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Monday, August 10, 2009

And now...we're expecting!

The biggest development in my life this past year has also turned out to be the biggest surprise. After we were told it wouldn't happen, couldn't happen, Brian and I found out that I was expecting in early June. This has been the ultimate answer to prayer for both of us. We knew the hows and whens of becoming parents would materialize in God's timing; we just didn't expect God to be so agreeable.

Longtime readers of this column when it first appeared in the Tracy Press (long before I even knew what Blogger was), know that my desire to become a mom is what originally prompted me to consider WLS. Back then, I didn't want to be thin; I thought I was healthy and happy; I just wanted to have a baby. My doctor at the time told me I had obesity-related infertility and that surgical weight loss was my best chance at regaining my ability to get pregnant.

Since that time, I have received conflicting information from medical providers. Visible signs of fertility took a long time to materialize for me. Docs attributed it at first to the trauma of having Roux-en-Y gastric-bypass. Then they attributed it to the rapid weight loss. Then I had a bowel obstruction and yet another traumatic abdominal surgery. I was told my body was in shock, that it had been through a lot and it needed time to heal. After a year of healing, questions of whether I was ever fertile at all began to surface. Lab results were no help. One batch would show normal ovulatory function. Another would show none. It was an emotional roller coaster that I soon grew weary from.

The idea of finding love again after divorce was hard enough, but with questionable fertility, it seemed pointless. It's not exactly first-date appropriate conversation, but it's not fair to string a guy along if you're aware of information that might change his opinion of you. So I didn't date. Avoidance seemed the most painless solution.

And then I met Brian and that all changed. I went from "not dating" to "head over heels" in what seemed like the blink of an eye. We had similar histories, similar backgrounds, similar values and similar priorities. It was like coming home after a long journey through the wilderness. It was warm, safe and reassuring. No surprise that our love blossomed rapidly.

And now we're going to be parents, and we're so excited we can hardly stand ourselves. Our friends are thrilled; our families are thrilled. Did I mention that we are thrilled?

The ultrasound shown above was taken in late June and show the baby as little more than a kidney bean with a flashing pulse. My next ultrasound will be in September. In the meantime, I'm focused on a healthy pregnancy.

We WLS moms are a special sort and have to be particularly attentive to our bodies during pregnancy. My hemoglobin levels are good and I still respond well to my iron supplements, but I can't be caught off-guard. I have other vitamin levels to be mindful of, and reactive hypoglycemia is still a tricky thing to manage.

I'm confident, however, that I'm in good hands. My family doctor has delivered a number of babies from post-WLS moms and has a solid record of successes. My health concerns don't alarm her, which means they don't have to alarm me either. The pregnancy is considered normal by all standards, and I'm enjoying the experience.