Living in Oxfordshire, we’re lucky enough to have the John Radcliffe teaching hospital on our doorstep. The John Radcliffe has an excellent worldwide reputation in practically all areas of medicine, and today I visited the Oxford Fertility Unit (OFU) with my husband.
If you didn’t already know, we’ve not had much luck conceiving (I’m the oldest of 9 children and I love kids. Everyone who knows me, knows that babies, toddlers, children and even teenagers make me feel all mushy and mumsy). Over the last three years I’ve had cancer, vaginismus, VVS and then been diagnosed with PCOS. Oh, and don’t forget to add this to my fibromyalgia and underactive thyroid. It’s not been good. It’s been draining and emotionally hard. To top it off my husband also has some problems and so after a long wait, we were finally referred to the OFU.
Today, I’ve been told that we qualify for ONE cycle of IVF on the NHS. Honestly, I can’t express how excited, nervous, shocked, anxious and worried I am. I’m so grateful to get this opportunity but I know that if it fails, then we have to find the money to privately fund subsequent cycles and at £3300 a cycle – it’s not cheap.
The OFU has the highest success rates in the country: approximately 50%. A flip of a coin…let that sink in. Our chance of a baby could fall on heads or tails. That’s quite scary.
The doctor was lovely. She’s pre-signed all our forms and has told us to submit them when we’re ready. There is no waiting list apparently, and the entire course takes between 6-8weeks. I will have epipen style injections to take every day, eggs removed, fertilised and then incubated before being popped in to see if my body will accept them.
With this in mind, I want to give this one shot the best possible chance of succeeding. I don’t want to regret rushing in if the treatment fails and be thinking, ‘if only I was thinner. If only I wasn’t so tired. If only I wasn’t so unhealthy’, and so I’ve decided that before I go any further, I need to lose weight. My BMI currently has me at 31. This makes me obese and I don’t want to be obese any more. I would like to lose between 20-28lb before I start treatment and fall within the normal/overweight category.
I discussed this with the doctor today, and she agrees that with my underactive thyroid losing weight traditionally is exceptionally hard. THIS IS NOT AN EXCUSE. IT IS A MEDICAL FACT. My metabolism runs a lot slower than the average person and so I eat less than an average person to compensate. She has suggested that we increase my thyroxine for starters and for me to go on a diet that works for me. She is as keen as we are to make sure that our ONE funded chance is a success.
The diet that works for me is Actidiet.
If you don’t know much about it, it’s very similar to Lighter Life/ Cambridge Diet, but instead of just shakes and liquid food, you eat real meals. It’s low carb and high protein and works on the basis of a ketogenic diet. Last summer I lost 20lb and I’ve only put 5lb of that back on**. I had to stop due to the cost which is around £40 a week (£160 a month). Now, at the moment I spend £100 a month to feed BOTH of us and I don’t think I can afford Actidiet on top of normal food.
However I am going to try and order enough for 2/3 weeks and help kickstart this weight loss, and that’s where the Paypal donate button comes in on the right hand side of my website. If you could spare £1,£2, whatever to help me get a foot on the weight loss ladder, I would be eternally grateful. I’m going to be sharing every painful step with you all, and documenting my weight loss and measurements as I go. You’ve all been so supportive so far that I feel I owe it to you all!
I know some of you will think it’s easy: eat less, exercise more, but when you have my health problems and metabolic issues, I promise you that it’s not that simple. There’s a lot more at work and to dismiss my protestations would just be ignorant. I WANT to be healthier and I WANT to weigh less. Please consider helping. If I wasn’t desperate, I wouldn’t ask.
Without Actidiet, it takes me a month to lose 1-2lb. That means that (being optimistic) it would take 10 months before I can lose this weight on my own, possibly longer. Our referral is valid for 6 months and if we don’t start the treatment in 6 months then we have to be re-referred and start the process all over again. Being 31, I don’t want to leave it too long.
Current Stats: 178lb
Goal Weight: 150lb
(I will add a widget to the page when I get a chance).
I’ll also be using MyFitnessPal (user ID: SammyHKSmith) to document exercise/calorie intake when not actidieting etc
Before writing this blog post, a thought popped into my head: if I can’t afford Actidiet, can I afford a baby? The answer of course will be yes. This year we’re financially catching up following the mess of last year (new boiler, new car, business acquisitions and then my husband moving jobs and being unemployed briefly). While no-one can predict the future, I’m pretty confident we’ll be more settled in a few months.
I’m not a proud person. I’m very much ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’. So, in advance, I do thank you all and I PROMISE to keep you updated!
**The weight loss last year was to help with conception. I have been trying hard, and will continue to push forward.