The WLS world is buzzing today.  And being the conformist that I am, you know that I’m going to add to it — right?  Cause I’m so meek and un-opnionated and all.  (you really should have put that drink down before reading that, eh?)

So one of our stars — Carnie Wilson — had her new show on last night.  I didn’t watch it.  No other reason than I was desperate for the silence.  To be honest, I’m not certain I get that channel anyway.  But after a day of two sick kids whining, a sick husband that I will not discuss too much in the blog because he may actually read this, and children’s programming droning on and on all day long, I longed for silence.  The TV was off as soon as the kids went to bed.  Not that I could have concentrated on a show because the kids did not actually go to sleep, just to bed.  Which is a misnomer as well since the toddler can get out of his bed and does not appreciate “bed time” as much as I do.

In any case, without having watched the show, I can still gather what happened on the show from all of the buzz.   Carnie has regained weight from her low weight after gastric bypass.  Considering her two pregnancies post RNY and her cross-addictions, her life in the spotlight, and all of the stress therein — not shocking.  Hell, I’ve been in her shoes for part of this, and so I get where she is.

Twice, actually.

And until you’ve been pregnant post RNY, don’t you dare condemn her.

Let me tell you something about post RNY pregnancy:  RNY rules go completely out the window.

RNYers are told to go protein first.  But when pregnant, you have to stay out of ketosis to avoid fetal brain damage.  So that sandwich?  Yeah, eat it.

RNYers are supposed to lose weight.  But when pregnant, you’re supposed to gain it.  So the scale is supposed to go up?  Wha?

And vitamins.  Really?  Who do you listen to?  The OB who has never had an RNY patient in their entire career?  The skinny nutritionist that is only going off book learning?  The surgeon who hasn’t had a nutrition class in ten years and is male (and thus has never had the hormones swimming through his veins that are making you want that doughnut from Krispy Kreme?).  Cause, well, each tells you something completely different and are completely contradicting each other.

How about that special level of hell called a glucose tolerance test that determines gestational diabetes?  50g of glucose in a slightly carbonated, traffic-cone orange syrupy-sweet liquid form that can reduce a hormonal RNYer into a fetal ball of hypoglycemic dumpage in ten minutes flat.  It’s great when our doctors guilt us into this test — “if you don’t do this, you’re putting your baby at risk” — and I wish I were kidding on that but yes I was told that very line.  This is the guilt trip I got by telling the doctor that I would NOT put myself through this I would be putting my baby at risk despite the fact that dumping and the severe reactive hypoglycemic reaction that I WOULD HAVE would maybe stress the baby and put the baby at risk.  Because telling a mother-to-be this is just what we should do, yes?

Each prenatal appointment had a scale — banishing my own did no good.  I cannot tell you how hard it is to see the scale go up.  And up.  And up more.  Knowing that it HAD to go up for the safety of the baby.  Knowing that I had to eat despite not really wanting to.  How many times I stared at my reflection in the mirror in horror — where normal mothers would stare in awe at their bellies I would be in disgust at the fat — because I didn’t get a cute baby belly — my skin just filled back out with fat.  It was ironic that when I was fat people thought I was pregnant and when I was pregnant people just thought I was fat.  Jeans I swore I’d never wear again, but had kept “just in case” were pulled back out and worn again.  Stores I swore I’d never walk back in?  Yeah, you guessed it.

I had horrible hypoglycemia with my first pregnancy.  To the tune of passing out every five minutes.  We couldn’t figure it out — until I added in a SERIOUS amount of simple carbs back into my life.  Guess what — they ARE addictive.  Do you know how hard it is to get those back out of your life after you’re told to rely on them to keep you upright for 9 months?  While trying to deal with all the hormones that come with pregnancy?  OMG my house was not a happy place to be after the baby came — detox off carbs AND post-partum hormones?  It’s a wonder I didn’t end up divorced.

The family

But all of this was mixed with happiness of having a child.  Knowing that I had this surgery that gave me the opportunity to have a baby.  If I had not had the surgery, there was a chance of not having a child.  I’ll never know since I never tried to get pregnant prior to surgery.

And then there’s the “after.”

Some women are lucky to lose all their pregnancy weight — and some even lost more than their pregnancy weight.  I wasn’t that lucky.  Sure, I lost some of it, but not all of it.  I wasn’t one of the lucky ones.  I had to work at it.  Even now, I’ve recently just lost all of my pregnancy weight from my first post op pregnancy.

The point is this — it’s easy to sit back and criticize and judge someone — especially someone who is out there in the spotlight.  But unless you’ve been in those shoes you have no idea what it’s like.  A post-op pregnancy is not like a standard pregnancy at all.  It bends, if not breaks WLS rules — and sometimes it’s really really hard to go back to those rules after almost a year off them.  It takes seven days to make a habit — so what happens in 40 weeks?

Carnie is one of us.  She has the same struggles as we all do, but we have one luxury that she doesn’t have — privacy.  Maybe she could choose to make her life a bit less public, but to some degree, her life will never be private given her past.  So let’s give her what we would all want for ourselves — support and compassion.  Cause who knows — maybe YOU would end up in the same position as she is in, despite saying “That will never be me.”

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6 Responses to “Reflections of a postop pregnancy. Or two.”

  1. MelissaF says:

    Thank you Andrea. <3

  2. Your words are very true! :] As a post-op RNY momma that got knocked up, I can testify that the rules go OUT THE WINDOW. Loved your post!

  3. hijofrizbe says:

    A+ on the post. And for giving me more reasons to pursue the being a mom post-op route.

  4. Carrie says:

    Hi, I am just starting my research and I wanted to let you know I appreciate your posting the information. I am printing it, and taking it to my doctor… I hope you don’t mind. I am his first WLS patient, and he appreciates all the papers I bring to him. I drop them off at his office before my appointment and he reads everyone before I get there. One of the reasons I like him so much, he loves to learn!

  5. Andrea says:

    That’s fine :-)

  6. Leza says:

    We are talking about having a baby. My biggest concern (aside from now being 35) is that I am a double shooter. My last pregnancy resulted in a “natural” conception of at least three embryos, one being unviable at 7 weeks. Four sacs, two viable babies, one visable but not moving and an empty fourth sac. I had a hard enough time getting in what I needed with the twin pregnancy. I don’t even KNOW how to begin to prepare myself for a possible multiple pregnancy post op AND over the age of 35. I’m glad you brought this up!!

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