BMI is bulls**t…

BMI is bulls**t…

Am I right?

It’s a pointless tool used by medical professionals to tell you whether you’re ‘underweight’, ‘healthy’, ‘overweight’, ‘obese’ or ‘morbidly obese’. Yet it was designed nearly 200 years ago by a mathematician with absolutely no medical training and hasn’t really been updated ever since.

Hun, I don’t need a sliding scale to tell me I’m overweight. I’m short and round so of course on the BMI table I’m off the charts (not quite, but you get what I’m saying).

The doctor hasn’t mentioned anything about my weight. No casual conversation about eating healthy or exercise or ‘let’s just check your measurements’. However, we’ve just been struck with a time scale.

3 months of medication and if that doesn’t work we’re then referred for IVF.

Now, I’ve done my research and I’m fully aware there’s a requirement to be under a certain BMI to be eligible for IVF with the NHS. This requirement means I need to shift 3 stone minimum before the New Year. And actually, for the first time ever, I’m ready for that.

I started worrying about my weight when I realised it was out of control in March. My life was just one big binge eating session and I was starting to feel it. Stepped on the scales and shed a single tear and decided I need to start looking after myself. I lost 20lbs, put on 7lbs, lost 5lbs and put on 1lbs over the course of 5 months. I wasn’t too focused, didn’t know what I was working towards and didn’t really feel a sense of purpose.

I have 3 cycles, 3 months of tablets and 3 stone to shift. If that’s not a clear goal I don’t know what is. It’s 17 weeks until the New Year. Broken down that’s 2.5lbs per week and I’m going to do it.

I have to do it.

The tablets might do their thing, the doctor seemed very confident they will. But I would hate for them not to work, us be referred and then be turned down or delayed because I’ve been a little meatball for the last 10 years.

So, if anyone needs me from now until 2020 I’ll either be at work or the gym or crying because I miss all the carby foods and would do anything to dive headfirst in a bag of crisps.

Wish me luck!

Treat Yo’self

Treat Yo’self

There’s a fine line between treating yourself to a few dresses from ASOS and a full blown shopping spree resulting in needing to remortgage the house just to pay off the credit card.

This month I may have tiptoed over that line.

See below for an accurate representation of myself this month. (Just minus the designer bags, high heels, hairless legs, clear skin, beautiful shiny hair etc.)

I jest. However, I did splurge on a few pieces of jewellery, far too many dresses and a fair bit of makeup. All the ‘necessities’ in life some* might say.

But that’s exactly what it was. A ‘necessity’ in terms of balancing my mental health. I’m guilty of not opening up and sharing how I feel. I’ll make a comment, laugh it off and move on because in my mind I’m conscious that there’s other people with bigger issues. So rather than bang on about my problems I treat myself to a little bit of retail therapy and start looking for holidays. Always have done, probably always will do. If it works, it works.

I start questioning what problems I really have. All our test results are flooding back with no serious issues, work is just tickety-boo, I have some great friends and family around me. Life is good. Right?

It’s a tough pill to swallow when you realise you have nothing to actually complain about but you still feel a little down. I’m good at recognising in myself when I’m going through periods like this. I keep myself busy, make plenty of plans for days off, look to organise things to look forward to like little holidays or city breaks or just simply order myself a new pretty dress to wear at the weekend.

All things considered, life is great. The reality is I’m just not good at accepting this is just something I can’t have right now and I have absolutely no control over it.

So, if anyone needs me for the next few days I’m going to be a little busy organising my wardrobe, twirling around in front of the mirror in my new outfits, cutting up my credit cards and hiding all the shopping bags from my husband.

Shhh, mum’s the word.

*Not my husband. He would not say that at all.

According to Mind, about one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year.

If you want to talk to someone immediately, the NHS mental health helpline page includes organisations you can call for help, such as Anxiety UK and Bipolar UK.

The Samaritans helpline is on hand 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, for people who need to talk to someone in confidence.

Photo Credit: Gossip Girl

If you say it out loud does it make it more real?

If you say it out loud does it make it more real?

Short answer? Yes.

Whilst sitting in the doctors surgery, awaiting our first appointment to get the baby-on-board ball rolling, it suddenly hit me. We can’t make a baby Bloomer. Something that comes so naturally for so many has evaded us for nearly two years and now we need help.

It’s an odd feeling. You feel a sense of relief telling the doctor what you’ve both been through the last couple of years. You feel a sense of guilt for taking your body for granted when you were 17. You feel defeated for having to resort to medical intervention. But the overriding feeling you leave that surgery with is hope. You hope you have more answers soon. You hope your tests come back fine and it’s just not the right time. You hope nothing is wrong with either of you.

