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The Denise Rasley Success Story

I had my RNY gastric bypass surgery on October 7, 1998. One of the reasons I had the surgery was because I was infertile and wanted a baby. I was told that only if I lost weight would I have a chance because the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), which was making me infertile, was weight-based. So I took the chance. I was told I had to wait a year before attempting to get pregnant. So during that first post-operative year I took birth control. Which struck me as odd because I was after all, infertile.

Well, one thing I have learned (and surgeons can -- and should -- tell you this), fertility SKYROCKETS after surgery. It is imperative that you take precautions to avoid getting pregnant even in those situations where you think it is impossible due to female-related infertility. My pregnancy dated from October 20, 1999 -- 1 year and 13 days after surgery, but still more than the year my surgeon recommended. I can't stress enough how important it is to follow your surgeon's guidelines regarding pregnancy. When dealing with this aspect, you are not just talking about your own life. You are talking about a baby's life. Babies conceived too quickly after surgery, are in danger of high rates of miscarriage, birth defects, and lack of nutrition. Even if the baby does grab all the nutrition it needs, the mother may suffer. So wait the time your surgeon recommends.

My pregnancy was a normal pregnancy. By that I mean it was not high risk. I progressed normally and gained 18 pounds. If you wait the recommended time your pregnancy will not be high risk because of the surgery. And most post-op women, according to Bariatric Treatment Center, average a weight gain of 15 to 20 pounds over the course of the nine months. Compare that to the average weight gain of non-surgery patients, which is 25-35 pounds for a healthy pregnancy.

A few things may be different for your pregnancy. You may not be able to do the glucose test during which you drink a sugar solution. You do want to avoid dumping. However, you can request a fasting test, which is what I did. And my sugar levels actually dropped after I ate. 

You will definitely need to be extremely vigilant taking your vitamins, no ifs, ands or buts. You may lose weight during the course of your pregnancy and only in the later months gain. Also, your tastes may change. I dumped before pregnancy on cool whip but during my pregnancy sugar was one of the few things that did not make me sick. I don't know why and no one can tell me.  It just happens. But then it also switched back again after I gave birth.

When you do get pregnant, you must switch your mindset. Losing weight cannot be your priority or even on the list of things you are attempting. You must allow your body to gain. Dieting -- something that should not be part of your post-op life anyway -- should definitely not be in your vocabulary while pregnant. You need to concentrate on doing what is right for the child and that means gaining weight. During pregnancy, you will see the scale go up. To avoid stressing about that, here is a tip: get weighed facing backwards so you can't see the scale!

The point of this message is, pregnancy after Weight Loss Surgery can be a joy and it can be easy. But you do have to be smart about it. You have to wait until you are finished losing and it is safe to get pregnant. You have to take precautions to avoid pregnancy. You also have to take vitamins and live healtfully, as does any pregnant woman.

As for delivery, every woman is different. Mine was simple. I was in hard labor for three hours and pushed for seven minutes before my darling healthy baby girl was born. Then the fun began. This baby is now walking, climbing and destroying whatever she sees. :)
Denise Rasley
drasley@cisnet.com
BTC, Columbus, 10/7/98
Lost over 90% of excess and maintaining
Gained a beautiful daughter on 8/9/00

Copyright 2000-2013 Barbara Thompson All Rights Reserved