My Post-IVF Body

First of all, thank you, thank you, thank you! to everyone who offered to send me your leftover meds.  I appreciate the generosity of this community more than I can say.  The foreign doctor has apparently had a change of heart and is willing to at least give us an appointment, so we’ll see if we can get the rest of what we need in Hubby’s homeland.

But today, I want to talk about my body.  My stupid, fucked-up body.  Not that I need to tell you, but be prepared for TMI.

Contrary to what seems to be a common side-effect of fertility drugs, I have not gained much weight from any of the hormones I’ve injected, stuck on, or ingested into my body.  I weighed one pound more at my baseline ultrasound for our FET than I did for the initial IVF.  This can just as likely be explained by my mood-eating and complete lack of motivation for any physical activity since boarding the IVF crazy train as by the hormones themselves.

However, since being off the meds, my body has apparently been having a hard time resuming equilibrium.  My face has been a total disaster of breakout after breakout–the likes of which I haven’t seen since high school.  Not that my skin is ever totally clear.  I’ve been subjected to the curse of adult acne well into my 30s.  But this is a constant battle, and it’s not limited to just my face.  I’ve got acne on my neck, shoulders, chest–even my scalp and behind my ears!  It’s gross.

On top of that, as of this weekend, I’ve also had a yeast infection.  Back when I first went on the pill, this was by far the worst side-effect I experienced, and it took many, many months for my body to get back to a yeast-free normal.  Now, I fear I’m back on what will be a cycle of hormone-induced candida that is incredibly difficult to eradicate.  I’ve tried everything from over-the-counter to prescription meds to plain ol’ yogurt.  I prefer to use a “natural” remedy, so this time around, I bought what I could find on the shelves at Who.le Paycheck and am keeping my fingers crossed.  I’d hate for this bastard infection to ruin my upcoming vacation.

Speaking of which, Hubby leaves tomorrow morning, and he keeps asking me if I plan to bring swimwear when I join him next week.  Although I haven’t gained much weight, I am feeling rather flabby, and would prefer to stay away from the beach, swimming pool, or any other location where I’m not fully clothed.  Preferably wearing jeans to hide my sickly white legs.  But I know it’s going to be hot.  I should plan to show some skin.  Time to break out the self-tanner, I guess.

This gets better, right?  This my-body-can-do-no-right self-loathing?  Please, tell me this gets better.

14 thoughts on “My Post-IVF Body

  1. ugh i totally feel you. unlike you, i have gained 20 lbs since diagnosis. and like you, i loathe my body. that is honestly one of the main reasons i signed up for a half marathon. not to lose weight. but to set a goal and work toward it and show myself that my body is awesome and can do awesome things, even if it cant make a baby. i am not saying you need to do this. but i do hope you find something that gives you a boost of confidence, so you can hit the beach! no such thing as too much fake tanner either!

  2. I think it DOES get better, but maybe not while you’re smack-dab in the middle of TTC. I’m not proud to say that I hated my body and myself the whole time. Though, perhaps your therapist might be able to help you get a grip on and some perspective on the self-loathing? And I’m so sorry about the acne (which I’ve struggled with since my early 20s, never in my teens!) and certainly the yeast infections. I’ve been battling YI’s since we started trying to conceive this baby and they’re miserable. Monistat has worked for me, but I know there are some more resistant forms of the infection that Monistat just can’t touch. I hope you find something that helps and can enjoy your upcoming vacation, regardless!

  3. Daryl-

    Break out the self tanner and bring your sexiest bikini! I know you don’t feel your best right now, but who knows, maybe when you get away from all of this- and you are with hubby in his home country you may just surprise yourself!

    Glad that you have developed a new plan- you are an inspiration.


  4. Man, I know what it’s like to feel like crap about yourself because of infertility. I gained a more weight than I was comfortable with last year since I just couldn’t bust out of my depression over our failed cycles to work out. This winter we went to Mexico and I was really upset with how my body looked…but I have to say that sun, sand and surf cures a lot! I bought some cheap new bikinis in larger sizes and just went with it. And happily (sadly?), I realized that no one was really looking at me or judging me as much as I was. It gets better. I promise.

  5. Its 3:36am here and we haven’t spoken in a while. Not since my baby died in November. Ive been a wreck, not sure if I’m strong enough to continue and not sure if I have the balls to give up.

    Ive done 2 halfhearted cycles which i knew would fail. And they did.

    Then I was diagnosed with breast cancer Wednesday May 15 2013. My life broke in half. Its DCIS which means Ductal Carcinoma in situ. Stage 1. But because my mother has had breast cancer twice, and 2 of her sisters died from breast cancer and one from ovarian cancer my risks are over a 90% chance of re occurrence. So a lumpectomy is OK, but 2 or 3 years later I will need another one. And eventually it will kill me.

    Unless I have bilateral mastectomies with possible reconstruction. From my pathology Ive been told that the meds Ive taken for IVF have accelerated it. It shows clearly in both my estrogen and progesterone receptors

    Yes. The stage is very early but because of my history and my IVF issues but the recommendation is that I get a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction. Both breasts removed.

    It also means the end of all possible children for me. In a year or two they want to take my ovaries as well.

    Its a lot to grieve. Never having any kids ever, and the loss of the parts that make you a woman.

    As usual I have no support so I guess Im telling you this to get your IVF body in a bathing suit and try to be brave. No one is going to judge you.

    Because you could be me. Dont let that happen Daryl. Dont become me.

    • Jeanette, I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this devastating news on top of everything else you’ve been through. Please know that, even though we’ve lost touch a bit the past few months, I’m always here for you. You can email me any time. I’m actually going to send you an email later today. Hugs to you, my dear.

    • Jeanette so sorry you’re having to face all that. This is a temporary chapter in your life and you will get through it, and yes it’s hell on earth. Sending you lots of positive vibes and prayers.

    • This breaks my heart…I don’t know you, but I don’t think I’m alone in saying you DO have support. It makes me cry to think you might not have anyone near you, but already the online community is rising to support you. I hope you’ll reach out to that community. No one should have to go through something like this alone. I am so sorry, so sorry that you are facing cancer and so desperately sorry of what that means for your fertility. Nothing anyone can say will make it better. But please know that people care about you and are praying for you.

    • I’m so, so sorry, Jeanette. There are no words. My mother died of breast cancer. I know the pain and the struggle and the heartbreak that comes with a cancer diagnosis. It’s fucking hard and I hate that you have to go through this after struggling to build a family. It’s just not fair. You’re in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Jeanette, I am sorry to hear your news. I wish there were words to make your pain bearable, but sadly, none exist. Please know that you do have the support of many from this community. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  6. Girl, pack up that bathing suit and wear it proudly. You’ve been through a hell of a lot, and though no on else will know by looking at you, your body is a symbol of strength, determination and hope. HUGS

  7. Ooh, I try so hard to remind myself that my body is continuing to look after me even when sometimes I don’t look after it…(because I’d also fall into the category of mood eating and feeling too damned depressed for physical activity). But yeah, I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t some self-loathing. And I used to be someone with a really healthy body image.

    For what it’s worth though, I’m with the ladies above – swallow your fears and get into that bathing suit, because this is your *holidays*, you deserve it, and there are some fine beaches where you’re going my dear!

  8. Daryl I share your YI pain – I’m battling a third flare up in the past month and I haven’t even been on meds since Feb. Isn’t it pure torture?! If you find something that works long-term please do let me know. And I echo all the other girls thoughts – jump into that bikini and hit the beach! It’s amazing how good you will feel splashing in the surf with your hubby. Hugs!

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