as I would like.  But that will come.  I am running farther than I have ever run before.  And I am running faster than I have ever before.  I signed up to attempt my first half marathon last night.  I'm really excited to see what my future brings me.
Well if you made it this far.  This is my story to date.  This is me.  I'm not done yet.  I'm a work in progress in all areas of my life.  I plan on sharing all my ups and downs with you.  All my runs and important training tips I find a long the way.
Welcome to my corner of the world!

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