You may have seen posts all over social media about Time To Talk and how important it can be to talk to someone or listen to someone about problems. They say a problem shared is a problem halved or something to that effect. Well this is mine, it’s not written for sympathy or pity but I do need some support, whether you have been through this yourself or not, it is quite hard for me to write this out so I apologise if it isn’t superbly written (when are my posts ever that well written ha ha!) But here is what I struggle to talk about out loud.
I’m one of the many women that has an eating disorder but it doesn’t fit nicely into a box like anorexia and bulimia. I am in between I guess, I binge and starve although I should say I used to binge and starve as even though everyday is a struggle, as an adult I’ve beaten this twice. But the voice is always there, I just usually am stronger than it. I also have a form of Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) where what I see in the mirror isn’t a true representation of myself. I usually can make myself feel better by taking photos, don’t ask me why but I always seem to see myself as slimmer or as I really am in a photo, maybe because its static I don’t know, but I freak out less so it’s a win in my books.
I started to become concerned about the voice becoming louder when I went to see the dietitian a couple of months back and I had gained more weight than I guess I had expected. Now I know fine well that being pregnant this is a good thing unless I put on a ridiculous amount which then becomes a problem. I cried my eyes out and really started to panic about it, this wasn’t an issue when I was pregnant with Ra-Ra I loved getting a bump and putting a bit of weight on without thinking constantly about how I need to lose it.
It didn’t help I guess that my appetite just disappeared and the pregnancy nausea hit me harder rather than easing off. This just made everything in my head feel worse. I have tried really hard to eat and eat properly but I ended up just spending a shocking amount on takeaways that most of them ended up being crap too which is always so disappointing. I was honestly lucky if I managed one meal a day and when I did I felt like I was doing well. I’ve been slowly trying to reduce the takeaways and upping the more nutritious homemade food, but between the smell of meat turning my stomach and not always having the energy to cook it hasn’t been easy.
The baby seems to be quite happy though, beating the bejeebus out of my insides and has a nice strong heartbeat. So the baby is happily going through whatever stores I have of the good stuff but I need to make sure I have enough too an my dietitian is helping me with that.
I have asked for help from my dietitian and she is doing what she can to help me by letting me try different re-hydration drinks and build up milkshakes (not that I have received them yet) I am quite lucky that my dietitian is easy to talk too. My dietitian referred me to a gastroenterologist to see if there was anything he could offer, he has changed my anti sickness tablets so hopefully they will help with the pregnancy side of things and upped my loperamide to help when I actually drink enough. During his appointment I started to freak out again as I had put on 2kg which in I don’t know 2/3 weeks isn’t much really, but he was really nice about me panicking and tried to reassure me that the weight gain is good, my main upset though was he asked me what weight am I happy at and right now I don’t think that is something I should be concerned with. The internet only seems to have support for the main types of eating disorders rather than the in between ones, however it does seem to have a good bit of information on pregnancy and BDD. My midwife only seems to be bothered with my mental health ie depression and keeps offering CBT which I don’t want to do as it has never helped me in the past.
I have asked to not know what is on the scales because of this issue, I very rarely weigh myself at home now which I think is a win. I have asked the healthcares and nurses weighing me not to tell me but some of them tell me anyway or actually ask me to read the scales for them! 00Steve listens or does the male equivilent and I don’t really blame him to be honest because other than listening and buying in foods I fancy when he can he can’t do much else. That and it must be so god damn annoying listen to me talk about it. I find this voice really hard to fight at the moment and its really starting to piss me off. I would like to think that as long as I don’t see those damn numbers on the scale and I can still feel my baby kicking away and getting stronger I know I can beat this.
Having my ileostomy doesn’t help with the better choices as not everything likes to digest properly and I can’t risk getting a blockage as whilst pregnant they couldn’t operate if it was a bad one. With Ra-Ra I craved salad which helped keep my weight within normal ranges. This photo shows me at around the same sort of gestation with both pregnancies, the one on the right (I’m in Cominio just off the coast of Malta there) I must be about 3kg heavier than I am now yet I don’t think I look much different. However in my head that’s a good thing that the bumps are relatively the same size for the same amount of weeks. I had sickness with Ra-Ra but by the point in the photo it had eased off and my appetite was returning so I can only hope that it’s going to do the same this time!
Has anyone ostomy or not had an eating disorder of any kind whilst pregnant? If so how did you cope? Do you know of any good support out there? I don’t expect a perfect pregnancy but would appreciate having one without a nasty little voice trying to sabotage my chances regardless. What do you feel like having someone to talk too would be helpful?