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Weight Gain after Pregnancy, Stress over Sick Daughter - 5Yrs. Post Op

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My name is Andrea from New Jersey. had my VSG done in September of 2012. At my largest, I was 250lbs. In less than a year post op, I went down to 165lbs. I felt that I looked good! I could fit into so many cute outfits without feeling ashamed of how I felt in my body. Health-wise, it was a bit more complicated. Between my “water-nausea”, not being able to drink and eat at the same time, needing to take Vitamins everyday, feeling sick after enthusiastically eating my favorite foods, and then, of course getting gall stones and needing my gallbladder removed in 2013, my VSG came with a lot of mixed feelings.

Nevertheless, I was happy to feel like I looked good and have the energy that came along with that. Fast forward to February of 2017, I find out I’m pregnant with my first child. At that point, I had been able to maintain a steady 165-170 lbs. At 36 weeks, I went into labor and subsequently had my daughter a month before her due date. On the day I gave birth, I weighed 200lbs. I thought it was normal. The few days following the birth of my baby girl, I actually went down to 180lbs. Not exactly where I wanted to be, but at the time I thought my body would go back to 165-170lbs. ....Boy was I wrong. My daughter was born in September of 2017. In the winter months, specifically January, February and March of 2018 my daughter was diagnosed with RSV, Influenza Type A, and Metapneumovirus, respectively. My husband and I spent many days in the hospital with her.... stressing, worrying, sad, not getting paid time off (in my case), and, of course.....eating. During this time is when I believe my body began to turn on me.

Today, I weigh 209lbs. I went from a size 8 to a 14, I feel that I have less energy, and I know that I’m unhealthy. I seem to have regained an almost insatiable hunger fueled by my constant anxiety and stress. Not to say that I didn’t suffer from these things before, but honestly, I don’t know what has changed exactly that doesn’t allow my body to metabolize quicker and keep the pounds off. I need help, but I’m scared of the actual work of exercising and eating better, because even though in theory, it sounds pretty simple, let’s be honest, those things require a great amount of inner strength and discipline. Just trying to figure out if I can actually do that creates a significant amount of anxiety, stress and, thus ultimately makes me want to eat. That’s the way I find comfort, the way I shut up that voice on the inside.

Prior to having my baby girl, I could literally eat whatever the eff’ I wanted, and if I made a minuscule change to my diet, I would lose weight immediately. That’s no longer the case. Nowadays, I feel more like I used to pre-op, and that makes me feel very depressed. I don’t fit in like 95% of my old clothes and I’m slowly but surely needing bigger and bigger sizes.

A few months ago, I followed up with my bariatric surgeon to see if there was anything that could be done. He prescribed Topiramate, so I wouldn’t get hungry at night. (It doesn’t work). My other doc prescribed Zoloft (for depression), Bupropion (for weight loss and depression), and Klonopin (for anxiety). Nothing’s really changed.

I want to have another baby (hopefully) in a year or two, and I have strongly toyed with the idea of a revision immediately after that. For now though, I don’t feel mentally strong enough to change my circumstances, but I pray that side of me will eventually change, along with my circumstances. Blessings to you all in your journey too 😌

Any kind advice and/or your own stories welcome.


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Posted (edited)

I'm so sorry for all your struggles. How is your daughter doing now?

I can't imagine how difficult maintenance is during and after a pregnancy. I was well past that stage when I had my wls, but I can understand how hard it was to stay on a healthy diet with a sick baby. I had a bad habit of giving birth to the biggest, healthiest-looking, critically-ill babies in the NICU. Of my four children, I only got to hold one of them the day they were born.

You need support badly. It's not selfish of you. You can't take care of others if you're totally depleted. If you don't have access to a therapist, try a priest or pastor or check with local mental health clinics. Some treat people for free or on a sliding scale if income is an issue. Google is your friend here. I wish you good luck.

Edited by Orchids&Dragons

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Depression and anxiety are two things that can not only derail our weight loss success but they also undermine our general health. Despite getting WLS and succeeding for a long time you are facing a health crisis due to your depression and anxiety. I have always been a person that family and friends come to for advice and comfort. When I experienced something in my life that caused me anxiety I had no one to turn to. That was until I met a 90 plus WW2 veteran when I was volunteering at a veterans event. What an amazing person he is. I am able to talk to him about my problems and he seems to always have the best advice or a perspective that I didn't see. By being able to talk honestly with someone and "lay bare my soul" I was able to begin the healing process. I suspect that you too need a person to talk to. Is there someone that you know who can offer you unfiltered advice? It's important not to bottle up your feelings and to let them out. Depression and anxiety are silent unlike a heart attack, they creep up on you without you knowing and then you're in their grasp. Fight back, find someone who will listen and offer advice and most of all a sympathetic ear. The one person that I thought would help was my therapist, unfortunately I see her for 45 minutes every two weeks and I needed more counseling than she could offer. Attack the depression and anxiety and you will overcome the weight gain. I wish you and your family the best.

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