A year ago today I was running the Boston Marathon. I was super fit. I was happy. I was confident. Thinking back to this day a year ago, it does NOT feel like yesterday. It feels like that was an eternity ago. I don’t even recognize who I was back then. I feel different in every possible way.
When months and months went by sans period after going off BCPs, a lot of people (my Mom, Google, my acupuncturist, my new IF therapist, etc) suggested it was because I was currently/had been working out too much and needed to gain weight.
At my thinnest during training I weighed 118 pounds. Now, a year later, I weigh 135. (And I feel every pound I’ve gained….the love handles and bigger breasts….all the stuff you’re supposed to bemoan about pregnancy. Oh well.) I’m not sure if you can tell, but I’ve had quite an evolution with working out, even since I started this blog. I still run for endorphins and to de-stress and so I can eat two cheeseburgers in one weekend if I want to (like I did this weekend!), but I’m muuuuuuch less Type A about it. Now, if I miss a day or don’t feel like working out, I don’t, um, sweat it. Instead of feeling like a run has to be 5 miles long to “count,” I am now totally fine running for 15 or 20 minutes with my hubs or by myself. I haven’t been this lax about working out since I was in college.
It’s hard to know what those years of intense exercise have “done” to me fertility-wise because I was taking BCPs and getting regular periods the whole time. By the time I was off the pill, my exercise had gone down to running five or six days a week and lifting a few times a week. A lot more than the average person, but not much for me.
Dr. K, who hubs and I finally meet with tomorrow afternoon (cue the dropping-stomach and nerves), actually specializes in eating disorders and extreme exercise. I have never had an eating disorder. But I think if you do endurance events (over and over again) like I have, that counts as extreme exercise, so I welcome her opinions and thoughts about how my treatment might need to be tweaked given my history.
I’ve been doing a lot of research online (yes, always working toward my Google PhD) and some women who have extreme exercise in their pasts also have chronically low LH levels. I don’t know if I have this, but I do know my LH has never been high enough to trigger a positive OPK, even back in October when I “borderline” ovulated. For that reason, some REs give these women a FSH + LH injectable (like Menopur), instead of a straight-up FSH inject (like Gonal-F). I definitely want to hear her thoughts on that.
Blaming my infertility on running and triathlons hurts because there’s nothing I can do to take them back. But, there is something oddly appealing about being able to say, “Okay, THIS is why I’m going through this.” Does that make any sense? Those experiences were wonderful and made me who I am today, so I bristle at the thought of regretting them. On the other hand: I truly do regret them. They were ways to fill my time while I was waiting for hubs to be ready to have kids. They were not necessary.
On Friday afternoon I heard about some news about a woman who is an Olympian and actually came in THIRD PLACE at the Boston Marathon a year ago today. I am pretty much obsessed with her and have been for a while. She’s beautiful, down-to-earth, intelligent, and SMOKING FAST. She also was skeletor thin, had no body fat and ran 120+miles/week. She took time off her running career in September to start a family….and she’s already four-months pregnant. I just….kind of can’t believe that if I over-exercised and it’s the whole reason I can’t ovulate, that this person who runs for a LIVING, and has been beating up her body with exercise since she was a middle-schooler, could get pregnant within a few months of trying.
Every one is different. The body is a mysterious thing. Yada yada yada.
What’s wrong with me? If running and exercise didn’t do this to me, what did? Why do I even have to know? What does it matter?
Please fix me, Dr. K.