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Monthly Archives: June 2014

PCOS Pop Quiz:

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Moon Craters? Or an ultrasound of my ovaries?

Since getting pregnant, staying pregnant, birthing a child, and gradually nursing my body back to some semblance of normalcy, the thought of ovulation or my periods has not crossed my mind for almost 18 months. Admittedly, it was only as I started to get a full night’s sleep that the musings of what having a second child might be like started to creep slowly into my mind. It started when I came across an errant onesie stuffed in the back of Shira’s drawer. Oh, errant onesies….you are a mind fuck. It was a newborn size, and the thought that Shira had actually fit into it at one point made me pick it up and sniff at it longingly.  This is what the passage of time does to you when you’re a mom. You forget that you were a sore, bleary eyed confused mess at the time that your child was actually wearing that onesie, and somehow your brain convinces itself that everything was soft lighting and baby coo’s in those early days of holding her in my arms.

As my 2 loyal followers can attest, my PCOS-riddled ovaries have always been clunkers. Growing up, there would often be times I wouldn’t get a period for 6 months. The year I went off birth control (and started this blog) I didn’t ovulate for a full year. Ultrasounds indicated upwards of 30 cysts on each ovary. It was only after taking three rounds of Clomid that I conceived. Round One of 50mg Clomid was a dud and did nothing, Round Two of 100mg I ovulated and got my period, and Round Three I got Shira.

For me, the when, why where and how’s of ovulation and pregnancy don’t add up to normal questions about a general range of time I can expect my fertile window, or when I will get a period. The entire process is fraught with anxiety, frustration, and truthfully, scary indications that there is something wrong with my body. Not getting a period is not something I’m happy about, and it really irks me when other women who have never battled with PCOS comment on how lucky I am to not have to deal with bleeding every month. They are speaking out of ignorance, I know….but I just wish more people knew that “not getting your period” is actually a symptom of a much bigger problem that can have long term effects on my body and my health–insulin resistance, high cholesterol, and heart disease are also more likely in women who “don’t get a period”. Personally, I’ll take a bleeding vagina over death by heart attack, thanks.

Anyhow–I’m writing with news to report. A couple of months ago, about 8 months post partum, I got a weird sort of brown blood period that lasted on and off for over a week. I didn’t think much of it, except to note that it most likely wasn’t ovulatory, and I could pretty well assume I wouldn’t see another period for at least a year, if my track record proved correct. Then, about a month later, I had another weird period that lasted over a week of sporadic bleeding. Again, I chalked it up to coincidence, but this time,I started to feel those familiar yearnings to understand my cycle….I started to remember how it felt to be back pre-pregnancy, yearning to finally get a grip on what was going on with my body. I banished those thoughts from my mind.

Until around 3 weeks later.

I started noticing what I thought was EWCM when I wiped. I laughed. Clearly, this was my body’s form of some sick joke. I fully expected it to be a fluke. But the next day, there was even more. And the day after that, it was all like:

So. Haha. Very funny, body. You expect me to believe I am ovulating. On my own. What a riot. Right around the day that the EWCM subsided, I dusted off the math on my luteal phase which is usually 12 days on the dot. I counted forward on the calendar and came up with tomorrow–Thursday the 12th,  as the date in which I would get my period IF I happened to have ovulated which I haven’t done on my own in over 3 years (prior to starting birth control).

Today, (Wednesday) I went to the bathroom all “ho hum”. Wiped. And saw a massive quantity of blood on the toilet paper. “Fuck. Hemorrhoids are at it again.” I thought. Wiped the butt. Nothing. And then,

VAGINA hemorrhoids.

Or, as I like to call it:

MY PERIOD!!!!!

Sorry, Picard.  I’m in shock.

This month, I ovulated on my own. I fucking ovulated. I have no idea how I did it, but I’m proud.

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Getting real

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Welp. It’s official. My last attempt at weight loss ended almost exactly where I began. After three weeks of diligent calorie counting and staying within 1200-1400 calories a day, I experienced an initial weight loss, and then promptly gained back 5 pounds in the blink of an eye. My thyroid checked out as totally normal, so I don’t think that’s the problem. The problem is, I’m not 22 anymore and I had a baby–the sleep deprivation alone over the past 12 months has been enough to whack out my body for sure. But enough is enough. I’m 15 pounds heavier than I was when I got pregnant, and Shira is almost a year old. It’s time I outgrew my maternity pants. As much as I wanted to believe that I could lose weight on 3 pieces of cheesecake all day with no exercise, I found myself increasingly hungry, craving sugars and fats, and feeling bloated an exhausted at the end of the day….and, oh yeah, the whole weight gain thing. It sucks.

I think I mentioned in my last post that I had heard about this diet plan called 21 Day Fix. It’s a 21 Day plan that involves portion control, properly ratio-ed fats/proteins/carbs, and 6 days a week of 30 minutes of exercise. It is not a quick fix, and it’s not easy because every day takes a LOT of thought about what I’m eating, but since my “quick and easy” plan basically blew up in my face, I needed to try something different.  I began the diet plan yesterday, and decided that this blog would be a perfect forum to document my progress. I’ll also be posting my menu plans.

The diet portion of this plan gives you different colored containers for different food groups. Green=vegetables (it’s the biggest container), Purple= fruit, Red= protein, Yellow= starch, Blue= healthy fats, Orange= nuts and seeds, and you’re allowed a couple of teaspoons of peanut/nut butter throughout the day. You find out how many calories you need to take, and then the program gives you the amount of each container you need to eat per day. For me, I need to eat 3 green, 2 purple, 4 red, 1 blue, 1 orange, and 2 yellow, plus two teaspoons.

It sounds easy, but unless you’re content eating bland tupperwares filled with raw fruits, veggies, cheeses, eggs, and meats, you need to make recipes that have all of these foods in them, but still taste good. This is where the hours of food prep come in. Thus far, I’ve made roasted veggies, roasted sweet potato, egg and avocado salad, watermelon feta salad, tropical fruit salad with shredded coconut, homemade salad dressing, and oatmeal “cookies” made with oats and applesauce. I did most of this last night when Shira went to bed. It felt great to cook, but MAN. It’s  not easy.

The workout part of this plan is also challenging, but not as challenging as looking at my instructor:

Autumn Calabrese.

My new nemesis.

This woman is my age, has had a kid, and–wait for it–isn’t even annoying on the workout DVD’s. Argh!! I want to hate her, but she is making it so hard!!!

I took a before pic last night which was really difficult, actually. I haven’t been confronted with the way my body has changed post baby, and seeing the image was pretty shocking. I feel like I don’t even look like ME anymore.

Anyhow. That’s the report for now. I will post my measurement stats, my meal plan, and some recipes throughout the week. But for now, I’ll end with my starting weight:

141.6 pounds

Goal: 127 pounds