The tests start. The waiting begins. The phone calls come. You start again. It’s a cycle that you can only assume will only end with bad news. Bad news that if you’re not one of the 92% of women who conceive in the second year of trying there is probably something wrong. Bad news that something went wrong with your blood tests and you need to ‘pop to the hospital’ to do another one. Bad news that the blood test can only be done on a certain day in your menstrual cycle so you now have to wait 26 days. It’s hard but you keep moving forward.

So, yes. Saying it out loud does make it more real. But the reality is that it is real, it’s is happening and we’re getting closer to some answers.

Photo credit @aprilhillwriting

Picture the scene…

Picture the scene…

You’re sat on a packed commuter train at 8 in the morning. You’ve just launched your blog about one of the most personal things you’ve ever opened up about. You receive a message you wish you hadn’t opened. Billie Eilish- Ocean Eyes starts playing through your headphones as you’re looking out to sea and before you know it you’re ugly crying in front of a carriage full of strangers. I’m talking full blown, tears streaming down the face, silently staring out the window crying.

You’re all welcome to my pity party. If you don’t bring drinks and snacks you’re not getting in.

I’ve got more emotions running through me than a fourteen-year-old kid who’s just hit puberty. Think MySpace circa 2003 and you get the gist. A mixture of vulnerable and exhausted but at the same time feeling incredibly overwhelmed with the response to the introduction of Maybe, Baby?

I underestimated just how many people my blog would resonate with. Within minutes I was reading messages and comments from both men and women who are currently going through a similar situation or have previously experienced this. People who are further down the fertility journey than Morgan and I or only just starting out. Couples who defied the odds and conceived naturally and some couples using the wonder of science to help them along the way.

But what struck me was there was a common theme amongst all messages.

  • This is definitely not something to be ashamed of.
  • Whether you choose to share it with the world, keep it private, tell your closest friends or even just your pet dog you’re owning it in your own way.
  • It’s perfectly ok to have a bad day. Actually, it’s expected. After all, this is a journey and there will bumps along the way. Some will be heartbreaking, some will change the direction you’re moving in, some will make you question whether it’s worth it at all.

Whether you can relate to the content of this blog or not please remember that you have no idea what the person next to you is going through. That ‘bad day’ could be caused by anything and the way you react can determine whether or not that persons day is made a little easier or a little harder.

Strength comes in many different forms and I’m incredibly proud of the people who found the courage to share their stories with me. I’ll say it loud and I’ll say it proud, fertility is not a taboo subject.

Oh and while I’m here, thank you to the woman on the train who gave me a face wipe and a sympathetic smile. Not all heroes wear capes.

It’s funny really…

It’s funny really…

You spend the majority of your teens/early twenties worrying about getting pregnant but when you’re ready to get knocked up it suddenly becomes incredibly difficult.

Maybe you popped a pill daily? Perhaps you took an injection in your butt or the coil in your hoo-haa? Or if you’re like me, you got three implants, (one resulting in surgery after it was broken in half during a bit of rough and tumble) and struggled with the side effects but put up with them for 14 years because you desperately didn’t want to create a little mini-me.

But life changes. All of a sudden you find yourself settled down, married, with a little house and two beautiful cats and the topic of babies crops up. Your implant gets removed, you whip your coil out whilst sipping on wine in the bath (true story) and cancel your pill prescription to prepare your body hormonally.

And then…

Nothing happens.

It’s a tough gig. 20 months of maybes quickly turning in to 20 months of not this time. Promising friends and family that you’re waiting for the right time and it’ll happen when it happens but you’re ok about it. Listening to countless people tell you that it will happen when you least expect it. Telling you to relax and enjoy married life. Everyone means well, you know that deep inside so you smile, agree and quickly change the subject.

I know I’m not alone on this journey. I know there are other people who are on a very similar path but for some reason we just don’t openly talk about it. I wanted to start this blog mainly so I have somewhere to document the highs and the lows but also so we can open up a dialogue about fertility, infertility and the bits in between.

Maybe it’ll happen next month, maybe it’ll be next year or maybe it’ll be in 5 years time. Maybe it’ll happen naturally, maybe we’ll need help along the way or maybe we’ll have to think of other ways of extending our family. Either way I’m ready for this. Together we will tackle this head on.

Rest assured, I’m okay. I promise…