Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Exciting news!

I know that I am long over due for an update on my life and how I am going post recovery, but I have been waiting until it was safe for me to share my exciting news with you all. I am currently 13 weeks and 4 days pregnant, which means my dream of becoming a mum is finally coming true. I found out I was pregnant on the 16th of August, two months ago now, after trying to conceive for 12 months. I was starting to worry that I wasn't going to be able to fall pregnant naturally and knew that this could have had something to do with my eating disorder history, but thank goodness it all worked out for us. I had my 12 week scan last Friday and I thought I was only 11 weeks and 6 days pregnant but the baby was actually measuring a week ahead which was really exciting. Although it was too early to tell the gender of our baby, everything looked perfect and our bub is super active!

As long as I can remember I have wanted to be a mum. It has always been the most important thing to me and all I ever really cared about achieving in life. At the end of the day, I didn't care what job I ended up with or whether I ever owned my own house or anything like that, all I cared about was having a family. Wanting to become a mum one day was actually one of the things that got me through my recovery, as I knew that by not looking after my body I would be decreasing my chances of ever being able to have children. I also wanted to be a healthy and mentally stable mum, if I ever was lucky enough to be one. I had been with my partner for a while and he knew how much I longed to be a mum, so together we decided to start trying. That was in August 2018 and at the time I wasn't in the best place mentally. I wouldn't say my eating disorder was back in full force but my relationship with food was not healthy and I was practicing some pretty unhealthy behaviours. Trying to fall pregnant helped me to stop those behaviours however, as I knew that I needed to be as healthy as possible in order to fall pregnant and be the best mum possible.

So as the months went by, I got healthier and healthier but I still wasn't falling pregnant, which was really disheartening. I was trying so hard to stay healthy to optimise my chances of falling pregnant but every month I didn't fall pregnant left me feeling like all my hard work was for nothing. Although I said I was trying to fall pregnant, I was still drinking quite a bit of alcohol some weekends which, looking back, I honestly think was hindering my chances of conceiving. I got to the start of July this year and I was totally fed up and depressed about not being able to fall pregnant. I worried I would never be able to fall pregnant and my GP told me that if I still wasn't pregnant in a months time, then she would refer me to a fertility specialist. I stopped drinking all together as I wanted to make sure I wasn't hindering my chances of falling pregnant. I also started to follow a low FODMAP diet as I had been suffering from really bad IBS in the months leading up to this time. Following this diet really helped me to feel better and completely stopped my IBS symptoms and I was also exercising quite a lot at the time, so actually lost a bit of weight unintentionally. And in that month, I also fell pregnant!

Finding out I was finally pregnant was the most exciting thing ever. Not only had I always wanted a baby more than anything, but not being able to fall pregnant for so long just made me long for it even more. Shortly after finding out I was pregnant, the anxiety did hit. Everywhere I looked online, there were stories about miscarriages and really scary miscarriage rates. I felt like I was bound to be one of the unlucky ones it would happen to, but luckily it didn't! My partner and I told our immediate family and best friends quite early but waited until we were cleared at our 12 week scan before announcing it to anyone else. Since being pregnant, all of my eating disorder thoughts and tendencies have gone out the window as nothing matters to me, except the health of our little baby. I have already regained the weight I lost before falling pregnant and some, and am giving into all of my pregnancy cravings. I have seriously eaten more chocolate, cake and sweet biscuits in the last 3 months then I have in the last 10 years! Its like when I was refeeding myself all over again. I always thought that the only thing that would ever completely cure me from my eating disorder was falling pregnant and having a family and I can honestly say that for me, this is 110% true. For the first time in my life I am not restricting myself from eating what I truly want to eat and gaining weight isn't something that scares me at all.

In saying this, I am not recommending people out there with eating disorders should try and fall pregnant so they can recover, as this is often not the case. In fact, falling pregnant has been known to make many peoples eating disorders a lot worse and subsequently they put the health of their babies at risk. But I always knew that this would not happen to me, as my maternal instinct is far stronger then my eating disorder instinct ever has been and ever will be. My mum was exactly the same. She had issues with food in her later teen and early adult years and only truly ate well and started looking after herself properly for the first time when she fell pregnant for the first time, with my older brother. All in all, I hope that this gives hope to others out there who are currently suffering that there really is life after an eating disorder. Recovery is a long and hard road but the fight is well worth it when you get the end and get to live the life you have always dreamed about.